Lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight. So when you’re on the long haul, it’s vital to have things to celebrate along the way. While I loved seeing the numbers on the scales go down, this didn’t happen every week. I realised that it was just as important not to let the scales dominate my life and be the sole measure of success. I was pursuing a complete healthy life. This is where Non Scale Victories (NSV) came in. Small things happened to me that turned out to be significant in changing my lifestyle as a whole rather than just losing weight.
One of those first significant changes happened when I pulled the belt on my trousers and discovered that it went past the usual hole and I had to fasten the buckle on the next hole. Oh wow, a little firework went off in my head, which triggered a big smile and an on the spot celebration dance!
When I found there were no more holes left in my belt, I was prompted to go out and buy a smaller belt. A happy consequence to losing weight was walking around in baggy clothes because I was losing inches as well. A shopping trip to buy new clothes is a nice treat and something I used as a non food reward to celebrate milestones. I did have to be sensible about buying too many new clothes especially while still losing weight/size because I didn’t stay one size for very long.
Over the years I’ve had a variety of non scale victories, some that I’d never thought about as a big deal until they happened. There was the first time that I was standing up, looked down and saw my feet rather than my big belly that used to hide them. Another time was bathing in the shower and feeling my ribs, also looking in the mirror and seeing my collar bone actually visible.
Non scale victories can be like seeds that are planted in your mind. They sprout up into buds that blossom. A single bud standing alone isn’t much to look at, but a field of buds can grow into a blossom meadow where you’d want to linger and spend time.
Each small victory is empowering. Like when I refused to eat any of the impromptu biscuits that were offered around in a work staff meeting because I hadn’t planned biscuits into my menu that day. It gave me a feeling of self control and the more I made these kind of smart choices, the better I felt and the easier it was to do it again. Of course maintaining a healthy life is not always so straightforward. But bit by bit the change in my mindset was forming, until it became my ‘normal’. Now I’m able to control impulsive decisions when faced with indulgence. I’ve also learned that I don’t have to be perfect or dwell on the occasions that I do overindulge. What’s done is done, I acknowledge it and get back to ‘normal’. This is one of my greatest non scale victories.