NSVs (Weigh-in)

NSV, in the weight-loss world, is an acronym that stands for “non-scale victory”. This is a term that I was not familiar with prior to starting this li’l ol’ blog here, but is something that I have come to appreciate more and more as my journey has gone on. See, in the beginning, it is ALL about the numbers. When you’re significantly overweight, and make an honest effort to start turning your health around, the weight starts to come off so quickly that it’s all you can do not to scream your losses from the rooftop (or in my case, proclaim them to the entire internet. Which is what I did do. Heh.) But as your progress slows, and it gets harder and harder to shed each full pound, you have to start looking to other things to validate your journey. And if you don’t have measures besides the scale to mark your progress (because yes, you ARE making progress!), it will break you. And believe, it is already all too easy to give up.

scale destroyer

My first NSVs all had to do with clothing. After all, aside from the digits on the scale, the number on the tag at the back of your jeans is probably the one that holds the most weight, right? (Pun intended.) Even when my weight loss for the month would only add up to a few pounds in total, I might have been able to jump down a dress size that month, or had to have my bra size remeasured. Of course, these kinds of number-centric victories have a shelf-life too. There are only so many sizes you can drop before things slow down, just like the scale does. So while I still thoroughly enjoy being able to pull items off the rack that don’t have an “X” on their size label, since getting down to a size 12/L, things haven’t really budged too much in that department (thankfully they haven’t gone in the other direction either though!). Still, it’s a (slightly bittersweet) victory in and of itself just to be able to bag up the clothing that no longer fits and haul it off to Goodwill!

donate clothing

So as someone who has only been able to validate my health progress by way of numbers, imagine my surprise to realize that I’m actually starting to put stock in non-numerical measures. Things that are actually more related to my — gasp! — fitness, than my weight or clothing size. Things like being able to walk up the three flights of stairs from the parking garage at work without gasping for air anymore. And being able to successfully complete a full cycle of 40-lb chest presses without dropping the barbell into my throat, or sets of walking lunges without falling over. And at the risk of sounding even more superficial than I normally do, I consider self-esteem boosters like catching a guy checking you out as definite NSVs. After all, the Gretchen of Old never used to get that kind of attention, so why not consider it a mark of weight loss success? Numbers are still important, of course. They are a literal measure of progress. But they are not the be-all and end-all of weight loss, and they are certainly not the sole determination of my success.

And with all of that said, let’s take a look at how I measured up (ha!) this week, shall we?

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 190.1 lbs
This Weigh-in: 190.0 lbs
Difference: -0.1 lbs

See, now this is a perfect example of a weigh-in that I probably should be frustrated at. I mean, seriously? 0.1? Not even allowing me to (re)see a number that starts with a 1-8? Shockingly, I am not upset by this. I’m starting to learn that my body’s pattern is not to drop weight super consistently every single week, and now that I’ve accepted that, only the gains really get to me. I’m really starting to come around to the idea that maintaining for a week or two, in my opinion, is not a bad thing. My overall goal is still weight loss, after all, and after the past 60 — now 56 — pounds lost, I’ve really come around to that. Hopefully that doesn’t sound like justification or an excuse. I honestly don’t mean it that way! I’m just trying to keep that positive attitude going. After all, as I’ve been saying, it’s that negativity and single-minded focus on the numbers on the scale that led to my weight loss downfall over and over in past attempts. It’s only this time, when I’ve started trying to see beyond my actual weight, that I’ve been able to keep going (counter-intuitive, isn’t it?). Through months of plateaus, through more than my fair share of dips in motivation, through all my wishy-washy, ho-hum weigh-ins, I am still fighting the good fight — and am armed to the teeth with NSVs to help me out along the way. 🙂

What’s your favorite kind of NSV? Clothing-related? Fitness-related? Self-esteem-related?

Close, but no cigar (Weigh-in)

It’s going to be short and not so sweet this morning, folks. Short, because I’m sickitysickitysick (yes, again) and despite the fact that I slept for nearly 12 hours straight I am still muy exhaustamundo. So exhausted, in fact, that I’m making up Spanish words for how exhausted I am.

The not-so-sweet part of today’s play comes in the following. As you know, last week I weighed in at 191.2 pounds and was pre-celebrating my entrance into the glorious 180s, a goal that was a mere 1.3 lbs away. So how did things turn out this week?

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Week’s Weight: 191.2 lbs
This Week’s Weight: 190.0 lbs
This Week’s Loss: -1.2 lbs

Womp womp. You can’t make this stuff up. Close, but no cigar.

Not that I mean to sound ungrateful! Of course I appreciate another pound lost and having made it one pound further. That being said… I really, really wanted to see 180-something on the scale this week. Ah, well. Next week for sure, eh? And in the meantime, just because in my decrepit state I need to celebrate something, I shall announce a NSV (non-scale victory) that I’ve been working on lately.

I started the 100 pushups and 200 situps challenges last weekend, and while, no, I don’t REALLY expect to ever be able to do a HUNDRED pushups (I’m not completely crazy!), after just one week of the program I can do FIVE of them. And we’re not talking girl-pushups here, folks. These are the real deal. So going from being able to do, um, none to five full-length pushups of my 190-lb self is a pretty big accomplishment! So we’ll focus on that, and not the .1 lb loss that wasn’t. We’ll still call it a win.

I’m sure I’ll be feeling better tomorrow, and we can get back on track. July WILL be the last month I see 190 on the scale. In the meantime, have a healthy day in my honor friends. I’ll be hacking up a lung and choking down herbal tea from here (here being, you know, my bed.)

PS: In case you didn’t see my tweets or Facebook updates about it, I totally saw Harry Potter again this weekend. It was awesome. Nerd out.