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5 Ways to Measure Weight Loss Success (Other Than the Scale)

Posted on March 28, 2019 at 6:30 AM

Image by Alan Ko from Unsplash.

I recently posted a meme that said, “If you’ve become obsessed about weighing yourself often to see if you’ve lost weight, then put the scale away.” That meme seemed to put some of my friends and followers off. Please, let me clarify that statement. I was anorexic in my last year of high school and beginning of college. In my pre-teen years, I was been labeled chubby and pudgy. I wanted so badly to be pretty and accepted. Where I lived, that meant losing some weight. So I began trying to diet. To make a long story short, I was obsessed with the scale. I weighed myself twice a day hoping to see a lower number each time. Spiraling into anorexia, I put my health-- and life-- at great risk. Here is the truth: obsession over the numbers on the scale reveals a deeper need for love and acceptance. I’ve got great news for you—God loves you regardless of the numbers on the scale. Your value does not come from your weight, it comes from our Creator.

Weight loss is a misnomer to some degree. Yes, eventually you want to see that number come down. After all, how many doctors badger their patients to lose weight? What the patient probably needs is to learn how to bring their health numbers under control with guidance and direction. Losing weight isn’t their answer; changing their lifestyles is. The weight loss will eventually follow. In reality, it isn’t the weight you are hoping to lose rather the excess body fat. The scale only gives you a small part of the picture of your healthy weight loss. It is important to know what a healthy weight range would be for you. Your doctor or a certified personal trainer or health coach can help you. This way, you know what your target should be.

So, with this in mind, allow me to share with you what I discovered with these healthier more productive ways to see your weight loss progress.

1. How do your clothes fit? Most of my clients tell me they feel the difference in the fit of their clothing before they see a difference in the numbers on the scale. If you can put your fist between your belly button and your waistband when you couldn’t before, then you have made progress! (Livestrong)

2. Compare your first measurements with your current measurements. If you are four weeks out from your start date, then you should re-measure yourself to see your progress. Insurance companies use your waist and hip measurements for your health and life insurance rates. Your doctor uses them to determine health risk factors. If that works for them, then this will surely work for you, too. (LIvestrong)

3. Lack of bloating due to dietary changes. If you no longer feel like a balloon after you eat, then your dietary changes are helping you. Many foods like lunchmeats and ham contain preservatives and a ton of sodium that cause bloating. Another factor is that many of the fried foods and fatty meats and dairy cause a low-level inflammation in your body causing puffiness. (WebMD)

4. Do you know your body composition? What you see on your scale display doesn’t give you the full picture of what is happening with your body. Body fat percentage, lean muscle percentage, and water percentage all factor in with the number you see as your weight. Have a personal trainer do your body fat percentage for you so you know where you are. Have that done once a month while you are losing weight. (WebMD)

5. How your family and friends see your success. The people who care the most about you will compliment you on any positive change you make. Have a trusted friend or family member go clothes shopping with you to help you pick out flattering outfits for your new shape as you make progress.

Addressing the Emotional Part of Weight Loss

As for the need for love and acceptance, I have written a number of posts on this topic. Feel free to go through the Archives to find what you want to read. But ask yourself why you want to lose weight. Is it because you think your boyfriend or husband will love you more if you do? Is it because you don’t feel pretty? Are you trying to land a particular job that depends on appearance? Do you find yourself alone when everyone is doing something together as a group? Then there might possibly be something deep down inside that needs your attention. If you believe this is the case, then I would suggest speaking with a Christian life coach, Christian counselor or your pastor. Any of these highly trained professionals can help you uncover internal issues and guide you to a healthier Christ-centered view of yourself. Quite often, the very reason people obsess over the numbers on the scale is the very reason they have trouble losing weight in the first place. Certain personality types are more prone under certain conditions to an eating disorder. I hope that isn’t the case for you.

If I can help you on this topic, feel free to contact me. If you want guidance and direction toward your weight loss or health goals, the Healthy Lifestyles program may be valuable to you. Maybe PraiseMoves or ChiRho Flow classes would help you destress and focus on God.I would be happy to walk alongside you on your journey to total health. May God bless you!

Resources of Interest

Eating Disorders These are just a few who might be able to help you if you believe you have an eating disorder. A Christian counselor or your pastor would be best to refer you to one closer to you.

Selah House

The Renfrew Center 

Timberline Knolls 

Meier Clinics

Mental/Spiritual Connections with Weight Loss or Food

Harvard Medical This group is very well-respected, but they do promote New Age spirituality such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.

Science Daily 

Psychology Today

Christian Resources for Human Value

Desiring God

Focus on the Family This is aimed at parents of pre-teens and teens, but it might be helpful depending on your past.

Meier Clinics 

Categories: weight loss, health, wellness

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