Success on the Scale Pales in Comparison to Functional Goals


I’m going to pull back the veil a little too much on this one.

I’ve been doing the exercise thing for a long time. I’ve helped hundreds of people lose thousands of pounds. I’ve helped people increase their strength. Hell, I’ve even helped people get six-pack abs. This industry is bombarded with goals centered around physical appearance.

Perpetuated by Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, magazines…being ‘lean, toned and sexy’ is the only way to be.

WTF is a perfect body?

An equal pressure is placed on dudes to bench more weight, get stronger, leaner, bigger.

The only 6 pack I’m sniffing after finding the Detroit style pizza spot in SLC

The world of fitness is so closely tied to physical attributes that it can be entirely too much.

As a fitness pro, the buzz around weight loss makes me feel some kind of way. ‘HOLY SHIT NEW YEARS IS HERE, NOT THIS AGAIN’. Exhausting.

I’m going keto for this.

Intermittent fast for that.

Paleo because this.

As tiring as the narrative is year to year, stepping on the scale is the one thing that really bugs me. We’re peeling back the layers of of your life. We spend time improving habits. Cleaning out cabinets.

Yet, when a client sees success in so many areas, except for the scale, it ruins everything. When the number on the scale goes up, it ruins their passion and progress. It makes them question why they are doing it. It can be a sickness, an obsession.

Don’t get me wrong. The scale can be a way we measure progress. And for some people, it’s the right thing to do.

It can be a way we direct our program, if it is there to improve your health and you have a great relationship with the objectivity it provides. But it’s not everything. It should only be a small, minute, piece of the pie.

I’ll try to paint a picture of what drives me, as a fitness professional. What gets me excited.

I don’t give a shit about your weight. You lose five pounds, cool. I’ll be excited for a moment. I’ll be thrilled for about as long as it takes you to step on the scale. That 5 seconds, I’ll be thrilled. Or tell you to dial the diet down when you gain a pound.

Maybe I’m not a weight loss guy. And I’m starting to realize, that’s ok.

What excites me, is seeing you break outside of your shell.

You can walk further than you could a month ago. You can tie your shoes without getting out of breath. You chose to take the stairs because you felt like you didn’t get enough movement in today. You fit into a pair of pants better than you used to. You start to wear shit that makes you FEEL sexy. You can lift more than you used to. You are more confident.

It’s the day to day stuff that gets me bouncing of the walls and reignites my fuel in fitness.

Today, I met with my client, Amit. Amit and I started a few months back, working on developing his down dog position (his goal was to perform down dog pain-free). His secondary and tertiary goals were to go snowboarding, followed by being able to perform a headstand with competence. Of note, he had a knee surgery a few years back to correct tibia position that he hasn’t yet felt confident enough in.

We didn’t get on the scale. We didn’t measure bodyfat, strength or any of the other stuff you care to see on a testimonial page.

He clearly, and distinctly had functional goals.

Well, the pain free down dog thing was achieved after a couple of months of movement education. It was honestly a matter of HOW he performed the movement. I’m no expert yogi – but I can tell you when your body isn’t moving with symmetry. And I helped him develop the basics of keeping a packed shoulder while in a ‘passive’ position.

With the down dog stuff cleared up we moved on!

Today, during our session, I was greeted with enthusiasm. We walked into his workout space and he immediately kicked up into a headstand on demand. We had practiced it a few times, worked on developing a strong hollow position. And today…VOILA!

Headstand looking good!!

Not only that, he’s hitting the slopes tonight to take a snowboarding lesson for the first time in years.

His legs are stronger. His confidence is high. And his ABILITY is through the roof.

So, I’m stoked. I’m riding the high of another successful functional goal.

We didn’t measure bodyfat. Or weight. Or circumference.

But he HAS dropped weight. He HAS cleaned up his eating. He knows when to stop. He doesn’t enjoy the feeling of stuffing himself full anymore.

And a piece of me is curious about how much weight he’s lost. But that’s also the piece of me that doesn’t truly give a shit.

This dude is getting stronger.

He is focused on his abilities.

And he is focused on improving the intensity of his movement. His ability is the payoff. Not a number.

So today, I sit here, reveling in his success. And it’s not topical, nor does it fluctuate. He is snowboarding tonight. He is performing headstands. He can hang out in down dog for 10 minutes, pain free.

What I’m getting at, is that what you CAN DO matters. As your abilities increase, your comfort increases. Your habits improve.

Can you do more today than your did yesterday?

What do you WANT to be able to do?

And how do you get there?

Take some time away from the scale. Take some time away from the stress of not feeling strong, or beautiful or weak.

Take a moment to think about what you want to do.

Take a moment and think about what you want your body to do.

Function matters more than that damn number.

Feel free to drop some ideas on how you function better today than you did yesterday. Feel free to brag a bit. This is the shit that keeps me going.

Love your face,

Mike Goose

Published by mikeg00se

I like to adventure, paint portraits of goats and love family stuff.

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