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Measuring Progress

Happy new year everyone! Hope everyone had a great holiday and had lots of quality time with friends and family. It is that time of the year where everyone makes their new resolutions once again. Statistically, 80% of all New Year resolutions are health and fitness related. Ok, the truth is, I made that up but I have a feeling that if I bothered to fact-check that, the numbers will be strongly correlated. Hey, there is a certain President somewhere in the world who got elected and no one bothered to fact-check him. Don’t start with me. What I’d like to do this year is help someone out there set realistic and achievable goals and it begins with the metrics for success.

The weight loss journey is hard and many of us as we grow older become increasingly conscious of the changes in our body. As you will end up finding out, if you haven’t already, it isn’t always as easy as what we watch on YouTube videos or read in magazine spreads. The most frustrating part sometimes is not seeing the effort you’ve put in translate into numbers on the scale. This is where I remind you that it is about #ProgressNotPerfection and there are so many other ways to measure progress. You can’t live and die by the scale.

  1. Progress Pictures: Before I started taking my diet and fitness levels more seriously, I’d see pictures of other people on the internet and never quite understood the apparent vanity. The truth is, progress pictures are sometimes more gratifying than the numbers on a scale. They show you different versions of yourself at various points. Take more pictures, not necessarily to show to the world, but more for you to be proud of yourself as you go. Look in the mirror more, tell yourself you look great! P.S: Don’t bother hacking my iClouds, you won’t find anything there.
  2. Energy/Performance Levels: Another way you can measure your progress that is perhaps more anecdotal than many would like is how you feel when you perform your exercises. Are you running faster and for much longer than you did 2 weeks ago? Can you jump higher, Lift heavier, etc? Those are often indications to changes in your body that you should also be proud of. When I first started taking the gym more seriously, I remember my gym partner lifting me up from the waist as I struggled to complete my pull-ups. Now, let that thought marinate for a second, it’s funny now even thinking about it. The first day I completed a full set myself, I felt very accomplished. Even though my weight on the scale hadn’t changed significantly by then, I knew I was getting stronger. Those little victories are like mini cheerleaders in your mind that keep egging you on
  3. Change Clothes: When your pants start sagging off and you really need a belt, that’s often times a sign of progress. You should be proud of that too. For guys, it can also be you finally filling out your shirt a little more aesthetically. Here’s a nod to all the gentlemen in shirts one size down.   
  4. Learn to Enjoy the process. Hey! Look, no way you are getting through the year if it starts to feel like a chore? You know why? We hate chores! If we could get out of doing them, we absolutely will! The secret to that is accepting that it is a lifestyle choice not some crash-course program. What that means is that, a bad day isn’t the end of the world. Neither is a seemingly immovable number on the scale. If you are doing it to improve the quality of your life, except you are trying to commit suicide (in which case, this is the least effective way of going about it), you have the rest of your life to make up for days where you have fallen behind. Hey! Smart ass, that’s not an excuse to not do anything. Nice try. J
  5. Lastly, more information isn’t always good. Don’t fall victim of bro science. If you don’t know what that means, that’s when the next guy at the gym has some unverifiable piece of evidence as to why you should eat this, that and the third. Now, you better study all the basics on proper forms, eating habits and all that. Just know where to draw the line and the authenticity of where you are obtaining your information from. I’ve been bedridden from doing hack squats a certain way because I paid attention to everything else but my body.

Most of all, I’ll leave you with a quote I saw at the gym. “There is no right or wrong way to feel good”. Or something like that. I knew I should have taken a picture. Look out for our Q1 fitness challenge in my next post.


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