Non-Scale Victories- The Real Secrets to Health and Fitness

There are many common “weight loss” tools I don’t have at Tiny Fitness:

  • treadmills (aka dreadmills, amirite)
  • calipers (nothing against them, I just don’t think anyone likes to be pinched)
  • a scale

What?  No scale?  No dramatic biggest loser-style weigh-ins?

Correct. No scale.  My existing clients will know that the only time I ask for your weight is typically at your fitness assessments, and then it’s only so that we can get an accurate bodyfat measurement.


I know you do.

However, that’s really not helping you.  If you’re really big on using your scale, the most frequent weigh-in I recommend is once every 2 weeks (but once a month is even better).

Your weight is your relationship with gravity.  It is not your fitness, your health, your size, your athletic abilities, your talents and interests, or a measure of your worth as a person.

Because really, unless you’re trying to box in a certain weight class, who really cares what you weigh??

You probably care about what you look like and how you feel, but neither of those has much to do with the number on the scale.

There are hundreds of better measures of your progress than the scale; since these don’t involve the scale, we call these “non-scale victories” or NSVs.  This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some examples of NSVs:

  • Seeing progress in photos: I really recommend that you take progress pics every week or 2 weeks to see your transformation unfold right before your eyes. Your results will be most obvious if you try to wear the same thing, pose the same way, and take the photo at the same place and time each week…but don’t obsess over those details.  Just snap a quick photo.
  • Having clothes fit better: “goal pants” are real, folks! Non-stretchy clothes will reveal your progress sooner than any scale.  You probably have something in your closet already that doesn’t fit the way you’d like it to – and now you have your progress yardstick.
  • Lower measurements: the tape measure is much more honest than the scale. It’s less affected by water, hormones, a single salty meal, lack of sleep, planetary alignment, and all the other things that can throw off a scale measurement.  Inches gone (or added, depending on your goals) = progress made.
  • Drinking more water: healthy habits are their own victories! Drinking water is great for your metabolism, your mind, your skin, and many other aspects of your health.
  • Eating healthy meals: another healthy habit. Cook yourself something healthy, try a local takeout service like Snap Kitchen, or add a vegetable in place of a less healthy side…every healthy choice counts toward your progress.
  • Lower fasting blood sugar, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure: these are amazing NSVs that really show you the benefits of your fitness program.  We can’t check them here at Tiny Fitness, but many pharmacies offer free checks every month. (And, of course, there’s a blood pressure machine in pretty much every grocery store in the USA.)
  • Working out harder, faster, and longer: as your fitness improves, you might find that you can actually finish a whole Zumba class comfortably…or maybe even add another class or two to your weekly schedule. Maybe you don’t get winded going up the stairs anymore. Maybe you can do 20 toe push-ups now when last year you couldn’t do a single one. Maybe you can carry all the groceries in one trip now…these are all fabulous indicators of improved fitness that the scale will never ever show you.
  • Feeling better about yourself: whether you feel happier, wake up without that joint pain that had nagged you in the past, love what you see in the mirror, or can’t wait to rock those new jeans/shoes/Zumba harem pants (I know y’all love them, don’t lie), feeling better about yourself is one of the very best NSVs. Are you dancing in the front row of a class when you used to hide out in the back? Did you give a presentation at work without the stage fright you used to have? Fitness creates marvelous changes in your whole life, not just in the gym.

Take time to appreciate the very real progress you’re making with every workout…and consider sending that scale packing. Thank your body for everything it does for you. Trust the process. Keep reaching for your goals.

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