One thing I've noticed this weight loss go 'round is I'm not dropping pounds as quickly as I did before. I'm down 21 lbs for the year against my aggressive goal of 40 lbs by this month, and I'm not sure whether that's a result of an initial lack of consistency, not watching my macros (the ratio of protein to fat to carbs) as much as I should, a change in metabolism, or the fact that I'm two years older than I was the last time. It's something I've tried not to let bother me much because I know I'm going in the right direction physically and mentally, but sometimes you just feel like there's no substitute for that number on the scale. In actuality, there are plenty.
Measurements are the first thing I look too when I don't see the number I want on the scale. If I'm losing inches, I know what I'm doing is working and the scale stall is likely a result of muscle gain, water retention, inflammation, or one of several other reasons scales aren't the most accurate measurement of physical fitness. Now that I have a scale that also measures body fat, BMI, and other factors, I look to those figures to paint a more accurate picture of my success. At Monday's weigh in, I was down 2..2 lbs, my BMI decreased by 0.5, and my body fat percentage was down 0.6 percent. The latter figures assured me I was not only getting healthier because my body fat and BMI were decreasing, but I also wasn't losing muscle mass, I was truly shedding unhealthy fat, which is what you want if you're trying to lose (real) weight.
And then there are the physical signs of improved health you don't have to look in the mirror to see. Like helping my team win a relay during a kettlebell workout; or doing tire flips with relative ease and having the instructor tell you next time he's going to give you a heavier tire for "flipping his stuff like that;" or asking for a modification when you're instructed to do 30 seconds of burpees and 30 seconds of mountain climbers and the teacher tells you, "Nah, you're good. I saw you in class Saturday. You can do it." And then you actually do it for three rounds and live to complain about it on the 'gram.
And then, of course, there are other numbers, like those sewed into the seams of your clothing, that, although they shouldn't define you, can also signify whether you're moving in the direction you'd like. Yesterday I was invited by Dove to a fashion styling experience with celebrity stylist Zerina Akers and I'm not going to lie, I was anxious. It's been quite some time since I've been able to just throw on an item of clothing and have it fit on first try and I wasn't interested in experiencing an episode of "This ish is too tight" in front of a perfect stranger and her entourage.
I was 99.9% sure said episode was just about to begin when I was handed a pair of jeans in a size 16. I looked at the pants on the hanger, said to myself, "I know that's not going to work," held my breath, and walked into the dressing area prepared to whisper to someone two seconds later that I needed a bigger size. This is one of those instances where not speaking up actually worked in my favor because not only was I able to get the jeans on, they fit. Like fit! My booty and belly were both where they needed to be and, most of all, I felt comfortable.
It honestly didn't matter too much what happened next. I was in a size 16 pair of jeans (and a pair of Valentino pumps), humming my own remix to "Can't Tell Me Nothing," soaking in the fact that in that moment I was one of those girls who could put on an outfit and look good in it instantly -- sans spanx. This, of course, is a testament to Zerina's great eye, but also to my hard work.
The scale doesn't always reflect the discipline you've exhibited on your weight loss journey, but don't let that number get you down if it's not down as much as you'd like. Take time to identify other little victories during the process and let those wins assure you you're winning in the grand scheme of things.