Body Weight: Do You Have A Set Point?

Ever since the age of 17, I fixated on hitting a magic number on the scale.

And I know I’m not alone with this behavior.

Most women I work with, at some point or another dealt with disordered eating and insecurities around their body.

To be frank, most women struggle with their weight most of their life–myself included.

Here’s where I think we go wrong.

We focus on a specific number.  We think this number we want is where we’re meant to sit at.  You and I both know that number is commonly lower than our body is meant to perform best at.

The magic weight?  IT DOESN’T EXIST.

Case in point…..

Throughout the course of my life I’ve ranged from 125 pounds, 185 pounds and 75 pounds at my 5’4 muscular frame.

185: Heavy for my size. Sat here after 2 years of mere starvation. Binge ate, depressed and slept a ton.

155: Hovered around this weight for a few years by running only.  No weights or specific way of eating.

75: Anorexic.  Starving for 2 years.  Living off lettuce, crab meat and cereal.  No energy, massive anxiety.

125: (age 19) Weight in high school, higher body fat, lower muscle mass, cardio training only.

128: (age 32) Weight with heavy endurance training from triathlons. Felt amazing and lean but too much work to maintain this weight.  Once I quit this training intensity, my weight shot up pretty quickly.

133-139: (Current weight) This is where my body feels comfortable and depending on training, sodium intake and time of the month/cycle my weight hovers around these numbers.  If I’m honest, this weight is a  little higher than I’d like but I perform best at this weight.  I feel strong, I eat healthy 80% of the time, no calorie counting, live life and feel happy, focused and healthy.

So here’s what I ask you….

Where does your body feel comfortable?

Are you solely fixated on the scale to measure your goals or can you be open to taking an inventory on your energy, cravings, and hormones (including your thyroid) to track your progress?  My hope is you do the latter.

Meet a world-class athlete of mine, Jamie.  She’s a competitive triathlete and came to me after her coach told her she needed to lose weight to be faster on her runs.  Let’s make note she has a very muscular frame, a very high V02 max and anaerobic threshold capacity that could give most men a run for their money.

Jamie’s natural weight sits around 135. At the time, she was around 140 and got as low as 125 at one point but she had to starve herself to maintain that weight.  Instead of focusing only on the scale, we made small, subtle tweaks around her diet, including eliminating dairy due to her heavy bloating and increased her protein and veggie intake.  Her weight took care of itself. She lost a few pounds, but more importantly, she dropped a little body fat and had MORE energy during her races which made me happy.

I also told her coach to F off and ridiculed him for even mentioning she was heavy to begin with. She looked awesome from the start, she just needed a few little nutrition adjustments and some mindset coaching to set her off on the right foot.

Bottomline, you have to work WITH your physiology, not AGAINST it.

Here’s exactly what we did:

+After a food sensitivity test her levels were off the charts with dairy.  Made sense considering she had a ton of bloating, gas and chronic inflammation.

+Her body was in a major stress response.  Because of her excessive training and undereating she was struggling with insomnia and high cortisol-a culprit to weight gain.  We had to get her sleeping which we did with a proper bedtime routine.

+She wasn’t eating the right macronutrients for her lifestyle.  We fixed this with adding adequate carbohydrates sprinkled throughout the day.

Now? She’s rocking.  She’s racing like a badass and winning and placing consistently.  This isn’t just about “losing weight” it’s about looking at the entire picture to get a client results.

Which goes back to the “magic number” on the scale.  It will vary, that I can promise you and it’s a mental mind F if we’re constantly trying to get it lower and lower without doing any sort of mindset coaching behind that.

I always remember this quote Girls Gone Strong said, “You cannot hate yourself into leanness” and this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Instead of focusing on the number to define your worthiness, why not take into consideration all the other markers for improvement?

Energy.  Cravings.  Self-Esteem.  Self-Acceptance.  Hunger.  How your clothes fit and much more.

Remember success isn’t linear, it’s a constant yin and yang depending on other factors going on in your life.

Take and inventory.  How’s your sleep, stress, nutrition, exercise and hormones?

I promise your much further along than you’re giving yourself credit for.  You got this. <3

Need some help?  Feeling a bit stuck with your fitness and nutrition goals?  Feel free to reach out at info@kimschaper.com and we will get back to you right away!  

xxo

Kim

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