How to stay motivated when the scale is bringing you down.
People are often to quick to jump on the scale every morning to see if the number has changed (and by “people” I mean ME). I gained 55 pounds while I was pregnant with Caleb. I have felt pretty embarrassed about that number because, instead of trusting my body to do what it needed to do, I gave the number on the scale more power than it deserved!
Everyone told me the weight would just drop off because I stayed healthy and fit throughout my pregnancy, AND I was planning on exclusively breastfeeding.
Well, I am exclusively breastfeeding, but guess what…the weight has most certainly NOT dropped off. In fact, the scale hasn’t budged in a couple of weeks.
The frustrating thing for me is that what I am SEEING in the mirror does not match up to what I am FEELING in my skin. However, when I think about it, this is a great problem to have. Who wouldn’t want to feel so great in their body that they sometimes get a little “surprised” by the reflection in the mirror.
Ultimately what’s more important; that my baby boy has a mom with her pre-baby body back? Or that my baby boy has a happy and healthy mom, who feels fit and strong?
The point of this blog post is that the scale is not the be all end all . Get off that darn thing! There are a lot of other things you can look at to gauge your progress when it comes to eating healthy and exercising. Here are some of them:
- How do your clothes fit?
Sometimes we lose weight, and sometimes we lose inches. Personally, I prefer losing inches, however, my brain prefers when I see that number on the scale go down. Pay attention, if your jeans used to barely zip up and now you can zip them no problem, you are doing something right!
- Do you have more energy?
Believe it or not eating bad food sort of sucks the life out of you. When you fuel your body with healthy food you will have more energy. Exercising also gives you more energy, maybe not right when you’re drenched in sweat, but in the long run it does, because you release endorphins which makes you feel good and once you get going it is easier to keep going!
- Are you sleeping better at night?
Physical activity improves sleep quality and increases sleep duration. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can dramatically improve the quality of your nighttime sleep, especially when done on a regular basis. What’s more, exercisers may reduce their risk for developing troublesome sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
- Do you feel stronger doing everyday activities?
Pay attention to how you are feeling while doing those everyday activities like climbing flights of stairs, walking the dog, carrying tons of grocery bags, and shoveling snow. Are you getting less winded? Can you walk further and faster? These are signs that you are getting stronger, and that is a HUGE victory!
- Is your resting heart rate lower?
Regular exercise often results in a resting heart rate decrease of five to 25 beats per minute, according to exercise scientist Len Kravitz, a University of New Mexico professor. With a slower heart rate, the heart’s left ventricle has more time to fill with blood and more time to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the body and heart muscle. As a result, the heart becomes more efficient at meeting your body’s needs for energy and oxygen.
- Is your skin looking clearer and healthier?
When you exercise, the tiny arteries in your skin open up, allowing more blood to reach the skin’s surface and deliver nutrients that repair damage from the sun and environmental pollutants. When your pores dilate, sweat expels trapped dirt and oil. Just be sure to wash your face afterward so the gunk doesn’t get sucked back into the pores.
- Do you have fewer cravings?
Cravings are the worst, fighting one is an epic battle. Heres the good news, when you start eating healthy food and rid your body of all the excess sugar and junk, it will slowly stop craving it. I have never lost my sweet tooth, but the desire to treat my body well often outweighs my desire for excess sweets.
- Are you feeling happier and more positive?
One of the things that took me most by surprise when I started working out and taking care of health was the fact that I slowly started noticing positive mindset changes. I started feeling happier, more confident, and more empowered, and that carried through into every aspect of my life.
Healthy is not a number!