Scales, Crash Diets, and BMI: Oh My!


I am no expert. But, I do know a thing or two about how you can ruin your body. Because I have done it to myself countless amounts of time.  Any changes in your lifestyle should be done after speaking to a doctor and knowing what your body needs in order to kick ass. 


I was having a discussion with a friend today in which they called themselves a ‘Scale Addict’ and they weigh themselves about two times a day, every day. They know that it’s bad for them but they’re addicted to seeing numbers scramble and flash on a screen to make them feel successful.

A scale can be used a tool to track your weight. It is a tool, strictly, in helping you figure out your goals.

If put into the wrong hands though, a scale can be a prison for someone. The proper way to use a scale:

  • First and foremost, if you’re going to weigh yourself? Once a week. Same time of day. Same day of the week. The reason for this is because your body fluctuates in weight throughout the day and sometimes, it will change depending on what day you weigh yourself.
  • If you’re a lady, don’t weigh yourself on your time of the month. You’re going to be sorely disappointed.
  • Do not obsess over the number. You’re going to go up sometimes. You’re going to go down sometimes. If you’re going to obsess, don’t use a scale.
  • Understand that most scales (unless they’re crazy high tech) cannot tell you if you are xxx lbs of muscle, fat, or a combination of both.
    • Example: JR is the same exact weight he was when he started Crossfit a year and a half ago. That does not mean that he didn’t lose weight. He’s much smaller than he was before but that fat has turned into muscle.
  • A scale cannot determine your progress. Only you can.
  • Alternative way to measure progress: Measurements once a week.


BMI (body mass index), which is based on the height and weight of a person, is an inaccurate measure of body fat content and does not take into account muscle mass, bone density, overall body composition, and racial and sex differences, say researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

When I was in High School at my smallest weight (145# at 5’4), my doctor told me that I was overweight. Now, at 145#, I walked home every day from school for a total of 40 minutes a day, ate healthy, and spent my free time working Theatre Tech. I can promise you I didn’t have a drop of fat on me at the time. But, according to the chart? I was overweight.

My friend Jimmy is over 6’5 and he’s ripped to shreds and is made of 100% muscle. What did BMI say about him? Obese.

There are people out there that use BMI as a tool and again, if it is a tool to become more knowledgeable about a group? Good. If it’s to be your weight loss goal number? Be really cautious about that.


I put these three together as they kind of go hand-in-hand. Your body needs fuel to survive. If you are not getting enough fuel, your exercises are going to be the exact same.

  • If you are going to make a healthy lifestyle change, you need to do so in a healthy way. Talking you to your doctor or a nutritionist is a good start.
  • If you starve yourself, yes, you will lose weight. But, the moment you stop doing that, you’ll gain back the weight you lost.
    • I know someone who does this on the regular. They starve themselves to lose a few pounds and come out to drink with us. When they do, they get drunk very quickly and then regret it the next day.
  • Research your lifestyle change. Read reviews, talk to experts about it, and research as much as you can before committing.
  • Choose a lifestyle change that works for you. I am on Paleo but that doesn’t mean you should be, too. Your body is going to be a lot different than mine and your fuel needs will be much different.
  • Stop calling it a diet. It’s a lifestyle change.
  • Don’t do crash diets. Ever. They’re terrible for you and they will wreck your entire lifestyle.
  • Don’t punish yourself if you have a cheat meal or you slip. Just get back on the horse.
    • For example, if you have a cupcake one day and realize it’s not part of your lifestyle change? That’s okay! Starving yourself the day after or crashing into an unhealthy solution can be damaging.
    • Macros work on a few days – week basis.
      • I had this issue where one day I was over my fats by 2 grams. I panicked, thinking that it was going to be the worst thing I have ever done. However, Justin brought up that one day coming up I would probably be under my fats and it’ll balance out.
  • Fad diets also are horribly unhealthy.
  • Over-exercising is very real and you can injure yourself doing so.
    • I have a friend who, one day, decided to do their FitBit Challenge of 10,000 steps a day, multiply it by 7 (70,000), and do that all in one day because they felt that they needed to lose more weight. This was, of course, on top of going to the gym twice that day. Your body has to rest. Even Coach Carl gives a rest day for our workouts because if not, my body would be pushed way harder than it is.
  • You can lose weight through any means of movement.
    • Runners are not better than Crossfitters are not better than swimmers are not better than dancers. If you’re moving? You’re moving. Yes, it will produce different results but you move how you want to go. Just get moving!
  • Commercial Diet Pills are horrible for you.
  • You do not have to be a pile of sweat to know you worked out.


If anything, always know this. Every person that goes through a lifestyle change has messed up. Every person who works out has skipped a day or two or even a month. What matters most is you’re kicking ass and you keep trying. If you fall off the horse, get back on it!


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