What is a Non-scale Victory?
It’s something that happens during your weight loss journey that isn’t represented by a number on the scale. We focus so much on hitting the next number on the scale, or telling ourselves, “If I could just get to 150lbs I’d feel amazing.” There is more to weight loss than the number on the scale. So many factors play into that magic number. You can’t just throw out a number and think that’s the number you have to reach to be happy and healthy.
So put away the scale and look at your journey, so far, from another perspective. Here are some non-scale victories (NSV) to keep you motivated when the numbers aren’t budging.
Going shopping and not having to stick to the Plus Size section. This was a huge one for me. I’ve never been a fan of shopping. I used to blame it on the idea that I just didn’t like “girly” things like shopping, but honestly it was because, in my mind, no matter what I tried on it never fit right or I felt uncomfortable. I hated having to stay on the Plus size side of every store. All the cute clothes were on the other side when I was in high school. Fast forward to today, and yes there is plenty of cute plus sized clothing, but I still never liked the way I looked or felt in any of it. My most noticeable NSV was being able to shop on the “other side”. Feels good to walk into a store and know you’ll be able to find your size or at least more variety in your size. Although you can’t see the entire dress, this was a big deal for me. I could not remember the last time I wore a dress. Not only did I wear this dress out in public, but I wore it to meet my boyfriends family for dinner. Feeling confident enough to wear a dress in public, that’s a NSV for sure!Amusement park rides and other small spaces. This is another big one for me. It’s no secret, I love Disney World. I enjoy all types of rides, most of all roller coasters. At my highest weight I was starting to feel uncomfortable while riding almost every attraction at Disney that required a harness. I have not been to Disney since losing the weight but I have gone to another amusement park and I was thrilled to sit comfortably in every ride. I was able to sit with my daughter and not feel awkward or embarrassed.
Stairs. Seems silly, but going up and down the stairs is now no longer a daunting task. At my heaviest just going up and down the stairs had me winded. I couldn’t believe I went from, in high school, being a multi-sport athlete to now not even being able to go up or down a flight of stairs without feeling like my lungs were going to collapse. Now I go up and down the stairs as much as I can. Remember, get those steps in!
Make-up. This topic relates to number 1 on the list. On the outside I always told people, I don’t like “girly” things like shopping, jewelry, or make-up. Total lie. I love clothes, I love shoes, and I have a new love for make-up. For years I watched girls on YouTube reviewing new lipstick, testing out foundation, and learning how to contour. I spent years watching these videos, going out and sometimes buying the products, but I would never wear them. Everyday things like foundation and a little mascara I was okay with, but that bright pink matte lipstick from Urban Decay… I would buy it, put it on at home, and immediately wipe it off. I had zero confidence to wear any of it, reason: I didn’t want people noticing me. I wasn’t happy with myself so I didn’t want people to have a reason to even notice me or look at me. As the weight started to come off I slowly started trying more and more make-up. Today I wear it often and I’m not afraid to wear the bright pink lipstick I wanted for YEARS. This isn’t about the make-up, really, it’s about confidence, but the fun I have trying new make-up and actually wearing it out is definitely a big non-scale victory. Current favorite lipstick is the color “Criminal” which is a matte lipstick by Urban Decay. This color works for everyday and going out. I buy mine at Ulta.
Victoria’s Secret. Don’t worry, no bra or underwear talk. I mean sure, who doesn’t love a good bra or cute pair of undies from VS? This NSV has to do with leggings, or as most of us call them yoga pants. I have an addiction to Yoga pants and/or workout pants. I’ve always loved them. Sadly, at my heaviest, I tried to avoid wearing anything other than black because that’s all that fit me. Plus size leggins and yoga pants are just not my thing. I’m sure there are girls out there who look great in them even when they are curvy, everyone’s body type and shape are different. For me, they did not look good or make me feel comfortable, so I stuck to boring, plain black pants and wore a baggy shirt or t-shirt to hide as much as possible. Now that I’m wearing a size Large, a whole new world of yoga pants is out there for me! I seriously have an addiction, and it’s mostly with VS/PINK brand leggings. I love everything about them, especially the high waist knock-out leggins. Not only are they awesome quality but they fit just right and they are super comfortable. They are always coming out with new patterns, colors, and matching sports bras. You can find them here. Today I’m wearing a pair similar to these, the mesh on mine is a different pattern, but essentially the same leggings. I’ll just come right out and say it, Sex. Some people are comfortable in their own skin no matter what size they are, and that’s amazing. I applaud you and am of course happy for you, but that’s not me. At my heaviest sex was the last thing on my mind. I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror most days, so how on earth would I ever allow someone else, even my husband at the time, to see me “like this.” I wish I were one of those women, over flowing with confidence, and showing it. Unfortunately, I’m not. Growing up I was very confident. I played sports, I was involved in lots of school activities, and had a boyfriend all through high school. Was I 100% happy with my body, no, but I don’t think anyone is. After high school is when that stopped. I went to college, gained weight, and it was down hill from there. I would go up and down on the scale but never attempted weight loss the healthy way. Long story short, once I was at my heaviest shortly after having my daughter, sex became something I dreaded. I felt horrible about my body and the way I looked. I couldn’t enjoy anything when I spent the entire time trying to hide all my flaws. I didn’t want anyone to see me the way I saw myself. Once the inches and pounds starting falling off my confidence was back. Obviously it wasn’t all at once, but slowly I started feeling like myself. The fun, and yes I mean that in a “in-bed” kind of way (let’s keep it PG) Lindsay came back out. I no longer felt unwanted and uncomfortable. For me this is a HUGE NSV. Insert Donald Trump here, YUGE!
Not having to hide every time someone gets out a camera. Let’s face it, cameras are everywhere. With social media, people post pictures daily, if not multiple times a day. Before, I would run and hide when it was picture time, or just avoid going out and being social at all. Again, I didn’t want to see myself, why would I want anyone else to? Every family vacation I was missing from all the trip photos, or I just wouldn’t post them for people to see. Now, I feel confident enough that I don’t run and hide. I’m still not at the point where I let just anyone tag me in a photo (thank you Facebook for creating the approval system on tagging and timelines) but I am less hard on myself. Looks are superficial but it feels good to be able to be social again.
Being active and having energy. At my highest weight the couch and I became soul mates. Now, you won’t catch me on the couch unless it’s after I’ve hit the gym, played with my daughter, and cleaned the entire house. I have so much more energy! Mornings before were slow going and dreadful, now I wake up happy and ready to take on the day. I used to dread household tasks, now I hit them hard. Cleaning, after all, burns calories. Running, biking, swimming, and being active with my daughter is the most rewarding. I used to make excuses to stay inside, now we get outside as much as possible. Do yourself a favor, cancel that cable and internet, and get your butt up. A little Netflix here and there is a must, but seeing the excitement on my kiddos face when we hit the gym together is a total NSV.
I know, most of these things aren’t that big of a deal. Lots of women go everyday wearing that size small jumper with their bright red lipstick, but if you ever been like me, then you know how important these non-scale victories are. Confidence is key to any weight loss journey. If you lack confidence, you lack the ability to hold yourself accountable. No one listens to the weak, unmotivated person, they listen to the strong, confident person. When the scale isn’t budging, step back and look at what you’ve gained so far. Even from day ONE you’ve gained something. Be confident in the fact that you took the leap to start your journey, and the fact that you indeed didn’t die of starvation and fatigue on day one.