I think it’s finally safe to say that spring has officially sprung here in New Hampshire, with highs of 80 degrees yesterday and today! With all of this warm weather and sunshine, I am feeling even more optimistic and joyful lately. I am definitely one of those people who gets depressed in the winter time and happy during summer, so I’m glad that we’re finally seeing nice spring temperatures!
With that joyful mood in mind, I thought I would talk about being positive during my weight loss journey and finding joy in the non-scale victories. I mentioned this briefly during my post on things that I’ve learned during my weight loss journey, but I think it’s important enough to talk about in its own post.
Any time that I have tried to lose weight, I have always focused way too much of my attention on seeing the scale change and wondering how quickly I’ll be able to drop the weight. Unfortunately, there is such a strong emphasis on being thin and perfect in our society. When you are trying to become healthier, it is so easy to become discouraged when you are only concerned with seeing the number on the scale change.
While it’s great to have weight goals and work toward losing the pounds, I think it’s also important to recognize the amazing changes that happen along the way, even when those changes aren’t necessarily changes in weight.
Before I became serious about becoming healthier, I was tired all of the time and felt like I was lugging so much extra weight around. Seriously, it felt like someone had tied heavy weights on all of my limbs and I just felt weighed down by everything. My back was always sore, and I got tired just from walking around. In the past, I made a point of working out regularly, but at that point, I didn’t feel motivated to do anything.
Since becoming healthier, I just feel lighter. I feel lighter both physically and mentally. I have much more energy and feel more eager to be productive and get things done. Obviously there are the normal aches and pains at times as I continue to increase the intensity of my workouts, but overall, my back pain has almost completely disappeared.
I used to be skeptical of people who said that working out made them feel better, and that they actually enjoyed cardio, but I completely agree with that now. In fact, a lot of the time, I use working out as a stress reliever. It is so amazing to be able to look forward to getting exercise instead of dreading it. It is a great non-scale victory to be able to finally be excited about working out, especially since I know that it is something I need to do in order to remain healthy. It’s so important to me to be able to enjoy every aspect of my life, so I am grateful that I’ve been able to find joy in fitness.
Here’s another fantastic benefit of becoming healthier that doesn’t show up on the scale: being able to get stronger physically and increase endurance. When I began my running program, I was pleasantly surprised that I found it was easier to run than times I had tried running in the past. Every time I work out, I still can’t believe that I am able to push myself through it.
My lungs haven’t gotten as tired, and so far, I have been able to complete every workout in my running program without stopping in the middle. For me, it’s almost more important to see that change than any change in numbers on the scale. I never thought that I would be able to even come close to being a runner ever in my life, and it’s so encouraging for me to think that I actually have the strength to do it now.
I may not be the ideal weight that I would like to be yet, but I am able to clearly see how my hard work is paying off, simply because I feel my body growing stronger and stronger every day. I know the weight will come off eventually, but the things I am learning and the ways I am improving my fitness make it all worth it no matter what happens.
Finally, the last non-scale victory that I have gained is being able to eat healthy and actually enjoy it. Truthfully, I liked eating vegetables even before I started focusing on my health, but since half my plate consists of vegetables now for lunch and dinner, I have had to learn to really like them. I’ve had to try out new vegetables that I didn’t think I’d like, and now I actually enjoy trying new foods and coming up with different combinations.
Along with getting used to lots of vegetables, I’ve also had to give up my love of carbs and sweets. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to find frozen greek yogurt that satisfies my sweet tooth and low-carb options that I can turn to in place of white bread, but over the course of the few months that I’ve been on this journey, I’ve also realized that these foods don’t control me. Of course there are times like birthdays and other special occasions when I will indulge in that slice of cake or go for that bowl of full-fat ice cream, but I know that I can do that and not fall back into that vicious cycle of eating unhealthy foods all the time. Eating healthy has become my new normal, and that is so exciting for me.
I feel happier, I’m stronger, and I now love eating healthy. These are all benefits of being healthier that I have gained, and they are so much more important than how much weight I’ve lost. I’m excited to find out what else I’ll be able to learn along the way on this journey.
Are there any non-scale victories you’ve experienced on your own journeys? I’d love to hear about them!