When it is ONLY About a Number on the Scale

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Katie Hopkins weighs in five weeks into her weight loss “experiment”. She decided not weigh herself while she was in her weight loss period of her reality TV show because she felt that it might be discouraging, so she periodically has a doctor weigh her.

Many diets and weight loss programs discourage participants from looking at a scale throughout the program, because the number on the scale is “just a number”, isn’t an indicator of health or progress, and can be discouraging because of natural fluctuations in weight that have nothing to do with increased body fat. For example, Whole30, a whole foods eating plan, one of the rules is states: “You are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program”. Women are often advised not to weigh themselves the week before their period because natural water retention can cause the scale to go up and be discouraging. In theory, a person’s health is complex should not be tied to a number.

Hopkins seems to agree with the sentiment that health is not simply a number on the scale, however she clearly refutes it by her actions later. Hopkins has a doctor weigh her in at week five and she has lost 21 lbs, or an average of 4.2 lbs per week, which is a huge amount to lose in that period of time. She is ecstatic about her weight loss and states that she is “changing life for the better”, not just her health. Her doctor is concerned, however, that she is losing quite a bit of muscle, not just fat. She completely blows him off, laughing and basically stating that he is just trying to rain on her parade. If Hopkin’s goal was truly about health, as she claims, she would be concerned about the muscle loss, but she’s not. She only sees the quickly declining numbers on the scale; it doesn’t matter to her if it muscle or fat that she is losing.

It’s not about health to her, it’s about numbers. She is reducing herself and everyone she judges to a number on a scale.

Speaking of numbers on a scale, I weighed in at the five-week mark yesterday as well. I have eating an average of 1700 calories per day, walked well over an average of 10,000 steps a day, and exercised for an hour three times a week. I have been working just as hard as Hopkins on weight loss. She lost 21 lbs in five weeks and had a perfectly healthy BMI of 23. I have lost 3 lbs in five weeks and have an overweight BMI of 27.1. If I were to continue at the same rate, I would reach a healthy BMI in a little over 23 weeks and a BMI similar to hers in 42 weeks, January 5, 2016! Our starting weight was only three pounds difference, but the amount of work I would have to do to get the same results is over 8 times that of what she had to do, yet she has the audacity to call overweight people lazy!

As I said in my introduction blog, “My goal is not to lose weight. The goal is to show that each of us is unique, beautifully, wonderfully made and what is true for one individual may not be true for another.” Unlike what society tells us about weight loss, equal effort  clearly does not mean equal results, and unlike what Hopkin’s thinks, a person’s health nor worth cannot be defined by simple number. A person’s worth is infinte.

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One thought on “When it is ONLY About a Number on the Scale

  1. Pingback: Katie Hopkins and the Just-World Fallacy | Jessica Veldstra

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