Have you been celebrating your Non-Scale Victories, but still not feeling satisfied with your progress? Then this message is for you!
On today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, we’re chatting–okay, honestly, I’m sort of ranting–about why NSVs aren’t doing you as much good as you think they are. And of course, I’ve got advice about what to do instead!
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
👉 Why your NSVs don’t feel very good
👉 What you need to PRACTICE, and
👉 HOW to feel amazing about your success
Ready to celebrate ALL of your wins? Let’s GO!
NSVs (full transcript)
You’re listening to the Fitness Matters podcast with Pahla B. And this is episode number 255, “Non-scale Victories.” Welcome to the Fitness Matters podcast where every week we talk about the fitness matters that matter to you. I’m Pahla B, YouTuber, certified life and weight loss coach, soon to be author, and your best middle middle-aged fitness friend. Are you ready to talk about the fitness mindset that matters to you? Me too. Let’s go.
Before we dive into today’s topic, here’s a quick message about the Pahla B Wellness Over 50 Book Club in partnership with Chirp Audiobooks. Our latest pick is the Mindful Path to Self Compassion by Christopher Germer, which you can grab at a steep discount with no monthly subscription fees at chirpbooks.com/pahla. That’s P-A-H-L-A. While you’re there, be sure to click the follow button to get exclusive access, updates, and register for the live book club event on Friday, October 21st. I’ll see you there.
Hello, hello, my friends. Welcome to another episode of the Fitness Matters podcast. I’m so happy to be here with you today. And today, I just want you to know, I have a teeny tiny bit of it’s going to sound like a rant. I don’t mean for it to sound like a rant, and this is why I’m actually even starting off with this warning. I might not be talking to you. I might be talking to you though, and that’s why I am having this conversation today about why I don’t love non-scale victories. I know that might be a little bit surprising, right? So many fitness trainers are wanting you to really pay attention to the non-scale victories. Make sure that you’re taking pictures and taking measurements and noticing your clothes and doing all this other stuff because sometimes the scale doesn’t show your progress.
I respectfully disagree on so many levels and this might not be what you want to hear today. I always fully accept that. There are times when, and this is actually why I started off telling you, but this might sound like a bit of a rant. It might sound like something that isn’t going to be helpful for you. I’m always trying to be helpful. So if you know right here in the first three minutes of the podcast that you’re like, yeah, I don’t want to hear that today. Totally okay. Well, apparently I have 254 other episodes that might be more helpful for you.
Well, here’s why I tell you to go listen to something else if today isn’t the right message for you. I vividly remember there was this one time and this was years ago at this point when I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts and she has hundreds and hundreds of episodes, and I clicked on this one that I thought was going to be exactly what I needed to hear. And within the first two minutes, I was like, my teeth were grinding and my shoulders were getting hunched up. And I was like, I don’t think this is it today. I don’t think so. And it’s wildly beside the point of what we’re even talking about with non-scale victories. But I think that this is something so important for you to learn on your journey to whatever goal you are getting. Listen to your body when your teeth start to grind and your shoulders start to hunch up. Your body is telling you that what you are doing is not in alignment with what you want right now.
It doesn’t mean for example, that… I mean, I went back and listened to the episode that I just couldn’t hear at the moment. Perfectly wonderful episode. Actually ended up having tons of helpful advice and it still wasn’t what I needed in the moment that I thought I needed. This episode or any episode you listen to, if you notice yourself just disagreeing with me, don’t hate listening to the podcast. Please don’t hate the videos. Don’t put yourself in any position where your body is sending you signals that you are ignoring. Okay. That was a little podcast within the podcast.
Here’s the thing about why I don’t love non-scale victories in the way that I hear them used most often. Let me actually put that little caveat on it because when a fitness trainer, for example, is telling you, oh, pay attention to all these other things, because the scale isn’t showing you what you want, or when you are posting on Facebook or telling me things on YouTube or Instagram about your non-scale victories, here’s why I don’t like it.
I don’t like it when somebody else or you are treating the non-scale victories like a consolation prize, like, well, you’re not getting what you really want, but here’s a silver lining. And yes, that’s me using my super sarcastic voice just in case you’re reading the transcription. There needs to be a sarcasm font, because that was it. When you are treating yourself or allowing somebody else to give you advice that treats you like that, I want you to understand what that’s doing to you. It’s not making you feel better. It’s actually making you feel worse. And yes, I just said the phrase making you. Nothing makes you feel anything except your own thoughts, but you are far more likely to be missing the automatic thoughts that are running around in your brain that are telling you you’re not losing weight, the scale isn’t doing what you want it to do.
You’re never going to get where you want to go. You have to keep going, but this isn’t working. All of those underlying thoughts that you are trying to shove down by giving yourself this consolation prize of I’m so happy that such and such showed up today. Now here’s the thing. If you actually feel happy about the such and such thing, announce it like that. I’m so excited that I noticed this thing today, rather than calling it a non-scale victory, which I mean even that word puts you in this position where you are comparing one success to another, like a consolation prize. It’s just a straight up victory to fit into your clothes better. It is a straight up victory to be losing inches. It’s a straight up victory to look at a picture of yourself and be like, man, I look great today. Call it what it is.
It’s a win. It’s amazing. It’s you being successful. It’s not in comparison to this other thing that you actually really want more. Now, here’s the other part of my rant. Acknowledge your scale victories. All of them. All of them. That’s me kind of being sarcastic again, except that one’s not sarcastic. What is that? That’s the thing where I’m putting so much emphasis on it because this is a rant. It drives me crazy. It makes me feel something. It doesn’t. Nothing out there makes me feel anything. I have lots of thoughts about the way we all speak to ourselves. And here are my opinions about the way that you might be speaking to yourself about the scale. The thing about the scale is that A, it is an actual objective measure of your progress.
And that’s not to say that it is the better thing. I mean, again, we’re not talking about consolation prizes and the thing that you really want. And on all of that. What I’m saying though, is that it is a measure of your progress that you cannot argue with. Having said that, you are also a biological specimen whose weight will fluctuate constantly on your way to losing weight. So acknowledging that there are fluctuations, recognizing that what you see is data about what your body is doing, and really acknowledging your wins. Every single time the scale goes down, it’s going down. And even when the scale goes up, when there are fluctuations, acknowledge that that is simply a fluctuation and that you are over time losing weight. The thing about the scale is that we often hold off on recognizing some kind of win on the scale until we’ve reached some sort of milestone, five pounds, 10 pounds, 20 pounds, whatever.
You are and I say this with love and somebody somewhere has probably disproved this, but you are generally speaking 99.99% of the time not going to lose five pounds at a chunk. That’s just not really the way it works. Unless of course you don’t weigh yourself for several weeks at a time. If you are weighing yourself every day, you are almost definitely not going to lose five pounds at once. If you are waiting longer in between, there’s a chance you could certainly. Certainly, especially if you are waiting several weeks, but the thing is you are going to lose weight, a quarter of pound, a half of a pound, one pound, 1.2 pounds at a time. When you aren’t acknowledging those losses as wins, you are missing a huge, huge opportunity.
And here’s what I mean. One of the things that is holding you back on your weight loss journey is a lack of practice of feeling good about yourself. I know that sounds so funny, but I want you to think about what you’d feel like, if for example, you won the lottery. You know how you would be completely and utterly overwhelmed. Like, oh my gosh, this is so much money. This is wild. I can’t believe it. This is so crazy, like that crying and hysterical reaction that you’d have to it. This is actually why people go out and spend all of their lottery winnings and then are broke again because they can’t handle the emotion of having what you want. They haven’t practiced feeling rich. You haven’t practiced feeling thin. You haven’t practiced feeling successful. You haven’t practiced feeling like you are capable of getting what you want.
Imagine that. Imagine yourself waking up tomorrow at your goal weight. It would be overwhelming. It would be too much. It would be so emotionally overwrought that you wouldn’t be able to handle it. In fact, if you’re anything like me, because this is something I have noticed in myself and it’s something I’ve been working on for a long time, we always think about like, oh, I eat when I’m stressed or I eat when I’m frustrated. I actually eat when I am “too happy.” I’ve noticed this in myself as I have had more success in my business, as I have had things happen that I have been dreaming about for years. Really specifically, I noticed that the first time I had actually really felt through being too happy was the day that I got my agent from my book. And it was the hardest emotion I have ever felt. Like hands down, the toughest thing I have ever, ever, ever just sat through and allowed.
I think I’ve told this story before how I actually wanted to clean my house because it was so hard to just feel the feeling. I don’t usually clean. I don’t know if you know that about me. I have a very tidy house, but deep cleaning, mopping the floors and really cleaning stuff like the refrigerator, stuff like that. I don’t do that very often. I do, but it’s not my favorite thing. So when I want to clean, I know that it’s because there’s some other emotion that I am trying to avoid. So for me, I notice when I’m trying to down regulate a really up emotion. When I am too happy, I usually head to the pantry or go try and clean or try and walk it off or get the jitters out. It feels like too much. And the antidote for that is to practice it.
Feeling happy, feeling successful, acknowledging your wins, feeling proud of yourself, feeling satisfied that you’ve done the right thing, I want you to just take a moment right now. Feel proud of yourself. Can you conjure that emotion? Can you conjure that emotion and feel it comfortably? Proud really, really specifically is something that I don’t know if this is a girl thing or a something our age thing, or if it really is everybody universal, nobody should feel proud. Something that we get normalized to that you shouldn’t be too proud of yourself. You should. You can. And it’s a completely legitimate feeling to feel. The problem of course is when somebody actually doesn’t feel proud of themselves is when they wish they felt proud of themselves. And because they don’t, they behave in ways that try and knock people other down, try and make other people feel less than.
That’s actually not pride. That’s a whole different feeling. You being proud of yourself, feeling successful with yourself, creates for you beautiful actions. You will look for ways to be proud of other people. You will look for ways to give compliments to other people when you feel good about yourself. Practicing that feeling for even the tiniest things is the way to get where you want to go. Being proud and feeling successful at both your scale victories and your non-scale victories without trying to crowd out the negative thoughts that you have about what you are not getting, that’s where the win is. Now, not really the flip side, but kind of the other half of this practical advice that I have for you to feel all of your wins is to acknowledge all of the yucky thoughts also.
This is why most of us go looking for non-scale victories. And where I started with this rant is because you’re trying to squash down and not listen to the junk that you are telling yourself about not having scale victories. Write those thoughts down. This is what we do, my friends, we use the two step tool, which is to find your thoughts and decide if they’re helpful. You have lots of thoughts that aren’t helpful and it’s completely okay. There’s nothing wrong with your thoughts that the scale isn’t cooperating. That thought exists in your head.
Rather than being afraid of it or trying to avoid it or trying to squash it down or trying to console yourself with other things that you can feel good about, simply acknowledge that your brain is offering you that thought. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s a thought. It’s not true. And it’s definitely not helpful. This is how we get where we want to go. You guys, we listen to the thoughts that feel lousy, and we recognize that they are unhelpful. Recategorizing an unhelpful thought in your brain, telling your brain this thought isn’t going to help me get to my goal doesn’t mean that you’re arguing with it. Doesn’t mean that you’re trying to squish it down. Doesn’t mean that you feel bad about it. It simply means that you acknowledge this is a thought in your head that isn’t helping you. Your brain will offer you that thought less often when you take a look at it and recategorize it.
The answer to non-scale victories, even though non-scale victories is not a problem, but the answer to this problem that isn’t a problem is to actually feel proud and successful with your non-scale victories. To actually take a moment to feel proud and successful and satisfied with your scale victories and to acknowledge and recognize and recategorize your thoughts that tell you anything else.
My friends, I hope this was helpful for you today. I do, of course, want to hear about your non-scale victories and your scale victories. And even better than all of that, I want to hear about your lousy thoughts too. I want to help you acknowledge and recategorize the ugly thoughts as well as the beautiful ones. And I hope this was helpful for you today. Thank you for listening. I’ll see you again soon. If you are getting a lot out of the Fitness Matters podcast and you’re ready to take it to the next level, you are going to love the Get Your Goal Coaching and Accountability Group. We take all the theory and knowledge here on the podcast and actually apply it in real life on your real weight loss and fitness goals. It’s hands on, it’s fun, and it works. Find out more at pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal and let’s get your goal.