Friday, September 7, 2018

Health, Diet, & Fitness ~ Results & Successes, More Than the Number on the Scale

Did you know, fat and muscle weigh the same?  One pound of fat or a pound of muscle, either way it is a pound.  However, they don't look the same in your body.

So you may loose weight for awhile, but hit a plateau.  During that time, you may begin toning up in areas.  So, while you may not be loosing pounds, but you are loosing inches.  Sometimes they happen at the same time, loosing pounds and loosing inches.  But sometimes, it is only one of them.

Some of it depends on what your workout routine is.  Is it just cardio or HIIT?  Is there only toning?  Do you mix both?

Do you remember to warm up and to stretch?  Include a variety in your week?

It also changes based on how, when, what you eat and drink.

When you are making changes in your health and diet, you have to remember this...successes are not all scale victories.  Successes go beyond the number on the scale.

While sure, it is nice to see that number go down.  It can be equally as frustrating, stressful if that number doesn't go down or even goes up.  Our bodies fluctuate so much from day that just based off what we eat and drink.

The results you are seeking may not occur overnight.  They may take time, longer than you may hope for.  But staying persistent, changing things up when needed.  Are there going to be things that trip you up along the way?  Most definitely.  If change was easy, we wouldn't dig our heels in so much.

When you start this journey I encourage you to find a way to keep track, like written track of your results. 

When I started this journey I got a simple spiral notebook.  I would record my results daily at first, then weekly, then before and after a certain round of workout challenge, now it is not very often.  I would make sure to record my results at the same time during.

So here is what I would record:
  • Date
  • Weight
  • Measurements
    • Chest
    • Upper belly (just above the belly button)
    • Middle belly (at the belly button)
    • Under belly, but not hips (I had a saggy belly so I would measure under there)
    • Hips
    • Legs: Left and Right: Upper Thigh, Middle Thigh, Just above the knee, calf
    • Arms: Left and Right: Upper (almost near pit), Middle of Upper Arm, Just above elbow, and wrist (yes, you can loose inches in your wrists. I didn't know it until it happened to me)
  • Pictures
    • I did lots of different views, both with arms up and at my sides
      • Face the camera, Left Side, Right Side, and Back
I will admit, I hated taking pictures.  Still kind of do.  But when I didn't see scale differences, I saw differences in pictures.

The thing I found was that the more areas I documented on, the more I could see differences, even if only very small.

Now, at this point, I haven't recorded much lately or done pictures.  I have come to a point where I am okay with where I am at and know where I want to head.  So every now and then I take a look at measurements and take pictures. 

However, I have been stepping on the scale daily for about 2 months.  I go in spurts where I use it daily and then I put it away in the closet for awhile. I have mixed feelings about the scale and whether or not to step on it daily.  I have heard it keeps you more accountable if you step on it at the same time daily.  But for me, I, in the past, would get a little obsessive over the number shown.  I hate to admit that, but it is true.  I would get too focused on it and then when changes wouldn't happen it affected me negatively, thus adding in more stress.

The only reason I have been using it again lately is because I am seeing where things are leading now that I am off birth control.  I have been watching more closely to see if not only my weight would begin to go down again, but also make sure my blood pressure returned to my normal.  Because all is well in both areas, I am going to go back to using it less.  Just for check ins as I get close to my mini goals to see where I am at.

Before we get in too much farther and talk about results and successes, take a moment to set some goals.  I know, you may not be a goal oriented person.  But setting a few overall goals will help guide you and keep you going.  Then, take each goal you write and break it down in to a mini goal or several mini goals depending on how far out your end goal is.  Be realistic and set intentions.  This will help guide you as you move forward, but also get you over those hard spots or plateaus.  Use the mini goals as check in points along your journey.  Also, be okay with adjust them as you go along.

Now, for the results, the successes.  There will hopefully be many along this journey.  And remember, they are not all just about the number on the scale. I will share where I have seen results and successes.

For me I have seen results in:
  • inches lost and weight loss
  • improved gut health and regularity
  • clothing size changes ~ be careful with this though. I am not sure if it is the same for men's clothing as it is women's. but I have found much discrepancy over time in sizing.  One store I may be one size, but a whole different one in another store.  Or even within the same store and same article of clothing. And it depends on the piece of clothing.  I have stuff that is XS, but still big on me, but other stuff is a size medium.  Shirts too, mostly medium, but some small or large.  Tank tops are so varying as well.  Add in skirts or dresses.  I can confidently say I am down in sizes for clothing.  But I can't give an accurate size number.
  • the look and feel of my skin
  • focus ability and energy
  • sleep length and quality
  • strength and flexibility, as well as posture
I am sure I have missed some others that you may have seen in yourself.  Share your results and areas of successes below. 

When you reach a goal, even if it takes longer than anticipated, treat yourself to a reward if you want to.  You can set up reward ideas for each goal if you choose.  It gives you motivation to keep you going.

I hope you take the time to look beyond the number on the scale.  There are, more often than not, other good results to be seen on this journey.  Sometimes you just have to look for them or be open to them.

*Photo credit: found on google search from LiveHealthy Blog

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