As someone who didn’t grow up with a scale in her home (thanks, Mom!)I had to learn other ways to celebrate my achievements in fitness and with my physique. As a youngster, that meant comparing my body to someone else’s – a very flawed system that left me more frustrated with my body and spinning my wheels in the gym.
Later, I wised up and focused solely on performance – how far I could run, how heavy the weights were, how much my technique improved. While this is a better way to measure and celebrate non-scale victories (NSV), it’s also flawed when used by itself. After all, improved performance in the gym is just one data point out of many that will inevitably lead you to the kind of physique and fitness level you desire.
Most women that come to me for training are aiming to get to a specific destination – fit into a pair of jeans, weigh a specific number, lose an exact number of pounds. What they fail to recognize is that getting from Point A to Point Z is loaded with several subtle wins worth celebrating, and that there are countless more data points that tell the full picture of how you’re progressing and how far you’ve come.
Non-scale Victories Worth Celebrating
My girls eventually end up learning to celebrate other wins beyond the scale and they include:
- I’ve attempted something new and followed through
- I stuck it out even when it was hard, uncomfortable, or sucked
- I stayed true to my word and did the thing I said I’d do regardless of motivation
- I’m developing a new habit and am on a good streak so far
- I didn’t crumble or give up when I missed that workout or forgot to hit that particular go; I picked myself up and tried again.
- I improved a specific movement pattern, exercise, or lift. It feels easier/more natural now.
- I set a personal record
- My physique is looking tighter, leaner, and/or more defined.
- My clothes fit better.
- My energy has significantly improved and I’m sleeping better at night.
- I’m making better choices throughout the day (with food, drinks, or general activity level).
- I’ve been consistent [insert how many days, weeks or months].
- I’m feeling more rejuvenated.
- I feel more confident hitting the weights [or insert another lift or activity].
- My daily activities don’t wear me down so much. I can keep up with my friends/dogs/kids].
When you start to move away from obsessing about what the scale says or how you look or perform compared to another person, you can witness your incremental improvements. My client Emily is a great example of someone who moved away from body comparison/scale victories and into performance-based, NSV victories.
Her mindset completely changed while we trained together and now she celebrates herself for prioritizing nutrition, getting her workouts in, PR’ing her lifts, building muscle, and feeling confident to take pictures in a bikini.
Find a few NSV to celebrate this week. Write them down, put it on a post-it note, or pour yourself a glass of your favorite wine and acknowledge yourself for a job well done!
Over to you: What NSV wins have you achieved lately?