Like many women, weight is not my favorite topic. I don’t own a scale. I don’t need to know that number on a daily basis. If I had access to a scale in my home, I might eat a lot less, but I would obsess a lot more. I’m not a numbers freak; I’m just competitive. What? I weigh how much more than before breakfast? Maybe I should walk up and down the stairs a few times and then recheck. It’s the same reason I stopped keeping a training log for my running many years ago. It pained me to write lower mileage in than the previous training session. So, I did away with training logs and scales and I’m much happier for it. Heck, my body knows when I’m overtraining or undertraining, and it sure knows when I need to cut down on the snacks (that’s pretty much always). I check my weight at my occasional doctor’s appointment or when I visit The In-Laws. Everyone’s happy.
Since starting BJJ–which incidentally was one year ago last week!—I have been pleased with how it has changed my body. Mommy Belly? Gone. I even splurged for some bikinis this summer. (Yes, I was that Forty+-Year-Old trying to rock the bikini on the beach. I apologize to all those I visually offended. To the person who shouted, “Put on a cover-up, Old-Timer! We’re not in Europe!” shame on you for your rude American stereotyping.)
Where is this going? Well, I did this 20k in September after training all summer long. Immediately after the race, I was at The In-Laws. “Great!” I thought. “I bet I’m totally low on the scale!” It was a humid day and I sweat pounds of water out of my body. The mileage I put in over the summer coupled with my new jiu jitsu habit was surely going to give me a nice, happy number on the scale. I showered from my race and hopped on naked, not even a sock to muddy the calculation. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. Now, I would have been happy if the scale said the same or slightly higher than it did last year. I’ve gained a lot of muscle! But . . . the scale said I was about 6 pounds heavier than last year. SIX Freaking Pounds! (This is where I remind all you tall people that 6# is almost 6% of my body weight.)
|A six-pound chicken, for comparison.|
Something clearly was wrong. The scale was probably uncalibrated. I tried again. I moved it away from the wall. I turned it around. I stepped on one foot. I repositioned my feet. Nope. Same answer. Clearly the scale was broken. I left confident in my assessment, or at least too dehydrated to come to a better conclusion.
Over the Great Power Outage, I visited The In-Laws quite a bit. I was curious to meet up with The Scale again to see what it had to say this time. I braced myself and stepped on. The number was even higher. It was time to take this thing public.
“Mom-In-Law, is your scale accurate?”
“Yes, It’s accurate.”
“It’s not broken or off by a few pounds?”
“No. . . .Well, yes, it is off by a few pounds.”
“That’s what I thought. How much?”
“It’s a little low—I’m always a few pounds heavier at the doctor’s.”
I called Husband in for back up. He got on the scale. “I don’t know what to tell you,” he said. “It’s where I’ve always been.”
You are freaking kidding me. I’ve busted my hump for the last year, and I’ve gained weight? Who does that? All I read are the stories of people losing weight to jiu jitsu. “Girl starts Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Girl loses weight. Girl feels healthy, strong, and confident.” (Rock on, ladies.) So, what the eff is up with me?
I’ve calmed down a bit since then, and I’ve come to terms with The Scale. I will no longer step on it, and it will no longer give me numbers I don’t want to see. Despite The Scale, I’ve had a few comments recently from people I haven’t seen in a while like, “How do you stay so in shape?” Hey, I do feel healthy, strong, and confident. What do numbers mean, anyway?
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Eat up!