Starting on a total health and fitness journey can be intimidating. There may be a lot of new things for you to learn about nutrition and exercise, as well as new lingo. Phrases like counting macros, sustainable eating, and non-scale victories become part of your vernacular.
Seeing the Bigger Picture
When it comes to fitness, it’s important to pay attention to the small changes we can make. That may mean substituting one food for another, adding in an extra day of weights to complement cardio, and getting more sleep. But it’s also important to take a step back and focus on the bigger picture, like victories not related to pounds lost or pounds gained. That’s what it means to celebrate non-scale victories- it’s putting emphasis on progress as a whole. Here are some ways to give credit to your wins along the way.
Examples of Non-Scale Victories
While seeing a different number on the scale may be a part of your total health and wellness goal, it can’t be the only marker of success. There are numerous non-scale-related victories to show you’re putting in the work.
Clothing Fits Differently
As you work with a certified nutritionist and trainer, you may start to notice your clothes fit your body differently. Even if you’re not losing weight, your measurements may be changing. Perhaps your goal has been to build muscle and bulk up; after a while, your non-scale victory may be that your workout tees feel more restrictive around your shoulders and arms because you’ve increased muscle mass. Or, maybe you’re trying to trim and tone and you notice your shorts getting looser.
When it comes to measurements, it may be encouraging to take note of your waist-to-hip ratio. Data from a 2021 study suggests that the waist-to-hip ratio can measure the likelihood of a person developing (or avoiding) certain health problems.
You’re More Energetic
A lot of people turn to a change in diet and exercise habits to help them increase their energy levels. If you notice that you no longer need a mid-afternoon caffeine boost, it could be a sign that your new fitness routine is working. No longer fueling your body with empty calories means you have more energy to make it through the workday, play with your kids, or enjoy your favorite hobbies.
There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep after a hard day. Studies show that changes to a person’s weight can positively affect their quality of sleep. You may sleep deeper and longer, and maybe you stop snoring!
Hitting a Personal Record (PR)
The scale has nothing to do with smashing PRs. As you stay committed to your nutrition and exercise plan, you’ll find yourself increasing reps, running a faster mile, or lifting heavier weights. Be sure to take note of how your form and performance are improving over time, even if the numbers of the scale stay the same.
Less Brain Fog
When we fuel our bodies well and exercise regularly, it can reduce brain fog. Have you noticed a better ability to focus since you’ve added yoga to your exercise routine? Is your memory a little sharper since you started taking daily walks around the park? Positive changes to our health, such as diet and exercise, have been proven to improve brain function, something the scale simply can’t measure.
Better Coping Mechanisms
Many of us turn to food when dealing with complex emotions. But when we learn to see food differently, as fuel instead of a way of comforting ourselves, we develop better coping mechanisms. Instead of stress eating, try journaling as a way to process what you’re going through. Rather than drowning your sorrows in a meal, meet up with a friend or a counselor to have a conversation.
Fewer Aches and Pains
It’s a given that losing weight may reduce some of the discomforts you feel in your body. Our bones and joints benefit from carrying around less weight, and from the “good stress” they experience in weight training. Also, motion is lotion, so getting your body moving regularly helps keep your joints lubricated and can reduce inflammation.
Finally, one of the most important non-scale victories to celebrate are the relationships you build on your total health and fitness journey. From the certified nutritionist and personal trainer to the people you meet at the gym or in classes, you’re surrounded by a group of people who want to see you succeed. They’re your cheerleaders, and they help keep you accountable for your goals.
Keep these non-scale victories in mind the next time you step on the scale; put less emphasis on the numbers you see and instead focus on the milestones that can’t be weighed. You can schedule a free consultation online with Total Health and Fitness, or give us a call at 801-572-8050.