When you’re trying to lose weight or you’re embarking on what a lot of people like to call a “fitness journey” you’re going to need a good way to track your progress. From the very beginning you have a goal in mind, mine has always been to just be in good health. I never set goals to lose a certain number of pounds or look a certain way, because I’ve found that those kind of goals aren’t guaranteed and can totally un-motivate me if I don’t reach them. So, over the years I’ve used just a few ways to track my fitness that motivate me, and help me get in tune with my body.
Three Different Ways to Track Your Weight Loss
Before and After Pictures
There is nothing more satisfying than that visual representation of a positive body change. Since we look at ourselves every day, it’s hard to notice those little changes over time. So, I’ve always been one to take photos. Of course, I don’t tend to share them with anyone, they’re just for me! I find the very best kind are taken in a bathing suit, or form fitted workout gear. I’m also sure to wear the very same outfit when I take the pictures so I can get the best representation of any changes. Another tip, don’t take the pictures during times of the month that you know you’re going to be bloated or after you’ve had a little weekend full of fun eating. Extra water weight from things like that aren’t going to be a true representation for you.
Measurements are another good way to track changes if you’re not seeing any changes on the scale. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat – if you’re working out a lot, you may gain muscle, so the number on the scale may not change. However, you’re measurements will! I measure around the smallest part of my waist, under my belly button (that stubborn momma pooch area), hips, thighs and arms. If you want to manually calculate body fat percentage there are a whole number of measurements you can take, but I don’t typically do that. Years ago, after my first son was born I kept a running list on my phone notes, of my measurements. I would date it – add my weight and then all of my measurements. It always motivated me to look back at those numbers and see progress.
A Smart Scale
I used to totally loath scales. When I started dedicating myself to fitness, I didn’t lose weight – I actually gained weight. Ten pounds to be exact. My measurements changed, my pictures changed, but that number on the scale grew. So, I avoided scales, and just stuck to the first two methods above. Until I realized I could get a scale that would give me more insight into my body. The Nokia Body+ scale is new to me and has been really eye opening. The scale helps you get to know your body; there is more to your numbers than weight. The scale measures your total weight, body fat percentage, weight in muscle, weight of your bones and the percentage of water in your body, it will even tell you what the weather is for the day.
Finding out my numbers, really gave me confidence! After years of working out, I was excited to find that my body fat percentage is actually athletic range for women and that I have about 81 pounds of muscle in my body. On the other side of this, if I had found this scale earlier, I know seeing the body fat percentage and the muscle weight change would have been confidence boosting and the motivation I needed to keep going. Knowing your numbers helps you set out a plan for what you want to achieve – do you want to lose a few pounds of fat and gain muscle? Or, maybe you’re feeling a little too beefy and want to lean out some of the muscle. Whatever your goal, this scale gives you insight, and knowledge is power. It has the capabilities to track eight different people, and has special modes for babies, pregnancy and athletes. The battery will also last you up to 18 months!
The scale also works with the free Health Mate app. The app will chart your results, track goals and even syncs with other popular apps like MyFitnessPal and the Nike+ App I mentioned in my workout app post. If you’re tracking things like your blood pressure, you can add those reading into the app also! The thing I love most about the app, is it takes everything I used to do (manually writing out results and storing them) and keeps it all in one place for me.
Things to Remember
Women naturally fluctuate in weight throughout the month due to our cycles, and also carry more fat than men. So, there will be weeks you weigh more. I know personally I have about two lean weeks and two heavier weeks every month. I’ve become so in tune to my body, I know when those times will happen, so I don’t beat myself up when I weigh an extra five pounds or a pair of jeans is a little tight. Now, if my lean weeks roll around and that extraness isn’t going anywhere, I pay attention. The key point here is get to know your body #KnowYourself – gain that insight and love your shape!
NEW! I’ve started a collaborative Pinterest board for the Oh, Hey Girl! Link-Up. I would love for you to join and share your looks there too! Just send me a message on Pinterest or at Brooke@pumpsandpushups.com if you would like to be added.
Link up any post you would like to show off; your outfit, home decor, recipe, workout. Anything at all! Because, oh, hey girl! I want to see it!
See who I link with here! (p.s. – if you have a new link up on your blog, leave it in the comments, so I can add to this list!)