Still, I get weird on measuring day. Because it's hard not to associate it with judgment. Have I succeeded or failed this month? It all comes down to the numbers.
Which is why I've asked Mat not to tell me. He jots the numbers down while I look away. We chat about life, work, nutrition, anything else to distract me as he wraps that measuring tape around my calves, my hips, my waist, willing it to be over quickly. I cringe as he measures my arms, silently thinking "dude, I'm sorry you have to touch my stretch marks; if only I could make it up to you." I get on the scale backwards as he figures out whether I've gone up or down, and he keeps a poker face so I can't tell if it's good news or bad. And then it's over, and we train. Until the beginning of the next month, when we have to do this little dance all over again.
What's the best way to measure success when it comes to health and fitness? I understand the need for a personal trainer to have some way to track client progress. He uses those numbers to plan a program for me, to gauge whether the program is working. It just took me awhile to figure out that *I* don't need to know the numbers. And that they don't tell the whole story about whether the plan was a success. They don't measure my worth as a person, or his as a trainer, or the exercise's for their effectiveness.
This has been a good month. A really good month, actually. After several weeks of terrible eating leading up to the holidays, feeling lethargic and bloated from all the sugar and baked goods and turkey with stuffing, I've gotten back to more consistent clean eating. I feel better, with more energy, despite being pulled in too many directions and lacking sleep. Blogging and writing has not only been therapeutic for me, the response has been positive and rewarding as well. I've had some lovely social engagements with friends, old and new. The three-week personal training program that I just finished has made a noticeable difference in my posture and shoulders, and I finally got to try the squat rack in the weight room. I've finally been able to do the moving lateral push-up in Group Core this week that I kept messing up in the first week of the release. In other words, I've seen progression. It's been an overall good month.
So why would I risk undermining all of that just because the scale shows a number that I'm not happy with, or my waist hasn't changed by enough inches?
I'm writing this as a reminder to myself, because I don't always remember to believe it:
There are so many ways to measure success.
The numbers are not the best way.