These days, it seems we’re all obsessed with our weight.

We’re slaves to the scales. Every home has them. Half my clients start each day on them in case they’ve gained a gramme or two overnight. The newsagents are full of magazines debating the weight gains (boo) or losses (hurray) of any celeb unwise enough to be photographed in a bikini.

Even our Doctors still use weight and height to calculate our health, via our Body Mass index.

Shame to hang so much of our sense of self-worth on something that gives such a skewed view.

The trainers at TenPilates are in pretty good shape. They’re trim, fit and healthy. But on a pure BMI calculation, most of them would be considered obese.

It’s all down to the combination of body fat to muscle and skeletal mass.

Take 2 women of equal size and body shape. The first one doesn’t exercise or eat healthily, drinks and smokes. The second does all the right things in terms of exercise and diet. The first woman weighs 55kg, of which 35% is body fat. The second woman weighs 65kg, but only 20% of that is body fat.

See where I’m going with this?

Take our lead from the scales, and the second woman would worry about being 10kg heavier. But the reality is it’s the first woman who’s in trouble. She’s clinically obese, with all the long-term health risks that represents.

If you want my advice, ditch the scales. For a better idea of the shape you’re in – and the clue is in the word ‘shape’ – get a tailor’s tape measure instead, and measure the circumference of these 7 sites of your body:

  • Hips
  • Stomach
  • Upper arm
  • Thigh
  • Calves
  • Neck
  • Chest

Remember to measure the same area (it should be about the middle) of the site every time. It will instantly show you how and where your exercise and diet program is changing the shape of your body.

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