15 non-scale ways to measure your health successes
Do you find that a scale determines your successes?
When I was full-on in my obsessive dieting mode, the scale was the be-all end-all measure for my success. And sadly, it also determined whether or not I felt like I was a big ole failure too. It didn’t matter if I busted my tush off that week exercising and restricting my calories to the point of light headedness. If the scale said I maintained or (gasp!) even gained, then I clearly messed up somehow and it was up to me to work even harder. Can you imagine the power I gave to that little square box on my floor?
The scale stripped away my own sense of efficacy and trust I had from within. And the scale only tells us a 1-dimensional story. Does it know of muscle mass gained or lost? Does it know when you’re PMSing and bloating? Does it know if you had a salty meal the night before and are holding on to water? Does it know if you’ve had a medication change which is temporarily having you hold on to more weight?
Of course not!
Only I know what kind of week I had or didn’t have. Only I can fill in the blanks that made up the tapestry of my week and tell the 3 dimensional story.
Why did I need a scale to validate that for me? I’m guessing if you’re reading this article, maybe this resonates for you as well. Since ditching the scale 2 years ago, turning inward and learning to trust, accept and communicate with my body better, I have a much more expansive approach to “success.” I put success in quotes because really, isn’t it such a subjective term? I now use a multi-faceted and intuitive approach to whether or not I’m on my path of wellness self-care. I invite you to do the same. Because, when we’re only relying on 1 or 2 measures like BMI and the scale it is a disservice to you and lends itself to judgement, frustration, feelings of failure and recidivism versus a path of sustainability, freedom and trust. I created this interactive daily health checklist that will help you focus on the 15 other holistic health and wellness metrics to help you to determine if you are on your path and meeting your goals. Just click this link to grab the checklist and start tracking daily.
So, here are 15 questions to ask yourself to see if you are doing well with your health goals this week: Which would you add?
- Am I getting enough hours and quality of sleep? Do I have healthy sleep hygiene rituals in place?
2. How do my clothes feel on me? Am I comfortable?
3. How is my energy levels? Am I getting through my day and thriving?
4. Am I feeling lucid, productive and industrious?
5. How’s my connectedness factor? Am I making time for friendships and community?
6. Am I creating balance in my week to leave time for family, hobbies, nourishment as well as work?
7. Am I drinking enough water and staying hydrated?
8. How is my veggie and fruit intake coming along? Should I be adding in more raw or cooked veggies and fruits to give me fiber, nutrition and energy?
9. What was my movement and exercise like this week? Did I bring a sense of flow and joy to it or was I pushing and forcing myself to do it?
10. What stress reduction techniques did I implement?
11. Did I allow myself pleasure, rest and relaxation?
12. Did I practice mindfulness and/or meditation in some form every day?
13. Did I eat foods that nourish my body and give me a sense of balance?
14. Did I eat slowly and savor the choices I made?
15. Did I stay engaged and in action no matter the emotions I was experiencing?
Combined together, I am looking at a picture of holistic health and wellness and not some arbitrary number on a scale which tells me nothing about all of these other important facets of our lives.
Next time you’re noticing you’re spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about the scale, feeling angry, sad or frustrated at what seems to be the scale not validating your hard work and efforts then allow yourself to take a scale hiatus and sample some of these other metrics instead. If you’re tentative about this exercise, try it just for a week or 2.
Report back and let me know what you experience!