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> Back to Self-Care Excerpts List

Self-Care Excerpt from Don't Weight

Redefine Success

Let's face it, when people talk about improving their eating and fitness, they often measure success by getting on the scale. What is the reason for weighing yourself? Most of my clients say it is so they can tell if they have made any progress or so they will know if they have "succeeded". I suggest that you measure your success in a different way. In the beginning of each month ask yourself different questions and write down your observations:

Measure your success by your actions, your increasing abilities, and how you feel. You can add your own questions that will help you measure success! Here is the above list of questions in consolidated form:

  • How is your breathing when you climb one flight of stairs, walk a block, or wheel your wheelchair around the mall?
  • What is the intensity and duration of exercise that you are comfortable with at this time?
  • How are you sleeping? Are you able to fall asleep and stay asleep so that you wake up rested?
  • Notice your flexibility. Can you stretch a bit further than you did before you became more active? Do you feel less stiff?
  • Are you eating more fruits and vegetables than you did previously?
  • Are you choosing fats that are more heart-healthy when you eat and cook?
  • Are you drinking more of the water your body needs?
  • What is your resting heart rate? One morning upon awakening, before you even get up, just lie there and take your pulse. That is your resting heart rate. Is it any lower than it used to be?
  • How are your cholesterol and blood pressure?
  • If you have a medical condition like diabetes, glaucoma, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or one of the many other conditions that improve with fitness, notice the current status of your condition. Is there any improvement since last month?
  • How are your relationships? Have you enjoyed contact with supportive people? Have you reduced contact with hurtful people?
  • How is your stress level? Have you taken small steps toward having more effect on your environment, your schedule, your workload, etc?

It is useful to write down your responses to these questions about once a month or so. Keep your written answers in your own book. This will help you to see your progress over time. You will find motivation to continue your healthy lifestyle when you give yourself a concrete record of your improvements.

Measure your success by noticing the changes and improvements in

  • how you feel
  • what you can do
  • your health status
  • your life

Measure your success by the improvements in your wellness, happiness, and lifestyle. These improvements will keep you motivated more effectively than a scale ever could.

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By Kelly Bliss M.Ed., A.C.E. author of Don’t Weight, Eat Healthy & Get Moving NOW!
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