Life [shouldn’t be] by the numbers

Anniversaries, miles, time, calories, body fat percentage, ounces, pounds… Our life is based around numbers and sometimes, well a lot of the time, I get annoyed by how focused we have become over them.

For one of my classes, I had to measure a student’s body composition.  They volunteered for extra credit to let us do skin folds, Bod Pod (the “gold standard” of them all), and underwater weigh (the other “gold standard”) them; obviously they wanted to know their body fat percentage because… who doesn’t?? It’s a tangible number that we are told to measure our health by – male bodybuilders are around 3% and freaky lean bodybuilding females are anywhere from 6-10%.

So, after skinfolding, I took my client to the Bod Pod and did the procedures.  When I was done, results printed out and the client was anxious to know them – the percentage was classified as “moderately lean” AKA a good, healthy number.  Once the student saw the number, I saw an immediate look of dissatisfaction on their face.  It broke my heart.

By looking at the student, they looked lean and were definitely not overweight.  I just knew that this number was not what they viewed as “ideal” and no matter what I said, I knew it wouldn’t help.  I know that because I experienced the same thing.  No matter what “number” you’re labelled as, you’re never happy.  That’s why I hate scales – they say NOTHING about how healthy you are.

By labelling people by numbers (whether it’s your weight, bodyfat percentage, calories eaten…), it serves as negative feedback that fuels obsessive, unhealthy behavior.  I wish I could have told the student to throw away the number, workout right (ahem, CrossFit), and eat clean (ahem, Paleo).  If that’s done right, your body will take care of itself.

That’s part of why I love the concept of Paleo/Whole30/Primal – no counting calories.  I used to fill notebooks up with my daily calories and obsess over the amount.  SO unhealthy.  Now the only numbers I know are for my WODs.  It’s much better that way.  FORGET ABOUT THE NUMBERS. Focus on quality.  It’s that easy.

Speaking of numbers… Day 1 of Whole30 is done.  I’m trying to not count days because then it feels like I’m counting down to failure.  But for the sake of the program, I’m tracking it on here.  It’s been awesome already.  Besides the 2 hours of the day when I wanted to cheat, I got through and ate some yummy food.  I’ll post some of the recipes later on.

Grass fed beef for dinner.  HOLY COW (no pun intended) I love that stuff!  And brussels sprouts, a lot of them.  Maybe too many?  Is that possible?  I feel great though, besides the fact I need to shower.  Time for some nighttime tea and a hot, hot shower.

Lesson of the day: STOP weighing yourself… throw out your scale right now.  STOP counting calories and eat healthy clean food.  And don’t forget about old onions in the cabinet… they are disgusting. (oops!!!) 🙂

Oh, and this was the first Wednesday in 5 weeks I wasn’t sitting at my computer from 6:58pm on constantly hitting refresh on the CF games page… pretty pathetic.

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One thought on “Life [shouldn’t be] by the numbers

  1. Pingback: Day 30… Hooray!!! « Live.Laugh.WOD

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