Non-scale Victories & Other Weight Loss Miracles

August 23, 2008

Staying Motivated When You Have “More to Lose”

For some of us, myself included, the weight loss journey is a bit longer than it is for those who need to lose a few extra pounds. We’re looking at a journey that can last at least six months or longer (and it’s definitely longer in my case). Along with the longer journey can come boredom, frustration,  and discouragement. I don’t know about any of you, but there are times when I definitely  have my “Are we there yet?” moments!

So, how do we keep on keeping on? How do we stay motivated for the long haul? How do we keep boredom at bay, and avoid backsliding into old habits? Below are a few things that have worked for me so far:

  • Focus on how far you’ve come – not how far you have to go. Think about where you were at this time last year, last month, or six months ago. Think about what you’re able to do now that you weren’t able to do back then. I can bend over and tie my shoes without getting out of breath. I can walk a mile in under twenty minutes. I’ve lost my extra chins, and a few X’s along the way.
  • Take pictures!!! Keep a photographic record of your progress. I didn’t realize just how much weight I’d lost until I was goofing around with my camera and realized that I only had one chin! Pictures will show you that you’re making progress, even when you don’t think you are.
  • Take your measurements. Taking your measurements is another way to document your progress. Along with the standard waist, hips, upper arm, thigh, and chest measurements, make note of your shoe size, your ring size, the number of holes on your watch band and your neck measurement. Losing an inch on your neck is a big deal, believe it or not!
  • Keep a journal. Write about your non-scale victories as they happen. Don’t just write what they are, though. Make sure you capture the joy and excitement you feel, too!
  • Keep trying new things. It doesn’t matter if they’re new recipes (tonight I’m making Weight Watchers Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese for the first time), new workout DVDs, new playlists on your iPod or my personal favorite, new gadgets like pedometers. Try a new activity, like inline skating or riding a bike. If you don’t like it, all you’ve lost is a few hours. You don’t have to do it ever again if you don’t want to. Mix things up a little to keep them fresh and exciting!
  • Get and share support with others who are on similar journeys. For me, this is a combination of my weekly Weight Watchers meeting with my fellow “Wednesday Night Irregulars”, daily message board discussions on the Weight Watchers message boards, this blog, and checking in with friends via phone and e-mail.

I’ve been doing this so far for almost nine months, and I’m just over halfway to my goal of losing a hundred pounds. I’ve come too far to stop now, so I have to keep things interesting!

I’m really interested in hearing your ideas, too! If you have motivational long-term weight loss tips that you’d like to share, by all means, feel free to post a comment and share them!



  1. Hi there!

    I almost 60 lbs with weight watchers about… 7 years ago. I kept it off for 2 years and now I’m back up and have about 20 more to get rid of before I’m back at my goal. I also worked as a Weight Watchers Leader for the 2 years I kept it off.

    ALL of the things you mention are REALLY good ideas. But I have to say that I disagree a lot with this line: “For some of us, myself included, the weight loss journey is a bit longer than it is for those who need to lose a few extra pounds.”

    When I was a leader, the less a person had to loose the longer it took them and the more frustrated they got. Imagine if you had to loose all your weight .2 lbs at a time. Not to mention the comments by the other women at Weight Watchers “What are you here for? You are skinny?!” “I can’t believe SHE thinks SHE has weight to lose”…etc. For women with less to lose it can be a very difficult and frustrating process. Not to mention it’s harder for them to see or feel any results – but their struggles can be just as hard as anyones.

    Anyway – I basically wanted to remind that everyone’s Weight Loss Journey is difficult and a struggle – but in the end we are not struggling to lose weight. “Losing” implies you want to find something again. We are struggling to be healthier people and to feel better in our own bodies.

    Another suggestion to add to the list – just as we would SAVOR amazing food to really appreciate it – appreciate EVERY minute of your weight journey. When you take the jeans out of the dryer and they aren’t tight. When you manage to get through a night being hungry, but out of points and resisting all temptation! Being able to walk, run or do something you couldn’t before. That new “low size” clothing piece you can fit into. Getting through a party WITHOUT touching the cheese plate (this is my personal torment and goal of each party. I’m always overflowing with pride when I manage it).

    Enjoy every second of becoming a strong, healthier and HAPPIER person. Fitting into a smaller size of clothing is just a bonus!

    Comment by alie0bronwynn — August 24, 2008 @ 3:39 pm

  2. Well, then, I will have to respectfully disagree on that. There is a very different journey right from the start for someone who has 100 or more pounds to lose than there is for someone who has 10 or 20 pounds to lose. Not that one is necessarily “easier” or “harder”, but there are some very different issues involved. Right from the start, when you’re looking at 100 lbs or more to lose, you know you’re going to be working on this for at least a year, if not more. That alone can be a very daunting prospect.

    You say “Imagine if you had to lose all your weight .2 lbs at a time” – Isn’t that exactly what it’s like for someone who has 100 or more to lose, 1 or 2 lbs at a time? Not to mention when we only lose that .2 or .6, it’s not even a drop in the bucket. At my heaviest, when I lost 5 lbs, no one could see any difference. I could have lost it all in my big toe, for all the difference it made.

    And, I DO want to “lose” something – I want to lost all of this extra “stuff” that’s been holding me back, and hiding the me that’s underneath, as well as the self-esteem and self-confidence issues that go along with the extra weight.

    We do, however, agree about celebrating and enjoying the journey. 🙂

    Comment by Carol — August 24, 2008 @ 9:10 pm

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