Since I started this journey in October, I have lost a total of 40 pounds – it’s crazy! But I started thinking about everything that amazes me that has nothing to do with the scale. Yes, I am buying smaller clothes, yes I am no longer medically overweight, but what about the little things that aren’t as tangible as the number on the scale or the label on my clothes? So here are a few things I consider non scale victories – ways that my body is changing, accomplishments I have made that are not reflected by the number on the scale.
I have always had this crazy need to participate in 5k’s, 10k’s and half marathons. It’s crazy because I actually hate running, but I think I like competing against myself. I can look at my time from a previous race, and compare it to the one I just finished. In January, I did the Star Wars Rebel Challenge at Disneyland – a 10k on Saturday, and a half marathon on Sunday. My crazy trainer told me she wanted me to take 15 minutes off of my half marathon time. My last half had been in August and I finished in 3:38 – a personal record for me, I thought there was no possible way to knock 15 minutes off of that time, I figured I would just try and beat my last time and go from there. When I got to mile 9 and looked at my watch, I realized that if I pushed myself, I COULD DO IT! Those last few miles were tough, not gonna lie, but I did it! I crossed that finish line at exactly 3:23 – PR for me and challenge accepted and beat! Since January, I have done two 5k’s and one 10k, with a time of 13 per mile on all of them. I have another 10k coming up in April, hoping to get a 12:45 average on that one, and my personal goal for my next half marathon is 3:18, trying to take 5 minutes off of each one from here on out, and to maintain at least a 13 minute mile on 5 and 10k’s. Yes, I realize 13 minutes per mile is not fast, but for me, it’s huge!
Another non scale victory that I love is the feeling at the end of a workout. When I first started at the gym I literally cried in my car on the way home. I was done, could barely walk, and was drained both physically and emotionally at the end of a workout. With time, it got better. I have gotten stronger, my endurance is better and now rather than feeling exhausted at the end of a workout, I feel strong, powerful and ready to take on the world! Each time I lift a heavier weight, every time that push up on my toes gets a little closer to being right, every time I complain about burpees just because I can – not because they really suck – I know that I am becoming physically stronger, and that cannot be judged by a scale.
The victories go past the gym too. A full day of walking around San Francisco or Disneyland is not the exhausting thing it used to be. I take the stairs now whenever I can and don’t feel winded when I get to the top. Being able to have the stamina now to go on an adventure without being exhausted by noon is great – Dear Husband, be prepared, we are going back to the Pt. Reyes lighthouse, those 308 stairs are not going to kill me this time!
A happy (pun intended) by-product of this journey is also my overall attitude. I am happier, I usually feel more confident (more on that in a future post), I have more energy overall, I sleep better and in general I am in a much better state of mind than I was before committing myself to this. None of these can be measured by stepping on a scale.
While I have been fortunate with the scale, there are still those weeks where it doesn’t reflect what I think I have done. That’s when I have to take a step back and evaluate all of the small victories that the number on the scale can’t show. Your physical health is so much more than a number on the scale, as is your mental health! And in many ways, these are just as important, if not more important, than a number.