Since I joined WW in October 2019, I’ve learned a number of valuable skills that have helped me get healthy. One of them is to look for non-scale victories. This has helped me in dropping weight, and it has many other applications in life.
With most weight-loss programs I’ve been on, the focus was exclusively on weight. Every week, you are hauled before the scale to face judgement. And the number that appeared offered either effuse praise or ridicule. “Oh, you only lost a half a pound? You must not be trying very hard. Look at Julia. She lost four pounds last week. We should all be more like Julia.”
There are plenty of problems with this approach. The first is the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. You may have done everything right during the week. You watched what you ate and exercised. You just happened to retain a little extra water at weigh-in, or the increase in lean muscle weight through exercise offset the decrease in fat. The worst part is that it can instill an unhealthy view of weight that can lead to eating disorders.
Important: If you or someone you know is suffering from eating disorders, seek professional help. If this is a life-threatening medical emergency, call your emergency service number (9-1-1 in the United States) immediately.
This is why looking at non-scale victories is important. You can identify progress that doesn’t show up on the scale.
My most recent non-scale victory is increasing my exercise. Since I started working at home, it’s not easy to find time to exercise. The gyms are closed, and there is always something that comes up that keeps me from walking outside. I recently bought a Cubii elipical machine. It sits under my desk, and I can use it while I’m working. I record my workouts on the Cubii app and sync them with my Apple Watch. Every day, I can close my green exercise activity ring. If I complete seven days of closing all my rings, I get a badge on my watch. Now, my day doesn’t feel complete if I haven’t used my Cubii and closed my exercise ring.
That’s the benefit of looking for non-scale victories. I focus on the activities, finding the ones I like, and making them a part of my life. The weight just comes off on its own. The scale is just one of many tools at my disposal. But if I focus solely on that number, I will give up if I don’t reach it and become complacent if I do. The real goal is to make a healthier lifestyle.
Looking for non-scale victories applies to many other areas of my life. In nearly six months, my next novel, The Remainders, will be released. There is plenty of work I have to do to prepare. I’ve been learning about virtual book launches, because in-person events will probably still not be a thing by September. I’ve also been exchanging blurbs with other authors. I’ve had the chance to read some exciting books that will come out later this year. There is no guarantee that The Remainders will make the New York Times bestseller list. The reward comes from creating and promoting the book—and connections I make along the way.
Look for the non-scale victories in your life. They will help you reach your goals by focusing on the activities that will help you achieve them—and enjoy the process along the way.