January 19, 2017

Losing weight by its very nature means that you’ll regularly be checking the scales, but that’s not the only – or even the best – way to assess your progress. More important are the Non-Scale Victories: those things that are great achievements in themselves and which can be a true marker of progress and improved health.

Consider non-scale victories that relate to health and medical issues. Doctors are often pleased (and a little surprised?) when dietary changes bring improvements such as reduced (or eliminated) medications, better sleep, reduced asthma or eczema or reflux, fewer (or no) headaches, improved mood, and decreased pain and inflammation so joints and overall comfort improve.

“General wellbeing” is a little vague when looking at non-scale victories, but for those accustomed to bloating, low energy, or frequent hunger and regular cravings will appreciate improvements in these areas. Sometimes they don’t even notice these improvements as they are gradual, and it’s not until they think about a specific condition that they realise “Hey, I haven’t had that for ages!”

Letitia, one of our Slimmer of the Year finalists, said that before losing weight, “My beautiful eyes: I couldn’t see them.”

Workplaces may also notice changes: Thinking clearly, especially mid-afternoon when the fog that afflicts many people is no longer present, is a bonus not just for you but for your workmates and for the business.

Day-to-day non-scale victories might include the disappearance of hunger and cravings as you nourish your body rather than just feeding it. You may find that you’ll puff less and have more energy for daily activities – making you more inclined to engage in some exercise.

Non-scale victories can also be aesthetic. Clothing fits differently as size drops. Fingernails grow stronger, skin improves, acne disappears.

Then there are the amazing non-scale victories that occur out-of-the-blue. You might see someone after a long absence and they don’t initially recognise you. The surprise on their face when they realise who you are is priceless. What about when someone tells you how well you look, or that you’re glowing or have a spring in your step?

Many of these victories happen even if the scale doesn’t seem to be moving, or is not moving quickly enough. Therefore, it’s essential to broaden your concept of success as it comes in many forms.

The number on the scale tells a story, but it tells only part of the story. Focus on the non-scale victories, and the scale might just start doing what you want!