Scales are like Satan and the BMI calculator is its sidekick

During a recent check-up at the doctors the nurse uttered those five words that no girl ever, ever wants to hear: 'step on the scales please'.  "I'll just take my coat and chunky knit off first.  Shall I take my shoes off too?  And my watch?"  I was trying to remove as much as appropriate before stepping on the scales, knowing that this would keep the number down.

After being weighed and measured I didn't think much of the numbers I was presented with - I knew I'd put on a bit of padding over the winter months but it didn't really bother me.  Until I worked out my BMI...

Using an online BMI calculator I was shocked to discover that, according to my BMI, I am only 0.5 BMI points off being classed as overweight. Overweight.

I knew I'd put on a little bit of winter weight but I didn't think it was enough for me to be classed as overweight - my clothes still fit, I don't feel 'overweight'.  I'm still a size 10, I can still comfortably fit in my skinny jeans and I didn't dread the thought of peeling off the trusty jumpers as we step into spring.

This revelation sent me into a blind panic - the salads were whipped up for lunch, I was swapping roasted veg for raw veg, I was blending every fruit in site and swapping snacking for smoothies, and the George Forman was grilling chicken breasts like they were going out of fashion.  I even went to a spinning class at 7.15am one morning.

I don't own a set of scales at home (purely because the numbers always make me feel like this!) so I haven't been able to see if my two week detox and health kick has made any difference to my BMI status.

As I broke the news to Tom that his fiancée was classed as being very nearly overweight and we would no longer be eating anything other than rabbit food, I realised that all the numbers we are bombarded with regarding our weight, and what is deemed 'normal', are the reason that female morale and body confidence is at an all time low.

If you were to read the glossy women's magazines, you would see a seemingly perfect size 10 celeb on the front cover being branded 'fat' or being shamed for running down the beach in a bikini.  On the flip side, you'll see magazines slate women for being too thin.  Then there are those who are classed as being healthy and showing off 'toned body parts' - but to me look totally gaunt and ill.

There's no such thing as 'normal' because everyone has their own ideas of what is fat and what is thin.

Targeting someone's weight is probably the quickest and easiest way to offend or upset a female - because it's the thing that we all worry about.  Even those with what some see as the 'perfect body'  will have their own hang-ups and insecurities.  Unlike males, most girls can't put away a bacon sandwich everyday, a whole pack of biscuits and a load of cake, and eat five meals a day and still stay the same.  Just thinking about eating that much has probably made me gain two pounds alone!

I've said it before in my posts regarding weight and body shape - scales are the devil.  If you feel comfortable in yourself, if you feel good in your clothes and they still fit, and if you don't squirm when looking in the mirror then that's great.  Who cares what number pops up on the scales and what some online calculator tells you should be normal for someone of your height and age.

With summer just around the corner, I will be carrying on with the plan before the internet nearly saw me suffer a breakdown - eat a healthy, balanced diet and step up the gym attendance (which won't be hard when I've barely been since before Christmas!)

While scales can be a helpful tool if you want to lose a lot of weight to help you track your progress and set yourself targets, they can also play with your mind.  You might have lost a whole load of inches from your body by eating healthy and toning up but because you've turned fat to muscle, the scales won't necessarily reflect the loss of inches.  I've been there!  Exercising loads, eating healthy and gaining weight - it was demoralising and, for a few days, my eating took a massive hit.

My point is, women shouldn't stress about the numbers presented to them on the scale or on a BMI calculator.  Focus on what you see in the mirror, how your clothes fit and, most importantly of all, how you feel.  If you're happy - that's all that matters.  If you want to eat that piece of cake and will only feel miserable later if you don't eat it - eat it!  A healthy, balanced diet filled with the odd treat now and again will do you no wrong.  Add a bit of exercise into the mix and you'll be laughing.

I've realised that this last two weeks (and I still won't be introducing a set of scales anywhere in our house!)

You may also like: The Gap vs a Chocolate Digestive

1 comment: