I don’t know about you but weight loss is full of ups and downs. There are days where I feel like I can take on the world, and there are days where I feel like I’m just as heavy as always and I want to drown my sorrows in cupcake frosting. Both types of days are entirely normal and I am slowly learning to relish in the good, strong, powerful days and to look for small victories in the harder days.
That being said it isn’t always easy to see the changes around you when you have a lot of weight still to lose, especially if the scale isn’t moving or is moving SLLLLLOOOOOWWWWWLLLLLY. Or maybe you are like me and you try to weigh in only once a week and need motivation throughout the week. That is where the non-scale victory (NSV) comes in. Acknowledging non-scale victories are vital for lifting your spirits and sustaining you on your way to your goals.
The way I see it there are two main types of NSV. I call them The Willpower NSV and The “That’s New” NSV
The Willpower NSV
This type of non-scale victory relies on you noticing when you are rising above something that might have previously been an obstacle. You use your strength and determination to make a different choice from the one you might have made before. This could include not eating your fries, working out when you really don’t want to, avoiding the dangerous buffet, or even managing to eat the buffet in moderation. Anything that is a temptation for you is an opportunity for a NSV. And as I find, the more of these types of NSVs you have, the easier it is to make more good choices. Strength and willpower multiply exponentially. When you are staying strong on Monday it is easier to stay strong on Tuesday. If you make some not-great choices on Monday it might be harder to make good choices on Tuesday. This NSV has cumulative powers to keep you on track.
The “That’s New” NSV
These are victories that are new to you, or at least things you haven’t seen or been able to do for a while. Again these are dependent on you, but most of the time you suddenly become aware of them and it is a shock to you. Just when you think no progress is being made you might find a pair of jeans looser, or the coat fitting better, or the car seat being more comfortable. You might find your endurance has gone up at the gym, or you can run longer distances, or lift heavier weights. Or maybe it is realizing that the salad you had for lunch really hit the spot, or that you aren’t craving diet coke today. These NSV are glimmers of progress that also keep us going. They are tangible examples of our ability to make change in our life, even if we don’t always see it on the scale. You can seek these out by measuring yourself or trying on new clothes in different sizes, but most of the time these will sneak up on you and you will suddenly find yourself smiling with the knowledge of something accomplished.
Because I am trying to be hyper-vigilant about my determination waning, I am trying to make note of my own NSV as they happen. I will often tweet them or celebrate them with my friends or Mr. Goat. They almost mean more than the scale because they are reminders that I am stronger than I think and that change can happen. Knowing those two things are great motivation for me. If it is true yesterday then it is true today whether or not I’m feeling stressed or fat or sad or tired.
I’m writing this because tonight I was sitting on the couch and realized that my leg was tucked under me in such a way that I could have painted my own toenails. Now home pedicures are always awkward processes but this simple fact was enough to remind me today that I am making serious lasting changes in my life. Now I just need to find some nail polish and get them painted! (What color should I get?) Watch for those NSVs my friends, they can make days brighter and tomorrow easier.
What is one NSV that you’ve had this week?