Sometimes when the weight loss process is dragging on and perhaps there are plateaus that we get stuck in, it’s easy to get discouraged. Seeing the same number on the scale is frustrating. Whenever I saw that scale stuck in one place, I tried to tell myself “at least I’m not gaining weight.” That was a positive spin to the disappointment I was feeling.
But I worked so hard this week!
But I made my calorie goals every day this week!
Why isn’t the scale moving?
It’s easy to get obsessed with a number and one trick to get over that is to celebrate something else. Weight loss isn’t ALWAYS about the number on the scale. True health is a combination of things:
Are your clothes looser?
Did you measure your body and see INCHES lost?
Did you buy jeans in a smaller size?
Did you check your blood pressure and it was dramatically improved?
Is your belt too big now and you need to make new holes in it?
If you are keeping track of your weigh-ins, measurements, exercise and goals, I suggest recording all the other things that you see too. Keeping track of positive changes is encouraging. In your journal (electronic or paper), track the inches you lose, your improving moods, landmarks in your health like if your cholesterol levels improve, etc.
Weight Watchers has a term called “Non-Scale Victories” or NSV and I think it’s a fantastic practice to do daily or weekly. Or, if you’d like, keep a gratitude journal. Write down every time someone at work compliments your weight loss.
How to Celebrate Non-Scale Victories
Go on a shopping spree. Buy new clothes in your smaller size and show them off!
Make a goal. For example: “If I lose or maintain ___ weight, I will splurge on expensive running shoes” or “I will hike that local mountain I’m always intimated to try.”
Sign up for something. If you’re noticing your stamina has increased with weight loss, try signing up for a 5k or a walk/run event that you’ve always wanted to do. Getting a t-shirt or a medal for something you’ve accomplished is really encouraging!
Treat yourself. How about a mani/pedi? Or a spa day? Or a day trip to somewhere you wanted to visit? You can reward yourself with anything that makes you happy and celebrates your progress!
Share your success. Tell your friends and family of your NSV and don’t diminish it! Say “I lost 2 more inches!” instead of “I have a long way to go.”
Do I Celebrate Non-Scale Victories?
Of course! In fact, I celebrate those EVEN MORE now that I’m in maintenance mode. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a change on the scale, which is a good thing because I want to maintain what I’ve lost. But I still need those daily encouragements to keep going on my path. I think it’s even more important now.
I count my calories every day in an app and I include my exercise calories burned. I love seeing those numbers and seeing that I’m on track. I celebrate days when I am under my calories.
I also measure my body once a month. This became much more important when I started a strength training program two years ago because I wanted to see progress; I wanted to see if I toned my body up. I took before pictures to compare and I measured my hips, waist, arms and legs.
I’ve had several NSV’s lately. The first one was fitting into a dress I didn’t think would fit me. It was the “tiny” pink dress I took to Vegas and it was on the clearance rack in the juniors section. I had no hope that it would fit me but loved the pink sequins and HAD to try it. I was shocked and ecstatic when it fit! And looked good!
The second NSV was the progress I’ve made lifting weights. Each week I’ve been able to increase the amount of my weights, or reps, and it made me feel strong and successful. Seeing those physical changes in my body inspire me to keep trying and keep working.
The last NSV is my return to running. After an injury and a break from running, I decided to get back into it. It’s slow going but I’m now able to run over 2.5 miles without walking, or without any pain or discomfort. I LOVE that!
Celebrate your progress!
QUESTION: Please share some of your non-scale victories you’ve had lately.
About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.