I spent years focusing on the wrong indicators of success. Whether it was the number on the scale or how many consecutive days of deprivation and “white-knuckling it” I could endure, the wrong focus was getting me nowhere…fast.  Looking back, I can say that my biggest fat loss wins have had nothing to do with the number on the scale. I’m so glad I’m finally at a point where I not only recognize but celebrate non-scale victories. If I could go back, I would have paid more attention along the way and stopped to acknowledge major milestones like fitting into a new pair of jeans, doing 100 burpees without resting or going on a business trip without stress-eating. I think if I had paid more attention to those achievements, the scale wouldn’t have had such a strong grip on me and I probably would have progressed faster than I did.

These days, I’m focusing more on non-scale victories. I have a pair of pants I really want to fit into by September 1st and once a week I squeeeeze into them and snap a picture to measure my progress. It will be an awesome day when I can pull them over my hips, nevermind button them up! It’s gonna happen and its gonna happen soon! (You’ll hear about it, I’m sure!)

Recently, I observed one of my most significant non-scale victories and it really blew me away. The story it tells about the healing power of quality food and regular exercise is pretty astounding. A couple weeks ago I had some routine lab work done. I quickly got my results back; they were fine and I didn’t think much more about it. A few days later it ocurred to me that it might be fun to compare the results to lab work I had done when I was at my heaviest weight. Wow. I’m so glad I did. The numbers really surprised me.

Yes, I had lost over 100 lbs. My periods had become regular for the first time in my life. I was happier, more energetic and more confident. In all that, however, I didn’t realize just how much my overall health had improved. Like most of us, the things I can’t see didn’t really even cross my mind. I didn’t realize that I had re-written my future, decreased my risk of disease and set myself up for a long, healthy life. Afterall, it was just changes in my diet and exercise, right? Well clearly, for me, that was more than enough!

I didn’t take any medications. I didn’t follow any extreme diet. I didn’t cut out food groups or spend hours a day in the gym. And yet, the results are remarkable.

  At My Heaviest     Weight   Present   Recommended       Range
 Total Cholesterol   236 mg/dL   160 mg/dL   100-199
 Triglycerides   193 mg/dL   76 mg/dL   0-149
 HDL (good cholesterol)   33 mg/dL   66 mg/dL   >39
 LDL (bad cholesterol)   141 mg/dL   84 mg/dL   0-99
 VLDL (very bad cholesterol)   39 mg/dL   15 mg/dL   5-40
 Serum Vitamin D   14.6 ng/dL   33.7 ng/dL   30-100
 Hemoglobin A1c (measure of blood sugar control over time)   5.4   4.9   4.8-5.6

 

This goes to show that along your fat loss journey there is MUCH to celebrate. What is happening behind the scenes? What is happening to your health and happiness that the scale simply can’t measure?Are you able to run around the yard and keep up with your kids for the first time in years? Do you walk up the stairs at work without getting breathless? Did you effortlessly say “no thank you” to the donuts in the break room or feel comfortable wearing a tank top to the gym for the first time?  You’ll be surrounded with things worth celebrating. Pay attention as your life changes and give yourself credit for your hard work. There are victories right in front of you that the scale just can’t measure!

Finding the courage to start and maintaining motivation for the few couple weeks is the hardest part. Click here to read the strategy I used to get that initial momentum!

You’ve got this!!!