Power of the number

I love numbers, probably because I was a science student and they represent something. numbersBut that is all they are, a representation of information. They change as changes are made but I don’t put much power beyond that into a number. These numbers can be your BMI, your weight, your body fat, how many full body push-ups you can do or even your pant size. They are just numbers, aka data. But I am finding that many people around me put a lot of power into these numbers. STOP!

You may not like your BMI number but are OK with your body fat percentage. You may not like your weight but your body fat you are happy with. These are just numbers designed to let you know where you sit in the ranges of all numbers. They will not match your friends, many factors play into these numbers and good news, changes to them are usually at your control.

I pop on the scale pretty regularly to see what’s happening. I know what I weigh and what my range is and I simply note those numbers. I love having my body fat measurements taken especially by the bod-pod’s (long story short…I am excellent at caliper testing and will judge those around me for their very questionable skills…thank you to my college fitness labs for forcing/enhancing my skill in caliper testing) I use these numbers as tools not weapons. I wear different sizes based on brand and when that size is low, I know that the company is ‘generous’ in their sizing and when its higher, then well that is the size I wear in that brand. It’s just a tool so next time I shop them I know what to grab for the dressing room or better yet, makes online shopping a breeze.

We need to stop letting these numbers control our thinking. Rewarding ourselves when we buy a dress and the size on the label is lower than usual. Or getting down because our body fat measurement isn’t where we want it to be or greater than your friends number. They are numbers to guide you not define you. If you wear a size 10 and only a size 10 but the industry changes it and now all size 12’s fit the new size 10 then what; you now only wear clothes too big for you? It’s a guide. Designed so that when you pick up a dress and it’s too big or too small, you go back to the rack and select another size in either direction. Thank you mass production since we no longer have to be measured by a seamstress for our custom fit clothing of days long ago. If there were no sizes or unit of measure on a dress or pant, you’d have to take 10 items into the dressing room and try each one until you found one that fit. Numbers are that simple.

Do you really need a number telling you your body fat percentage to know that you are at a good body fat number or have body fat to lose? What knowing these numbers do is give you a start point and when you retest, an end point. If you wish for a different number, you make necessary changes in your life or way of eating then note what works or doesn’t work and test a third time and a fourth time to really know the impact of your changes. They help you design your life, not define it. They make clear what you probably already know about your body, not who you are or your worth in this world. They let you know if your chosen changes made the impact you wanted to make, not validate whether or not you hold value as a human.

Do not give numbers so much power. Take them for what they are and all they are is information. Use that information to make you the version of you that you and only you wish to be.