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 Kari 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 Sweatmood, 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.