Why I focus on becoming functionally strong over weight
Firstly, let me say that being at a healthy scale weight is good, of course, and I am very much for celebrating success on a scale, but for me it is not the be all end all of weight loss/getting healthy achievements.
For myself, I realized somewhere along the way in my journey, that this wasn't enough. If I continued chasing a scale number, which fluctuates day by day, up and down, then I was chasing a never-ending number and balance game. The key moment for me came when I asked myself some very tough and very valuable questions: What happens after I reach that number - what else do I have then, if all I have focused on is a number on a scale, but to keep chasing that number? Maintaining that number? Living, eating, breathing to maintain that number?
I realized that for me, chasing a specific number on a scale and living to maintain that number was not what I wanted - that focusing on a scale number (which I have been trained to do since I was put on my first diet at 4 years old) was part of my sickness. As long as I viewed my success primarily in terms of scale number, I'd be stuck in the same endless cycle of obesity and chasing the skinny dragon and I'd never be free.
So I shifted my focus - set a body fat % range that works for me, and have been working toward that along with making myself more physically capable; stronger, faster, better. I adopted fitness role models of women who are sleek, fit, able and learned what their body weights are and I was amazed - they are 160 -180 lbs - well-toned and sculpted, still very feminine, and sized 4-8. Inspiring - I never knew that was possible.
And gaining functional strength has been nothing short of miraculous - being able to lift things with ease, to run, to dance, to surf, swim, climb, hike, ascend - these allow me to take on life-changing experiences. I no longer have to wonder what is beyond the scale number because I know - mountains to climb, waves to surf, marathons to run, rainforests to trek through, nieces and nephews to easily lift and chase and play with - this is my new definition of success. To be able to physically and emotionally live without compulsive eating or weighing: to finally be free of the physical and mental cycle of obesity.