Why It’s Stupid To Lie About Your Weight


I love the Olympics.  I always have.  One of my first crushes was on Bob Costas when he was the news anchor for the1988 Olympics.  I tend to have strange crushes, but this one is especially hard to explain.  Even before the pinkeye.

So as you’d expect, I’ve been watching the Olympics all week, and today this article popped up in my Facebook feed.  It’s about how NBC displays the age, height and weight of the male athletes, but only displays the age and height of the female athletes.  I didn’t actually notice that they didn’t display the women’s weight, but I did notice they displayed the men’s weight. Mostly because I thought was strange, and not particularly relevant to how well they could ride pipe.

Relevant or not, it’s still interesting that they chose to list weight for men, but not for women.  The article speculates that one reason may be that the weight stats reported for female athletes are generally pretty questionable.  So I don’t know if the athletes are lying about their weight, or if it’s the media, or if it’s someone else; it doesn’t really matter.   That’s not what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about how stupid it is to lie about your weight (or someone’s weight… whatever, you get the point).

I suppose I should give the disclaimer that talking about weight is pretty unnecessary to begin with; it’s nobody’s business how much other people weigh.  Ideally there would never be a reason, or even an opportunity for anybody to lie about their weight, but the reality is that it’s a common practice for women to pretend they weigh less than they actually do.

The reason this is stupid is because saying that you weigh less than you do doesn’t actually make you look better, it makes you look worse.  You’re going to look how you look regardless of what you weigh, so if you’re 140 lbs and telling everyone that you weigh 120, what you’re really saying is that you look a lot heavier than you are.  And this isn’t impressive; looking heavier than you are means you don’t carry your weight well.  Maybe it’s because of bad posture, or a high body fat percentage, or because you dress in a way that’s unflattering.   While there’s nothing inherently wrong with these things, I wouldn’t say they’re a good way to impress people.  Which is essentially what you’re trying to do when you low-ball your weight.

That’s why I always lie and say I weigh more than I do.  No, I don’t actually do that.  But in situations of uncertainty, I always round up.   And if I were going to lie, I’d tack on an extra 10 lbs.  You’d think that athletes, of all people, would want to do the same, because the heavier you are for your size the more muscular you are, and the more muscular you are the more powerful you are.   Makes perfect sense to me.

My editor told me to elaborate on this, because it might not make sense to everyone else.  I think it’s a pretty straightforward concept, but I’m going to elaborate anyways because I want my editor to like me.  And also because it gives me an opportunity to talk about muscles, and I never pass up an opportunity to talk about muscles.  So, 5 years ago I weighed 130 lbs and I wore a size… 6.  Or something like that.  Those numbers don’t make any sense anyways, so that’s not important.  Then I started lifting weights.  As I gained muscle, I also lost fat, so even though my weight hasn’t changed I’ve had to buy all new pants because the old ones got too big.  The more muscle and less fat you have on your frame, the more you’re going to weigh for your size.  And the more ripped you’ll look.  So IF I were going to lie about my weight, I’d say that I weigh 140 lbs, and then people would look at me and think “hmm, she doesn’t look that big, she must be SUPER JACKED!” and then they’d probably be scared of me and that would be cool.  But like I said, I don’t do it.  I just think about doing it.

Ok, moving on.

The other reason it’s stupid to low-ball your weight is that it’s not doing anybody any good; if people consistently low-ball their weight, especially people like athletes, whose bodies we all admire, it creates a skewed perception of how much a healthy female body actually weighs.  And in a world of airbrushing and strategically posed selfies, I think we can all agree that we don’t need to skew our perceptions any further.  All it does is make women feel like shit about themselves.

So let’s stop this already.  Can everybody please just be honest?  Or better yet, can we just stop paying attention to weight completely, except in the rare case that it’s actually relevant?  Because once you manage to let go of the emotional baggage attached to the number on the scale, you’ll find that really, it’s just not that interesting.

One Comment on “Why It’s Stupid To Lie About Your Weight”

  1. Common Sense Health and Fitness says:

    In contact sports such as football and hockey, male athletes very commonly understate their weight. That way, when a competitor is checking the roster, they find Joe Lineman weighing in at 300lbs and think they are all set. But Joe Lineman eats 9000 kCal in season, really weights 340lbs, and dominates the competition. It’s just strategy in this case.

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