PROGRESS ABOVE PERFECTION: HOW DO YOU MEASURE 'IT'?
At the beginning of time, i would have defined measure of progress undoubtedly as : 'the number on the scale is getting lower'.
Indeed, 'weight-loss' is measured by numbers but in my opinion it is more an 'indicator' of progress than a be-all-end-all definition of progress.
Numbers lie, kinda. As weight loss, like any fitness goal, takes time, with many variables which include time, efforts, slip ups, fuck-it moments, newbie gains, adaptations, personal circumstances, i have stopped defining my progress just by the number on the scale way back,
Reasons being, weights fluctuates over a week, hourly even.
Focusing on the numbers on the scale in my opinion creates:
- unhealthy attachment to the numbers, especially if they stay the same or increase
- expectations based on assumptions on how 'fast' or 'slow' we are meant to be making weight loss numerical progress
This 'data' can negatively spur us on to make more drastic and unhealthy food choices (i.e cutting food groups out, reduce calories too low making the body's metabolism panic into fight or flight mode, and in worst case scenario become the first step towards an eating disorder).
It can make us compare ourselves unkindly to others on a similar path;
Make us focus on the numbers in the immediate future not as an overall goal;
Start a negative cycle of despondency towards our nutrition and training programme.
We are impatient by nature, some more, some less. But we like to see and perceive 'change' as a fast process which unfortunately it isn't. Each body reacts differently, adapts differently, takes more or less time depending on individual, it is truly a 'bespoke journey', completely dependant on you.
Don't get me wrong, weighing yourself is not to be discarded as a method altogether at all.
But i'd encourage you to take it with a pinch of salt and don't feel too disheartened by lack of perceived progress from the numbers.
OTHER WAYS TO MEASURE PROGRESS, If you really have to?
TAKE PROGRESS PICTURES
Take a front, side and back picture of yourself at the beginning of your journey, then after two weeks, then two weeks after that. Compare the results. Pictures are brilliant to really show us how much we have changed without even realising or not being able to see it in the mirror ourselves.
MEASURE YOUR BUST, HIPS & WAIST
You can take more measurements for instance bicep, calf, neck thigh. Again every couple of weeks and see if there are any changes. Why is this more positive to me than the scale number?
Because i have learnt it on my skin that my weight may remain the same but my body measurements may be completely different.
How are you fitting in your favourite jeans? Feeling they are getting looser? Changed sizes altogether? Well that has to feel good. Here goes all the activewear shopping for your new milestone lol or it could be a new pretty dress, and for you gents a swanky fitted shirt for instance (#activewearaddict).
I find these more positive ways of measuring progress in a numerical and non- numerical sense.
- How is this making me feel? Am i feeling good about the change? Am i being realistic with my goal? Am i truly kind to myself (i am not saying slack off cos you are feeling a little low and entitled to a cheeky rest, i mean cut yourself some slack if there is no change and look at it from another angle i.e have i eaten enough, should i switch my routine up a bit)
Be accountable for progress but don't get too bog down by JUST the numbers.
To me progress is about feeling happier, healthier, smashing a pb on upper body weights, having drunk enough water throughout the day/week/month, getting all my steps in, having smiled every day adn also being realistic and recognising when maybe i haven't been fully honest with myself (ok, ok, i may have had a couple of crackers with the new Grenade hazel nutter lol).
Just note it, leave it behind and on to the next little progress. Every little helps.
OH, AND A PS.... AND THIS IS A BIG PS.......
NO NUMBER IS EVER A MEASURE OF YOUR WORTH EVER!!!
As always let me know what you think and how you are doing! Drop me a message or leave a comment on the blog xoxo
KEEP PROGRESSING XX