When the scale isn’t moving as fast or as much as you would like, it’s important to remember the NSV’s or Non-Scale Victories. Usually, when you make the decision to change your physique you might see changes in the scale right away. After awhile though, it tapers off and you can easily get discouraged. It’s times like these that progress pictures and taking measurements is so key to how you notice the changes going on.
Most of the time, the scale is a liar. It’s not a true reflection of how you feel or how you’re doing. Think about it. The last time you weighed yourself, did you FEEL like you were that number? Many times it’s a total surprise, sometimes a really nice surprise, (“What?! Wow, I thought for sure I gained a few pounds, this scale is great!”) sometimes a disappointing surprise. (“What!? But I feel like good! There’s no way the scale is right!”)
If you insist on weighing yourself, at least limit it to twice a month or even once a month. Weighing yourself everyday is useless and will do nothing but frustrate you. Take the focus off that number and think of all you’ve accomplished thus far. Some common NSV’s that should be celebrated are:
Fitting into your “skinny” jeans or pants
You didn’t drop that much weight but, lo and behold, your skinny jeans are fitting quite nicely. Funny how that works, right? Or maybe you lost so many inches you have to go out and buy a new wardrobe entirely. A shopping trip is probably the best way to celebrate your success.
Hitting a new PR on a lift
You most likely track your workouts (at least you SHOULD be) and monitoring your lifts and how heavy they are getting. It’s a great feeling when you load the bar with plates that you never thought possible. When you can squat or bench your own weight, that’s a true accomplishment. Write it down, remember that moment.
Lasting an entire bootcamp/group class without taking frequent breaks
Remember the first time you walked into a cardio kickboxing or bootcamp class? Or maybe you started with a Personal Trainer and your first session was a bit of a mess. Now? You last the entire hour and you know all the moves and the steps much better than the first time. You’re able to do a few more push ups than a few months ago or hold a plank a little longer. These are all huge steps in your journey.
Going an entire week or month without indulging in one of your favorite treats, and not even missing it!
The most rewarding part of becoming healthy is being able to pass up all those treats or junk foods that used to derail you at one bite. You’ll know it’s a victory when you can walk down the grocery aisles, and casually walk past all the chips and cookies and crackers without batting an eye. When you start thinking “I wouldn’t eat that crap anymore, it’s not worth it,” instead of “Oh look, 2 for the price of 1, I gotta stock up on those chips!” you’ve conquered the junk food habit for good.
Getting compliments on how great you look, especially on a day when you aren’t feeling particularly good.
Ladies will relate to this probably more than men but on days when we are feeling bloated and gross, and we get a compliment, it’s like being Queen for a Day. Even just a small compliment on our dress or hair is enough to get us through the day with a smile plastered on our face. Speaking of face, this is where most people lose weight first, from the top down. So saying “You look like you’ve lost some weight, your face even looks thinner!” is a huge compliment to receive.
Kicking your soda/pop habit
All those carbonated beverages really add up. And don’t pretend the Diet Pop is any better. When you can kick that habit and replace all that sugar with water instead, you instantly feel better. Those beverages can be really addicting so when you finally kick that habit, it’s a huge cause for celebration. Not quite as dramatic as quitting smoking or alcohol but the sugar and caffeine in those drinks can be a catalyst for consuming even more calories. So when it’s eliminated from your diet, you will notice a change in your energy and sleep and stress levels almost immediately.
Saying “No thank you” to all the free food that people offer you at your work/office.
This is a big one to conquer. Too many times co-workers inadvertently sabotage you by offering all the free food and business lunches which quickly pack the pounds back on. It’s usually unhealthy by default because, let’s be honest, who eats healthy at work when there are clients to entertain? It’s usually pizza, donuts and bagels.
So saying no to these trigger foods, politely of course, can be a great way to inspire others around you to eat the same way. You could start a trend at your workplace. Next time someone offers the free food, say “No thanks, I have my meal here already made. You should try it! I just made it last night, it’s delicious!” Watch your co-workers pack on the pounds with all that pizza and donuts as your slender self sits by, healthy and happy. These are just a few examples of non-scale victories. There are plenty more out there that you can celebrate every week or even everyday.
Remember, all of our journeys are different. You might not lose weight at the exact same rate as your friends. And that’s just fine! Think of all the small victories that you’ve accomplished so far and write them down. Journal about them, tweet about them, take selfies of yourself in those skinny jeans! You are not defined by that number on the scale, you are defined by the kind of person you are and how you live your life – positively victorious!