Don’t Let the Scale Get You Down: Celebrating Non-Scale Victories
We have all been there; you are eating all the right things, getting your steps in, working out and feeling good. Then you step on the scale...and you want to throw it across the room! How could this be? Your weight is the same? Or worse, you are up a pound or two? It’s okay! Take a deep breath, put the scale down and breathe.
We live in a culture obsessed with the number on the scale, but there are many ways to measure health. Yes, your weight and BMI are important factors in your journey toward better health but it is not the only factor. When the scale is not your friend, before you throw in the towel ask yourself these five questions:
Do I Feel Better?
Making the changes necessary for weight loss and healthy living lead to more energy. Is it easier to get up and get moving in the morning? Do you find you have more sustained energy throughout the day? Compare that to how you felt before you started. If you feel better that is a huge victory!
Do My Clothes Fit Better?
Weight isn’t the whole picture. You are losing inches too, and sometimes inches come off when the scale isn’t moving. If you are also exercising, especially if you are strength-training, you will see muscle displace fat and that will mean a leaner you. Try on a pair of pants you remember being tight before you started and see how they feel. Do you find you dread getting dressed less, or even enjoy shopping? It is also easy to get discouraged if clothes don’t look like you thought they would right away; gaining confidence in your own skin is a process and you will get there; let yourself celebrate the victories as they come!
Am I Sleeping Better?
Sleep is an essential part of better health and it is crucial for weight loss. Are you falling asleep more easily? Do you find your quality of sleep has improved? This is a great indicator that you are healthier and making great strides in your journey. Be encouraged that sleep is your body’s way of recharging and refueling and it is not a small thing to recognize better sleep as a victory.
Am I Stronger?
If you have been exercising there can be a lot of non-scale victories to celebrate. Has your stamina and strength improved? Do you exercise with less pain? Have you been able to increase your weights, or your time on the treadmill? Celebrate your strength and endurance! It isn’t just about the weight, you are also improving your heart health, preventing osteoporosis, and helping your body manage your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Is My Mind Clearer?
Have you noticed you are thinking more clearly and operating more efficiently at work? When we start eating whole, real foods and cut out sugar it can do wonders for our minds! Think back to how you felt before you made all these changes. A clear, sharp mind is not something to take lightly; your body is thanking you in more ways than just your weight!
One Last Tip
If you are finding it hard not to obsess about the number on the scale then try to pay attention to the cycles of your weight. Weigh yourself at the same time each day (preferably first thing in the morning) and always wearing something similar. Recognize that your weight will fluctuate throughout the month (especially if you are a woman still cycling). You can even journal your weight along with what you ate that day. Do this for a month and then you will see patterns to the fluctuations. Does it average out? On the days you were up did you have more salt or carbs? Measure your inches as well and keep track of your progress there!
Next time you feel like throwing the scale across the room remember there are many ways to measure your progress and the scale is only ONE of them! Don’t let the scale discourage you or make you think you aren’t making progress. Keep making those healthy decisions each day and the scale will catch up. Be proud of the progress you have made and celebrate all of your victories!