Other Ways To Measure Progress- Besides The Scale

10 Aug

“But, I’ve been working so hard and haven’t made any progress!”  “Why am I gaining weight if I’m eating healthier and working out?” “Is this even worth it or working?”  It can be incredibly frustrating when you feel like you’re putting so much time/effort into something and the scale just isn’t budging. Since I revealed my weight earlier this week and discussed how we often label ourselves based on “our number”, I’ve been thinking a lot about other ways we can measure and track our progress besides the scale.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the amount of effort you put in equaled the results you saw? It might not be equal, but there is definitely some level of correlation between your effort and your progress towards becoming a healthier person. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways you can track this progress besides the number on the scale—which we all know is affected by so many things.

Tape Measure

Tape Measure for tracking body measurements. Lose those inches! (Photo credit: incurable_hippie)

Here are a few of my favorite ways to see success:

  • Measurements: Every month, I take my body measurements and track them on a website (but even an excel spreadsheet would work). It’s so nice to see those inches coming off even if my scale tells me otherwise. I use a vinyl measuring tape for this and it works perfectly.
  • Clothes: Dig into that closet! Are your clothes fitting better? Are they literally falling off of you?
  • Photos: Many people take pictures regularly (in the same outfit, location, pose, etc.) and compare them side by side. This is a great way to really see the changes in your body.  Every month or would work for this, you won’t see much/any change from one day to the next but over stretches of time you can definitely see a difference.
  • Energy & Emotions: Is your energy level higher? Are you generally feeling happier and better about yourself? This is a highly underrated way to track your progress in my opinion.  If you’re feeling better—isn’t that so much of what this journey is all about?
  • Workouts: Your fitness milestones are another way to track how you’re doing. Are you running faster or further? Are you getting stronger? Are you able to do that workout with more intensity? This all speaks to your improved fitness level—stamina, strength, cardiovascular health, etc.
  • Other Indicators: BMI, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, etc.: If you’re numbers driven, another great way to see how you’re doing is by regularly monitoring other parts of your health like blood pressure and cholesterol. Work with your doctor to determine how often you should be testing these.  They might be able to help you with goal setting and any other health measurements you might want to monitor—like for me; my A1C measurement is a huge indicator of my progress.

Do you track your progress using any of the above methods? Are there any others you use that I might have missed? I’d love to hear them!

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4 Responses to “Other Ways To Measure Progress- Besides The Scale”

  1. Meagan August 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    This was totally needed after this week 🙂

  2. KaraLoraine August 12, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    I am definitely a measurements and clothes girl. My work pants are falling off of me now! I will be going through my entire wardrobe soon to see what doesn’t fit anymore — what needs to be altered versus what needs to be donated/passed down. Pictures also speak volumes though. I know seeing my last progress pics made a HUGE difference for me!

    • SweetAccountability August 18, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

      Congrats on your success, that’s fantastic! I guess you’ll be shopping soon 🙂

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