I want to introduce you to one of my favorite clients. Her name is Betty. Betty is a rockstar. She shows for every session and I mean every session with a ton of energy. I can feel her smile and her energy coming right through the screen.
A little back story on Betty. She wasn’t very active growing up. She played a little soccer and did a little dance but nothing beyond the age of 16. Betty found the gym in University and began an on-again off-again love hate relationship with the gym. She had intermittent success seeing changes on the scale only to see them rebound and then some if she stopped the crazy cardio. Nothing really stuck and she felt so tied to that number on the scale.
Over the pandemic Betty looked in the mirror and didn’t like what she saw. She was also sleeping all the time, her nutrition wasn’t the worst but definitely not the best and she continually felt like she was walking through quicksand. Betty is turning 45, has been married for over 10 years, has a couple of kids and works full time. Life is busy and life is somewhat stressful. Betty told herself that now was the time to make a permanent change. She knows that as she continues into her late 40’s and into her 50’s, it will be that much more challenging to make the changes that she knows need to happen.
Over the last 20 years Betty has tried everything. You name the diet she has tried it―South Beach, Whole 30, Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Raw, Paleo, & Intermittent fasting. There were changes on the scale, but when life got busy, or if she was making multiple meals for the family, it just got too hard and she reverted to her old ways.
Betty has gym memberships, yes plural―a box gym, a boxing club and a spin studio. She is a cereal overdoer.
So why isn’t anything sticking? It isn’t like she isn’t trying?
Eight weeks ago Betty found WRKOUT.
Betty and her trainer started with goal setting to ensure they were on the same page. Together they ensured the goals were realistic and within a timeframe that made sense for long term health and wellness, while still helping Betty see and feel changes to keep her excited and motivated.
The first 5-weeks were magical. Betty brought the energy to her workouts and her trainer matched her intensity. She was introduced to some new exercises and learned how to better move her body. Together with a nutritionist, Betty started to make some changes to her eating habits.
Throughout all of this, Betty learned a very valuable lesson. Less can be more. No more crazy cardio sessions. No more crazy diets. No more relying on the number on the scale as the be all.
Betty was introduced to the ‘IF it fits your MACROS’ way of eating and slowly started to re-introduce intermittent fasting into her days. Betty got off the caffeine rollercoaster. The biggest change was Betty started to eat more protein. Tracking her nutrition helped Betty learn about her body, her mindset and her performance.
The first 5 weeks were amazing. Betty and her trainer agreed she could step on the scale ONCE a week. Every Monday. That was it. No daily weigh-ins. At first this was really hard. Betty actually had to take the scale and move it behind some boxes in her closet so it wasn’t staring at her every morning. But this was part of the agreement she made with her trainer.
Every Monday morning she would move some boxes and pull out the scale. The weight was coming off.
“Wait,” Betty thought to herself. She was training three times a week, lifting more weight, getting three 30 minute walks a week (not crazy cardio) and eating more protein than she ever thought she needed and the weight was coming off. I know what you are thinking. This can’t be right. But it is and we see this with clients all the time. Less is more when you are doing the things that matter most and get rid of the noise.
If you are reading closely you might have noticed I have said a couple of times that the first 5-weeks were awesome. What happened after that?
Well, Betty hit a plateau. Week six she was down one pound. In week seven she gained two pounds. And in week eight there was no change.
On week six Betty asked herself if this was it? Was this the place she was destined to be, forever on the endless yo-yo rollercoaster? But it couldn’t be. She was feeling great and doing everything being asked of her. So why did her body stop losing weight?
For many we hit these plateaus as the body recalibrates to the changes it has experienced. The body does a self-assessment of sorts checking in to make sure it is alright to proceed. It is what we do when we experience these plateaus that tell our body to either proceed as planned or to regain what it just lost.
This is when having a trainer, trusting yourself and trusting the process is KEY. This is when we need to look back at all the progress we have made throughout our life and not just the number on the scale. These are the non-scale victories.
Non-scale victories are just that. When we get married to a number on the scale and a number in our mind we can continually feel like that hamster on a wheel.
Betty zoomed out and looked at those first 5-weeks from a 30,000 foot view.
Here are just a few of the non-scale victories that she didn’t even realize until she did this:
- She was eating more whole foods and not relying on sugar, caffeine or takeout to get through her day
- She had energy all day long, even in those afternoon meetings
- Her clothing from two years ago that used to be tight was now too big
- She loved being in the kitchen and it didn’t feel like a chore cooking
- She had energy to run around with her kids
- She had no trouble sleeping and getting up in the morning
- She was drinking lots of water throughout the day
- Betty’s sex life made a dramatic turn for the better
- Betty didn’t self sabotage herself with the first sign of trouble
Betty was feeling like her 25 year old self again. Strong, sexy and in-control.
Despite weeks six, seven and eight not going as planned, this did not derail Betty. Sure she needed some help from her trainer to identify all of these big and small non-scale victories from the last five weeks, but that is what your trainer is there for. Together they made some adjustments to her macronutrient goals, introduced some different types of training sessions and began introducing some additional lifestyle habits.
Betty was truly ready for the next phase. She was finally liberated from the chains of the scale. Betty has given herself permission to be happy, to be confident and to trust.
These non-scale victories can so easily be overlooked. Many of these are small but add up to big changes. We can easily highlight the negatives or when something didn’t go as planned. It takes way more energy to pull out these small wins.
I want you to try this exercise and answer the following questions:
- Look back at the last 30 days. What wins can you identify? They can be big or small but write them all down.
- In the next 30 days what wins do you want to experience?
- In the next 7-days what do you need to do for these 30 day WINS to happen?
Small bite sized wins can’t be overlooked otherwise we will continue to face defeat, lack of motivation and setbacks.
Celebrate the wins. Celebrate the non-scale victories so when the big milestones are achieved, you can proudly stand on the top of the mountain instead of the scale with your arms up screaming with genuine glee and excitement!