Back in 2019, I entered to compete in powerlifting.
I purposefully signed up to lift at a lower-weight class (60kg or 132 pounds).
I prepped for the meet for several months, cleaned up my nutrition, put on some serious muscle, and was able to get my total weight down to 141.
I was hellbent on competing at 132. The chicks in the heavier weight class were solid, and there was a lot of competition, including one of my friends who could lift much more than me.
A few days before the meet, I started cutting weight. I began by drinking tons of water, cutting salt, cutting carbs, and hitting the sauna.
The morning of weigh-ins, I was still four pounds over. I had to soak in hot water with Epsom salt and wrap myself in towels several times back to back to sweat out additional water weight. By this time, I was pretty over it and was sure that I would weigh in at 132.
When I arrived at weigh-ins, I hopped on the scale and weighed one pound over at 133. I let my hair down; I got naked, I took off every piece of jewelry, and still, 133.
There was still time in the day to weigh-in again. Technically I could weigh-in as many times as I wanted.
I ALMOST accepted defeat from the scale…
But a seasoned powerlifter told me about a trick to do with big red gum. This man told me to chew gum and spit out the saliva with each new piece.
Luckily the facility I weighed in at was within walking distance to a convenience store. I was willing to do anything to make this weight class, so I went to the store and purchased the gum.
This moment is one that I’ll never forget. I stood outside of this gym next to my friend Nicole and chewed stick after stick of gum, spitting out saliva until I went through the entire pack! I couldn’t believe my eyes at how much saliva came out of me.
I hopped back on the scale inside, and to my surprise, I weighed 131! Yep, I spit out over a pound of saliva in about 20 minutes. I made the weight class and replenished water, salt, and carbs before the meet the next day!
I didn’t weigh myself after, but I bet I gained at least 5 pounds from the food and water that day.
I competed in the 132 weight class and won first place, but that’s not the point of the story.
Don’t Let the Scale Define You
The purpose of this story is to show you how quickly body weight can change by adjusting hydration levels, salt, and a pack of big red. I lost about 9 pounds in two days to prepare for this meet.
Let’s not discount total weight loss as a metric but do not let it discourage you either. The values that matter more are body fat percentage, muscle mass in pounds, how you look in photos, tape measurements, and most importantly, how you feel in your body!
The scale also can’t tell you about the habits needed in order to pursue a healthy lifestyle for the long haul.
Focus On the Steps To A Healthier Lifestyle
Because let me tell you something, your ideal number on the scale will not satisfy you, even when you get there. To find true satisfaction, you’re going to have to dig a little deeper.
I hope this story gives you some insight into better ways to track progress and celebrate your success. Instead of setting a weight loss goal, get a DEXA scan and establish a body fat goal. These are the data points I recommend to track your progress as they do a better job at telling the whole story.
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