A pound isn’t equal to every other pound and a kilogram isn’t the same as every other kilogram. Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Not quite. People that are the same weight might not be the same size. Composition matters. There’s a huge difference between your body if it’s made up of lots of fat and few muscles and one that’s well-toned, fit, and has less fat.
It’s the story behind the numbers that’s important, not just the numbers themselves. Bored Panda has collected some of the most inspirational and motivational transformations where people post photos of themselves where they weigh the exact same amount, but their bodies look very different.
Now if you’ll excuse us, while you’re busy scrolling down and upvoting your fave pics, we’ll be doing squats and lunges because we’re all fired up and need to redistribute our extra quarantine weight, stat! You’ll find our earlier posts about how it’s your lifestyle, not just how much you weigh that matters right here and over here.
The idea that not all pounds/kilograms are equal follows the same logic as nutrition: not all calories are made equal. After all, the nutrition you gain from eating lean meat, freshly caught fish, and an assortment of colorful veggies will be vastly different than if you munch on M&Ms while chugging soda and cups of syrupy coffee for breakfast. (Not judging anyone, by the way, a lot of us have been there.)
And with the Covid-19 lockdowns still tying us up mostly at home, taking care of our physical and mental health really should be a priority. Easier said than done? Of course! But when it comes to our fitness, every challenge is an opportunity to lead a better, more energetic life and to get more in touch with what our bodies need and want.
Relying on the scale is a dangerous game, likely to leave you hurt. Instead, find other ways to celebrate you and the transformations you go through!
Just remember that the scale weighs your fat, muscle, water, blood, organs, everything! My body fat is WAY less on the right and has much more muscle, but the scale doesn’t care.
How much you weigh isn’t the only thing that’s important when it comes to your health, as these photos have probably already convinced you. The context—the lifestyle that you lead, your body composition, how much you move, and what you eat—is vital if you want to make accurate assumptions about whether or not a person is as healthy as they can be or if they need some help in that area of their life.
There’s no shame in admitting that we’re not as active as we could be or that we might need a helping hand to lose some pounds if we’re currently overweight. (Even if it’s our lifestyle that’s important, there is a limit to how much big you can get without being considered overweight or obese. Even if you aren’t obese, if you’re a 150kg strongman or strongwoman, your joints won’t thank you.) The CDC is very clear on this point: obesity worsens the outcomes from Covid-19.
The CDC explains that obesity increases the risk of severe illness from Covid-19, triples the risk of hospitalization due to a novel coronavirus infection, and impairs the function of the immune system.
What’s more, obesity decreases lung capacity and makes ventilation more difficult. The CDC also points out that as one’s BMI increases, their risk of death from Covid also rises. Studies have also indicated that obesity may be linked to lower vaccine responses for diseases like influenza, tetanus, and Hepatitis B.
Left: Age 23, newlywed, eating terrible food choices.
Right: Age 32, mother of a 3-year-old, fueling my body with the best nutrition around.
I’ve finally learned what foods make my body feel better and how to workout smarter not harder. So if the scale isn’t moving, don’t get discouraged!
So what can we do to live in a healthy way that lets us enjoy life to the fullest? Well, as former US Paralympian Josh Sundquist, who lost his leg when he was a child, previously told Bored Panda in an interview, the best workout routine that you can do is one that you can do every single day. Consistency is what you should aim for.
I’ve been stuck lately. Stuck between 180 – 185 lbs. My lowest has been 175 lbs. I have toned and gained so much strength since the picture on the left. Just when I thought I wasn’t making progress I’m actually killin it!
“Personally, my favorite thing is going on long walks. So that’s what works for me. But for someone else, it might be swimming or competitive sports or tai chi. Whatever gets you moving,” Sundquist told us.
Going on long walks sounds lovely, doesn’t it? While we might think about how much the pace at which we walk is the most important thing, it’s not the only factor that we should focus on. Where we go for walks is just as essential.
This, my friends, is precisely why you shouldn’t measure your progress by the scale. Go by pictures and the way your clothes fit.
If I were to let the scale determine my progress I’d just give up already
In a recent article, The Wall Street Journal highlighted the importance of breathing in fresh air out in nature, out in the woods, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Being in nature has a therapeutic effect that many have known about for a long time (what the Japanese call ‘forest bathing’), but it’s only recently that more and more scientists are delving into the field.
Changed some of my eating habits. Hitting the gym 2-3 times a week. I have weighed myself almost everyday for the past YEAR & my weight NEVER fluctuated. Stop looking at the number on the scale & look for the differences in the way your body looks & feels. You’d be amazed. I never realized how much my body has changed until the picture on the left came up on my Timehop the other day. No matter how many times you fall off the wagon, get back on & keep pushing!
Research has indicated that spending time in forests reduces inflammation, helps fight chronic diseases, and ramps up our bodies’ production of anti-cancer proteins. “People are deciding whether or not this type of coffee bean or that type is better for you, when there is such an obvious health tool at your disposal. You literally just walk outside. People don’t know,” Jared Hanley, co-founder and CEO of NatureQuant, told the WSJ.
One 2019 study that looked at 20k participants found that spending at least two hours in nature each week leads to better overall health and well-being. The positive effects peak in the 200 to 300 minute per week range. However, being in nature for less than two hours doesn’t appear to have many positive effects.
So, dear Pandas, here’s what you should be taking away from this article. Get moving, eat well, consistently do the exercises that you enjoy immensely, and try to spend as much time in nature (tree-lined streets don’t count) as you can. The exact numbers on the scale don’t matter as much as how you honestly feel being inside your own body every day. Love yourselves as you are, but strive to be better every day.
My whole life I have battled with the scale, I have had 100% reliance on it as a reflection of my self-worth but I’m slowly moving beyond that unhealthy relationship! Left Aug 2014 – 128 lbs vs. right Saturday – 123 lbs.
What do you do to stay fit during the quarantine, dear Readers? Do you think that your physical health has improved during the endless lockdowns or the opposite? What’s your definition of a healthy and fit person? Share your thoughts and feelings in the comment section below.
Never thought I’d ever share the first picture with anyone! I barely recognize myself! In the first picture, I had been training for a marathon. In fact, it was taken in Santorini just after finishing the Athens Marathon with my hubby (amazing race, btw). Because this was basically our second honeymoon, I’d agreed to let my husband pick out a bathing suit for me, naturally, it was the tiniest one he could find. I was less than comfortable in letting anyone see it – even him! You can imagine what that lack of self-confidence was doing to our marriage. While I was proud that I had gotten back to my pre-pregnancy weight, I still wasn’t excited to wear a bathing suit (skinny-fat girl to the T) and I had been fighting hard to look good for this trip! Lol! Clearly, I was doing it all wrong.
We put so much emphasis on being a certain weight, a certain pants size, a certain BMI… But ultimately it how you FEEL in your own skin!
Don’t get discouraged over the number on the scale. Take that progress photo and clap for yourself for working towards your health.
The look on my face says it all. The journey between these two photos is just as much MENTAL as it is PHYSICAL.
I’m so much fitter now, and it’s so nice to go out and run to clear your mind. I actually gained 6 lbs from running but it’s all sorted it’s self out now, I guess it was from body shape change, muscle ect.
I’ve been discouraged lately because my weight loss has been much slower than I expected but after making this observation, I’ve realized that I’ve just been too focused with the numbers on the scale.
But let me tell you something. The girl on the right is happier, more confident, and stronger. She may not have her emotions in check, but when it comes to emotional eating, this girl has that taken care of!
Weight is a number. It doesn’t determine fitness. BMI is a ratio of height to weight, it does not measure fitness either. In both, I’m toeing the BMI line between overweight and obese. I’m pretty positive on the right, I’m nowhere near obese.
Listen, the scale only measures your relationship with gravity. Here’s what it doesn’t measure: lean muscle mass, body fat, your energy level, your stress, how well you sleep, how you feel about yourself.
I weight 1.9 lbs more now and I am in 10x better shape. Strength, and shape.
In fact, using the scale may only hinder your results because it can cause you to give up in frustration.
The left was 2 years ago the first time I tried to stick to the gym and tried and failed countless times since. the right picture was taken yesterday.
I had an original goal weight of 185 lbs, I thought I’d got there, I’d have the body and abs that I wanted. The picture on the left is just a few months after I started this journey and the first time I hit 185 lbs – not the body I thought I’d have at the time once I got there.
That’s two years of hitting macros, two years of training hard, two years of hitting protocols, two years of balance and letting myself enjoy the occasional free meal without stressing about it too much.
F/22/5’1”/ (95 lbs > 95 lbs). I focused on learning how to resistance train properly to fatigue my muscles while slowly increasing my calories weekly as my body was changing. Hard gainers, it’s possible!