Avoid Being Manipulated. What’s Actually Important?

As a size 6, I was one of the biggest girls in my high school.

Seriously.

The majority of the time, I didn’t mind being considered one of the big girls. Why? Because my 150# was pure muscle. There was very little fluff (fat) on me. I was a farm girl who worked out with our Varsity basketball guys and, up until senior year, was staying in shape for the Navy, training with our guys who had already joined the Navy or Marines. Most of the time, I was confident with my body and appearance – other than the acne that every teenage girl bemoans.

Now, as a size 14ish (depending on the article of clothing, material, cut, and brand/country of origin), I’m not quite as comfortable with my body as I would like, but part of that is I’m no longer solid muscle. I’m working on that. Ultimately though, I haven’t weighed under 200# for the last 7yrs, but I don’t really mind that number. Why? Because in early 2018, my body fat % was 30% at that 200#. I like that number. That was after a back injury and a few wrist injuries, after the death of my partner and our good friend. Getting back to that 30% is my goal.

Realistically, I do not ever see me fitting into a size 6 easily again. I’m ok with that.

Clothing manufacturers take advantage of women’s insecurities and lack of self-confidence and focus on appearance to mess with our heads. I can hold my size XL shirt next to a size Medium and fit into both of them easily. The Medium is from my early college days. I bet if I were to find that same shirt now, and try on a Medium in the store, it wouldn’t fit over my arms or chest.

Focus less on clothing size because those are manipulated by manufacturers to manipulate YOU.

Probably the last time I wore a floral dress…and the only banquet/event where I wore bright colors, so went dark with the eye makeup to counteract the pink!

There’s a little extra fat around my stomach now and those German curves I got from my mama are more developed, but I felt just as good in that 2020 picture as I did in 2010. (Probably better since I never knew what to do with my hands in banquet photos…and that was one of dozens of photos taken that night.)

How about in this one? In June of 2019, I was still around 200# and working on mobility to help my lifts (and help my movement in general).

But in March of 2020, I was at that 215#. Besides the improvement in this pose, can you see much of a difference? Cause there’s a 15# difference. Oh, every single article of clothing in all 3 photos are still in my dresser and get worn on a regular basis.

I cannot stress this enough: don’t worry about what size clothes you wear or the number on the scale.

Go old school. Take your measurements! Go to Hobby Lobby or Wal-Mart and get a measuring tape – used for sewing, not construction. Measure your bust, your waist, and your hips. I know my measurements which makes a world of difference when ordering clothes and figuring out what cut of clothing I want. Some people like measuring their arms and thighs too, even their calves! I use these measurements more than I use weight. Weight is necessary for BF% or you would rarely see me on a scale.

Every single time I started with a new client out of high school, they asked about weigh-ins and wanted to weight themselves every session or every week. No. Our society has weight at the forefront of our minds. “Lose weight in ……” “Drink this to burn off those pounds….”

Usually, I end up compromising and doing monthly weigh-ins as long as they also do BF%. I encourage everyone to do their own measurements. If they want to share them with me to track, I do that for them. Online clients have to do monthly measurements since I’m not with them in-person. My favorite thing to track for myself and my clients? How much weight are they moving each session? How much can they deadlift now compared to 3 months ago? How many bodyweight squats can they do now compared to last month? How do they feel? Do they still feel tired the entire day? Or a little more energized? Do they feel the movements are getting easier?

As a size 6, 150# girl, I was throwing around bales of hay and straw out in the barn. I was considered obese by all of those oh-so-wonderful-and-horribly-outdated BMI scales at the doctor’s office. I was also running a 10minute mile (not voluntarily. I hated running then almost as much as I hate it now.).

As a size 10, 200# EMT, I was lifting 400# patients into the back of the squad, carrying 300# patients up and down steps and moving them from the bed to the cot.

As a size 14ish, 215# woman, I am outlifting a lot of guys in the gym and still working as an EMS provider and firefighter. I deployed a roof ladder on a 2-story building. I roll my eyes at the clothing industry and buy what fits me comfortably – physically and emotionally – while working on dropping my BF% in a healthy, balanced way.

Your health – mental, emotional, and physical – is far more important than the number on the scale or on the tag of that new dress you just bought.

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