• cressida fitzsimons

I like you just the 'weigh' you are...

Ergh! Being the perfectly human person I am, I spent an amazing August eating far too much food, working out far too little and chilling out with the famalam. I loved it BUT I can not be pleased enough to say... Hello September! A month of...fresh starts...new resolutions...refreshed goals and a clearer mindset. But then, all this got me thinking... (I promise as much as I digress - I am particularly fond of the old metaphor! 😉- this is most certainly still about fitness!) As you may or may not be aware, before embarking on this journey, I was a full time teacher and as September began showing it's rainy face on the horizon, I started thinking about school again, about the kids I loved teaching and the marking and assessing I was so frustrated doing! It's been said many times - certainly if you're involved with the education system at all - that we mark, grade, test and measure the kids to ridiculous extremes and far too often this is not done for the benefit of the child. The old adage "The more you teach/push those things that can be measured, the more kids will grow up feeling like they don't measure up" comes to mind.

What I found really difficult was knowing that children ALWAYS walk away from a lesson learning something! It may not be what a subordinate conjunction is, like you planned, but gosh... "Wasn't Barney's handwriting beautiful today!" "Jimmy used a brilliant new word!" "Sammy learnt to work with her peers better." "Didn't Darcy learn to listen nicely in the input!" "Wasn't this other child with a -y name using brilliant punctuation today- can't believe they remembered speech marks from last lesson!" BUT when I look up at that preassigned learning intention and success criteria - dammit - they didn't get it. They didn't achieve what they should have... More than that - they had to learn it in that hour (because really, learning happens in an hour?!) and I had to mark their books at the end of that hour to judge their 'progress.' Somewhere along my much elongated and digressive train of thought (What are the cats up to? What exactly are the results of drinking bleach?*) I started comparing my old job with my new one and it occurred to me how, despite looking at the education system and cringing at how much pressure and unnecessary stress we put on our kids, we do the same to ourselves - all the time. If you look at your meals and workouts as 'lessons,' how often do you measure the success of those lessons by how well you 'achieved' on the scale?! Even more, how often do you 'measure' that achievement in far too narrow a timescale (because significant, sustainable and healthy weight loss happens in week?!) It's maddening how many individuals, not to mention weight loss groups, there are out there that focus purely on the number on the scale on a daily/ weekly basis. Regardless of the various factors that can effect that - muscle growth, water retention, hormones, stress, sleep (are you on ladies?! It makes a difference!). My point is - what else happened that week on your health and fitness journey?! Did you feel more energetic at work? Sleep better? Feel sexier in your clothes? Suffer fewer headaches? Feel like a beast after a good workout? Make awesome new friends? Grow in confidence? I mean, the list goes on! Why are we focusing on one measure when there is so much more to it, so much more to benefit from? So much more to gauge our 'progress' upon? I'm not saying that that number on the scale doesn't have an importance (or subordinate conjunctions right?! Because you all know what those are, obvs..) BUT focusing too much on that, is a sure fire way to failure. You're weight naturally fluctuates ~2lbs every day, up and down. If you beat yourself up every time you don't lose 'enough' week in, week out - every time you don't quite achieve the 'lesson objectives' - then I guarantee you're missing out on the bigger picture. You're misunderstanding how 'learning,' how weight loss happens - it should be messy, tangled, (a little painful at times!) and it should stall, go backwards and fly forwards. Worst of all, you're stopping yourself from embracing and feeling proud of all the other equally,

if not more, powerful achievements you reach along the journey. Ultimately, that number on the scales shouldn't be your main objective in your fitness journey - sure, a part - but only that. So, what I'm saying is when you're setting your goals for September, your 'the kids are back to school, time to focus on me' resolutions, put the scales to the side. Worry not about your gravitational pull to the earth - that bitch was weighing you down anyway... *Not at all interest in drinking bleach - just very curious about how different things work!


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