Success is Not Only Measured by the Number on the Scale

Q. Dear Dr. Baskett: I am working hard on my weight loss, but the number on the scale does not reflect that; what do I do?

A. Keep going, and don’t give up. Make sure you are eating well and your portion sizes are appropriate. Also make sure you are taking in an adequate amount of protein. In addition, assess your level of activity to determine if that needs to increase.

Remember, success is not only measured by the number on the scale. Weight loss is a journey with a crooked path and often with some bumps along the way. Some days your weight will go up and other days it will go down. Don’t let that discourage you. Because you are not on a diet, there is nothing to go off of. Keep moving forward.

Possibly you have had a month without much weight loss yet you have increased your activity. This is a success. Here are some other examples of success that are not dependent upon the number on the scale:

  • I was able to fit into smaller jeans.
  • I was able to get on the floor and play with my children/grandchildren and then was able to get back up.
  • I did not need a seat belt extender on the airplane.
  • My blood pressure has normalized and my diabetes is gone.
  • I have more energy.
  • I feel better about myself and have more confidence.
  • I no longer drink a six-pack of pop each day.
  • I just completed a 5K.

Now, think of some of your own successes along this journey. Acknowledge them and celebrate them. Do not let yourself be defined by the number on the scale.

Kathleen Baskett, MD is the Medical Director of Weight Management at St. Vincent Healthcare. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the author of “Moving Forward: The Weigh to a Healthier Weight”.