How do you measure results?

I read somewhere that only 8% of people accomplish their new year’s resolutions.  Wow, can you believe that – that means 92% fail and most of them do it within the first 3 weeks of the year.  Why is that?

Well, my theory is that we are such a results driven society that we want immediate results and when we don’t see them, we give up.  So what if your new year’s resolution is to lose weight or get in shape – what type of results should you be looking for?  The obvious one is the number on the scale.  This has been the medium by which we judge ourselves forever.  When you go on a diet, you weigh yourself and weigh yourself, sometimes every day to see if the diet is working.  When you start exercising for the first time, you weigh yourself to check and see if the exercises are working.  And although the scale can be a valuable tool, it is most certainly not the only tool you should use for determining results when it comes to diet and exercise.

As somebody who has struggled with my weight for a lot of my life, I know how frustrating it can be to “diet” and exercise and not see the scale move or worse yet, see it move the wrong direction.  Now that I have finally learned to get rid of the word “diet” from my vocabulary and change my lifestyle, I have also learned that there are so many other ways to measure my results.  And now as I try to help others lose weight and get in shape, it is so hard for me to hear people say, that they are disappointed in themselves because they only lost 1 pound this week or because they actually gained a pound or so this week.  So, today I want to focus on a few of the other ways to measure your results.  I believe that these results are far more important than some number on the scale.

  1. Measurements- before starting any exercise plan or change in your eating habits, you should take measurements.  Measure several key areas like your waist, hips, thighs, arms, calves.  I also measure my tummy above my waistline.  Keep a journal.  Write these down and re-measure every 30 days.
  2. How your clothes fit- you can usually tell if your favorite pair of jeans is getting tight or is a little looser than normal, so use this as a guide for how you are doing.  If your clothes are looser, but the scale is not moving, you are probably building lean muscle and burning fat.  You have probably heard the term, muscle weighs more than fat.  That is NOT true.  A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, but muscle is more DENSE than fat & takes up less space but that is all.
  3. Pictures- this is a hard one for a lot of people, but might be the best way to determine how much your body has changed.  Take pictures at the beginning of your process and every 30 days afterwards.  You don’t have to show these pictures to anybody or share them on Facebook, they are just for you to see.  Think about it, you see yourself every day and it is hard to see the small changes that are taking place, but if you have a picture that you can compare your 30 day progress with, you can normally see even the slightest improvements.
  4. How you feel-do you feel better than you did before you starting exercising and eating better?  If so, then keep doing it!

 

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