You're likely seeing NSV more these days, and thinking, "What does NSV mean?" NSV stands for non-scale victories, and it’s something a lot of people don’t focus on enough. Anyone who makes the decision to lose weight, usually works incredibly hard to see the scale move. At times the scale doesn’t budge for weeks or months, and unfortunately people get frustrated and quit. But, not losing weight doesn’t mean you’re not succeeding in positive change. There are so many other wonderful, positive things that are happening with your body that the scale isn’t showing. Plus, if you keep working out consistently, change will continue to happen, and the scale will start moving. Throughout the journey of losing weight, there are lots of victories to celebrate along the way. Let’s talk about some of the victories that should be celebrated.
Clothes fit better: Even though the scale might not move very much, people who regularly exercise will often notice that their clothes are fitting better. Our bodies change as we exercise and we’ll start to become stronger and more toned.
Improved mood: This is one of the best NSV’s. Have you ever noticed how much better you feel mentally after working out? If you’re angry, tired, grumpy or sad, exercising is one of the best ways to get out of that funk. It’s also proven that exercise is one of the best non-pharmacological ways to improve symptoms of depression.
Lower blood sugars: Exercising regularly will help to regulate blood sugars, especially after meals. By exercising regularly and being mindful of how much sugar you consume, it’ll also lessen your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
Lower blood pressure: Exercising regularly is a great way to make your heart stronger and to help lower your blood pressure. I’ve had viewers comment on my channel that they have been taken off their blood pressure medications since exercising regularly to my workouts. High blood pressure can lead to strokes and heart attacks so making exercise a regular part of your day is definitely worth the time.
Less pain: If you often feel stiff or have arthritis, exercise will actually help to decrease the pain and help you to move MORE. By starting slowly and exercising regularly, you will likely notice a big improvement within a few days to a week.
More flexibility and agility: Have you noticed when you don’t exercise for a few days, how stiff you become? With exercising regularly, you’ll notice a difference in your flexibility and agility. You’ll be quicker in your movements and decrease your chance of falling.
More energy: Exercise has a wonderful way of energizing us. If you have an office job or you have been sitting on the couch knitting or reading on a tablet for hours, you’ll often feel exhausted by the afternoon and start to nod off. But, if you get up, go up and down the stairs a few times, or go for a walk or do a workout, it is absolutely amazing how you will become energized. Try it! Next time you feel sluggish, workout or go for a walk or do some kind of movement. It definitely works! Once you start exercising daily, increased energy is one of the great NSV’s people experience.
Ability to cope: Exercise is an awesome coping skill everyone should use. If you’re feeling irritable, try exercise. Most people who exercise regularly find that they have a better ability to be able to cope with stressful situations.
Improved sleep: Exercise absolutely helps people to sleep better. For a lot of people who exercise regularly and then miss a workout, they often notice they don’t sleep as well on the days that they haven’t exercised.
Stronger bones and muscles: You won’t see your bones getting stronger, but they are getting stronger with exercise. You will also likely start to notice definition in your arms and legs and those are definitely things to celebrate. Being strong allows you to lift kids/grandkids, groceries, gardening supplies, etc., more easily. It also means decreasing your chance of falls.
The list for non-scale victories goes on and on. A few suggestions for focusing on, and celebrating NSV’s:
If you get frustrated with the scale, do not weigh yourself every day. It can be very deflating to work super hard, and then see that the scale is up. Weigh yourself once a week and be sure to weigh yourself first thing in the morning, naked (or in the same clothes each weigh in), and before you eat or drink anything. Your weight can fluctuate each day with how much fluid you drink, how many carbs you eat, whether or not you had a bowel movement that day, and at what time of the day you weighed yourself.
Take a photo of yourself in the same clothes and at the same time of the day (ideally first thing in the morning), once a month or less. Sometimes photos have a better way of showing your progress than a scale will show.
Take time to mentally think about the non-scale victories you see each week. Is it easier to lift groceries? Are you able to get down and up from the floor more easily? Are your knees in less pain? Are you sleeping better? If you find it helps, write the NSV’s down once a week to remind yourself that you ARE seeing positive results from exercise.
Be patient. Over and over again people talk about how hard they work and how they aren’t seeing the results they want. If you exercise regularly and stick to healthier foods, change WILL happen and you will eventually lose weight (on top of seeing all the amazing NSV’s!). Continue to move daily as much as YOU can and trust that positive change will continue to happen. It takes some people a lot more time than others to lose weight, especially in our 50’s and later. Learn to ENJOY movement, and appreciate all the wonderful things exercise does for you. Be thankful you CAN move and do what you can to continue to be able to get stronger and healthier each day.