How are you measuring progress?

Today we look at some non-scale victories, and measures of progress beyond scale weight. Here at The Fitness Collective, upon a new member joining us we will go through a goal setting process combined with an Inbody measure. The Inbody provides us with more information than a scale simply would, going into more detail about the composition of that weight. How much water we are holding, how much body fat and how much muscle we have. 

Most people that come into us, as we talk through the goal setting process start to change their language around their goals. Firstly, it’s often about a weight they want to be, or a number on the scale. But as the conversation develops, we often hear more about these goals becoming more of a look or a shape (more of a measure of body composition), and other goals where people open up about a ‘feeling’ they want, such as feeling more energetic or goals that include improving their performance, such as getting or feeling stronger. 

The scales remain a measure of progress, but we have to consider if they should be the sole measure of progress, or even if they are the best measure of progress. Often the case is not, and by using a variety of measures we can get a better picture of when our members are progressing. This way members become less focused on a number on the scale, and more on how they feel, look and perform. 

We know scale weight can fluctuate depending on many factors and particularly in women of reproductive age. We also know that scale weight isn’t the best measure of body composition, as two people could be the same weight, but contain completely different body compositions (amount of muscle and body fat). 

So in some situations, maybe we need to consider is scale weight actually serving us as a measure of progress? 

What are some other measures of progress we can use in order to gauge progress?

Progress will look different from person to person depending on their goals and values, but even simple little changes may actually be big signs of progress. Not needing energy drinks or several coffees to get going in the morning, being able to go out on hikes and do activities with your family that you may not have been able to do previously, higher energy levels, all of these signs show progress. Here are some other measures of progress:

You may be feeling more satisfied with your meals and daily food intake, feeling well fuelled and nourished, and having a healthier relationship with food.

Progress may be your gym performance improving, or you feeling stronger. You may be able to get into better positions than previously, knowing you have improved your mobility and experience less stiffness or pain. 

Your sleep improving is a sign of progress, sleep has a massive impact on our health, hunger and likelihood of eating more, therefore improving your sleep is not only progress, but also something that is going to have greatly positive impacts on other factors too.

Your clothes feel better, which again may look different for everyone. Some may want their clothes to fit looser in certain areas, and others may want clothing to be tighter in certain areas. Either way our clothes fitting how we would like shows progress.

You may feel happier or experience that you feel more positive, which may have a huge ripple effect into other areas of your life. You may feel more confident, more open to trying new things, more motivated, more sociable and even may start to feel like change is possible. These changes may come as a result of healthy nutritional changes you have made, lifestyle changes, exercise or a combination of everything. 

Seeing changes in health metrics such as your resting heart rate, or your blood pressure are other greatly important measures of progress.

There are loads more measures of progress than simply using a number on the scale, and we think it’s important to look at everything as a whole. So, if you feel frustrated with your lack of progress after not seeing the scale move as much as you may have liked, we’d encourage you to explore and reflect on the other ways you may be progressing. 

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