I had a client named Lisa awhile back. Lisa worked hard on an overall lifestyle change and got back into her size 10 clothes for the first time in almost a decade. It was a huge accomplishment, and I felt great seeing her commitment to health and fitness pay off. But when I asked Lisa about her success, she pointed to the scale.
It didn’t reflect the kind of success she wanted to see. And though she fit into her clothes comfortably and confidently, she felt she had failed.
I see this all the time. Many of my female clients get so caught up in weighing a certain amount that they can’t feel happy unless the scale tells them they can be. If you do just one thing, I urge you to step off the scale and focus on more telling matters, such as how confident you feel, how sexy you are, how much muscle mass you have, how much weight you can lift, how many miles you can run, or how well you rock your look.
Lisa was weight training and therefore had more muscle than before. She’d had two children, which increased her bone density from before she had kids. Plus, it was pretty unrealistic of a woman in middle age to want to weigh the exact same as when she was in her early 20s.
So I asked, “If you feel good in your clothes, how have you failed? Does it really matter if you are 4 pounds heavier than what you expected to be?”
Lisa had to think about it. On one hand, she could see how she had succeeded. On the other hand: that darn scale.
Eventually Lisa’s mindset shifted. She began to see that happiness does not come from a number on a box on the floor. It comes from feeling confident and strong and healthy. It comes from accepting that what you weighed at 19 or 29 may not be possible ever again. It comes from loving who you are, where you are, right now.
And that is success by any measure.
Clint Ashton is a personal trainer at Absolute Health & Fitness in Queensland, Australia. He is dedicated to helping women over 40 create lifelong change through health, fitness, and self-development. For more information, go to absolutehealthfitness.com.au.