Measuring Progress BEYOND the Scale
So, you are just about to finish up your first month of your new exercise program. YAY! You’re excited, feeling hopeful, and eager to see how far you’ve come in the first month. Hypothetically, let’s say you jump on the scale and it hasn’t moved…
Now, thanks to a lot of the social pressures we as women often experience, you might immediately feel as though you’ve just failed—You didn’t work hard enough, you didn’t eat well enough, etc.
This is something that is soooo common with new clients. This is also something that totally breaks my heart. How can a grouping of numbers have such a strong affect on us?
Here’s the thing. Progress goes far beyond the scale. Especially when you’re making this a lifestyle.
It’s not JUST Fat loss.
At the end of this month, when you start really thinking about whether or not you’ve made progress, look at EVERYTHING.
-Are your clothes fitting any better?
-Is that lower back pain you were experiencing getting a little bit more manageable?
-Are you sleeping better?
-Did you meet or exceed your exercise goals that you may have set for yourself?
-Did you change your past routine to accommodate your new exercise program?
-Did you make changes in your nutrition?
-Are you feeling like you have more energy during the day?
-Did you take a little bit more time for yourself this month?
THESE ARE ALL SUCCESSES AND THIS IS ALL PROGRESS!!! This is what excites me so much more than anything else.
A brief clip from the LIVE training we had yesterday in the LMF Community! Celebrate EVERYTHING!
So here’s what I suggest about tracking your progress:
1. Don’t make the scale your number 1 tracking mechanism. Make it your 2nd, 3rd, or you can even just get rid of it. I know that’s a scary thought but like I said, progress is so much more than numbers on a scale when we’re looking at making sustainable changes in our lives.
2. IF you have body composition goals and are still feeling like you need some way of tracking physical progress, taking your actual measurements is much more accurate. My hope is however, for you to eventually eliminate the numbers game all together.
Then why do I even suggest this at all? Simply put, you may find that your inches will go down or that your shape will change dramatically, that may not be measured by the scale. This is because when you’re implementing muscle building into your fitness routine, muscle density is higher than fat but takes up less space. So five pounds of fat still weighs the same as 5 pounds of muscle, BUT fat will take up more space on a body than the muscle does.
3. Go by the “feel”. At this point in my life, I’m definitely in this category and this is where I hope all of my clients will eventually join me.
I really just want to go by how my clothes feel, how my energy is, my happiness, etc.
4. Write down monthly goals that you know you are capable of being able to achieve weekly or within four weeks. Then choose a few long term goals—6 month to 12 month timeframes. Make sure they’re SMART!
As in: Specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, timely.
Here are a few categories to think about when choosing your goals:
3. Self Care
Reassess every four weeks. Recalculate your goals and re-formulate as much as needed. Make sure you’re choosing goals that reflect everything going on in each month. For example, if you have a plan of working out 3-4 days a week next month, but you also have a business trip during one of those weeks, how can you plan for success during that time? As a tool for my clients, I've created a monthly goal tracking sheet that they can print out at the start of a new month and fill out. Something as simple as a piece of paper can make all the difference.
One of the major things we do in LMFC is figure out ways to make health and fitness work in our lives and create the sustainable lifestyle that works best for us personally. What is so important to remember, and what we talk about a lot in the LMF Community, is that really and truly, no one’s progress will ever look exactly the same. Everyone’s fitness journey is unique because they are unique.
So now that you’ve got yourself a bit more organized, the last step is to just put your head down and dig in. You can do this.
P.S. All LMF Guides and memberships are on sale until February 14th! If you’ve been on the fence about starting a new program, now is a great time to give it a shot!