Don't get rid of that scale yet. Just don't believe everything you think it tells you. There are different and better ways of measuring fitness success.
A client recently shared a couple of stories with me that I have to share with you. We'd been training about six weeks when he started telling me about getting ready for a job interview.
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“I was trying on suits for this interview,” he said. “I put on these pants and …”
Just then, he smiled and pulled out the waistline of his sweat shorts about 4 or 5 inches.
A smooth and repetitive nod added to the smile and helped paint a face that beamed with more pride than a scale could give.
“Buddy, I'm fitting into two suits I haven't fit into in more than a year,” he said proudly.
I was just as happy for him.
Then came the next story, from a client who has coached a T-Ball team for a couple of seasons.
One of the boys on the team, maybe a 5-year-old, tells my client, “Coach. Coach. You look different.”
“All I could say was, ‘Thanks buddy,'” my client said. “'Thanks a lot.'”
Those are a couple of the best ways to measure fitness success. I know this client has lost weight, too. How much? That will be a mystery to me until I give him another assessment. But the weight hasn't been the primary goal.
The following are a few ways to measure fitness success that don't require a scale.
The old stair/hill test: How winded do you get climbing those flights of stairs at the office or that hill down the street? Use that as a gauge. As your workout program progresses, you should be less winded.
The same gauge holds true for playing with the kids and grandkids. They seem to have endless energy; how long can you play with them before having to sit back and rest awhile?
Everyday life: Does yard work gradually become easier? How about the housework — carrying laundry or the vacuum cleaner up and down stairs? Can you stay in the garden longer or do more work in a shorter time? Are the neck and back muscles hurting less?
The weight might be the same, but what's the body fat percentage now? Body mass index is a horrible indicator of your fitness level. So, please, don't use it.
Find a way to get your body fat checked. Electronic impedance devices aren't the most accurate gauges for one-time measurements. But using these and taking a body fat percentage at the same time every day gives you better sense of what's happening with your nutritional and exercise program.
Feelings: How are yours? Only you can measure this. Are you feeling better about your energy levels and the things you're able to make your body do?