The bathroom scale, for some it's simply a tool
to be used as a barometer in determining how successful their weight
management efforts are. But for many, stepping on the scale strikes fear
into otherwise perfectly courageous human beings. For these people, a
weigh-in is not only stressful, but it can set the tone for their entire day
depending on the reading they receive.
It's easy to get wrapped up in the number on a
scale but it's very important to remember that it is, by no means, the gold
standard of measuring your health and fitness level. Let's take a look at
some other indicators that demonstrate you've been making progress.
Composition Test. Speaking of gold standard, this is truly one
of them when it comes to determining the fitness level of your body. A
body composition test will tell you how much fat versus lean body mass
(muscle) you have. It's a great idea to have yourself tested at the
beginning of your program and periodically thereafter,
say every six months to a year. Most gyms or a YMCA will administer
this simple test whether you're a member or not, at a reasonable fee.
measurements. If you don't want to do a body composition test,
take some time to jot down your measurements. Every few months
thereafter, measure yourself again and see if you've made some headway
in certain areas of your body. The measurements will not all change at
the same pace, but you might be pleasantly surprised to see that you've
lost an inch off of your waist and added a 1/4" to your biceps because
you've been doing some strength training.
in your closet. One of the best signs that your body is
changing is that your clothes will fit differently. Head to your closet
and let that previously snug pair of jeans show you just how far you've
and energy levels. As your healthy lifestyle starts taking
hold, you will notice that you're more energetic. You don't tire as
easily, your confidence level has increased and your general outlook on
life has improved dramatically.
Have you been able to reduce your medications for high blood pressure,
diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, depression or others? Positive
lifestyle changes have a dramatic effect on these types of ailments and
help reduce the need for medication.
activities. Do you find yourself performing some of your daily
activities with greater ease? It could be something as simple as being
able to comfortably tie your shoes, to being able to walk a few miles
because your knee joints have quit hurting.
frequency, duration or load. Being able to increase the number
of times you exercise each week, exercising for a longer period of time,
or needing to add weight to your bicep curl because it's gotten too easy
are all excellent signals that you've come a long way!
and consistent new habits. Are the positive changes that you've
made easier to do? On the occasions when you veer off your program, is
it getting easier to get back on track right away instead of turning
into a derailment that lasts for days? These are all signs that the
positive changes you've made are becoming habits.
some older photos of yourself against some recent ones. Are you seeing
some positive results in them?
We all enjoy a sincere complement. Have you been noticing more and more
of them coming your way?