We live in a world of measurements. Specific and attainable goals. If your goals are financial, success might be measured by bank statements, how big your house is, your the kind of car you drive. If your goal is social status, success may be measured by how many lunches, dinners, and social outings you have or by your social circle of friends. What if I purpose to you the possibility that perhaps when it comes to physical health, we might be using the wrong measurement tool to determine our level of physical health? What if all too often we are experiencing successes in all areas, but we step on that scale and we are defeated?
INCHES. I am a big fan of full measurements as a tool of physical success. Riddle me this: Which is heavier: a pound of fat or a pound of muscle? The answer: They are both the same of course! However the pound of muscle is more dense and will take up less space, even if the weight doesn't change. So, while you are working hard sweating at the gym and watching what you eat, that fat IS disappearing. You are losing fat, but you are gaining muscle too.
HEALTH NUMBERS. I have in my family a risk of heart disease and diabetes. Because of this, I first started having regular blood work done before I was 30. I love this time each year to see where my levels line up, because it shows me the BIG PICTURE of my health. We tend to get uptight after we have that cheat meal or we fall off the wagon during vacation, but to see the overall picture once a year really affirms to me that I am on the right track! I posted some of my own recent results a few weeks ago... click here!
CLOTHES. How do those jeans fit? Do you have to squeeze into them, or do they slip on a little more comfortably? Are the bumps and lumps disappearing? YAY!!! Success looks good on you :D
WORKOUT IMPROVEMENTS. One of the greatest joys I get in my profession as a nutritionist and working out next to people in our gym is to see their real and tangible successes! Whether it is the first time someone does a push-up without modifications or the first time they swing the BEAST (106 pounds) or the first time they aren't too sore to move the next day... LOL! These are the real results we can hang on to each day. Easily measurable day to day to see a growth in progress.
TEST YOURSELF. While I am not a competitive person, I do feel it is vital to test our limits occasionally to know where we stand. Get out there and run a race ~ 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon. Challenge yourself with an obstacle course race like a Spartan Race. Enter into a weight lifting competition - I know of several Kettlebell Sport competitions around the country and it is always a good test of your abilities!
I have had conversations with many a person who are excited about how they feel, how their clothes fit, about their day to day results in the gym, only to be knocked off their feet when they don't see the number on the scale where they desire. Consider ALL the tools of measurement, and keep the scale in perspective!
~Girya Runner (Lisa Garon)
If you would like any follow up information on anything you have read here, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.