Non-Scale Ways to Track Progress
It is easy to get fixated on the numbers on a scale. These numbers can dictate how you FEEL about your body and your health journey. When the number creeps up, even by a small amount, it can have a negative impact on your mental health and confidence. The way you feel about your weight is more than just a number. It can affect your attitude towards yourself.
It is important to remember that these numbers are only ONE way to look at your progress. Other things to consider on your health journey include:
*How your clothes fit
Having clothes that don’t fit can be stressful. Focus on where you are NOW. Take the time to purge your closet of any clothes that don’t fit your body the way it is now. Ignore the size of each bit of clothing; as we know, sizes can vary depending on the brand and type of clothing.
The numbers on the scale may not decrease during your weight loss journey, however, your clothes may start to fit differently. Even without losing weight, you can become thinner. This occurs when you shed body fat while you gain muscle. While you're losing inches, you may not lose weight; however, this is still a sign that you're making progress. Learning not to fixate on the number on a scale can change your perspective on your progress.
*Improvements in your health
Your mental and physical health will improve when you start focusing on your fitness and general health. When you feed your body nutritious food, it fuels your body effectively, providing it with the energy it needs to function efficiently. The consumption of vitamins, minerals and key macros will help make you feel healthy and strong.
Weight loss can lower blood pressure in the arteries, reducing the stress placed on the heart to pump blood throughout the body. Low blood pressure and levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol - the "bad" cholesterol that can make you more susceptible to heart attacks - are the outcomes. There are countless health benefits to improving your fitness and health that don’t equate to lower numbers on the scale.
The ‘get up and go’ or energy that a person has on a daily basis is related to their current activity level. As your health improves, you will feel like you have more energy for daily tasks. The hardest action to take is the first step to making changes toward healthy life choices. As you start taking action, motivation for future action is easier. The increased energy will have positive effects in all aspects of your life.
Weight loss generally leads to better sleep, which may result in more energy during the day. A heavy body requires more energy to move. As a result, losing weight means you use less energy when you move. Additionally, it improves your respiratory function, making you feel more energetic.
*A healthier relationship with food
Our attitude toward food can have a huge impact on our mental health. When we have a poor relationship with food, we can view it as a way to punish ourselves for poor nutrition choices or to cover up our emotions when we are feeling low. This can be by overeating or not eating enough, both of which have negative impacts on your mind and body.
We can also develop guilt over eating certain types of food, go on multiple diets, feel stress and anxiety over food choices in public, the list could go on for the many ways we can allow food to negatively impact us.
Allowing yourself to have a healthy relationship with food means allowing yourself to eat for physiological reasons rather than emotional hunger and to stop eating at a point when the body and mind are truly satisfied. The more positive experiences you have with food, the better you will feel.
Your mind is a muscle that needs to be worked in the same way the muscles in your body do. If you feed your mind positive and encouraging thoughts then it will perform better in the same way that your body reacts positively to purposeful movement. Physical activity contributes to improved mood and stress reduction. Movement also decreases level of depression
As your health and fitness improves, your mental health, self-esteem and confidence also improves. You will start to feel a greater sense of achievement as you move through your journey and you realise that you are doing this for YOU. Recognising and celebrating your progress is a huge boost to your sense of self-worth. The happier you feel on the inside, the happier you are on the outside.
As you progress through your journey, you will start to see that you can run or walk that bit further and faster without getting as out of breath or tired, your weights will start to feel easier to lift and you might think about moving up to the next level with your fitness. Your strength and stamina will increase which will help increase your positive feelings about yourself and your body.
It is important that we celebrate these 'Non-Scale' victories, realising that you don't need the scales to show that you can lose inches, get stronger, improve your happiness, increase your endurance and just showing up for yourself every single day is a big step forwards in breaking the taboo that only the number on the scales matter.
Our health and wellbeing is so much more than that, we are more than just a number!