Monday, March 6, 2017

How to measure your progress WITHOUT the scale.

The scale is a jerk.

I will be honest with you..  it is a JERK.  And a liar.

Did you know that it can fluctuate by 5 pounds in a DAY depending on how much water you are retaining..  whether you have had a bowel movement.. if you have just eaten..

It doesn't make sense to put so much stock into that numerical readout that we let it determine our feelings of success, happiness, and even self worth.

Break up with it!!

There are other ways to measure your progress and success.

1.  Take pictures.

This is my number one, favorite way to measure progress.

Take them.

Make sure to take various angles.  Side and back views as well.

NOW.  Go.  Take them.

I'm waiting..

Did you do it??

Now you don't have to share them with anyone but you.  But have them.

Now set a date to take new ones..

I usually do mine about a month apart.  It gives my body time to change.   It gives me TIME to make progress.  This is not a fast process.  Not if you are doing it the healthy way.

After you have the new photos, place them side by side with the first ones you took.. (You know, the ones you JUST took when I asked you to.)

And now you can SEE the progress.

Here are some of mine.  There isn't a very big difference in the numbers on the scale that coincide with these pictures.  But you can SEE the differences that I'm making.. you can SEE the progress.

To me that means more.

2. Take measurements

I mean, I get it..  while pictures may be worth a thousand words, we like to see concrete numbers as a way to get it into our heads that we are progressing.  

When I take my measurements I take my both arms, both thighs, my hips, my chest and around my waist at my belly button and 2 inches below it.  

I put my measurements in a note in my phone so I always know where I have them and I'm not searching for the paper I wrote them down on.  

Again, I suggest doing this and taking them again in a month.  A month is generally enough time to give yourself the chance to make some real progress.

3. Strength

This one is not so cut and dry.  For this one you need to pay attention..   

Answer the following questions.

  • Where do I need to stop this exercise?  Is there a part in the video, or routine, or class or whatever it is you are doing that you need to stop?  Where you are winded or tired?
  • How many push ups/ sit ups/ crunches can I do?
  • How do I feel at the middle of this workout?  
  • How do I feel towards the end?
Basically, pay attention to what you can do and how you feel during a workout.  And take note of that.  

Notice the differences in how you are getting through workouts. Are you doing more repetitions?  Are you able to do the harder versions of an exercise?

Take note of your victories and celebrate each one as your strength improves.

Finding different ways to celebrate and measure your fitness progress will help to get you through the times that the scale isn't being your friend.  It will help you to SEE the differences you are making and help you to feel PROUD of you for the work you are doing.