Here is a list of non-scale victories that have nothing to do with weight loss or body size. These results are worth celebrating!
I committed to a challenge
Imagine making a fitness or nutrition goal, committing to a challenge, or sticking with a program with the intention of wanting results. First of all, that’s amazing because it’s going to be hard yet rewarding experience. Let’s say you’re working on these goals through the challenge and every day wasn’t perfect, BUT you kept showing up and working really hard. If that’s you, seriously that’s so awesome and I hope you congratulate yourself!
I DON'T SEE ANY RESULTS....
Now, let’s say you evaluate and your first thought is that you don’t see results. You’re disappointed, frustrated, and down on yourself because you were working so hard and it didn’t seem to pay off…
Let me stop you right here. Because I’m stopping myself right here. I could continue to go down this path of self-pity, disappointment, and frustration but that simply isn’t going to serve me, and quite frankly, is NOT TRUE.
What are results? How are we defining results? When I used to think of “seeing results” I would immediately think about weight and size. I would be disappointed when these didn’t seem to change. (I have a previous weight loss journey that was specifically focused on weight loss). Results can be victories that have nothing to do with the scale and what our body looks like.
What are non-scale victories?
Non-scale victories, also known as NSVs, are health improvements that result from nutrition, exercise, and other small life changes. These are results that don't have to do with a number on a scale and can easily go unnoticed if using weight as a measure of success. Making a list of NSVs can help create a more accurate picture of progress.
Thinking about your challenge or what you’re been working on now, are there some results you can think of that don’t have to do with weight or size? Can you think of some NSVs? I’m not here to tell you that you can’t use those to measure results, BUT, I think it’s silly to JUST consider those things. Here are a few non-scale victories you can consider celebrating that have nothing to do with numbers.
Non-scale victories list
- Energy Levels
How do you feel throughout the day? Does doing a workout in the day give you energy? Does fueling your body with nutritious foods make you feel good? Research suggests an active & healthy lifestyle leads to increased energy! I have found that when I’m consistently prioritizing movement and nutritious foods, I have more energy to get after the day.
The commitment to a goal or challenge often leads to creating a routine. Does your day start with waking up, working out, and fueling your body? Do you workout every day after work, take a walk during a break, or have some kind of new routine? Use the momentum from a challenge help you create a sustainable routine you can stick with every day.
Building habits is one of the best parts of challenges and programs. Often times, the commitment to a challenge will lead to doing something every day, which can lead to doing something for far longer than 30 days. Do you now exercise every day? Have you learned to meal prep on the weekends? Do you go on a walk every day? What about eating nutritious foods. Can you start mentally congratulating yourself for doing hard things? What’s far more important than a challenge is being able to find habits that can serve you for your entire life!
How do you feel about yourself? Are you proud of what you have done? Do you feel strong? Are you patting yourself on the back because you can feel you have more confidence in yourself? Showing up to do hard things, exercise, and fuel well often can help us build more confidence in how we look, how we feel, and what we can do.
Are you stronger than what you were before you started the program? Can you lift heavier weights? Can your body do more? Do you notice some new muscles? Your strength isn’t going to be measured on a scale, but is so important to your fitness.
Have you built endurance during your challenge? Can you exercise longer? Do you think you can run further? Do you feel better playing sports or going on a walk? Compare how you feel doing activities from when you started.
Was the challenge fun!? Did you enjoy exercising or cooking meals? I think it is SO important to do things we ENJOY. You’re going to have a really hard time sustaining any sort of habit if you hate it. Whether it’s running, strength training, yoga, biking, walking, etc. — find movement that is FUN for you. This also goes for eating food — don’t eat a bunch of foods you don’t like, but find things that can fuel you that also taste good!
Have you been able to sleep better through the night? Whenever I'm doing a tough challenge or regularly exercising, I sleep more soundly at night.
Does finishing this challenge motivate you for whatever is next? I usually feel excited for the next thing after finishing a program. It gives me momentum to try something new or continue what I started.
Did you show up and do hard things every day? Did you surprise yourself? Honoring a commitment to yourself is so important and can help when moving onto the next commitment.
Did you make some new friends who were doing a challenge with you? Did you find accountability? One of my favorite parts of a challenge is the community that is built by everyone who participates. Those relationships and support can be so valuable as you continue on your journey.
Hear me when I say that a number on a scale or a pair of jeans can be encouraging. I get that. I think there are far more ways to see results than a number. All of these non-scale victories are valuable for our health. Let’s think about our strength & endurance that were built while pushing ourselves and exercising consistently. Let’s consider the new routines and community built during a program. I think we should evaluate our confidence and motivation, especially as we continue on our wellness journey. Please remember that the most valuable results are the ones that will last more than a few days. We should focus on results that will help us live fuller lives. Let’s choose to focus on the results that are attainable and sustainable, and will bring lifelong wellness.