Follow by Email

Friday, March 21, 2014

Measuring Success

A friend sent me an article today on how to measure fitness success.  She said when she read it she thought of me.  First, that made me smile.  Thanks Kelli :)  But, also, every single piece of what I read made more sense than I ever thought it would.  It was full of all the things I've been trying to tell myself over the last few months as I've struggled with how to measure my success without seeing the scale move.  For anyone wondering, I've been successful in keeping the scale in my closet the last two weeks and only getting it out on Thursday mornings.  I'm still at 184.4 and, although I'm still aiming for 181 (and hopefully less) at some point, I am starting to realize that there are so many other ways I can measure the success I've had and continue to experience every day.  So, with that, here's how I am going to start choosing to measure my success.  And, anyone who reads this can feel free to remind me I wrote this when I get in a funk!

1. The only one about weight - I've lost 97 pounds.  That's more than the weight of my nephew and nieces combined.  Plus some.  And I feel healthy, energetic and better than I ever thought possible!
2.  I have gone from having to use a physioball behind my back to do a squat the right way to being able to do them on one of those wobbly things (although I'm still pretty shaky...).  I even held a bar time!
3. In January of 2013 I struggled to do 5 push ups on my knees without falling over.   I can now do 5 real push-ups.  Although I still haven't shown anyone.  
4.  I still remember my first workout last January.  30 minutes on the elliptical at not too easy of a pace, resistance or incline.  I believe that I was at incline and resistance 3.  And I looked around the whole time feeling like people were watching me.  Now, I do a variety of things on the elliptical.  Hill climb, sprint/jog, etc.  And, I am up to being able to set the resistance and incline at a 7 for most of my workouts.  And, I've added in the treadmill.  Oh, and I don't care if people look at me.
5.  I used to do side and front raises with two 2 lb dumbbells.  I've moved up to having a 5 lb dumbbell in each hand.  And yesterday, I did a squat and front raise while holding one 15 lb dumbbell (with both hands).  I was kinda proud of myself.
6.  I couldn't walk up the steps without being out of breath a year ago.  Now, I don't mind walking up the stairs at school or at home.  Never thought I would feel that way.
7.  I no longer feel the need to wear a heart rate monitor when I work out.  Oh, and I don't take medicine for a rapid heart rate anymore :) 
8.  Back in September of 2012, I rode a roller coaster with my then 4 year old nephew at a festival. We had trouble fitting in the car together because I was so big.  Now, I can chase him around, play with him and not run out of energy.  Oh, and we rode that roller coaster again this past year and fit much better :) 
9.  Everything about anything sugary or not good for you used to call my name.  Now, except for rare days, I don't struggle to walk away from all the cookies, brownies, candy, etc that I encounter on a daily basis.
10.  A year ago, the thought of me ever running made me laugh.  Heck, I'd laugh at Renee' when she told me to do more than 5 push ups at a time.  Or when I had to figure out how to do what I now understand to be a physioball hamstring roll in.  FYI - that requires coordination that I didn't possess until a few months ago.  Now, I've run both a 5K and a 10K (with walking involved in both) and I am signed up to run another 10K the first weekend in May.  Did I mention I ran 3.3 miles in 35 minutes today??
11.  In January 2013, I struggled to find normal vegetables at the store (we all know the garlic clove story so I won't repeat that one...but it is a classic!).  Now, I can usually find what I'm looking for and it doesn't take me 3 hours.  Oh, and as long as a recipe is written in English that not very smart people about cooking can understand, I can usually follow it.  That's a major success for me!
12.  In January of 2013, I rarely wanted to leave my house.  Now, I love going out and doing things.  I enjoy being social.  And, I'm happier than I ever thought I could be.  That, alone, is success for me.

Success is steady progress towards one's personal goals