When you finally decide to start a health and fitness plan, you have to set a goal first. That is, if you want things to go according your expectations. And it’s good to have some inspiration to look towards.
But while you’re trying to reach your goal, there is one problem that can come along with it: you can end up working for the number on the scale. This doesn’t bring you the happiness and confidence you think it will. Instagram fitness blogger Christina Basil, knows this struggle better than anyone.
The 23-year-old shared her exercise plan on @fitchristina account with her nearly 30k followers. The posts are full of motivation and transformation pictures but this one in particular, caught our attention the most. She says that reaching her “goal” didn’t make her happy.
A year ago (shit, even as recent as 6 months ago), I thought I NEEDED to see a decrease in the number on the scale to prove that I was making progress with this whole “fit” thing. After all, if the number wasn’t changing… that meant my body wasn’t changing either, right? – Lol, wrong. ❌ I used to care so much about seeing pounds drop from the scale. I did eventually “achieve” my goal weight of 120 lbs at one point, but you know what else came along with that arbitrary number? – My lifts were compromised I lost strength & stopped making gains I would often get light-headed + dizzy (from under-eating) while exercising, cutting my training sessions short and crying, frustrated, in the car… – Trying to maintain “a number” can restrict you from progressing, in my opinion. I’ve technically gotten HEAVIER since the left pic was taken (still seems SO weird to me lol), but I’ve never felt more energetic, lean, and light on my feet. ♀️♀️♀️ – I wasn’t meant to be my #StrongestSelf at my goal weight. That would’ve bothered me a year ago, but that’s just fine with me now. Whether I realized it or not, I used to train to stay skinny. Now I’m training to be strong.
She is now 6kgs heavier than the weight she wanted to achieve and thinks that her health and fitness journey went wrong. She told Comspolitan UK that everything started when she “moved away from the comfort of my parents’ home in Toronto to a different part of the country for work, in a French-speaking suburb near Montréal.”
She felt isolated and also went through an extremely tough breakup. That, of course led to comfort eating.
“I ended up on a diet pretty much consisting of pizza delivery, Chinese takeout, and one too many drinks on the weekend,” she said.
“I gained approximately 9kgs that year. I didn’t realise it at the time but looking back on it now, I guess I was experiencing emotional eating because I was really quite sad and lonely.”
Her diet without exercises left her feeling “tired all the time, sluggish and lazy”, so she decided to get fit with a goal weight of 55kg as a “way of coping with my life at the time and taking control of my body again.”
Bout that time for a BACK ATTACK – First progress photo of my back that I’ve taken in a while! No doubt results are slow, but I think I’ve leaned out some more and definition is coming thruuuu. – Genetically, I’ve always had shapeless upper arms/shoulders that I believed to be on the bigger side relative to some other females, and I grew up always wanting “skinny arms” like some other girls naturally have… it’s A-OKAY though because now I accept the fact that we all come in different shapes and sizes. I will simply continue to work on what I got to build the shape I want. ☺️ Oh and HEY LOOK my wings have decided to finally make an appearance!!! I’M AMPED FAM, MY BABY LATS ARE LITTY IDC IDC
But deciding so, she started to eat less and exercise more.
“I was consuming around 1200-1300 calories a day. This already put me in a caloric deficit, but on top of that I was also pushing my body through challenging HIIT cardio and strength training sessions several times per week.” she said.
“I remember trying to lift heavy weights and becoming severely light-headed and faint, to the point that I had to cut my workouts short and go sit down to recover.”
When Christina reached her goal, she said “for a little while, I was happy”.
She figured out that she struggled to keep this figure on the scale just because she told herself to.
Said I would do it, so I did. 20lbs ⬇️ – Some of you may have seen from my IG Story that I weighed in at 120 the other day. Now I know there will be people on here who will immediately say “the number on the scale doesn’t matter!!!” and “the scale is pointless omg!!” and to some extent I agree with you. When you have been weightlifting for a while now and you’re already lean AF, then YES, micro-monitoring the number on the scale won’t give you much indication of any progress you’re making and will just stress you out. I hear ya loud and clear, babes. ✊ – However, let’s not discredit the fact that for someone who has NO sense of a healthy diet, exercise routine, and overall lifestyle, checking in with the scale might serve as the wake up call they need to make some changes in their life. That’s certainly what happened with the girl in the left pic, who is holding her breath and desperately sucking in her tummy (I had gained nearly 20 lbs in ONE year ⬆️). I certainly WOULD NOT consider myself fat but it was obvious from my rapid weight gain that I was heading down an unhealthy road unless I started making some positive changes. – My opinion? DO NOT obsess over the scale. ❌ Use it for what it’s meant for – a helpful tool to occasionally check in with in order to supplement your health and fitness goals. THE NUMBER DOES NOT DETERMINE YOUR WORTH. ❤️ The girl on the left is JUST AS VALUABLE as the girl on the right, and some extra weight could never change that fact. I’m not just talking outta my ass, either – I firmly believe this and you should too. ✨ – With that being said, if you decide it’s time to take charge of your physique – I say, do it!!! Establishing a fitness routine is probably one of the most REWARDING decisions I’ve ever made for myself in my entire life: it teaches you discipline, commitment, patience, perseverance, self-love, and a dozen other valuable qualities. Give it a chance and you’ll see. (btw yall tired of the fact I write novels as captions yet or nahhh… I need a blog I know lulzzz would anyone read it though? ♀️)
“I couldn’t maintain this number on the scale unless I continued to under eat,” Christina told Cosmopolitan UK.
“So soon enough, the happiness from achieving my goal weight turned into frustration and anxiety from not being able to maintain it long-term.”
What this fixation on a number was doing was restricting Christina from progressing – something it took a while for her to realize.
“Now I know I wasn’t fueling my body with the amount of food (aka energy) it needed in order to perform—I was trying to force my body to run with no gas in the tank,” she said.
Christina explained how she “began to really admire the bodybuilders/athletes I would come across on social media not simply for how they looked, but for what their bodies were able to do.”
“It became so much more fun to experiment with new exercises and challenge my body’s abilities: can I do a pull-up? Okay, how about 2? Wow, now how about 5? My goals kept changing as my body grew stronger and more capable week by week, and this kept me interested in sticking with fitness for the long run.” she added.
Day by day nothing changes… but hey that’s what progress pics are for. – Last night I was feeling frustrated with my progress lately. Now, comparing these two photos side by side speaks volumes to me. I’ve come quite a way in just 6 months! – With that being said, I still have a certain physique I’m striving for, and becoming top heavy isn’t my goal. I’m happy with the muscle I’ve built in my upper body, and now it’s time to switch up the GAME PLAN: I’m going to minimize upper body training to 1x a week for maintenance (sorry bench press and pull-ups, but you’ll always be bae ). Meanwhile I’m back on my HIIT cardio regime and aiming for 2-3x a week. – The muscle mass is there. Now it’s time to lean out these arms and abs. Not going to be easy but I’m down for the challenge. Stay tuned lol – What are your physique goals right now?
Now, Christina found a new sense of body confidence.
“I see my body as such an amazing machine,” she said. “I will only ever have this one body to live in, so why not make sure I care for it and nurture it as best I can?”
If this isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is. We should all start to see our bodies like this to feel healthier. What do you guys think? Comment down below and let us know.