Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Power of Non-Scale Victories!

Let's be real here, people.  We join Weight Watchers to lose weight.  It's funny, because it's a company that has what it does in it's name!!! 

We join to watch our weight...hopefully it goes down.  Sometimes, it goes up (THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOUR SCALE!!!)...or sometimes it doesn't move at all (IF ONLY I HAD POOPED BEFORE MY MEETING!)...and we get SO frustrated.

But if there's anything I've learned from all my stops and starts (cue Cher and Peter Cetera...yeah, Mom should've known I was gay when I had her pick me up Cher's greatest hits at Target)...it's that there's so much MORE to being a Weight Watchers member than what the scale gives us week to week.

Yes, we work hard week after week to attempt to lose weight.  First, we try to shed the first 5 pounds...then a 5%...a 10%...and finally GOAL!  Maintain that baby for 6 weeks and you are free!  But, I think half of you...if not more than half (for the 6 people who actually read this thing still), know it's not that easy.  I think if it were easy, Weight Watchers would be out a lot of money, because we'd ALL be lifetime.  I must've funded a number of Weight Watchers leaders' children's college funds with all my attempts at weight loss since 2002.  I hope they are putting that degree to good use because I would eat pints of Ben and Jerry's for dinner...with  a Slurpee chaser.

Like I said...we go in to the meetings weekly to see the scale go down.  It's gotta be the scale...because there's absolutely no reason a group of people strip down in front of strangers...except to ensure the scale has some good news.

But...sometimes the scale tells us things we don't like.  I won't revisit the time me and a leader almost had a throw down because I was 10 pounds over goal and I was expecting to be AT goal.  I guess when a bathroom scale is leaning against the wall, it doesn't give the most accurate reading...GO FIGURE!

That's when we need to realize that this journey is more than just shedding the pounds.  It's about the way our body looks...the way our clothes fit...the way we feel about ourselves...and the way our lives change for the better.

Because of Weight Watchers, I don't have high cholesterol anymore. (Yeah...that was awesome.  Being 27 and being told I have high cholesterol...and then having to explain to my Mom why I had to have blood work taken in the first place...#thatawkwardmoment.)

I went from a 38 to a 32 waist.  I went from an XXL shirt to a Large (a Medium if I suck it in just enough...)

I don't die on the treadmill. 

I look in the mirror and I see a different person.  I look healthy.  I feel healthy.  I'm comfortable in my skin (although I would like some washboard abs...)  This then allows me to be more confident in my every day life.  Well, except when it comes to talking to hot guys on the elevator.  I still totally suck at that.

And even when the scale stops going down (although I'd love to hit 170...not sure that's gonna happen), when you commit to Lifetime Membership, the non-scale victories are what will keep you going.  I learn something new about my journey every week...and it has nothing to do with what the scale says.

The reason I'm talking about non-scale victories in this entry is because I experienced two pretty big ones this week.

To rewind a bit, before this past week...I was the human dumpster.  If it was put in front of me.  I ate it.  I drank it.  I could probably eat and drink more if I tried.  I think I may even have had three breakfasts one day.  That's how ridiculously bad I was.  Part of it was we were in the Dining Hall doing housing deposits...

,...and for those of you who haven't been to the Monmouth Dining Hall...Let's just say the baker is a goddess.  She must wake up everything morning and bathe in the Holy Spirit, because her baked goods taste like they come directly from heaven.  My personal weakness is her lemon cookies.  Set me up at the end of a conveyor belt with those babies on them, and I'll go for hours. 

But just because I have an ice cream refrigerator at my disposal doesn't mean I need to eat two servings of my favorite flavors.

I knew better, but I made the bad choices anyway.  I also went to the gym once.  ONCE!!!  I was such a slug, I think I may have left a trail of slime around my apartment.  Someone dropped salt at lunch and I screamed when it got on my hand, thinking I'd melt away.  Seriously...what a slug!

And I am running another half-marathon in three months...and I go to the gym once?!  Yeah, Eric, enjoy throwing up your innards a mile in if you don't get your shit together.

So, this past week, I told myself I was going to track and follow program.  I was going to follow my Good Health Guidelines.  I was going to be a faithful Weight Watchers member.  No big deal really.  What made this week different is I wasn't going to step on my scale. 

When I weight myself daily, if the results are high, I start to stress out.  If I've been doing really well midweek, it isn't showing on the scale, it's all too easy for me to say "Screw this, this isn't working, pass the deep fried something or other...oooo...and let's enjoy a few...or 11...martinis!"

On the flip side, if the scale is low...I get cocky.  Again, I decide dinner out is a GREAT idea..."Who cares if the burger I order is covered in 7 different cheeses, 3 different types of bacon, and comes with onion rings?!?!?  The scale says I'm 186 pounds!"  Yeah, that's smart.

So, I wasn't going to let the scale dictate my week.  My tracker was going to dictate my week.  Because I knew that I had tracked and done everything my power to be successful, I didn't let the scale own me.  I owned it on Saturday and was back at goal...and most definitely would've posted a loss if I had actually weighed in after my week as a Human Food Dumpster.

The other non-scale victory has to do with this past week.  I love to go out to eat.  I love the food...I love the socializing...if we go to Houlihan's, I love the ginormous drink I love to call the Watermelon Debacle.  It's a giant glass filled with liquor that tastes like watermelon.  'Nuff said.

But after such a great week at tracking, my friends suggest we go to Houlihan's for dinner.  One of the areas where I know I struggle is going out to eat and staying on plan.  I tend to give WW the big middle finger and order whatever the hell I want on the menu...
...but I couldn't allow one night screw up the success I knew I was going to experience on Saturday, if I just STAYED.ON.PLAN!

So, I thought of the strategies that people always talk about at the meetings and I conveniently ignore time after time when it comes to surviving restaurants on Weight Watchers.  I only had one beer...which was fine, because I was driving.  I ordered my Chicken Parm Sandwich, with half off it already wrapped up to go...and I got veggies instead of fries.  For dessert, I shared some cake, and only had about 4 forkfuls...
...and I was completely and utterly satisfied.  Not to mention, I didn't need to loosen my belt or be rolled out of the place.

These were TWO humongous non-scale victories for me...and it showed up on the scale.

But I don't live or die by the scale.  Life's too short to stress about the scale week to week.  It should be about making positive changes in your life, and if you do that, the scale going down will be a reflection of your hard work and effort.

What are some of your Non-Scale Victories?!  Share in the comment section.

Happy Tracking!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks Eric, I enjoy your blog so much! My NSV: I can now share my plate (this is HUGE for me!), I can enjoy a Broadway show without my hips going numb because I'm squashed into a theater chair made for a child and I no longer need an extension belt for the seat belt in the car or on a plane-WOOHOO!