I am two weeks shy of nine months of my lifestyle change and I must say that May has not been the best month, I was so excited when I reached a major milestone at the end of April – 80 pounds! Yes, 80 pounds! However, today I will be celebrating my 7 great non-scale victories.
Why? Because I have not lost any more weight. Am I disappointed that I have not lost any weight in a month? Yes! However, I am so grateful that I have come so far. Last year at this time I would have thrown a big party if I was just one size smaller!
Part of this plateau is related to my low thyroid condition. Your thyroid controls your metabolism and a low thyroid can cause weight gain. I was experiencing extreme fatigue and hunger so I had some tests done.
As I suspected, my thyroid was not functioning properly. I had to have my medication adjusted. It’s only been a week with the new dose, but I hope to get my body back to working at my optimal level.
It is so easy to be stuck on the number on the scale. It’s an objective, easy metric to gauge your progress where you are on your weight loss journey. But what I have discovered over the last several months is that you must also document and celebrate just as hard when you achieve a non-scale victory. And I have 7 great non-scale victories to share with you.
Obviously, there are several non-scale victories that are expected when you lose weight. For example, you have a closet full of loose clothes, you are wearing a smaller size, you love seeing the inches decrease on your body, your progress photos are insta-worthy.
However, there are some amazing changes and non-scale victories that are unexpected or unanticipated when you lose a lot of weight. And this is what I want to focus on today.
So here are my amazing 7 great non-scale victories.
1 – No Pain
It’s hard to describe how much pain I was in when I was carrying all that extra weight day after day, month after month, and year after year. I had severe back and neck pain and spent thousands of dollars on chiropractors and physical therapists. I woke up in pain and went to bed in pain.
In fact, because I got little or no relief, I accepted that was my life. Simple daily tasks like washing dishes, getting up from a chair, or walking were painful.
Now, pain is a distant memory for me. I can move, walk, run, jump, skip (yes skip!). Thanks to losing 80 pounds!
2 – More Energy
Sadly, extra weight frequently leaves you with little energy to do much. I sat more, laid down more, stood less, and moved less. I did everything to move less. I was the quintessential couch potato, the typical sedentary person.
But you shed a few pounds, increased energy is an amazing byproduct. I don’t feel like a sloth anymore, now I have enough energy to not just do normal everyday activities but to slay.
And I exercise every day, twice a day. I never imagined in a million years that I would have become this active. When I started counting my steps I averaged about 3000 a day. However, I have been able to easily get 15,000 steps a day for the past six months.
3 – Better Sleep
Over the years as the weight piled on, I increasingly kept my husband awake with my snoring. Then he would nudge and poke me to stop. For the last couple of years, he suspected that I was suffering from sleep apnea. I was never tested so I don’t know if he was right.
But what I do know is that I don’t snore anymore! Now both my husband and I sleep better! I didn’t need any special gadget, just weight loss to snore less and sleep better.
In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, your weight is one of the factors that can cause snoring, and conversely losing weight can help to stop snoring. I can certainly attest to this fact.
If sleep is an issue for you, check out my blog post, Everything You Need to Know About Sleep and Weight loss.
4 – Improved Health
The health risks of being overweight and obese are well-established. You know, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and more. In my case, I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Now, I can say that both my blood pressure and cholesterol levels are normal! Many experts say that losing just 5% of your body weight can significantly improve your health.
When we embark on a weight loss journey the primary reason for most of us is that we want to look better. But just as important or more importantly you can also improve your health and avoid many of the health risks associated with being overweight or obese. Perhaps this is the best of the 7 great non-scale victories.
5 – Stronger
I knew I was weak – how many strong sloths do you know? As the saying goes, “use it or lose it.” And boy did I lose a lot of muscles and strength over the years.
When I started strength exercises a few months ago I used 3-pound dumbbells, and couldn’t do most bodyweight exercises. Today depending on the exercise, I use 10 or 15-pound dumbbells,
I can squat, lunge, do sit-ups, and push-ups (okay, okay I’m still doing knee push-ups). I know this is not much, but I am not comparing myself to anyone else. I just want to become a better, healthier me.
In addition to getting stronger, I also see and feel more muscle especially on my legs. I even see some definition on my arms.
When I started this weight loss journey, I was a crazy 60% body fat. Now I have reduced that by about 8% and gained about 5 pounds of lean muscle mass. It is still not where I want to be but it is a step in the right direction. Slow progress is still progress, right?
Imagine how much easier everyday activities will be now. Carrying groceries, shoveling snow, gardening, and more. Now, being too weak or not strong enough to do something is no longer an excuse for me.
6 – Clearer Skin
I didn’t have the worst skin, but I also didn’t have the best skin either. Now after almost 9 months of exercising regularly, my skin looks and feels better, at least to me. In fact, according to research at McMaster University, the skin of men and women over 40 who exercised frequently is comparable to that of 20 to 30-year-olds!
So exercise can help you turn the clock back 10 to 20 years on your skin! Some people have even reported less acne, flare-ups, and rashes as a side effect of their weight loss.
Who wouldn’t want to have better, clearer, younger skin as one of their great non-scale victories?
7 – Better Digestion
Did you know that some experts say the fewer than one bowel movement a day is a sign of constipation? Well, I was constipated for years and years!
No one needs to hear about my digestion and bowel movements. But I can just tell you that after improving my diet and eating more fiber, fruit, and vegetables, I am way, way more regular.
Let’s just say that it feels good to see and feel my improved digestion. The healthy food choices I am making consistently has not only moved the number on the scale but improved my gut health and digestion.
7 Great Non-Scale Victories
So these are my 7 great non-scale victories that I can use in addition to or instead of the scale to know that I am healthier. There are a few other non-scale victories that I could write about, but I wanted to focus on what I think are great non-scale victories.
As I sit here, with my legs crossed (something I have not been able to do for years; another great non-scale victory) I am so happy that I have come this far. I’ll continue to eat healthy meals and exercise and trust in the process.
But although the scale hasn’t moved, I can celebrate achieving these 7 great non-scale victories.
What are your great non-scale victories?
You are so right we should celebrate non scale victories. Sometimes if I don’t see a decline in the numbers on the scale I become discouraged. Thank you for this article it was really helpful
I am really happy that you found it helpful. I know the scale can be discouraging sometimes, but even the smallest non-scale victory can help to change your mindset. Keep going strong!
What a wonderful post and great “non-scale” victories. When I was recovering from anorexia and getting over obsessive weighing of myself and food using this thinking was so helpful. Getting stronger, having more energy, better sleep, more enjoyment in social occasions, more confidence in myself and a deeper appreciation for what myself and my body could do when I’m working with it instead of against it. Love this ?
Hi Joss, Thank you for sharing, and thanks for your kind words. You are so right – it is so much better to focus on what your body can do and not working against it. Keep going strong!
These are great. I will pin this. I have three blogs. My first blog is for my business Diet Solutions & Training. I am a Certified Personal Trainer & do weight loss coaching. My clients will love reading this. Many times people think the scale is the only thing to look at. Great post.
Hi Tracy, Thanks so much! There are so many of us who would benefit from your services! Losing weight is so hard and having a supportive person in your corner will make it easier. Thanks for being there for us!
Right now, I’m looking at theses non-scale victories from the opposite end. I’ve put on a lot of weight in quarantine and so my energy is low, my pain is worse (I have chronic pain), and I’m hardly sleeping. This post has been particularly motivating cause I want those things back! Also, I’ve noticed that my skin hasn’t been very good lately…I had no idea it could be related. Awesome post!
Hi Carolyn, I think the lockdown has been awful for many of us. Several of my friends are experiencing the same lockdown side effects. I hope it will be over soon so we can get back on track. Hang in there!
I love your perspective here to celebrate non scale victories during lifestyle change. It’s so easy to get caught up with the scale and to miss the bigger picture, improving your health and quality of life.
Hi Kimberlie, yes, we sometimes forget that improving our health is the most important thing. Unfortunately, vanity trumps health for far too many of us.
These are absolutely necessary! My non-scale victories include my clothes fitting better which made me happier! Great job, I know losing the weight was not easy.
Thanks and congratulations on your weight loss. I actually like wearing some of my looser tops and dresses. It’s a huge confidence boost!
Wow, that’s incredible! Seriously, congratulations! The weight loss and such beneficial improvements in your quality of life.
H Nadalie, Thank you very much! Much appreciated!
I don’t weigh myself because it’s too hard on my mental health but I agree with all of this, I definitely see all the benefits now even only after a month
Hi Mimi, I know how unkind the scale can be. It’s great that we are seeing changes after a short period of time.
These are pretty awesome. I’m always happy when I have more energy.
It’s encouraging to hear that you have seen so much improvement with your weight loss. I need to stop making excuses and make changes.
Thank you very much, Heather! If I can do it so can you! You got this!
The scale is my enemy…I always get so frustrated. I finally hid it, I’m focusing more on the other victories that come with being healthier and more active!
I know how you feel. Focus on health and fitness and the rest will fall into place. Good luck!
This is AWESOME! You’re so right, there are way more benefits to exercise and health beyond the number on the scale.
Hi Tabitha, Yes! And we need to celebrate these non-scale victories!