I am always telling you all to not just focus on the scale, but on the other changes that happen because the scale can be so random and change from hour to hour sometimes. I often mention celebrating the non-scale victories and I have had a lot of people ask me what type of things I mean, so I thought I would share with you some of the non-scale victories that I have celebrated in the past. Remember, it doesn’t all boil down to that number on the scale – you are more than that!
- When my fitness level increased – This is still happening all the time, but I remember a time about 18 months ago when I actually felt fit. I was able to run on the treadmill for a few minutes without collapsing and I felt fit enough to not make any excuses for avoiding certain machines on the gym because I didn’t feel “fit enough”.
- When I discovered my collarbones – Obviously they have always been there, but to look at me a few years ago you would have never known that. To be honest, I didn’t even have a neck – everything just blended into each other. I know it might seem like a silly goal to some, but I just REALLY wanted visible collarbones. I wasn’t going to do something stupid like starve myself until I got them, because for some people they are just not very pronounced, but I really wanted them. I remember going for my wedding dress fitting and the woman who worked there told me I had lovely shoulders and collarbones, which was perfect for the dress. I know that they are probably trained to say nice things to people trying on dresses, but I could have hugged her. I believed her too, as it is something I had been working towards and I was proud of them. I also mean my collarbones being visible without me having to move my shoulders around like a contortionist to force them out. Yes, we have all seen the photos of people doing that. If they are not visible, don’t force them.
- When I could put a normal bath towel around me when I got out of the shower – Not one of those giant bath towels, but just a regular one and I didn’t even have to stretch it. That felt really good and when I realised it, I remember doing a little dance round my bathroom.
- When I could cross my legs for the first time – I mean crossing them over the knee and not having to rest my ankle on my knee because my legs were so big. Actually, I can’t cross my legs as well now as I could when I reached my goal weight. Not because I have gained weight, but because I have really been working on toning my legs, so they have gotten more muscular. That is fine with me – I have strong legs and I love that. But, being able to cross my legs for the first time in years felt amazing.
- When I could buy clothes that were not considered a “plus size” – Let’s not get into a discussion about what it classed as a plus size and if it is fair or not, but I remember when I could buy clothes from any shop, and I didn’t even have to go into the “big girl section” where everyone knew you were shopping for a large size. Just being able to have all that choice of clothes was a great feeling. Not so great for my bank balance though.
- When I woke up and I wanted to work out – For a long, long time I had to force myself to workout. It was a struggle every morning, but I did it because I knew that I had to. But I remember one day I woke up and thought “I can’t wait to workout today. I am really looking forward to it”. Obviously it hasn’t been like that every day since then, but on that day, exercise just “clicked” with me, because I had found something I enjoyed.
- When I realised that I didn’t hate what I saw when I looked in the mirror every day – This hasn’t just happened because I have lost weight, although I am not going to lie – I am happier with how I look now I am smaller, but it has also happened because I have worked on my mental health now as well and I am much more accepting of my body now than I ever was. “Faults” and all.
- When I lost all of my chins, except 1 – When I was at my heaviest, I had a triple chin. Whilst there are days when I have had way too much sodium (or wine) the night before and I wake up with my face a little puffier than normal, I am back down to just 1 chin. It makes posing for photos a lot easier. A few years ago, I would have to take the photo myself from a height, so some of my chins would be hidden, or if someone else was taking it I would have to pull a funny face to try and distract from my other chins. Now, I just relax and have the photo taken.
- When I wasn’t having an anxiety attack every day – This isn’t something I have spoken about much here, maybe I should, but I suffered from very bad anxiety for years. At times I was having 5+ anxiety attacks a day. Since eating better, working out and working on my mental health, it has improved so, so much. If I have an anxiety attack once every 3 months then it is unusual. I don’t think they will ever go totally, as I am a very anxious person and I stress a lot, but just the fact that is doesn’t happen every day is huge for me. Anyone who suffers from anxiety knows how debilitating it can be.
- When I realised the seatbelt on the plane had loads of room – For anyone who is overweight, the thought of flying somewhere can be terrifying. No-one wants to have to ask for a seat extension. I never had to, but there was literally no room to spare. I remember when we went on our honeymoon, I was super happy. I was sitting there almost beaming as I put my seat belt on because there was loads of extra belt. The people around me must have thought I had never seen a seat belt before by the way I was acting. But, I didn’t have to explain it to anyone. It was a “me” moment.
- When I realised I was healthy – I have always said that I lost weight for my health, so when I went for a check-up at the doctors last year and he told me that my blood pressure and cholesterol was spot-on, I was so happy. To know that I had achieved what I set out to do, well there are no words to describe how good that felt.
- When I let go of the notion of perfection – When I first started losing weight, it was ultimately for my health, but of course there was always part of me that wanted that “perfect” body as well. As time went on, I got really frustrated that the changes that were happening were not how I thought they would be, or should be, and I wasn’t looking anywhere near perfect. It took me a while to realise that there is no such thing and that as long as I was healthy and happy, then that is what mattered.
Don’t get me wrong, I personally don’t recommend ditching the scale completely (as long as you can use it without becoming obsessed with it), because I think it is a really good tool to track progress (over a long period of time – not day to day), but change in your body and health is so much more than that number on the scale. Take note of all the other things that are changing and all the things that you can do that you couldn’t do before. Celebrate them – you deserve it.
What is your favourite non-scale victory?