When talking lifestyle change or taking charge of one’s health, the focus tends to be on the scale. With so many products, infomercials, and “diets” these days, it’s not hard to be sucked in by “Lose up to 7 pounds a week” or “Lose up to 15 pounds in 2 weeks”. They had us at lose, we get so into it that we don’t even see the “up to“. The “up to” is really the most important part of their claim. Think about it, what does “up to” mean? Well, to me it means that I may lose that much, but on the other hand, I also may win the powerball for $109 million too.
Chances are we won’t lose 7 pounds in a week. People get so wrapped up in the scale that they find things like discouragement, feelings of failure, and hopelessness because the scale is a fickle old hag. Seriously, how many people do you know who do have a good relationship with their scale? How many people do you know who will tell you to toss the #@$&*:( out the window?
I’m one of those people. If you tell me you are ready to give up because of your scale I will tell you to toss the dreaded thing out the window. Reality TV, infomercials, results from weight loss commercials are not always the same here in the real world. No matter how much cardio, heavy lifting, or other plan you do remember this: You will not lose every day, you will not lose every week, you will not lose every month. You will be frustrated and want to quit, but before you give up the ghost let me tell you first that even though it’s called weight loss, it’s not all about the scale.
When we rely on our scales to affirm our progress, we are losing out on so much beauty our journey holds. I remember the first time I had a less than 100 fasting glucose reading. I remember how happy I was, how proud. I also remember that I didn’t lose any weight that day. I remember the last time I took my measurements, I lost a couple of inches from combined places but I gained a pound on the scale. These are non scale victories. They are the little things jumping around all over the place, right in front of our faces, in our mirrors, in the real world shouting “I’m right here, can you see me?” We are so blinded by that number on the scale that we sometimes overlook them.
I’ve mentioned previously how my weight was much like an invisibility cloak, people often didn’t notice me or just refused to see me, and when it wasn’t working well, they stared. I was shy then, I didn’t smile much, and I didn’t dance, not even around the house when no one was home.
Today my parents-in-law came over for a visit. Michael and I were telling them about last weekend when we went to the Casino (the evening of “A Sunny Saturday Morning”), and how “Shannon was dancing around the casino, talking about the pretty lights and music”. Now, people who have known me for a long time know that “Shannon does not dance”. No, we weren’t kidding them, I danced. Matter of fact, I dance all the time. It started in my kitchen, but it’s only a matter of time before you see me on “people of walmart”. No, I don’t wear Daisy Dukes and stilettos, but I dance in public places.
I’d like to blame my niece for posting a video on my timeline of a guy “Dance Walking”. It was like she doubled dawg dared not only me, but my two left feet and my tone deafness.
The first time I did it, my husband was waiting in the car at the Dollar General store. I dance walked out the door, onto the sidewalk all the way to the car. When I got in, he said “That lady next to us was staring”. In my previous life I would have been self conscious, I would have swore to never dance walk in public again for fear of future embarrassment, but I didn’t. The new me giggled and said “Well, she should have just gotten out of the car and danced with me”.
That is a not only a non scale victory, it is the biggest of all victories I’ve had to date, and it’s really a gain and a loss. I gained self confidence. I lost the ability to let other people influence how I feel about myself. I don’t spend lots of time putting on make up to go to the grocery anymore because that is not what defines me.
My sister, daughter, and I went to Walmart today. I danced, we laughed. I had just set my bacon, coffee, and other necessities on the belt when the cashier ask “is that not the best bacon?” and I told him “yeah, it’s my meat candy”. A guy in the line said something about bacon and fat and I told him, “nah, two years ago I traded in my bread and sugar for bacon and I was 275 at my highest weight”. He said “No way”.
The old me would never had spoken to a stranger, much less told said stranger about the old me, but she’s gone now. The new me is going to keep on celebrating all victories, scale or not, big or small and I’m going to keep on dancing. In my car, on the sidewalk, in the kitchen, and yes, even at the store. Another non scale victory is when you notice how precious life really is and you live each day to the fullest.
I leave you today with a photo from our “goat hunt”. My sister got lucky and picked up this really sweet young baby boy (yet to be named) Pygmy.Fingers are crosses she names him “Tyrion”. I only post it because I am green eyed jelly about not having my goat yet!