I almost quit.
I dropped eight pounds in my first week of a new program and was feeling ecstatic! A few weeks later, I hit the lowest weight I’d been at since my rapid hypothyroid weight gain of thirty pounds. The scale dipped under the weight I was when I got married two years ago and I felt like I was on the right track…
However, the scale started creeping the other way…
Seven weeks into a thirteen week fitness program, I almost abandoned the program because the scale was moving in the opposite direction compared to where I thought it should be moving.
The scale climbed again in weeks eight and nine. At this point, I was too close to the end to just give up. I felt stronger and thought my clothes fit better, but that dang scale, man.
I decided not to get back on it until the end, for my own mental sake. If I felt better, why did that number hold so much power over me?
When the thirteen weeks had passed and all was said and done, I’d only lost a single pound. Just one pound in eighty days. I could have felt like a failure, and it was my knee-jerk reaction to do just that, but then I thought about other ways to measure the changes that had taken place on both the inside and outside during those three months.
Thank goodness I didn’t quit.
If I had given up when the scale stayed stagnant, I wouldn’t have seen these incredible results.
For both your benefit, and for my own in the future when I’m feeling discouraged, I wanted to share five non-scale ways to measure your progress. After all, that number on the scale is just a measurement of your relationship with gravity and it’s only one part of a bigger picture.
- Measurements. Take non-weight measurements. If you look at my pictures above, you can see very clearly that I lost inches in my stomach and in my thighs. I also GAINED inches in my booty and my biceps. These numbers weren’t reflected on the scale obviously, but they show that I was making progress towards my goals.I recommend measuring your chest, waist, hips, thighs, and arms. Do the measurements on the same side each time and at the same point on your body for accurate results.
- Pictures. Take pictures of yourself and your body regularly. You want the pictures to be consistent so that they accurately reflect the changes that you have made. Here are some excellent tips that will make sure your pictures are consistent and show your hard work.
- Strength and/or endurance. When you started your routine, maybe you couldn’t do a pushup, not even modified. Now you’re doing ten on your toes, but the scale hasn’t budged. Does that mean you’ve failed? Heck no! Consider how your strength and endurance have increased. Notice that you can last ten more seconds before taking a break or your weights are heavier or your rep count is higher. These things matter too when gauging progress. I would say they matter even more than that number on the scale.
- The fit of your clothes. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain weight, or tone up, your clothes can be a pretty good indicator of how you’re progressing towards your goals. For me, I wanted some booty gains and a more defined waist. Even though the scale stayed stagnant, I noticed the waist of my jeans getting looser and the booty and quad area becoming tighter. To me, this meant I was going in the right direction. The fit of your clothes is directly related to your measurements, so if your measurements are changing, the fit of your clothes will be changing too.Note: If you’re like me and wear leggings 99.99% of the time, it may be harder to see that change because STRETCHY.
- How you feel. The single most important indicator of your progress is how you feel. Screw the damn scale. If you’re feeling more energy and more excitement for life, who cares about one silly number. If you feel strong and confident and like one BAMF, that’s all that matters. Your health and your feelings about yourself are what matter most in the long run.
All of this comes from a place of love. After years of being fixated on the number on the scale and skimming Pinterest for the latest #thinspo, I placed so much of my worth on one single number. I don’t want anybody else to feel that way.
Something that I did that really helped me break free from the scale was simply placing it in my attic. That way I couldn’t weight myself first thing everyday (or honestly, between meals). I broke up with my scale and slowly reintroduced it when I could see that it was only one tiny part of a much bigger equation.
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