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Non-Scale Victories (NSV)

How do you define weight loss success?  For the majority of us, it is seeing that needle on the scale progressively moving down in numbers.  Is that the only way to measure weight loss success?  Absolutely not!

Let’s face it – all of us have experienced the frustration of a plateau or thinking we are on track with our weight loss efforts and the scale doesn’t reflect those efforts.  When we do everything right, we should lose weight in the way we want, right?  Not necessarily.

The scale doesn’t show body fluctuations with water retention, hormones, bloating from more sodium the day before, etc. other factors that happen to us.  The frustration that can occur can detour your efforts in feeling successful.  As we start to shed pounds, the elation that accompanies our efforts is exciting and encouraging.  That elation can come to an abrupt stop when the scale stops moving or moving at a slower pace.  Rather than view this as a frustrating setback, change your focus from the scale.  Whether you realize it or not, you have many other victories that don’t show up on the scale.  Look for other ways to measure your progress besides that little box that you stand on that spits out numbers.  Your life and good health aren’t always measured by the scale.

When you assess your weight loss success, check in with yourself as to the many other non-scale victories you already have achieved.

1.  Are you wearing different, smaller clothes?
2.  Are you wearing clothes you wore years ago?
3.  What styles are you wearing – elastic or more form fitting?
4.  Have you decreased dosage in medication or stopped some medications entirely?
5.  Do you have more energy?
6.  Do you feel more confidence?
7.  Do you feel lighter and enjoy moving your body more now?
8.  What things can you do now that you couldn’t do before you lost weight?  (Play with kids at the park)?
9.  What things do you no longer need to do (wear airplane seat extensions)?
10.  Have your body measurements changed?
11.  Can you fit into a booth at a restaurant?
12.  What other non-scale victories do you notice?

Check your answers to these questions.  Celebrate the non-scale victories reflected in your answers!

Some of the more common non-scale victories are below:

1.  Visit your closet.  Put on a pair of jeans or pants that used to be tight before you started your healthy habits.  Are you able to wear them easily or even baggy?  Did you have to lay down on the bed to zip them up?  Do you now?  What about your shirts?  Are your shirts looser around your abdomen, waist or arms?  Do you have a more toned appearance in your body?

2.  Get out the tape measure and take your measurements.  Chart the number of inches you lose as you progress with your new habits.  Even if the scale doesn’t move, your measurements will decrease.  You may very well may be losing inches all over your body as you use your healthy habits and exercise/tone your muscles.  Actually, measuring your body is much more reliable than the scale alone.  Other NSVs are reduced health numbers such as cholesterol, heart rate, blood pressure and body fat percentage (bmi).

3.  How’s your get up and go?  How is your energy level?  As you exercise, do you notice more stamina?  Are you able to go longer and still have energy?  Everyday tasks will also become easier rather than winded or labored.  Whether mopping the floor, mowing the grass or simply climbing up stairs, these activities will become effortless.  Think of all the everyday activities you have more energy for and how much easier they are now.

4.  How do you feel mentally and emotionally?  When we lose weight and our healthy habits become our new norm, you will experience a mental clarity, a boost in self-esteem, confidence, sense of well-being, joy and happiness.  Chances are you now feel more comfortable in your body.  You like the way it feels and moves as you walk down the hall or in a parking lot.  All of these mental and emotional benefits keep your motivation high.  Yes, they are a direct link to your weight loss success and your new preoccupation with health rather than food.

As you can see, NSVs are a better way to truly mark your weight loss efforts.  Of course, we’ll still use the scale but it isn’t the “be all” that it was before.  It is merely one of the ways to acknowledge and celebrate your overall progress to weight loss success.

All healthy behaviors and habits are well worth the effort.  In addition to weight loss, the benefits and NSVs result in sleeping better at night and more energy in your day.

Celebrate your Non-Scale Victories every day.

Believe In Yourself,
Cathy, CLC
Certified Life Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Coach
Certified Back On Track Facilitator

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