Yesterday, a U.S. fitness blogger’s Instagram post went viral after she shared three pictures of herself at different weights, to prove that the number on the scale really doesn’t say much (if anything) about your health, your fitness level, or your value as a human being.
Kelsey Wells, author of the fitness blog My Sweat Life, posted photos of herself at 145, 122, and 140 pounds.
An Unconventional Before-and-After Photoshoot
Contrary to most before-and-after posts, however, her “after” shot shows her at nearly the same “before” weight. The big difference between them? Muscle.
While she looks beautiful in each photo and at every weight, that’s not really the point of either the photos or this article. She wanted to show how meaningless the number on the scale is when it comes to tracking your fitness goals and, more importantly, determining your own self worth.
“You guys. [Please] stop getting hung up on the number on the [stupid] scale!” she wrote in her post. “Please stop thinking your weight equals your progress and for the love of everything please stop letting your weight have any affect whatsoever on your self esteem.”
She explains that in the first photo she was 8 weeks postpartum, at which point she set herself the goal of reaching 122 pounds, “based on nothing besides [her] own warped perception.” But once she reached that weight, she gained 18 pounds and went up two pants sizes.
And she couldn’t be happier.
How You Feel Matters, Not What You Weigh
“According to my old self and flawed standards, I would be failing miserably. Thank goodness I finally learned to start measuring my progress by things that matter — strength, ability, endurance, health and happiness,” she wrote.
Despite the number on the scale increasing, she feels and looks stronger than she ever has before.
“I have never been more comfortable in my own skin than I am now. And if I didn’t say #screwthescale long ago, I would have gave up on my journey,” Wells said.
Let this be a lesson to all of us that, not only are there more important things in life than the number on a scale, but also that we need to be more forgiving of ourselves. Even if our weight didn’t fluctuate daily (and even hourly) based on anything and everything from how much we’ve eaten and when we last went to the bathroom to, for women at least, where we are in our cycle, that number still wouldn’t reflect anything of value.
I spent years obsessing over my weight, evaluating every morsel of food that went into my mouth and ranging from elation to depression by turns based entirely on the number on the scale. It wasn’t until I shifted my focus from counting calories to nourishing my body, and from burning calories to building strength, that I found any measure of peace within myself. I still fight that malicious voice inside my head that tells me I’m not good enough, not skinny enough, not pretty enough, but now I win more battles than I lose. Now I exercise because it makes me feel good — it’s not a punishment for eating something “bad,” it’s something awesome that I get to do for myself. It’s a way to honour my body. It’s a way to feel empowered.
So let’s move our bodies because they were designed to move. Let’s find an activity that brings us joy and do it for that pleasure alone, not to become something society has decreed we must be.
Screw the scale. Let’s live.
Check out her full post below:
SCREW THE SCALE || I figured it was time for a friendly, yet firm reminder. YOU GUYS. PLEASEEEEEE STOP GETTING HUNG UP ON THE NUMBER ON THE STUPUD SCALE! PLEASE STOP THINKING YOUR WEIGHT EQUALS YOUR PROGRESS AND FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING PLEASE STOP LETTING YOR WEIGHT HAVE ANY AFFECT WHATSOEVER ON YOUR SELF ESTEEM, like I used to. To any of you who are where I once was, please listen to me. I am 5′ 7″ and weigh 140 lbs. When I first started #bbg I was 8 weeks post partum and 145 lbs. I weighed 130 before getting pregnant, so based on nothing besides my own warped perception, I decided my “goal weight” should be 122 and to fit into my skinniest jeans. Well after a few months of BBG and breastfeeding, I HIT IT and I fit into those size 0 jeans. Well guess what? I HAVE GAINED 18 POUNDS SINCE THEN. EIGHT FREAKING TEEN. Also, I have gone up two pant sizes and as a matter of fact I ripped those skinny jeans wide open just the other week trying to pull them up over my knees. My point?? According to my old self and flawed standards, I would be failing miserably. THANK GOODNESS I finally learned to start measuring my progress by things that matter — strength, ability, endurance, health, and HAPPINESS. Take progress photos and videos. Record how many push-ups you can do, ect. And if you can, your BFP — there is only a 5 lb difference between my starting and current weight, but my body composition has changed COMPLETELY. I have never had more muscle and less body fat than I do now. I have never been healthier than I am now. I have never been more comfortable in my own skin than I am now. And if I didn’t say #screwthescale long ago, I would have gave up on my journey. So to the little teeny tiny voice in the back of my head that still said “wtf is this- not 140!?” last week when I stepped on the scale, I say SCREW. YOU. And I think you should probably say the same to your scale too. #byefelicia ⚖ . . #bbgprogress #transformationtuesday #fit #fitness #workout #fitmom #fitchick #fitfam #fitnesstransformation #beforeandafter #sweat #mysweatlife #girlswithmuscle #girlgains #strongnotskinny