The scale is not my friend. It’s a necessary part of tracking my progress, but I can’t let it become the “be all” of my journey to becoming and staying a healthy writer. Sure, there are times when I love the number it shows, but it also breaks my heart on a regular basis. I’ve got to come up with other ways to acknowledge what I’ve accomplished and give me motivation to continue. Learning to recognize and celebrate non-scale victories is an important part of making my journey a success.
This was a week where the scale was not kind. I knew why it went up 2.4 pounds. I had lost so much the week before (4.6 pounds) because I was sick that I couldn’t be surprised by a gain. I also ate too much during my writers’ retreat. Knowing that still didn’t keep me from getting down, so I started to compile a list of non-scale victories to keep my mind in the right place.
I sleep better. I remember having troubles falling asleep all the way back to my childhood. I’ve had bouts with insomnia, and they are maddening. I have a hard time shutting down my brain at night and have tried lots of tricks but nothing works as well as working out at a high level on a regular basis. Honestly, a stretch of insomnia will get me back to the gym quicker than anything else.
I have more energy. I am a goal-oriented person, and I just didn’t think I’d have the energy to work on all I wanted to accomplish if I didn’t find a way to make some permanent changes. I hate it when all I can do when I get home from work is sit on the couch and stare at the TV. A better diet and exercise gives me the extra energy I need to work on what is most important to me.
I have a better attitude. I’m more confident. I’m happier. I’m more optimistic. I feel really good overall. I’m just in a better place emotionally since I started to make these healthy changes in my life. I don’t want to go back.
My clothes fit better. First, all the clothes that were uncomfortably tight began to fit well. Then, they got loose. When they got too big and baggy to wear in public, I started to buy clothes a size down. I’m now a couple sizes below what I was in January 2009, and I love it. Just this week, I wore two new pairs of pants that were too tight just a few weeks ago. You can see one of those pairs in the photo posted of my two critique partners and me 2 Sundays ago. I’ve no idea how far I can go, but I can’t wait to see where I end up.
I’m smaller. I did not take my measurements in January, but I did in mid-May when I started to go to the gym regularly. I’m now 10 inches smaller in just 4 months.
I’m stronger. On the advice of a kind lady at my first weight class, I only lifted 2 kilograms that first time. I cannot exaggerate how sore I was for days after that. I’m now lifting up to 17 kilograms for the biggest muscle groups, and I can do “man” push-ups. I love it.
I’m more fit. I wasn’t completely out of shape in January since I walk a decent amount for my commute, but I’m in much better shape now in terms of endurance and speed. I can work out for 1 to 2 hours straight or I can really, really push myself for stretches at a time.
I’m more in control of my eating. I just don’t overeat or binge like I used to. When I get stressed out, my first recourse is not stuffing my face anymore. I think my appetite has decreased or my stomach has shrunk, but I just can’t eat as much as I used to. I also feel better for eating healthier and can feel the difference if I eat a very unhealthy meal. I’m not completely there yet, but food does not control me. I control it for the most part.
I’m getting compliments. They started when I had lost around 10 or 15 pounds, and they have continued steadily since then. There are a few people at work who refer to me as skinny. I absolutely love how I almost always get a compliment on a day when I’m feeling weak about making wise choices, I’ve actually just gained weight or I’m just feeling fat. I let them keep me going on the right path.
I’m inspiring others to make healthy changes. Tuesday, just hours before I was weighed in and told I’d gained 2.4 pounds, two work colleagues at separate times told me what an inspiration I was. They were so impressed that I had kept going and had not fallen of the wagon. I had inspired them to try once again to lose weight. Several other work colleagues have told me that in the past few months, as have friends and family members. Hearing that makes me feel good and always increases my motivation to just keep going. Sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes it’s hard, but in the end, both work.
What are some of your favorite non-scale victories since you started your own journey to becoming a healthy writer?