You step on the scale and once again you are stuck at the same weight. At this point, it has been a few weeks since your weight has even budged and you are kind of getting irritated. You are being diligent yet the stupid scale is telling you something different. You are contemplating if either the scale is broken and/or plotting against you or you are doing something very wrong.
All of these thoughts lead me to an important question, is that the only way to track your progress?
It happens all the time, people freak out about their weight because they believe that is the only way to determine if their efforts are paying off is by losing weight. While your weight is one way to determine if you are making improvements, it is not always the best way.
The two pictures of me below were taken three months apart. Can you tell in which photo I weighed less? The differences are minute and the photos do not show my whole body; however, there is about a ten pound difference between the two photos... TEN POUNDS!!
This is why it is so important to judge your growth in multiple ways:
Take progress pictures of yourself
The pictures can be uncomfortable to take at first. It is intimidating to know what your body actually looks like because you cannot avoid it like you do with a mirror. What if you take a picture and are unhappy with what you see? That alone should be motivation enough to work harder or rethink your plan of attack. Nevertheless, you’ll likely be amazed when you see noticeable differences in your aesthetics even if when weight won’t budge.
Check in with how you feel
Your progress can be significantly affected by the way you feel. Have you ever lost weight or inches but felt lethargic and unmotivated? Your body is designed to tell you when it needs extra support and if you ignore its warnings, you could be working against your end goals. Tune in and listen to the messages your body is sending you. If you are seeking to gain strength, you can gauge how you feel by how much weight or how many reps you are working with. Are you lifting as much as you could be? If no, why not? How do you feel during your workouts? Is it something that can be worked through or is it time to change your focus to meet your body’s demands?
Your success, like most things in life, should be assessed from multiple angles: a scale, changes in your aesthetics, and the way you feel. From now on, you cannot simply rely on one method because you could miss out on the chance to feel and look amazing at a higher weight. Your progress extends beyond the scale.