Non-Scale Victories Are The Best!
Updated: Apr 4, 2019
Dec. 8, 2018
Brace yourselves - this is a super-duper long post lol. Apparently, I'm feeling inspired to share today. Maybe it's the amount of coffee I've had haha
I was reviewing some of my previous posts on weight loss, and changed the privacy settings on them to public, as a way of "sort of" turning my Facebook page into a blog for people who happen to stumble across it. I may or may not find out if that is helpful to anyone, or whether I will even regret putting myself "out there," no longer in the perceived safety of just my friend circle lol
Anyway, in the process of doing the review, I came across something I had previously only shared with an even smaller circle of people... the ones that also belong to a Weight Loss Challenge group that I do. At the time that I shared it, I wasn't comfortable even sharing it with the rest of my friends. I guess I'm expanding my comfort zone, because now, I feel like a lot of you might appreciate it and find some inspiration in it. Those of you who look at it only through judgemental eyes are the losers lol
Here it is:
Non-scale Victories (NSV) - Food For Thought
Besides seeing the number on the scale going down, there are SO MANY small and large victories to savour. Not all progress can be seen on the scale - sometimes the scale doesn't even change, but other things do. Focusing too much on a number can be destructive. Many successes in our fitness and nutrition journey can't be measured on the scale. NSV's are improvements to our health, lifestyle and self-esteem that we're not likely to take for granted once we achieve them because they are so noticeable to us! We can bask in the fact that we've accomplished them, or if we're not there yet, they're something to strive for and look forward to. These NSV's help to emphasize how much we have to gain by making healthy choices, as opposed to immediate, but short-term gratification of eating poorly.
Any of us who have gradually gained weight over the years have slowly been giving up so many things, but it happens in such small increments that we often don't even realize it or recognize their vastness. Like the frog in a pot of steadily hotter water, the burdens and indignities come gradually and (when you're living in denial) somewhat stealthily. Similar to the way cults or abusers gradually de-sensitize their victims to their tactics (Stockholm syndrome), the craziness eventually is accepted as normal. We are in an abusive relationship with ourselves! Obesity results in both physical and emotional suffering (and is often caused by emotional pain, which is ironic). The assault on our health and quality of life is similar to "death by 1000 cuts." We carry multiple burdens, besides the weight itself! We tend to experience them one at a time, but when you look at them altogether, the compound impact they have on our quality of life is astounding.
Changing your complete eating/lifestyle is HARD, but being fat is HARDER! Choose your hard.
Reviewing these things, and instead using them as goals and milestones in our weight loss journey, can have quite an inspirational effect. These are things that most life-long thin people take for granted - things I look forward to that my weight has prevented me from doing or feeling for so long. They are the wonderful side effects of a lower number on the scale.
Weight fluctuates on a daily and hourly basis and will vary based on hormone levels, hydration levels, the amount of sleep you’ve had, what you've recently eaten (and how salty it is), etc., so hanging too much emphasis on "a number," is often discouraging. Instead, if we notice and bask in all of the other changes that are happening during plateaus, or as the pounds are coming off, it can be even more rewarding than simply seeing a number change.
I'm a pretty analytical person, and I find that reading about others' NSV's is really inspiring, so I was motivated to compile the most comprehensive list I could - some from my own experience - and most from others' experiences (in no particular order) that I've read about. Hopefully, you'll be inspired, too. I suspect there will be some that you've never thought of before.
Maybe, at this time of year, when there are so many temptations, a review of these things will help keep our weight loss train on the track, and stop us from self-sabotaging by over-indulging (and we all know that's guaranteed to send us into that vicious cycle of lost self-confidence, discouragement, regret and more over-eating).
The list seems almost unending and these things all get me excited! I want to experience as many of them as I can! I've organized them into three categories: Quality of Life, Health, and Self Esteem/Vanity.
Feel free to add your own, unique NSV's in the comments!
General Quality of Life
No longer need a cane or crutches Easier to walk on beach sand No longer having to take Tums for heartburn every night before bed Not needing bras that do up in the front Being able to more comfortably use tiny bathroom stalls Being able to sit cross-legged Folding/weaving your fingers together doesn't hurt Being able to get in and out of the pool's deep end using the ladder Being able to wipe my tush without a struggle Being a good example to your kids (really, everyone around you) The bed isn't as crowded Not having my underwear roll down at the waist Stealing my husband's/kids'clothes Not sweating so easily/not feeling hot all of the time Walking through a turnstyle gate without feeling like I’m going to get stuck Being able to park my car in a tight spot without worrying if I will fit getting in and out Squeezing through a tight spot between restaurant tables without apologizing for a belly or bum graze Sitting on a bar stool without hanging off the edges Fitting behind the steering wheel without having to tilt it up or slide the seat all the way back Fitting into booths at restaurants Fitting into chairs with arms and not having them pinch or hurt (including at the movie theater) Not having large breasts that sit on the table and catch all the food that somehow misses my mouth (also causing stains to shirts from errant drips) Gracefully getting up and out of a chair or couch because it's easier When I hang up my dress slacks I don't have to fold them in half to fit on the hanger and not needing to use hangers with the no slip slots for tops Other people being able to wrap their arms completely around you Wrapping a bath towel completely around you without it being an extra big towel Being able to put on socks, tie my shoes, and trim/paint toenails without a struggle or being out of breath Being able to squat Transferring food addiction to healthier addiction like a hobby or volunteering to keep my mind distracted Earning material or experiential rewards rather than rewarding myself with food Being able to have a bath instead of just showering My thighs almost do not touch the side of the bath tub Seeing my belly button Having a lap to hold things, children or pets in Wearing a button down shirt Wearing zip/button jeans Return of sex drive Being able to scratch my entire back by myself, no scratcher necessary Being able to wear a necklace with a 16" chain without looking like I'm trying to slice my neck Having my chin touch my chest Not having someone say, "Are you sure you should eat that?" when I go to put a bite of anything in my mouth The sense of accomplishment/pride of getting through cravings without giving in Liking my reflection in the mirror Riding a bicycle comfortably Being able to do kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, zip-lining, jumping on a trampoline, downhill skiing, sky diving, run a marathon, horseback riding, waterskiing Increased confidence leading to being more adventurous and being able to public speak Not being so self-conscious Having a more balanced life Not feeling I'm being negatively judged by strangers and childhood friends Not having small children point and say rude things (or even adults for that matter) Feeling reborn Feeling happy
Making your children and husband proud and less worried about you Having the energy to keep a cleaner, more organized home and yard Being able to put my sports bra on without my husband's help Not worrying about folding chairs (or others) being able to hold me A changed attitude/mindset about food where I have power over it and not the other way around Eating to live, instead of living to eat Inspiring someone else Not needing a seat belt extender or two seats when flying on an airplane Being able to volunteer for more jobs than just the sitting ones for my community Being able to give away or sell clothes that are too big Not to giving in to the temptation to "eat my feelings" Being able to fit in the amusement park rides Having to tighten your belt Being able to sit and swing at the park Being more outgoing and improving your level of socializing Brown bagging lunch and saving massive money on eating out and groceries Can shop for longer periods Feel happier and healthier than ever have Experiencing true hunger Climbing a ladder to change an overhead light by myself Being able to cross my legs and I don’t have to hold my leg in place with my hand Don't have to jump off a building to get into nylons 😉lol Being able to shop in ANY store Being able to look down and see my feet Sitting on my husband's lap without feeling like I'm squishing him, being small enough for him to pick me up Needing to get my wedding ring sized to a much smaller size Going on vacation and getting over a week's worth of clothing in one tiny suitcase (fewer yards of material folks!) Bra going from four prongs to three or two (it’s the little things-haha) Can do more activities with my kids Saying NO to the foods that used to control my life Walking by the bakery or candy section in the grocery store and not feeling even slightly tempted Going over a year so far taking, one bite of bread, pizza, pasta, cookies, cake etc. - I just say no with ease I don’t obsess over food anymore Being more mindful of what food and how much I'm eating, plus how I'm feeling Underwear doesn't pinch/cut me during long car rides or having to sit in a meetings Can stand and visit with people longer without breaking out in a sweat and having to look for a chair
Improved fertility and lower-risk pregnancies Having better posture Being able to kneel pain-free for gardening or floor washing (and get back up again) My tastes and interests in food have evolved toward healthier things Wearing heels without pain Not getting winded actually putting ON my clothes Being able to do a pull up/push up for the first time Less pain and inflammation Being able to exercise easier and a more active life No need for power naps Less crashing, physically and emotionally I don't crave junk food I'm not hungry all the time Improved mood Being able to walk, run and dance without suffering Not snoring anymore Ankles, knees, hips and back no longer hurt No huffing when walking Increased muscle and strength/endurance Teeth looking and feeling cleaner Outlasting your toddler Choosing the stairs over the elevator and not getting winded Mastering new, healthy recipes Being brave enough to try a new fitness class Lower risk of many cancers, such as uterine cancer Lower risk for surgeries No longer have brain fog and more clear-thinking Impressing your doctor Using a regular-sized blood pressure cuff Not having swollen feet No more trouble with sleep apnea, high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. disappearing and no longer taking medications for them No more incontenence/bladder leaking Better sleep quality More self awareness Knowing that I have bettered my physical and mental health Return to normal menstrual cycle More energy than ever before I actually enjoy working out and crave it I can work out for an hour and a half and leave invigorated instead of fatigued Living longer
Regularly having people notice my weight loss and compliment me Can wear leggings and skinny jeans Losing inches and fitting into smaller sized clothes/favorite clothes I haven't been able to wear in years Softer smoother skin and fewer breakouts, eczema and psoriasis disappear Being able to get dates Having the freedom to wear high-waisted skirts Not having a muffin top or back/bra rolls Being able to see my cheekbones Not having elderly residents refer to you as "the fat one" Admiration from others Not dreading swimsuit season Shopping or walking without eyeballing the first bench No frumpy mother-of-the-bride at my child's wedding Not being in a size that has an “X” in it No more "chub rub" (chaffing) No more sucking in the tummy to avoid rolls when sitting No more hiding behind others when forced to be in photos Looking good so your ex can realize he was an idiot for cheating on you The reaction of men when they see your awesome body in a pretty dress Being hit on by a younger man (hahaha- that was fun and my husband did not like it!) Being able to tuck shirts in Cute bras Enjoying trying on clothes Being able to keep up to fast walkers Going to your high school reunion looking better than you did in high school Fitting into commercial Halloween costumes Going to a plus size store I have shopped at for years and realizing their smallest size was TOO BIG FOR ME Being able to wear smaller/narrower sized shoes (your feet get smaller) Having someone not recognize me People NOT thinking I'm pregnant Fitting into non-wide-calf boots Looking in the mirror and liking what I see Being happy to be included in photos No more double chin I have a collar bone I have no belly bulge to rest my hands on when I sit down Not being the biggest person in the room Not being embarrassed to be seen or exercise in front of others Not feeling shame Being told I look younger Being told by a friend of twenty years, who has always been fit and goes to they gym six days a week, that I inspired him with my progress pictures My husband telling me I look “smoking hot” for the first time in 18 years My brother telling me I look like a new person and that he is so proud of me A cashier I don’t know, who recognized my weight loss and told me how great I look
Lastly, here are a few SCALE Victories - things that ARE about the number on the scale:
Weighing less than my husband Weighing less than my arch nemesis (someone who previously put me down for my weight) Making it to onederland (under 200 lbs) According to BMI, not being morbidly obese or even just obese Weighing less than the weight I lied about on my drivers license lol