Losing weight and the journey around it is so often just about the numbers and the scales. But is it and should it be? This can become all consuming for too many people and can sometimes be detrimental to their success in making changes. I have seen many times on the forums people becoming despondent about their progress because the scales are not moving at all or are moving very slowly. Yes losing weight means that the scales should be coming down, how else do you judge it if the numbers don’t drop, but when we hit those inevitable times of slow weight loss or the dreaded plateau, what do we do then.
In my opinion we should look at the small wins that we have along the way and what many of the smart and successful people in this program call “Non Scale Wins”. This is a very broad term and can encompass almost anything that we consider a win that is not scale related and can help in getting people over a hurdle and through a bad patch. They can also be a massive bonus and spur even when you are doing okay.
My reason for mentioning this today is after I experienced one this morning totally out of the blue, which has given me a huge lift today. You need to make the most of these moments when you have them and remember them as these are what make all the sweat and tears well worth it. I rode to work this morning and had to have a shower prior to going into the office. After getting out and drying myself off, I wrapped the towel around my waist. Very weird because I normally don’t do this, never have as I don’t mess around in getting dried and dressed (subconsciously probably because the towel never made it) but today I did so and on this occasion, the towel went completely around me and even overlapped. I was gobsmacked and even had to take a selfie in the bathroom mirror, which is below. I also noticed in the picture that my stomach is not hanging over the towel like it would have previously and there is also no skin to be seen. WOO HOO!!!!!
This certainly put a spring in my step this morning, as it should, but it got me thinking about all the other things that people have done along the way which they probably brush over and never give themselves credit for or celebrate mainly because they are looking at the numbers. So I sat down and formulated a quick list, which I am sure everyone can relate to and certainly think of more, but this is to jolt people’s memories and provoke thought about what they have achieved.
Small things that mean big things:
· Children wrapping their arms all the way around you
· Going for a period of time without something (sugar, soft drinks, chocolate, fruit juice, etc)
· Towel being wrapped around waist without a gap or bits hanging out
· Buying clothes without having to go into the Big Mans/+size section
· Being able to see the scales without having to lean forward
· Being able to touch your toes
· Being able to do a push up on your toes
· Being able to do a full sit up unaided
· Being able to run the kilometre time trial non-stop
· Taking part in your first organised sporting event (fun run, triathlon, bike ride etc)
· Fitting into old clothes that you had kept for some reason or bought years ago expecting to lose weight but never did
· Ladies getting back into their wedding dresses
· Ladies being able to shop in Lorna Jane and have it now fit them
· Being able to wear a pair of skinny leg jeans and not feel weird or out of place
· Dressing in clothes that you have never contemplated before because they didn’t suit a fat person, but hey, now you’re not fat you CAN!!!!
· Signing up for events that you would never have dreamt of or considered in the past (half marathon, marathon, triathlons, Ride to Conquer cancer)
· Noticing changes in the way you look at yourself and feel about yourself.
· Feeling bones where previously there was a thick layer of fat (in my shoulders, back and collar bones)
· Having muscle definition where previously there was none
· Finding that I now have a bum (yes there was something there before but it was just a blob of fat and skin with NO shape.)
So in short people, all I want for each of you that read this is to focus on and remember all the good things that have happened no matter how small. Just like a 100 gram loss, it is a loss, so all the small wins add up together to make a successful journey. Look back at what you have achieved, how you have achieved it and set some small non scale goals for yourself. This is part of our preseason tasks where we have the opportunity to set goals, there is no specific parameters for this, but we all tend to focus on scales and athletic goals. Think outside the square and look at something different. Maybe you want to wear size 12-14 underwear by the end of round. I would like to fit into a pair of size 36 jeans in 7 week’s time and I believe I will. Just don’t lock yourself in to goals that are numbers specific. We all do it and it is detrimental to out state of mind some times when it need not be.
If you have a win, no matter how small, shout it out LOUD and let everyone know about it so we can share in your success as well. These sorts of things should fill the forums and facebook groups because it motivates people and helps them think of areas they may have had wins in but not realised it. Most importantly remember that these are YOUR wins. Don't compare your journey, wins or problems with that of anyone else, we all travel this path differently and in turn have different wins, goals and successes.