The success of a healthy lifestyle can be measured in many different ways—but often, we get wrapped up in that number we see on the scale. It can ultimately make or break our day; if we see the numbers decrease, we pat ourselves on the back. Conversely, when the number on the scale creeps upwards, we feel shameful and are quick to think it’s not working.
Diet culture has led us to believe that losing weight quickly is superior to measuring our success in other ways. It always comes down to that arbitrary number; our “ideal weight.” We want to weigh the same as we did before kids, look the same as we did in high school, etc. We put so much stock in that number that we overlook other indicators that determine our progress—the things that the scale cannot tell us.
The scale cannot tell you how fantastic a person you are, how beautiful your smile is, or how much your family and friends love you.
It’s challenging to push through, but not getting hung up on that number is paramount in your health journey’s success. Here are four ways to measure success that doesn’t involve stepping on the scale.
1) The way your clothes are fitting
It’s possible that the skinny jeans that you’ve been claiming won’t fit you until you’ve lost that last ten pounds may fit you now. A specific weight may look different through periods of your life—many factors determine where the weight is situated.
Moreover, how your clothes fit can be a significant indicator of how you are doing—think inches lost and body composition changes. A useful tip might be to have one outfit that you try on frequently to evaluate the changes.
2) The Ability to push through your workout
Perhaps, at the beginning of your health and fitness journey, you couldn’t do a full push-up without your arms shaking or having to do them on your knees. Now you are banging out ten push-ups in proper form without feeling like you’re going to collapse—great job!
When we get so hung up on the visual changes, we forget about the changes that are happening internally. The cardio workouts are expanding your lung capacity, and the High-Intensity Interval Training is strengthening your heart!
Celebrate how strong you’re becoming!
With every workout you complete, you are further conditioning your body to perform and do things that it couldn’t do before. By creating a fitness goal, you’ll be able to gauge how much progress you have made the closer you get to completing it.
3) your reflection
Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s looking radiant today? You are!
I bet since starting your health journey, you are noticing BIG changes when you look in the mirror.
Don’t see it?
This is why it’s so important to take pictures throughout your weight-loss journey. Snap a full body picture every two weeks, and you will be amazed by the changes you see! Because we scrutinize our bodies every day, sometimes it is difficult to see the changes as they are happening. But small changes every day adds up to a considerable transformation when we compare pictures taken months apart.
So go ahead and snap those selfies! Your future self will thank you.
4) More restful sleep
Ever notice that you have a terrible time falling asleep when you’ve eaten poorly? It could be a boozy night with your friends or the chocolate bar you ate while bingeing on Netflix. When you nourish your body with healthy foods, you’re more likely to have a better quality of sleep. This article explains the link between diet and sleep.
Through diet and exercise, you can also eliminate disorders that impede your ability to get quality sleep. Studies show how poor diet can lead to obesity, which can cause the likelihood of snoring, Sleep Apnea, and can even contribute to Restless Leg Syndrome.
The Bottom Line…
Relying solely on the scale isn’t an accurate way to determine the progress you are making on your health journey; it is only a part of the puzzle. To accurately determine if you’re achieving your goals, you need to pay attention to your overall health—physically, spiritually, and emotionally. As long as you see a general downwards trend of the numbers on the scale, try not to fret about the day-to-day fluctuations.
Every day you are that much closer to achieving your ultimate goal—keep going!