We’re one full week into the new year and if you’ve set a New Year’s resolution, you may already be eager to see if you’ve had success. But how do you measure success now that you’ve finally decided to ditch dieting and a resolution for weight loss?
When your goal was to lose weight, an easy barometer of your success was the bathroom scale. The scale tells you whether you’re moving in the right direction, or whether you need to keep working harder towards your goal.
But what now that it isn’t about the weight? And therefore, not about the number on the scale?
What would your goal be instead? Would your goal be for self-acceptance, health, happiness, wellbeing, calm, spiritual lightness…? How could you measure what that kind of success looks like?
You certainly can’t measure those things on a scale, so let’s explore some other ways you might choose to measure success this year.
It’s Not About How You Look
You may have been advised that you should stop weighing yourself, but you’ll know if you’re gaining or losing weight based on how your clothes are fitting. Maybe you’ve been trained to measure your body to look for lost or gained inches.
But it’s not about how you look. It’s never been about how you look. Reaching your goal weight is not about how your body looks. It’s always been about how your life would suddenly change and everything would be perfect once you got to your goal weight. But we all know that’s just a lie we’ve been sold.
Instead, Success Is About…
How You Feel
Do you feel more energy? Lighter in spirit? Can you get through the day without wishing you were back in bed? Are the little things that once drove you crazy really not such a big deal now?
Do you feel confident? Worthy? Deserving of taking up space?
In a word, you feel “better”.
How You Move
Is movement joyful? Do you move in ways that are for enjoyment rather than punishment? Have you forgotten to look at your fitness tracker because you trust that you’re incorporating enough movement into your day? Movement is no longer something you dread or obsess over. If you miss a workout, your entire day is not ruined.
How You Think
Have you let go of your food rules? All those rules that told you when you could eat and what you could eat. Have you let go of the thoughts that told you you weren’t smart enough, pretty enough, kind enough or just plain good enough?
Do you realize that you are free to be whoever and whatever you want to be? There’s no longer anything holding you back.
How You Interact
Are you free to be your true self around others? A self that isn’t worried about comparisons? A self that isn’t joining in conversations that put yourself or others down simply to bond with others. Are you expressing your truth and allowing yourself to be heard? Are you okay with the fact that you may not be the exact same as everyone else?
How You Practice
Do you realize that you’ll never be perfect? That you may still catch a glimpse of your body and wish you could change it? That you may still compare yourself to others. That sometimes you don’t feel good after eating too much and catch yourself feeling shame.
Are you gentle with yourself when you become aware that you’re still working on these things? That they don’t just go away overnight. And it may take this whole year or even the next year to truly stop worrying about your weight. It may take even longer than that. And you’re okay with that because this is a process and a practice and you trust that you’re moving in the right direction.
How You Inspire
Are your conversations about building each other up, rather than tearing each other down? Do you like and share posts on social media with a similar message to your own, or are they still messages stuck in diet culture? Do you encourage others to find the same freedoms you found, or do you contribute to their being stuck in diet culture? Will you publicly say that your life is better without dieting, or will you be ashamed to admit it? Do you realize that your life’s worth is about way more than losing weight?
How do you measure success without using a bathroom scale?