Is the fat girl really fat? Is it all in the scale, all in your mind, or all in your goals?
I’ve read a number of posts in the last month where someone says, “I am not going to define myself by the weight on the scale. I weigh XXX right now, and I am fit and strong and healthy, and I like my body the way it is.” These posts all throw out a number – say 140 lbs or 165 lbs, it doesn’t really matter – that is supposed to be a “shocking” number. You know, it’s a number that the average woman on the street who has a goal weight of 105 or 115 lbs is going to have a heart attack just imagining. “150 lbs! How could I ever weigh 150 lbs! That’s… FAT.”
Those of you who have followed my athletic endeavors over the last 5 years know that my weight has been all over the map. Growing up, I was super active and super skinny, and I graduated college weighing 119 lbs at 5’8. After having two kids and not exercising whatsoever for 4 years, I was an out-of-shape 174 lbs and couldn’t do a single pushup. I was “meth-addict” lean at 132 lbs with abz and some decent double unders. And, I’ve been 145 lbs, 155 lbs, and 165 lbs as a weightlifter trying my best to put more weight on the bar above all else.
Several years ago, when I first started trying to gain weight to get above that 132 lbs of methy neurosis, I jokingly started calling myself “fat” as the scale went from 132 to 145 to 155. I thought it was funny because there were so many women who wanted to look like me at 132 lbs, and for me, it was never about the number on the scale. I had “accidentally” leaned out trying to be the best at exercise and Paleo, and I mistakenly thought that I was performing well at that weight. Once I purposefully started gaining weight, anything above that 132 number became a “fat” post on Facebook. I admit that I am often the only person who finds me funny.
Earlier this year, Nick and I wrote a new training plan for me. It’s a long term training plan that extends all the way to the 2014 American Open. And, it involves me getting fat. In short, my number one goal for the past several months was to increase my squat and not worry about bodyweight. Whether or not you think I am “good” at weightlifting, the fact was that at the end of 2012, I was an extremely efficient lifter – my max snatch and clean and jerk were very, very close to my max squat numbers, and I was still getting pinned under PR clean attempts that I could rack but not stand up.
If I wanted to get better at weightlifting, I had to get stronger.
Since I didn’t need to worry about making weight to qualify for a national meet anytime soon, we said fuck the scale. Squat and eat and squat and eat and be a superheavy lifter for a while. That’s what I did, and I achieved my short term goal of squatting over 300 lbs.
Nick thought it would be funny if I could get up to 90 kg body weight. Maybe the funnier thing was that I was willing to try. I mean, how many women do you know who would purposefully gain weight to reach 200 lbs?
I don’t weigh 200 lbs yet, and I think it will really hurt to get there if I decide it’s in line with my goals. But, outside of pregnancy, I weigh more than I have in my life. The scale said 179.4 lbs this morning. Nick said, “You’re too skinny. You can’t be under 180.” It’s true. If I am going to do this, then I have to be all in, and 179 lbs is missing the point.
Is that fat or not?
I mean, I am not talking about morbid obesity here, people. I am talking about what you think when you see someone on the street or maybe at the gym. If you saw me lifting, would your brain automatically think, “She needs to lose some weight?”
Because I honestly don’t know what you would think. I only know what I think, and I don’t have a problem with the weight on the scale or what I see in the mirror. Most importantly, the weight on the barbell is going in the right direction. I am achieving MY goals, and no matter which way my weight swings right now, it will be because of those athletic goals and nothing else.
But, am I fat or not? You tell me. And, would your answer change if you just saw a photo of me and hadn’t read this post first?
- Photos shown:
- April 2009, 174 lbs
- April 2010, 132 lbs
- September 2012, 163 lbs
- August 2013, 179 lbs