Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.

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The scale is not your friend

Fat vs Muscle - That's a lot of fat!

Years ago I stopped getting on the scale. Why? Because it’s full of bull and I have no patience for bull. Why do I say that the scale is full of “bull?” Because it tells me things that have very little bearing in reality.

I learned a long time ago that while the scale may tell you that you’re light (and that’s what most of us want to hear), that doesn’t mean you’re fit, strong or healthy. It simply means that you’re light, or starved, or possibly dehydrated on that particular day. Or, maybe you’ve been dieting and you are low in body fat, but can you jog up a flight of stairs without gasping? Got any muscle tone or are you giggly? You might be light but you may not be fit.

In my mind the best judge of fitness is via the way you look and feel, and the best way to judge the addition of girth is through the constraint of your clothing and reflection in the mirror, rather than the vision on the scale.

Here’s my question: Do you want to be light (thin) or do you want to be healthy? I like being healthy  myself. I am not light, I have never been light, I will never be light and I don’t care about being light according to the scales definition. I don’t need to be particularly “light?”  I’m healthy, fit, and look pretty darn swank as well as can put up a hell-of-a good fight when challenged (I mean in a race or fitness challenge not bar brawl…but I’d be okay there too).

If you want to look light, get fit; get regular aerobic exercise and build muscle rather than fat. A large part of the key to fitness is muscle mass, remember that muscle is denser than fat (%18) so it takes up that much less room in your body. Visualize this, one pound of butter is equal in size to one pound of fat. You know what butter looks like; it’s the whole box of butter. Not one stick, all 4 sticks that come in the box total one pound. Now, one pound of muscle is about the size of your fist. Visually much smaller than a box of butter. Plus, muscle burns calories to stay alive so it works with you to burn fat. Fat just sits there looking lumpy until you burn it off.

This difference in fat vs muscle mass is why you can have two 140 lb women, one a size 8 and one a size 12. Not only does the size 8 women look and feel great, most likely she’ll live a healthy, longer life. Plus, she gets to eat more than the size 12 women because she’s full of strong calorie burning muscles rather than lumpy fat. Now isn’t that worth a little sweat a few times a week?

I’ll be back bright and early on Wednesday with some easy muscle-building ideas.