Don’t Weigh Your Self-Esteem

Sooo…yeah… I’m still at my mom’s place. I swear, the Universe is trying to tell me something :P It’s been snow storm-y here all day and I didn’t want to worsen my mother’s ulcer by hitting the highway. Had to rearrange a couple shifts at Starbucks to do it. Pretty sure they hate me there now because I also gave my notice today!

To jog your memory, I got offered a full-time contract doing communications work until May at my old university. I got confirmation today that I start next Monday at 8:30 am! I’ve been working at Starbucks since the beginning of December to make ends meet after leaving my full-time reporting gig at a radio station. The plan is to become a personal trainer eventually and this new job will basically last the duration of my course. How convenient! And it came totally out of the blue – they just called me up! :D

Phew. When did my life get so complicated? :P

Aaaaanyways, I was up and at ‘em early this morning for a visit to the new Nubodys women’s-only gym downtown. Fuelled up with half a banana, PB and a handful of cheerios before I left.

shovelling my car out 5 minutes walking/jogging on treadmill

Incline @ 1%
0:00-1:00 – 6.0 mph
1:00-2:00 – 6.2 mph
2:00-3:00 – 6.4 mph
3:00-4:00 – 6.2 mph
4:00-5:00 – 6.4 mph
5:00-6:00 – 6.6 mph
6:00-7:00 – 6.4 mph
7:00-8:00 – 6.6 mph
8:00-9:00 – 6.8 mph
9:00-10:00 – 6.6 mph
10:00-11:00 – 6.8mph
11:00-12:00 – 7.0 mph
12:00-13:00 – 6.8 mph
13:00-14:00 – 7.0 mph
14:00-15:00 – 7.2 mph

A1 – Dumbbell shoulder press:
3 sets @ 15 lbs ea x 8

B1 – Barbell bicep curl:
3 sets @ 20 lbs x 12

B2 – Skull crusher:
3 sets @ 20 lbs x 12

C1 – Seated cable row:
3 sets @ 75 lbs x 10

C2 – Chest fly:
3 sets @ 15 lbs ea x 8

0:00-1:00 – 5.5 mph @ 0% incline
1:00-2:00 – 6.0 mph @ 0.5% incline
2:00-3:00 – 6.5 mph @ 0.5% incline
3:00-4:00 – 7.0 mph @ 0.5% incline
4:00-5:00 – 6.0 mph @ 1% incline
5:00-6:00 – 6.5 mph @ 1% incline
6:00-7:00 – 7.0 mph @ 1% incline
7:00-8:00 – 6.0 mph @ 1.5% incline
8:00-9:00 – 6.5 mph @ 1.5% incline
9:00-10:00 – 7.0 mph @ 1.5% incline

Plank: 2 sets @ 60 sec
Side plank: 2 sets @ 30 sec

Incline @ 0%
0:00-1:00 – 3.0 mph
1:00-3:00 – 3.5 mph
3:00-4:00 – 8.0 mph
4:00-6:00 – 3.5 mph
6:00-7:00 – 8.5 mph
7:00-9:00 – 3.5 mph
9:00-10:00 – 9.0 mph
10:00-12:00 – 3.5 mph
12:00-13:00 – 9.5 mph
13:00-15:00 – 3.5 mph

Anyone else feel like a crazy person when they run sprints on a treadmill? There were only four of us in the gym, and I had a feeling they were getting ready to rush to my side in case I fell off…

I had plans to meet the fam at my Nana’s after, so I stopped by the grocery store next door to pick up breakfast.

Boiled eggs, cinnamon oatmeal packet, vanilla yogurt, crappy coffee.

Added half a chopped pink lady apple to the oatmeal and topped it with the yogurt.

Yum!!! I love my Nana’s dishes too. I’m such an old lady. 

Lunch was more leftovers. Sick of looking at these yet?

Well I’m not sick of eating them yet ;) The last of the Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese & Parmesan Galette, mom’s meat pie and homemade Chunky Apple Cranberry Sauce.

Today has been a lazy snow day at my mom’s. We’ve been reading, playing video games and watching movies. A perfectly relaxing day!

I broke into my bar stash when my afternoon snack attack hit.


A Jordan’s Luxury Absolute Nut from the UK, sent my way by the lovely Deb.



Love the foreign food label ;)


I usually buy Jordan’s muesli, so I was excited to try one of his bars! (yes, the company is a person in my head). It was a little on the crunchy side, but I loved how it was plain tasting. Yes, I like that taste! I could pick out every ingredient and flavour in the bar – and all were tasty :)

Dinner was, erm, more leftovers. We are making good progress on my mother’s fridge. I think I saw an open space in there the last time I opened it…

Mom’s turkey casserole (with biscuits) and steamed broccoli, carrots and brussel sprouts on the side. The extra veggies were a good call – I’ve been craving them!


Don’t Weigh Your Self-Esteem

As I was running my last sprints on the treadmill at the gym today, I noticed the inverted outline of a poster the gym has on display in one of their windows. All their windows are plastered with pictures of happy, fit looking women with words like “enthusiasm” and other stupid things. But this particular poster really got my blood boiling…

A woman’s feet standing on a scale that says “HAPPY” where the weight is usually displayed, and then “Success” written next to the image.

Aofnefusefsblj!!!! Whhyyyy do we let women think that a number on a scale should dictate their happiness??

It’s as if it’s saying getting to your goal weight will give you instant happiness. As if it’s perfectly okay to let your mood be influenced by how much you weigh. Or, that all thin people are happy because they’re not fat.


Let me tell you from experience that I have all the same emotional issues at my goal weight than I did when I was heavier. In fact, I was downright miserable a few months ago, whilst being the most fit I’ve ever been. Being thin doesn’t make your job easier or relationships any better.

Even worse is that this line of thinking is coming from a women’s-only gym. Women’s gyms are supposed to be safe havens for women who are self-conscious, or need a good community to get motivated. But at the same time, this poster only perpetuates the negative feelings that so many women associate with their own body-image. I really wish women would stop letting ideas like this continue to circulate. It’s like we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot.

As my mother just eloquently put it – “Don’t weigh your self-esteem.” Don’t give the scale more power than it deserves. There is only one thing that can make you happy and that’s you. It really does come from within. Any happiness found from an outside source is just fleeting and temporary.

So I beg you to not let your happiness be swayed by what the scale says – especially this week! I can tell you up front that I’ve gained 3 lbs in the past month, my pants are getting a little snug, and I don’t give a shit. I’ll soon be returning to my cookie-free apartment, and leaving the temptations at Starbucks. My weight is in a constant state of flux, and it will return to normal eventually. But right now I’m still happy as a clam cuddled up in my peejays with my family :D Oh, and did you see? I did three HIIT sessions today. Yeah, take that scale.


Question of the Day: What are your feelings on the poster?


P.S. Check out my guest post on Maria’s blog, Chasing the Now, on some of the 101 things I want to do in 1001 days :)

Posted on December 29, 2009, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. Wow that is a TERRIBLE poster!!!!
    I get that they are a gym and they are trying to play into all our post holiday weight gain guilt so we will JOIN their gym…but have some morals people!

  2. This is SO damn true. Can I just write a mini-novel? Thank you.

    1. I think for some people knowing their weight is something that they can’t get rid of. HOWEVER, what you write is so true. It is a number. An indicator of ‘health range’ for your height/weight. There has to be a balance for people in that they should strive to be in a healthy weight range..and then LET IT GO. I will use a scale, because it’s a check point for me. Like a pit stop. NO MORE than that.

    2. Life isn’t all about weight. However, for many people weight is the ‘layer’ of their onion which they control when the core issue is ‘self-love/acceptance’. It’s easy to not dig deep into the core of self-hatred..rather focus on weight. It’s easy to say…you know what I hate myself and it’s being affirmed by a number on a scale that will NEVER be perfect.

    3. Weight will NOT make you happy! I think you hit the nail on the head. When I was at my goal weight I WAS MISERABLE. I was doing it for someone other than me and I still didn’t believe that I was ‘actually that thin’. I remember thinking that I was having an out of body experience. ‘You really aren’t that thin’. What this disconnect had to do with is that I wasn’t happy with who I was..AT ANY WEIGHT.

    You gotta get to the core of you. Weight is a layer…a goal…a stepping stone for many people who really want to love themselves. I don’t if ‘throwing the scale out’ is as important as ‘peel the layers back’.

    Hope that makes sense. ~M

    • Mish, I LOVE your onion analogy. You’re totally right, weight is just one layer of the whole happiness/self-satisfaction thing. But it’s also not the only layer. Wonderful way of putting it :)

  3. I totally get your point. I really do. And I think you hit the nail on the head.

    But looking again, maybe they meant it another way? I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Maybe it’s not the number on the scale that matters. Maybe it’s your attitude/feelings/outlook ie: HAPPY. And THAT is what is “success”?

    Ah shit. I give up.

    You are right. It’s crap. I’d expect better from a nice womens-only gym. Like Curves! They always have good mottos/variety of poster women, etc!

    • I tend to agree with you Leah. I think the intention of the print ad is to convey that success comes when you feel happy – not when you look down and see a particular number on the scale.

      Because I interpreted it that way, the image doesn’t really offend me that much.

    • @Leah,
      That is the way I interpreted it also. I think they were maybe intending to say that you are successful when you feel happy with your body instead of a particular number on the scale. But, showing the “Happy” on a scale is important to remind us that hitting the gym can help us feel that happiness. I say that not because happiness can only be found by working out until you have a rock hard body, but because exercise does usually make most people feel better. I know that personally, I feel both more fit, and also more alive, after I have exercised. And, THAT makes me happy.

      Anyway, that’s just me playing “Devil’s Advocate”, and encouraging everyone to think about it from a different perspective. If they did mean it in the way that Susan interpreted it, then I agree, that is a bunch of crap, but it is very likely that it was meant as an innocent “Operation Beautiful” type of motivator (just poorly worded).

  4. High five.

    I think you should cover that stupid sign with Operation Beautiful notes!

  5. Great way to put it! You rock!

  6. I’m still struggling with the meaning of the poster. Is it that you are a success when you reach a happy weight? Or are you a success when you decide the number doesn’t matter? It’s ambiguous at best, but equating scale and success in any way is being defined by a number.

    I am heavier than what charts say I should be – but I kicked a lot of events asses this summer and am the most fit I have ever been. I consider that a success even though 10 pound lighter would be a ‘success’ in the eyes of the weight watchin world.

  7. I HATE how gyms advertise things like this. At my gym the personal trainers circle during peak hours and try to sell their services to patrons while the patrons are working out! I can’t stand it! I am not even close to being overweight and three different personal trainers have come up to me while I am exercising and asked me if I’d like for them to help me with my “weight loss goals”. This infuriates me. I do not work out to lose weight! I’ve seriously considered making an anonymous call to management.

    • When I joined my gym, they kept asking me what my goals were and what I wanted to “achieve.” Dude, I just wanted to show up, run on the treadmill, and lift a few weights. Not a life changing experience here :P

  8. Left overs are the best! Don’t hate!

  9. I have to agree with you on the poster. “Happy” weight- what is that anyway! Just because you are slim does not mean that your life is perfect-ridiculous!

    Aww, enjoy your time with Mom for as long as you can. And you’ll be starting your new job soon enough- so exciting!!

  10. PS. So glad you liked the Jordon bar. Love how those Brits just call it as it is…GLUCOSE SYRUP and Sugar Molecules, or whatever- hee hee- they crack me up. We come up with these fancy names for sugar, but they are still sugar. Those Brits really do know how to make bars yummy! :-)

  11. That is a truly terrible poster. I completely agree with you.

    And I’m getting mighty sick of my leftovers, but I don’t want to cook anything because I have so many!

  12. GREAT way to put it girl.. i totally agree with you.

    i love that foreign bar!

  13. Woah. Now I know what your tweet was about! I agree with you 100%- hard to do in practice for pretty much most people. I think it’s pretty commong to cling to the belief that if you lose Xlbs, things will suddenly feel better and life will be all sunshine and rainbows. We both know that’s not true. HOWEVER… I do think that there is an element of happiness that comes with feeling your best physically. Hating your body is usually something that is deeper rooted than a precise number on a scale, but there is some truth in the message- I know I tend to feel more self-conscious and physically not quite 100% (sluggish, for lack of a better word) when I am above what I deem to be my “happy” weight. Speaking of which, it’s commonly referred to as a “happy weight” and that’s never taken issue with. The definition is that it’s a weight you can maintain without restricting/over exercising and be free to live your life (ie, set-point) but the term “happy weight” has got me thinking now… Food for thought, so tospeak ;)

    • Hmm, I never thought of the poster as reflecting a person being at their “happy weight.” I automatically assumed it reflected feelings of happiness on the women’s part because she lost 5 lbs after joining a gym. I do agree there is an element of happiness that comes with looking and feeling your best. For me, feelings of “do I look fat” don’t plague me anymore, but I’m still constantly riddled by anxieties that I’ll put the weight on again. That part of maintenance is natural. Kinda like I traded in the old weight-related feelings for new ones. I AM happy that clothes shopping is at least easier now! ;)

  14. My “happy” weight used to be 115. Now that I can achieve that it dropped to 113. I have my ups and downs but overall i’m comfortable with myself. Until that dang number on the scale proves me other wise. It comes and goes…the way I feel about the scale. Usually after a bikini competition and I put on the much needed 10 lbs I have some meltdowns.

    I’m sorry I probably made you sad for me :) I didn’t weigh this morning after reading this and another blog. I’m going shopping with my mom and I didn’t want my number on the scale to ruin my day! I am a grown woman, I need to grow up!

  15. Your oats looks so fluffy and pretty with the yogurt on top!

    And I think that scale message is crap! Muscle weighs more than fat so the scale isn’t always correct. It’s more important to be healthy than skinny!!

  16. That poster kind of pisses me off. I would probably e-mail the owners of the gym or stick an Operation Beautiful note right in the middle of it.

  17. I guess the poster is ambiguous but when I see a scale I think of weighing myself. My weight has absolutely nothing to do with how I feel inside!

    I rarely weight myself for the simple reason that right now I wear a size 8/10…and I weigh the same as I did when I wore a 14/16. Proof enough to me that it doesn’t matter what the scale says!

  18. AMEN SISTER! i don’t know if the poster makes me super upset – there is such thing as a happy weight – but i COMPLETELY agree that your weight should NOT determine your happiness by any means. i have been skinnier than i am now, but was no way any happier in life. its so much more than that!

    love you!

  19. First off, wonderful workout1 And congrats again on the job.

    Secondly, oh my gawd. Seriously?! That is the worst poster I’ve ever seen! Horrible, horrible, horrible message. I mean, I can see why a gym would promote weightloss as succeeding – it might be a goal. But to directly and bluntly equate a number on the scale with being happy?! Oh, hell nah. Totally wrong message. Man..that really makes me sad/mad :-/

  20. erintakescontrol

    Where do people draw the line? How is a number indicative of my happiness??? Stupid poster, for sure!

  21. I work in a women’s only gym and I see women’ obsess over the scale EVERY day. it’s so sad to me that so many of them come in and weigh themselves day in and day out. I just want to be like relax and enjoy the endorphins girl! Isn’t that what its about :)

    glad you’re enjoying your time at home girl! i have those same plates too at my summer cottage!

  22. I saw your goals and they sound great – challenging but achievable! :D
    And yes, I do agree that being thin does not guarantee happiness, but being overweight or uncomfortable in your own skin because of your weight can definitely do the opposite. I disagree with the poster, but unfortunately there is some correlation between the 2 (at least for me).
    Happy New Year!! :)

  23. Yeah, I don’t know what the poster meant but I TOTALLY know what you mean about problems not going away with weight loss. I thought everything would be better if I lost weight and then I lost weight and you know what? Things weren’t better, I just fit into smaller clothing. I read some quote in Glamor magazine that said something like “having the perfect job, the perfect boyfriend, or the perfect weight won’t make you happy. All it will do is give you some money, someone to watch Lost with, and a new jeans size. And you’ll be complaining about something new.” I don’t remember the exact quote but I LOVED it.

  24. Ads are offensive. They need to play on a person’s insecurities to break them down enough to play into their ploys. Man. Jerks.

    Oh, and CONGRATS on the job offer!! WOO HOO!!

  25. so as to your workout…i actually have fallen off the treadmill doing sprints. i’m a huge klutz. it was horrifically embarrassing as I took the spill in the middle of my university gym during grad school…

    • Ohno!! Did you hurt yourself? I actually expect it to happen to me someday, I’m just asking for it I think :P My mom fell of the treadmill once and said everyone at the gym just stood around in shock…

  26. I REFUSE to weigh myself ahymore. I can tell where i’m at by how I feel, how my face looks (you can always tell in the face!) and how my clothes feel. Right now I feel relatively good. And I’m not gonna weigh myself, because I don’t want to ruin right now by the number I see.

    Soo lame. But great post and rant! Well said. And I am so excited to hear about your new job!

  27. i read this from my phone yesterday while i was waiting for hours at the doc so i didnt comment. ANYWAY i think that scale thing is WHACK. you should definitely post up a op beautiful sign over it. how ridiculous~and it a women’s gym no less. i agree with your rant 100%

    oh, and at the doc yesterday.. i told them that i don’t weigh myself. and so they didn’t weigh me :)

  28. Hi – been reading your blog for a while and your references to Jordans cereals as a person make me giggle. I’m from the Uk, from Bedfordshire in fact where the company is based, Jordan is the surname of the 2 brothers who set up/run the company. I went to school with one of their sons in fact – there you go random factoid. They are really popular cereals/mueslis/bars over here.

    Happy new year!

    • Haha, I will have to start referring to the company as “they” then ;) That’s neat you went to school with one of them! We can only buy the muesli and granola here and I lovelovelove it :)

  1. Pingback: Strike that….reverse it « The Weigh I Am

  2. Pingback: Goals for the New Year « The Great Balancing Act

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: