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Surprise! A Healthier Me

Like so many others, my unhealthy habits and weight gain crept up on me.  After having a pretty dramatic surgery I found the scale heading north with increasingly larger numbers.  Call it medication

issues, call it comfort eating, call it lack of exercise… it’s all jumbled up into one complicated mess.

So now I’ve started to unravel that mess.  I have reached that tipping point where I get that my unhealthy habits are within my control – that the comfort I believed food brought me was an empty promise.  I have been eating healthy meals and have been building back to exercise slowly over the past month.  Small steps, but an important turning point in my mental approach to weight loss.

Here’s my issue – despite the positive habits I’ve not seen much movement save for an ounce or two on the scale.  I am confident I’m not the only person who has ever felt that frustration.  I just can’t seem to move the meter.

Intellectually I know there are a TON of reasons why this could be happening.  I talk about these reasons to CK members all the time.  My medication perhaps?  Retaining water? Not enough cardio (almost certainly in my case). Am I getting enough protein versus carbs?  I’m mentally ticking through the practical things I can do and making that plan makes me feel pretty darn good.

Walking Towards Goal

Image: Michael Nieman

Now it is time to work on that motivation.  With a plan in hand, it just takes the motivation to get up and do it.  Today I found that extra push I’ve been needing.  I pulled out some winter clothes and tried on a pair of pants that I was sure was going to head into the giveaway pile.  To my surprise, they actually fit.  So it seems that while I am not moving the scale, I am shifting my body shape.

This made me stop and think for a minute.  I do actually FEEL better with the change in my diet.  The regular exercise is giving me more energy.  My clothes are fitting better.  So I AM making progress despite what the scale says.  That is a pat on the back – and perhaps a better barometer for me to hang my success upon in the short term.  Sticking with it for the long term will move the meter.

The moral of this story?  It’s important for us all to look beyond the scale for things that point to our successes in our journey.  Whether it is better quality of life in terms of feeling better, or lowering key health numbers like blood glucose or cholesterol levels it’s better to look at the bigger picture of overall health not just weight and that we shouldn’t feel so frustrated by what the scale tells us.

So, my advice to all of us on the road to better living it to start keeping a record of the bigger picture.  Record your key health numbers along with your weight in our tool, and keep a journal of how you FEEL along with your calories in/out.  Connecting with your changing body measurements, or how you felt after you exercised that extra five minutes, or when you avoided the office birthday cake is every bit of a win for your quality of life than just the numbers on the scale!

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