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"Before" Measurements to keep you motivated

There’s weigh more to wellness than your weight. Even if stepping on the scale doesn’t send you into a downward spiral of self-loathing, it doesn’t really give you that much information about your health. The answer is not to avoid tracking altogether, but to take the right measurements. 

Don’t trust yourself to notice the small, incremental changes that add up to goal-reaching and life-improving. It may seem tedious, but collecting some data to refer back to will either show you how far you’ve come or validate that yes, your current approach isn’t taking you where you want to go.

Click here to access the tracking template that goes along with this post:

  • Here are non-scale measurements you should take to keep you motivated towards reaching any fitness goal:

Photos

Don’t suck anything in, mess with perspective, or wear loose-fitting clothing. Catch a few angles, straight-on. Get a close-up of your (not makeuped) face in natural lighting.

Sleep

How often are you waking up each night? How do you feel when you wake up? How difficult is it to fall asleep?

Digestion

Are you experiencing occasional or frequent bloating, heartburn, digestive upset, constipation?

Energy

Do you have any dependence on caffeine or sugar to keep yourself going throughout the day or kickstart the morning? Do you feel alert throughout the day? 

Pain

Are you experiencing any aches/pains in joints/muscles? Headaches? Note severity level.

Waist/Hip Measurements and Ratio

Measure smallest point at waist. Divide by measurement of widest point of hips.

Ladies want to shoot for below 0.85, guys should aim for below 0.90. 

Performance

Perform some basic movements such as squats, push ups, overhead presses, and do a set to failure. Record how much weight you were able to use and for how many reps. Bonus: take video (especially if you want help from an online trainer such as myself)

Specific goals

What you can measure, you can improve. First, write down what your goals are. Second, track them. 

For example, if your goal is to ____, track ____….

  • – lower your blood pressure… your blood pressure…
  • – work on blood sugar issues… waking (fasted) blood glucose levels
  • – gain 10 lbs of muscle… weight and body fat percentage
  • – run a 5k… how long it takes you to do a 5k now, noting whether you need to stop to walk
  • – perform a pullup… how much assistance you need to do a pullup now

Final thoughts

No matter what you’re working towards or whether your approach gets you the specific results you want, it’s beneficial to take a step back and notice how the pursuit of one or a few goals is overflowing to benefit these other aspects of your fitness. 

If you feel you’ve hit a plateau or are becoming impatient, check in. Armed with this information, you can take a more objective perspective, like I’m able to take with my clients. Likely, if you’ve been hard at work, you just didn’t notice all the progress slowly stacking up. In the event you haven’t made much progress towards a goal, you have the data to back up the hunch. Reevaluate whether the goal is realistic or take a new approach with or without the help of an expert. I’m always happy to help 😉

P.S. In case you missed it – here’s a link to the freebie I made to go along with this post.

P.P.S. Get yo’self an accountability partner, and get them on the same page – literally. Share this post with them, and go rip your goals a new one!