In the beginning stages of a weight-loss journey, or any stage for that matter, it can be frustrating to focus on the scale and not see much in the way of progress. It can be downright discouraging, can play tricks with your mind, and lead you to sabotage your efforts. I mean, how many times have you let the number on the scale dictate your mood for that day?
This is a huge reason why I tell my coaching clients to ditch the scale and concentrate on other methods for tracking progress, such as body-composition measurements, visuals (e.g., photographs), and even gauging your progress with how your clothing fits. Another way to keep track of your progress that is often overlooked is with non-scale victories (NSV).
A non-scale victory is an achievement you associate with weight loss that doesn’t involve weighing yourself. It allows you to celebrate your journey and the successes you’re enjoying to stay motivated and on track. Even when you aren’t losing LBs, you’re taking steps to improve your health and fitness. You’re growing and becoming more of the person you want to be—fitter, stronger, and better.
My 11 Favorite Non-Scale Victories
Here are some non-scale victories to help you celebrate that progress:
- Clothes fit better
- Measurements are going down
- More consistent energy throughout the day
- You like what you see in your reflection
- Able to go the distance and walk or run further
- Hitting new personal bests in the gym
- Family and friends compliment the changes you’re making
- It’s easier and more fun to make healthy choices
- Stairs no longer make you winded
- Thinking more positively about yourself
- Feeling more confident
The following are some non-scale victories that some of my personal coaching clients recently mentioned to me that I want to share with you:
- I had to put a belt on my new jeans.
- I was able to reach the back of my legs when shaving.
- I no longer needed my CPAP machine (for sleep apnea).
- My blood sugar readings are finally in check.
- My husband can wrap his arms around me when he is giving me a hug.
- My friends who only see me during the summer didn’t recognize me.
- When I was carded, they didn’t recognize me from my photo I.D.
- My wedding ring had to be resized.
- All of my ball caps are too large for my head.
- I am finally able to wear regular size slippers.
- No more slapping noises while running (thighs).
- I am able to shop in a regular size store as opposed to plus size.
- I can ride roller coasters at the amusement park now.
- My manboobs don’t jiggle as much on the treadmill.
- My belly doesn’t push up on the diaphragm making me short of breath.
- I can reach all spots of my back in the shower without a scrubber on a stick.
- I am finally able to wear a pair of knee-high boots.
- I am able to wrap a towel around my body.
- I am able to see my toes now.
- I am able to walk a mile without stopping.
- I completed my first marathon.
- I have been taken off all prescription medications.
- Retail therapy—I had to go out and buy all new clothes.
- At social functions, I no longer sit and wait for people to come to me—I socialize.
How unbelievable are those guys and gals? They are dropping LBs, but that isn’t their primary focus. They are more excited over the non-scale victories than they are with the number on the scale, and to me that is pretty rad.
Bottom line, if you are on a weight-loss journey, don’t let the scale mess with your head—just focus on other health and fitness goals you hope to accomplish that have nothing to do with the scale. Keep in mind that weight loss is never linear, and it happens in peaks and valleys (up and down). You will inevitably hit periods of plateaus, so don’t get discouraged.
Non-scale victories are the small every day changes that show your new healthier life—let’s bring these to the forefront and celebrate these!
Here’s to the non-scale victories! Cheers!