Changing How I Measure Success
Sunday, April 10, 2016
I'm ending my life-long relationship with my bathroom scale. I no longer trust what it tells me, and most of my interactions with it leave me feeling lousy. I've come to the conclusion that weighing in is only one way, and maybe not the best way, to gauge the success of my efforts to get healthy. After all, I didn't start eating better and exercising because I felt heavy, I did this because I felt fat, my clothes didn't fit, and I felt lousy and exhausted all the time.
So now, instead of weighing in and feeling discouraged about how little change I see in my weight, I am looking for other ways to measure how I'm doing--and there are plenty:
When the scale has told me the pounds are still there, I've used a tape measure and been pleasantly surprised to see that I'm smaller even if I'm not much lighter.
I have succeeded in increasing my exercise. I may not manage it every day, but I keep doing it--sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. I'm definitely moving more and that is a measurable improvement.
Using the SP nutrition tracker helps me to see all the days I've eaten better than usual. I've stayed within a reasonable calorie range many more days than I would have without tracking. Seeing that makes me feel like I'm overcoming what has been an impossible struggle!
The nutrition tracker also helped me realize I've been habitually eating too little protein, so I've made a conscious effort to eat more each day. I didn't expect to feel much difference--to me it was just a number on my nutrition feedback report, but my energy has increased (and weirdly, my hair and nails have started growing faster).
Some other great changes: in the morning I wake up hungry for breakfast instead of feeling still full from after-dinner grazing the night before. I'm craving sugar and carbs less--yesterday I baked cookies for my son and his friends, but instead of eating a bunch of them, I lost my appetite for them after 1 and half cookies because I was craving "real food" instead.
So, even though the scale says not much has changed over the last two months, I have all these signs of success: My waist is smaller, I am building a more regular exercise habit, I am eating better many more days than before, I have more energy, I'm doing less night eating, and my food cravings are normalizing. Ha--take that, bathroom scale!