Does this scenario sound familiar? You start a fitness and nutrition program, make significant progress, feel your energy return as your life begins to get on track.
Day after day your happiness grows with each smart choice made, and you feel like you are coming back to life…until you step on a scale and all the positive changes instantly disappear at the sight of a simple number.
That number doesn’t mean much, it’s just your relative relationship to gravity, it’s not tattooed to your forehead, and nobody knows it but you (and maybe your doctor) and it certainly doesn’t indicate what is going on INSIDE of your body, but it derails you just the same.
Perhaps the number didn’t move at all despite lots of hard work, or maybe it didn’t change as much as you would like, regardless it throws you off your new game, and you decide to quit.
As a coach, I don’t even have scales in my programs because it is that powerful of a distraction from the big picture and it won’t tell you how successful your new lifestyle has already become.
The next time you want to jump on the scale think twice and instead focus on these 11 indicators of health and overall wellness that are far more telling of where you are going!
11 – Face
Typically, people lean out from the face down, that means one of the first places you might notice fat loss is in your face. More importantly, when your health starts to improve your face is full of proof of the internal healing that is taking place.
Your eyes may start looking more clear and bright, your skin might become less broken out and dull, and your smile often gets bigger as you start coming back to life.
10 – Better Sleep
It seems like our culture is plagued with sleep issues and the local pharmacy has many pills you can take to alleviate the problem. Many sleep supplements are highly addictive, and the worst part is they are nothing more than a Band-Aid, never getting at the root of the problem.
Sleep issues are often associated with stress, poor health, lack of physical activity. By moving your body more frequently and paying closer attention to your nutrition, you start to put your body in a more natural cycle that promotes better sleep.
9 – Shoulders
I’ve trained thousands of people over the years, and when I examine their before and during photos (typically we do pictures once a month), one of the very first things I notice is that they start to stand taller and their shoulders are back as they begin to hold their head high. Not only is this aesthetically more desirable, but it’s also good news for your posture as well.
When you stand up straight and tall, you improve your back health and even start to engage your core, even when standing still. By engaging your core and using good posture, you develop your overall strength and ward off future back injuries.
8 – Energy
You may not see significant movement on the scale, but you will start to see substantial gains in your life. Do you notice the improved energy? You should, because it is an excellent indicator of improved wellness.
Maybe you aren’t as tired mid-day, or perhaps you can wake up without an alarm, full of life and ready to go. Energy is one of the most significant and most rewarding benefits of living a fit life. Start a journal where you track your energy levels, the life you gain should be motivation enough.
7 – Happiness
When you take control of your life via health and fitness, it pays dividends in every other facet of your life. You will start to smile bigger, have increased confidence, live bigger and generally get more out of living each day.
Many times fit people experience more success in life because they are less likely to be derailed and have a dedicated determination that flows into all aspects of life.
6 – Cravings
I love it when clients tell me they don’t have cravings any longer. As you improve your diet, your taste buds start to return to normal, and suddenly you aren’t as hungry all the time.
Have you ever noticed how babies eat? They tend to be hungry every few hours, eating only enough to satiate their needs and they always seem to know when they are hungry and they are full.
Babies have it right, they listen to their internal clock, and they know when they are hungry and they are full. When you feed your body at a cellular level your body thanks you by allowing you to reset that internal clock and learn to know when you are hungry.
5 – Strength (Inner and Outer)
Deep down inside us burns a fire for life. Sometimes that fire dims because life gets difficult and we lose track of our strength to live our best life.
When you take the time to exercise I believe you fan your inner fire and connect with your best self. The power that comes from making the best choices in life ends up benefiting your entire being.
4 – Reduced Inflammation
Inflammation in the body can destroy your health, not to mention make you look and feel sluggish and bulky. Disease thrives on inflammation, so it’s important to eat healthy not just for your physical appearance but your internal health as well.
As you change your diet and eat more whole foods based lifestyle, often inflammation will be significantly reduced.
We are often inflamed because of our toxic food choices that included fast food, chemical filled highly processed food and eating far too much-processed sugar and not enough natural sugar in the form of fruit.
You may also start to discover the foods that you are intolerant to, many of us have intolerances that add to our inflammation, as you clean up your diet; these foods will be easy to recognize with indicators like achy joints, headaches, and even mood swings.
3 – Photos
It drives me crazy when clients rely on a scale to see their progress and when the number doesn’t move the way they want fast enough, most get down on themselves and quit.
What they don’t understand is that major changes are already at work in their body including composition changes. As you start to work out and eat healthy your body is hard at work shedding fat and building muscle.
During this process, you may see little no scale movement because muscle and fat weigh the same amount. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat both weight just a pound, but muscle is much smaller and compact than bulky fat. Take the photos and see real changes!!!
2 – Measurements
See above comments for photos and reapply most points here. The critical thing to remember is that as you lean you notice big changes in the numbers on your tap measurer long before the numbers on the scale. This is the real win!
1 – Anxiety, Depression, Inner Motivation
For the most part, I work with people to help them use fitness as their greatest tool against anxiety, grief, and depression, and I’ve used it personally in my own life after the death of my late husband in 2009.
Fitness won’t cure your emotional issues, but it sure will empower and strengthen you for the difficult days. The rush of endorphins are powerful and can bring peace at times in our life when we desperately need harmony, balance, and peace of mind.
Fitness is a lifelong journey, not a destination. Arriving at a number or a size won’t guarantee your success, you will have to continue to strive, work, and make choices to live a fit life for good.
Placing your focus on what matters, like choosing to make your entire life bigger, may finally give you the inspiration to succeed for good.
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