Fitness and Health

Lose Weight: What Your Scale Doesn’t Tell You About Fitness and Health

Personal Fitness Trainer Graduate Highlights Better Indicators of Health

when Sean Raymond (Personal Fitness Trainer ’17) used to work as a trainer at another gym, and management told him he should do a weight check as part of tracking his client’s progress.

“I didn’t let anyone else do it because I wanted the client to do it.” felt It’s been a success,” Raymond, now owner of SRTraining, told Leduc. He didn’t want their interests to be defined or compromised by the numbers on the scale.

Fallon Fleming The owner of Falon Fueled Fitness (Personal Fitness Trainer ’15) thinks similarly. “I have no idea how many kilograms I weigh,” she says. “I think the last time I weighed myself was at the doctor’s, but I ignored him.”

But trainers may be the minority who have learned to distinguish between weight and health. In a 2021 report, the global market for weight loss products and services reached US$254.9 billion and is projected to grow to US$377.3 billion by 2026.

Undoubtedly, the common scale has contributed to driving that spending, and Raymond and Fleming want to change that.

“We really need to step off the scale. We feel negative about ourselves when that’s our only focus,” says Fleming. “There are many other things that can be used as indicators of health.”

To move the needle toward better health, we ask Fleming and Raymond why we are so obsessed with healthier metrics of success, and how we can stop being burdened by a limited view of fitness. We talked about what was good.

Weight redefinition

Sean Raymond, Graduate Student, Personal Fitness TrainerRaymond reminds his clients that the human body is a composite structure and that the numbers on the scale don’t reflect that.

“Your body is more than just fat,” he says. “It’s the skeletal system, it’s the muscular system. A large part of your weight is determined by how much water you drink.”

Ironically, Raymond frequently uses scales to back it up, helping to redefine the client’s concept of “weight.”

Among his tools is a smart scale that applies a painless electrical current to your feet to assess body composition.

This allows Raymond to demonstrate improvements in things like muscle development, less visceral fat that attaches to organs and inhibits their function, and water intake, even though overall body weight is about the same. .

why focus on weight

Fallon Fleming, Graduate Student, Personal Fitness TrainerTrainers say we focus on our own weight in part because we care about other people’s weights. We aspire, but we also criticize ourselves for doing so.

“In my opinion, the last 20, 30 years have been detrimental to the narcissistic environment,” says Raymond.

Social media and magazines were dominated by “thin models,” and “this is the diet, this is the life you want, this will make you healthier,” he says.

He believes things are changing, but the damage is done.

“It takes a lot of time to forget that ‘food culture,'” says Fleming. And she feels that her own industry isn’t doing much either. As proof, she cites the hashtag #fit-ness on Instagram, where influencers, including some trainers, distort her body image, and the potential for some viewers to turn to her scales. points out that there is

“[Look at] Is it a transformation photo? says Fleming. “This is what I was before, this is what I am after. This is what I want to be, but I wasn’t accepted.”

redefining success

Woman doing yoga in the living room

Sometimes those effects are expressed by clients as a kind of false nostalgia.

When Fleming asked her opinion about her best self, “I’m like, ‘I’m 20 pounds lighter and I look skinnier.'” is strong and can live a long time.”

Raymond also hears unrealistic goals. Right or wrong, clients tend to think they’re happier when they’re younger and lighter. “If I could get back to that weight, I would feel the same again,” he says. It is unlikely that it will happen, and even if it does, happiness is not guaranteed.

Trainers believe that restructuring goals is essential to breaking the negative relationship with the scale. Rather than focus clients on one number that tells only part of the story, Fleming says, “We use a variety of musculoskeletal assessments—ones that measure strength, such as grip strength, and others that measure strength over a certain number of repetitions.” I’m telling you to refer to other indicators, such as the number of repetitions” amount of resistance.

“Success is the ability to do things you couldn’t do before,” she emphasizes.

push towards acceptance

man looking in the mirror and smiling

Ideally, we all aim for balance, the maintenance stage where we feel the healthiest, not the leanest, says Fleming. “We can still develop our strength [but] The scale will not change much,” she says.

Fleming frequently works with the elderly. She often finds their attitude to fitness and health to be exemplary. They say, “My body is changing. Their goals change to focus on activities such as being able to play with their grandchildren or being able to continue hiking.

Raymond believes there can be great satisfaction in achieving such goals, rather than chasing numbers that come in very little. His own sense of success as a trainer is leading his clients to something more than just physical fitness, to a more holistic sense of accomplishment.

“My happiness comes from instilling in my clients a sense of ‘I’m good enough,'” says Raymond. He hopes that the ability to accomplish what might have once seemed like “the hardest thing in life” will bring them satisfaction.

In some cases, it also involves reassessing your own values. That’s why Raymond seeks to help children engage in initiatives that inspire confidence and courage. “And so you can learn to break through self-limiting beliefs and love yourself beyond the scale.”

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