Forget about weight loss: 3 other ways to measure fitness progress
As women, society places a lot of pressure on us to be skinny, perfect princesses – it’s an unhealthy, unrealistic standard.
When we work out, there are so many fitness goals we can chase that aren’t just a lower number on the scales. Shifting our focus away from weight loss is such a powerful transition in the way we perceive ourselves and our fitness journeys.
Here are three measures of success that we should value over the number on the scales.
1. Strong is sexy
Strength is such an important element of our physical and mental health. Feeling strong gives a massive boost to our confidence, which trickles through every other aspect of our lives. But how do you measure it? If you’re into lifting weights, it’s pretty simple – you should always keep track of the weight you’re lifting in each session, so every few weeks you can look back at the improvements you have made.
If weight training isn’t your thing, try filming yourself when you work out. Identify the moves that you struggle with the most – those pesky exercises that make your form sloppy and your heart pound. Make a new video every week, and once a month compare the progress between week 1 and week 4 – you’ll be amazed by the subtle improvements you’re making without even realising it, and it’ll help you identify areas you need to focus on in future sessions.
2. Measurements of success
One drawback of relying on weight loss when it comes to measuring your progress is how one-dimensional it is. Your weight can fluctuate depending on so many things – your cycle, muscle mass, etc. Taking your measurements on a monthly basis is a far better metric to focus on. This, combined with regular progress selfies can give you a more complete picture of the changes your body is going through.
And remember, a larger measurement isn’t necessarily a bad thing! If you’re sculpting your peach in the FIT Booty Challenge, it could be just the outcome you’re looking for!
3. Doesn’t it just FEEL good?!
Unfortunately, the least tangible outcome of regular workouts is BY FAR the most important – the positive feeling that we get from consistent movement is hard to beat. As we get stronger, we feel more confident, we love ourselves more, we’re more capable in our day to day lives – and science backs it up! When we exercise, endorphins, dopamine and adrenaline are released into our bodies – all of these brain chemicals are associated with feelings of happiness, confidence and capability, and can help reduce anxiety and stress.
If you want to keep track of these feelings (we highly recommend it!), try writing a few words to describe where you’re at mentally on a regular basis. Over time, you’ll start to notice patterns – you may see you're a far happier, more confident version of yourself when you're consistently active. Creating a strong link between our physical lifestyle and our mental wellbeing makes staying on top of both seem a whole lot more manageable.
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