Today’s Matchup: Percent vs. Pound

In Experiences, Thoughts on March 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm

“You can either be a skinny-fat girl, or a hot girl,” she said matter-of-factly, “which would you rather be?” After a stubborn pause of frustration I muttered unconvincingly, “A hot girl.”

Moments ago I had reminded my trainer that today was “measurement day” (after every 8 sessions or so he measures my weight and body fat). I already knew from the scale at home that I’d gained weight and I was dreading the opportunity to let my trainer in on my little secret.

“First up: the scale,” he stated with far too much enthusiasm. -Dun, dun, dun- I took a deep breath and turned my head away; too embarrassed to watch as he slid the weights around assuming at first that he’d made a mistake. Nope, you were right… I’ve gained weight. Probably because he was completely aware of my impending reaction, my trainer noted the weight and said absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, we had to wait for another trainer to finish calibrating her clients body fat, giving me the chance to glance at the weight my trainer had noted: 130 pounds. (It may even have been 131 pounds and I’m just in denial about that last pound, I’m not sure at this point… but I hated the number either way.) My goal coming into the gym was to weigh 120 pounds (preferably less for wiggle room) and I now weigh 130 pounds!? I started training at 127 pounds and I now weigh 130 pounds!? How much was I paying this guy to help me gain weight!? (Heck, I could do that at home for free; just give me a half gallon of ice cream, a spoon and five minutes!) I stood casually, but my clenched jaw gave me away. “You’re frustrated,” my trainer confirmed under his breath as we took residence in the fat-calibration-cubicle.

After bending that way, turning my palms this way, lifting this, holding that, being pinched, and being prodded my trainer smiled as he took down the numbers he’d calibrated and calculated my body fat percentage. I knew I came in to training at 23% body fat and had lost 4% in the first four weeks… so I was hoping that I hadn’t gained too much of it back during the last four weeks. I glanced at the number he was writing down and leaned closer to make sure it really did say… 17%. There had to be a mistake… I had gained 3 or 4 pounds, so logically I should have gained body fat, right? Anticipating my thoughts, my trainer started into a mini-lecture reminding me that muscle mass weighs more than fat and I had gained muscle and lost fat… hence, I had gained weight, but lost body fat (and inches… my clothes were fitting much better, I was buying size ‘small’ again, I’d lost half a shoe size (that one stumped my trainer as he said, “well that’s a first”), and I’d been measured for a bridesmaid’s dress at 32″bust 24″waist 34″hip; a perfect size zero). Still… I didn’t look convinced.

With an agitated, “Come on,” my trainer motioned for me to follow him toward the front of the gym and stopped a female trainer asking her what she thought of my numbers. She looked over the sheet silently and finally said, “so what’s the problem?” I rolled my eyes, already aware of the trap they were setting. “There isn’t a problem, the numbers look good right?” and he proceeded to explain my dislike for the weight gain and my desire to weigh 120 pounds.

That’s when the female trainer got frustrated… Just like hearing that I’d gained weight had caused my jaw to clench, she took a deep breath at the mention of me wanting to weight 10 pounds less. Speaking quickly she said, “Muscle weighs more than fat.” While my trainer simultaneously said, “Thank you! That’s what I’ve been telling her.” I stood with my arms crossed waiting for the moment in which I had to defend myself. Obviously annoyed that I understood the logic but was stuck on a number the female trainer stood up straight and said with sass that oozed frustration (as if an ultimatum posed at the end of a long lovers’ fight), “You can either be a skinny-fat girl, or a hot girl. Which would you rather be?” After a stubborn pause of frustration I muttered unconvincingly, “A hot girl.” She was already moving on, “There are tons of skinny fat girls here that…” she appeared to veto her own comment and veered another direction, “How much do you think I weigh?” I was stunned into silence. (Everyone knows you never answer that question! When a girl asks you how much you think she weighs you pick a number subtract 10, subtract 10 more pounds for good measure and then add 3-5 pounds back on so you don’t look like you’re trying too hard.) I looked at my trainer searching his face for the answer, but the female trainer quickly answered her own question with a confident, “14_ pounds”. (I didn’t really absorb whatever the last number was because I’d been convinced she weighed 130-ish. She’s taller than me by a good two inches and, knowing she probably weighed 130, I would’ve guessed she weighed (130-10=120 120-10=110 110+5=115) 115 pounds, not 140-something!) My look of shock barely preceded my disbelieving response, “Really?”

The only redeeming part of the conversation came at the end as she assured me that it had taken a good deal of time for her to get over the number on the scale and accept that she was fit, she wasn’t light, but she was hot. I nodded, somewhat believing now that she had the right to be telling me this, but still unable to accept it.

Maybe if I write it down 100 times I’ll believe it?

I’m a hot girl.

I’m a hot girl.

I’m a hot girl.

I’m a hot girl.

I’m a hot girl.

… Then again… maybe not.

One can only hope that compliments and confidence will eventually outweigh the media’s noise. One can hope.


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