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Hooray for Non-Scale Victories! April 29, 2009

For anybody who was wondering, it took me exactly 9 days to get back to the weight I was before that weekend trip with the wine, the dessert and the fried calamari. Which I think is actually not so bad. At any rate, I’m fine with it.

Many of my Twitter fitness and weight loss friends like to talk about NSV, or “non-scale victories.” In other words, how do you measure success other than the numbers on the scale?

I really really hate body measurements so I have avoided those like the plague. Now of course I wish I HAD measured myself in January because I’d certainly have some nice inches lost there, but I didn’t. Even now – I just measured my waist just for the fun of it, and it puts me at a SIZE 16 in ALL of the clothing catalogs I love – Athleta, J. Crew, J. Jill, Garnet Hill… bleah. Now I know there is no way I wear a size 16. Yet my measurement says that is what I should order. Which is why I am so loathe to buy clothes via catalog!!

But I had a great non-scale victory this week.

I have been going to the same trainer for about four years. He has mixed up my workouts for all this time, so my body (and mind) never know what to expect. But I have certain things I love to do and others that I dread and hate. One of my most dreaded exercise EVER has been the crab walk. We used to have to do these back and forth across the large gym floor. They made me cry. I could really not go more than 3 “steps” and my butt would collapse on the floor.  It was freaking imPOSSIBLE for me to do and they made me feel hopeless. For YEARS.

So this week I was merrily feeling quite confident and fit and everything I did, he’d say, “Piece of cake?” and I’d go, “Yeah!!” Then he said “Sit down.” I got a sick feeling in my stomach. “Give me a crab walk across the floor.” I really felt like I was going to cry. “DO IT!” So I set off. And… holy guacamole. I could do it! I wasn’t dragging my butt! I wasn’t collapsing!! I was doing it, almost like this guy!! And I realized – before, I was trying to crab walk with an extra 23 pounds on my body. If you stuck a 25 lb sandbag on top of my stomach, I can tell you I would collapse. So it’s a combination of getting stronger and having 23 lbs less to haul around!

In other NSV news, I have been working diligently on the Couch-to-5k program and I am amazed and thrilled to report that last night I completed week 5. Week five is crazier than any week so far – it took me from running 8 minutes nonstop to running 20 minutes nonstop! (um, what happened to 10, 12 or 15 minutes? Huh?) I’m basically skipping weeks 6-9 and going straight to my 5k run this Sunday. I wish I had those 3 extra weeks to train, but I think I can do it anyway. (cue Rocky music!)

And those are my non-scale victories for this week. What are yours?

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14 Responses to “Hooray for Non-Scale Victories!”

  1. Chou-Fleur Says:

    Wow, what a great list of victories! Go, go, go!

    Nine days to get right back? That’s fantastic! You didn’t let the “slip” become any kind of a “slide”.

  2. Karen Says:

    Awesome post! And I had a little ah-ha as I was carrying in four 20-pound boxes (not all at once, two at a time) of cat litter from the car and thinking, geeze…it’s hard to walk up the stairs carrying and extra 40 pounds!

  3. losingmythighs Says:

    Awesome! Those crab walks are killer, I tried to do them last year during “boot camp” (pre- ww) and I couldn’t.

    I KNOW you are going to do great during your 5k- just stick to your OWN pace. Don’t try to stay with the pack. Just get into your own zone and you’ll do fine!

  4. Yeah, I’m happy with the 9 days. And it really wasn’t a “slip” – which implies a “whooops!” moment. This was totally deliberate. I just wanted to see what would happen. And I did! :-)

  5. GO YOU!!!! I love the NSVs, they’re almost as exciting as SVs!!!

  6. Pubsgal Says:

    Way to go! Those are some great NSVs. Hmmm…I think my NSV this week was getting up a little earlier than usual and going for a 15-minute run. I don’t usually on my BodyPump class days, but I did it today.

    Best of luck at your 5K this weekend! You’ll do great! And I’ll bet you love it, too. 5K races are fun!

  7. somedayistoday Says:

    Wow, nice job. I can’t do the crab walk yet…one day I will!

  8. RobFitness Says:

    You are doing awesome and 23 pounds is a great accomplishment! You sure do Rock!!! keep up the great work..it inspires me to see other succeed and move on to other great victories.I want to also thank you for all your support and encouragement lately and for that lovely gift. I really enjoyed it. Now one thing though. I can’t seem to cut and paste it to Word and I was wondering if there is anyway you can e-mail “The Journey” I want to be able to print it out and put it on my refrig.
    My non scale victory for me this week is that I am with a new trainer as I have mentioned. It is what I need and am really looking forward to. I should have never stopped with one, but that’s the past and I learn and move onto better things. Once I start training I know I’ll be in a lot of pain so hopefully I won’t complain to much :-)

  9. Sweeter Says:

    Okay, how many people after reading this post felt compelled to try a crab walk? ::raises hand::

    ow ow ow.

    Big big congrats on the week 5 of c25k! and go you, going right to a 5k race! Can’t wait to hear your race report.

  10. RobFitness Says:

    Never even heard of a “crab”walk. Is it something that is fun? :-)
    By the way thanks for the e-mail. I got it and now have it posted on my refrigerator. Thanks..your awesome :-)

  11. KnK Says:

    i find NSVs more rewarding that SV actually… smaller clothes, less tired, more energy. all far more valuable to me than a number on the scale.

    congrats on all of your progress! you’ve turned what could have been a real downer (diabetes) into something that motivates you to be healthier! that is the true NSV.

  12. Great job getting back on track!

    I had never heard of the crab walk… I just tried in the hallway – it’s tough! I think it’s a great exercise to incorporate into my routine. Thanks for the idea!

  13. Ha – my trainer has all sorts of “animal” walks up his tricky little sleeve.

    There are also bear walks – walk on hands and feet, stiff arms and legs, backward and forward. (body like an inverted V)

    centipede walks: bend over, walk hands out 5 steps so you are in inverted wide-V position, walk feet up 8 steps to reach hands, repeat.

    All loads of fun! But the crab walks are the worst.

  14. [...] Foodie McBody has a terrific example of a “non-scale victory.” Check out our FitBriefing “Beyond the Scale” for other ways to measure our success. [...]


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