Non Scale Victories

When you attend a Slimming World class you are weighed every week, and your progress is entirely defined by the amount of weight you’ve lost.

However, the process of losing weight is not all about the number of pounds and stones you’ve shed. Sometimes it’s about things that don’t show on the scales.

It’s about how you now feel about yourself, how your health has improved, how you can do things that previously used to be a struggle, the inches that have gone from your waist, the dress size you’ve dropped and the clothes that you can now fit into.

These are called Non Scale Victories (or NSV for short). They are the achievements and progress you can see but that don’t necessarily show up on the scales. 

Everyone’s Non Scale Victories are different. They might be things like:

  • You can now fit comfortably and confidently into that amazing dress you bought for a special occasion
  • A friend that hasn’t seen you for a while notices and compliments you on your weight loss
  • Your health improves so that you can play with your kids
  • Your muffin top no longer spills out over the top of your jeans
  • All that body magic has helped you run your first 5 km without stopping
  • You have extra energy, improved confidence, and generally feel better

All these victories need to be celebrated, and your consultant will be delighted for you to share your Non Scale Victories with the rest of the class!

Two months progress

I started back at Slimming World 2 months ago, and in the last 8 weeks I’ve made great progress and managed to lose 2 stone in weight.

I wasn’t prepared to receive my 2 stone award today, as I was still 3½ away as of last week, and I didn’t think that was achievable. However I ended up losing 4 lbs in the week, which was amazing!

I wasn’t doing anything special this week – I was just following the food optimising plan as usual. And I guess it paid off!

In less good news, I’m feeling pretty ropey today, as I had a tooth surgically extracted yesterday, and it was a lot more traumatic than I had imagined it would be. I’m on a whole rake of drugs, but I still feel like I’m nursing a bad hangover – when I haven’t even had a drink!

It’s also sad that we’re losing our lovely consultant Caoimh at my Saturday morning SW group. It’s a real shame to see her go, but she’s still continuing to run her Tuesday and Wednesday groups. We don’t yet know who we’re getting to replace her on Saturdays mornings – but at least we’ve had assurances that the group will continue with somebody.

Letting go of guilt

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

We had a bit of a discussion about feeling guilty in our class today. It was worrying the number of people who felt weighed down by guilty feelings.

We all feel guilty about our actions, and one of the most common sentiments I tend to hear is that we feel guilty that we let ourselves get overweight in the first place.

I can’t believe I let things get this bad

Beating ourselves up for stuff that happened in the past is not healthy. It’s emotional baggage that’s much too heavy to be carrying around. Instead we need to learn to forgive ourselves, draw a line under the actions of the past, and concentrate on the positive changes we can make for the future.

Dwelling on the past and how we got to be overweight will only make us feel more miserable – and less likely to take action to lose weight and become more healthy.

I feel bad putting myself first

This seems to be especially true of those of us who are carers for our family or friends, where we are more used to putting everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. We feel selfish for even taking an hour out of our week to attend a Slimming World class.

However our loved ones don’t begrudge us some “me” time. In fact, because they love us so much, they want to support us in our journey. They know that being more healthy (and hopefully lighter) will make us happier, and give us more energy to invest in our relationships.

I fell totally off-plan at the weekend, and it was Tuesday before I got my head straight and back on-plan.

We’ve all been there when one blow-out sabotages not only that day, but often the few days after. We make one bad choice, and we beat ourselves up so much about it that we give up and compound that bad choice with a bunch of other ones.

What we need to accept is that, on occasion, we’re going to go off the rails. It happens, so there’s no point denying it. But our best response to it is not to feel guilty about it, and continue sabotaging our progress, but to accept it for what it was and move on as quickly as possible.

I know that if I can quickly let go of the guilt of a binge session and get back on-plan as soon as possible, then I’m going to stand a good chance of pulling it back.

I might not end up with a nice weight loss at my next Slimming World class, but I’m doing a hell of a lot less damage than if I were to stay off-plan until my next weigh-in.

I had a bad week so I won’t stay to class

One of the most common reasons for people not staying for class seems to be the embarrassment or guilt of a bad week. I know I’ve weighed and walked straight out the door a number of time when I’ve gained.

But it seems to me that when I do gain, that is often the time when I need the most help, and should be the time that I make a special effort to stay for class. After all it’s not a judgemental environment. I’ve never heard a consultant criticise someone for having a bad week. Instead all they want to do is help us!

And it’s not just the consultant. Everyone in the room is there to support us – primarily because everyone in the room knows exactly how we feel because they have gone through the exact same thing themselves!

There’s any number of reasons why we might feel guilty, but it’s worth reminding ourselves that guilt is a very negative emotion – unless, of course, it inspires us to do better. And what we need to do is try and turn that guilt into inspiration as quickly as possible – because it’s only then that we can get on with the important job of losing weight!

Weight Loss Tracker spreadsheet

I thought I’d share with you the tracking spreadsheet I created for monitoring my weight loss.

This spreadsheet was created using Microsoft Excel 2010, so it should work with that version or more recent versions. I haven’t tested it with Excel 2007.

Recording Weigh-ins

The chart allows you to record your weekly weigh-ins in order to track progress. You enter data into the cells that have a white background, and all the values with a coloured background are calculated.

Each week enter:

  • Date – the day of the week and the number of weeks is then automatically calculated
  • Weight in stones and pounds – the equivalent in pounds and kilos is automatically calculated. If the date is also in the past then the recording is marked as ‘Real’ – to distinguish from any projected losses you might enter
  • Optionally record any target/award or countdown information that might apply.

The first line is your starting weight, so make sure that’s entered correctly.

The spreadsheet will calculate your weekly loss (the difference in weight from the previous line) and total loss to date (in both pounds and stones/pounds). It’ll also tell monitor your progress against a weekly loss goal (e.g. 2 lbs a week), and your current BMI value.

The chart

Above the chart you can enter your weekly weight loss goal – how much you’d like to lose per week. That’s used to plot a goal line on the chart – the blue line. Your actual weight loss is the red line.

Your Target is your PAT, and is shown as the purple line.

Your Club 10 value is automatically calculated and is shown as the cyan line

The height value needs to be set correctly (in metres) to calculate your BMI value.

The chart automatically updates whenever you enter new weight information.

UPDATE: In response to a number of requests I’ve updated the Excel to remove the protection, so anyone should be able to download the latest version and edit/amend/extend it to their heart’s content. Enjoy!

Instant gratification

In our world of instant gratification we’re not very good at waiting for things.

You can go online and select a book, a film, or some music and be consuming it within a few seconds. We can go to the shops and select from an array of goods from all over the world. And because we’re so used to being able to get things straight away, even the 48-hour shipping of online orders can seem like an eternity.

Let me be honest. I’m not very good at waiting for things. When it comes to my Slimming World journey, I’m very impatient to see my progress. I know that losing weight takes time, but I still can’t resist feeling eager for the weeks to fly by, so that I can go along to the next weigh-in and hopefully see some more progress.

I’m a bit of statistics nerd. I love numbers and charts and graphs, and so it might not come of much surprise that I’ve got a spreadsheet to track my progress. I input my weekly weigh-in, and it tells me my progress to date. And because of my impatience to see my progress I end up filling in ‘projected’ weigh-ins for dates in the future, to see where I might be in 1 month, 2 months, 6 months time.

It’s like I want to hit fast-forward on the next 12 months of my life, and come out the other end a more healthy and slimmer version of myself. I don’t mind the healthy eating and exercise in the middle. It’s not that I’m trying to avoid the hard work. I just want time to pass more quickly, so that I can achieve my goals more quickly.

I suppose it doesn’t help that I’ve been all over Instagram over the last few weeks, and the app is full of people who are towards the end of their journey. There’s people who have lost 5 or even 10 stones, and their transformation has been amazing. They post comparison photos of their before and after selves, and the difference is often stunning.

What you don’t see in Instagram, however, is the 2-3 years of slog it took them to lose all their weight. I’m looking at people who are towards the end of their journey, whereas I’m very much at the start of mine, and that just fuels my impatience!

At the moment if I posted any comparison photos you’d struggle to see any difference in me from my 1½ stone loss over the last six week. I can feel the difference, but I can’t see it yet.

Hopefully, one day I’ll get to the point where I have some dramatic transformation photos to share, but for now that day can’t come fast enough!