Fat is like that ex we hate but can’t stop stalking on social media. We want nothing more than for it to be out of our lives, yet there it always seems to be. We count calories, keep food diaries, workout, and even go under the knife. It’s no secret that media has played a huge role in drilling this negative relationship with fat into everyone’s heads. Our fear of fat has funded countless industries, from food to cosmetic to medical. However, with more and more information readily available to us outside of those glossy advertisements, it’s time we patch things up with fat so we can move on.
Kelsey Wells, fitness blogger of mysweat.life, gave the pot some much needed stirring when she posted this on Instagram:
She looks great - lean with great muscle definition, but that’s not what caught everyone’s attention. Her post has now gone viral with 30k and counting likes because she actually weighs almost the same number in her "Before" photo as she does in her “After" photo. In her caption she urges everyone to “screw the scale” and not let that little number affect our self-esteem.
The more you look into it, the more there are posts with similar messages. It’s important to understand and strive to be healthy, not skinny, or what we believe is attractive. For example, everyone knows the drill: if we jump and nothing jiggles; if the number on the scale continues to go down; if we can fit into a size 0, then we’ve done it! Saving the fact that clothing sizing is completely inconsistent and therefore a ridiculous measure of progress for another conversation, let’s look at the factors that make up that little number we see on the scale. Fat and muscle have different compositions. They may weigh the same, but density wise they differ. Fat takes up much more room than muscle, which is where the saying that muscle weighs more than fat comes from. Intensely dieting and working out might show an uptick, if not maintenance of weight even after three weeks or more have passed. Kelsey, like so many experts, notes that a much better measure of progress is tuning in and listening to your body. Do you feel more comfortable in your skin or are you noticing you’re less fatigued? Good. Keep going. By comparing yourself to these standards that actually have no real correlation to your progress, you only hurt yourself. You become discouraged at best and push yourself to unhealthy limits at worst.
Make sure your goals are healthy, and support your health journey with nutritional and fitness information. A journey to health is not all about fat, it’s about you feeling amazing and making sure you stay feeling amazing. Once you have that mindset, even if fat’s still around a bit, you’ll realize it doesn’t bug you all that much. You have other things to worry about, like how you’ve never felt better, and how you can’t wait to see what else you can do.
Cover Image by Jodeci Zimmerman
Alyson Zetta Williams