When it comes to tracking progress there are so many things to take into account but the one thing that most of society clings on to is the scales. If I was to ask a group of girls right now what their fitness goal was I can guarantee that most of them would say to lose weight. The scales provide immediate visual feedback, an objective way of seeing how you are doing and that you are on the ‘right track’. But the right track does not always mean seeing a smaller number on the scales.
I can remember the time when I would be excited at the thought of waking up and finding myself to be another pound lighter or when I used to think that I would be happy at a certain weight, like that arbitrary number would bring me happiness and that I would instantly love my body. But oh boy was I wrong! The day I finally made my life not about my weight, was the day that I finally made progress.
Now that is not to say that I never use the scales as I do but only every so often as another tool in assessing my overall progress. Below are a few different ways of tracking that should help keep you motivated.
1. Take measurements
You will often find that when you start weight lifting your body composition will change: you may begin growing shoulders and your waist may get smaller and the scale may not have changed.
2. Take pictures
Much like taking measurements this is a great way of seeing how your body is changing. As we see ourselves everyday it can be hard to spot changes taking place so try to take photos every couple of weeks or once a month. If you look fitter and leaner two months down the line and your weight hasn’t changed, does that number still matter?
3. Use a training diary
Make sure you track your strength and fitness progress. If you can now squat 50kg when you could only do 20kg before, that’s a great achievement. The scale won’t be able to show you that.
4. Mental strength
For me personally training helps me stay focused in all aspects of life and this is one of the main reasons that I train. No number on the scale could ever come close to that feeling.
5. Make it about you
Don’t focus on someone else’s progress as this will usually leave you feeling disappointed. Everyone is at a different stage and has different circumstances. Yes, use others as motivation but when it comes down to it be proud of yourself and your journey.
6. Make your goals simple and relevant to you
Progress could simply be that you now have the confidence to take your home workouts into a gym. Everyone thinks that fitness goals have to be becoming shredded or stepping on stage but they don’t! Naturally as you progress so will your goals so focus on now and worry about the rest later.
7. Focus on your behaviour
Are you making healthier choices? Are you enjoying your workouts? Are you happier? Do you have more energy? Naturally all of these behavioural changes will materialise into a healthier and fitter body and mind-set.
8. How do your clothes fit?
This is such a great and easy way to measure progress. If you drop a dress size without any change on the scale it is likely that your body composition has changed. So if your favourite dress is no longer tight don't worry that you weigh a pound more.
So why not create your own ‘scale’, a scale that is a reflection of your goals and use that as a daily indicator of your progress. A true transformation is inside-out so the next time you get frustrated remember to think of the positives!