I think most people use a scale instead of a measuring tape. A scale is easy and common. We’ve been taught it is all about how much we weigh. You might be familiar with the false statement that muscle weighs more than fat. That of course is not true (that is why I called it a false statement), a pound of muscle weighs 16 ounces and a pound of fat weighs the same. The space taken up by muscle is less than the space taken up by fat, but they WEIGH the same. So measuring is another way to track changes to your body.
Professionals; personal trainers, doctors, therapist, etc. – people who measure for a living or who need to share information have a specific way of measuring. So if you were to go to one and pass on your measurements the other could document changes. So it is nice to have a standard. Because the most important thing about measuring is to measure in the same place every time so you can track the changes!
One way to keep it the same is to measure from one point to the point you are going to measure. Say you are going to measure your calf, well measure from the bottom of your knee cap to the point you are going to measure and use that point every time. This is a little more exact than “measuring at the largest point” or the “smallest part”.
Again the standard for measuring are things like: “across the umbilicus” and “1/2 way between the umbilicus and xyphoid process”. But you just really need to know where you did it last time so that you do it the same the next time.
Places you want to measure are your chest – for men and women the flexible measuring tape goes around the back and across the nipple. Then women measure around the chest where the band of the bra rests. Measure around the hips. Measure around the waist. Measure around your neck. Measure around each bicep. Measure around each forearm. Measure around each thigh. Measure around each calf.
The chest measures are obvious; nipples and bra. With the hips you can use over the bone or the widest part. The waist is at the smallest part. The neck, arms, and legs are good ones to use the ”measure to the measuring point” method. You can also use the ”measure to the measuring point” method on the waist and hips too! Just make sure you document the measurement to the measuring point. If you are going to measure your calf an inch below the lowest part of the knee cap, make note of that so you do it the same way every time.
Since every BODY has different goals it could be a moment to cheer if the measurements go up, or when the numbers go down. Whichever the case it is your own personal journey and if you are working for a change in your body then measuring is a different way to track it. Sometimes the scale can be frustrating if your goal is weight loss and you are building muscle and losing fat. Or if you are just gaining weight and not paying attention to how much closer you have gotten to your muscle hypertrophy goal.
Stay tuned for the next post for a challenge that we will begin on August 1st. All you will need is a soft tape measure and to continue on your own personal path of wellness that you are already on.
Do you use a scale? Do you ever feel frustrated by the number on the scale?