Life-Changing Fitness Goals that doesn't involve the Scale
A scale is an important tool for those people trying to lose weight. While the scale can be a useful tool in your overall health and fitness, it's certainly not the only measurement used if you're healthy. After all, the scale can't tell if you're getting stronger, or it cannot measure how much muscle or body fat you have.
If you want to shift your focus away from the number on the scale, consider one of the following non-weight-related goals that have helped women live healthier lives. They just might inspire you to take on the fresh perspective you need to get motivated and empowered to be your healthiest self yet.
Get More Sleep
For years, digital marketer Amy Ogbonna focused her health and fitness efforts on looking a certain way. The thing is aesthetics couldn't make up for the fact she felt unfocused and fatigue throughout the day.
"I was always aware that I needed to improve my sleep," Ogbonna says, "For much of my adult life, I've considered myself a night owl - and as years have passed, I've paid the price for my lack of sleep more and more."
These days, Ogbonna sticks to a routine that ensures she'll score quality zzz's. "I put my phone on 'night mode' after dark, spend the last 30 minutes before bed screen-free, and leave my phone in the living room overnight," she says.
Ogbonna says shifting her focus from burning maximum calories or looking a certain way to supporting the rest she needs has helped her understand health and fitness are about training and eating for life - not a particular event. "It doesn't matter if you look good for a party if you're going to feel terrible leading up to, during and after that party," she says.
A special education coordinator, Lindsay Anderson has always given 120% to her job. To keep the stress of long days at bay, though, she realized she needed to set goals that would hold her accountable for taking care of herself, too.
"I've also always needed another 'thing' to work toward the outside of my job," Anderson says. "First it was grad school, then training for a half-marathon and now, this year, it's to exercise at least three times a week."
Every Sunday, Anderson looks at her schedule for the week, plans out when she'll take workout classes and marks them in her planner. On those days, she brings her workout gear with her to work, so she can head straight to class from there.
"Trying new classes and finding workouts I enjoy helps me stay consistent and feel all-around happier," Anderson says, "I really enjoy having healthy and motivating to focus on other than work."
Like many women, social media manager and New York City resident Arielle Weg fell into a cycle of setting - and giving up on - scale-focused health goals. "I would say I'm going to lose 20 pounds, 'without getting more specific or creating a plan," says Weg. "It wasn't empowering in any way - and I always fell flat after a few weeks."
Come New Year's 2019, Weg was ready to set a more attainable, positive goal that had nothing to do with her weight. "I'd always wanted to be a runner, so I decided to finally commit and sign up for a 5k with a friend," Weg says.
Weg used a running app to coach her three weekly runs - and instead of stressing about the scale, focused on eating to fuel her workouts and appreciate her body while running, "There's something amazing about feeling your body get stronger and knowing that you ran better than you did last week," she says. "The thrill was so much more satisfying than any number the scale could provide."
Focus on Mental Health Too
Afton Doe, a communications advisor eho lives with depression and insomina, long focused on the external appearance of her body. "I was only focused on physical results - and if I didn't see them, I'd push through exhaustion or pain to try to achieve them," Doe says.
After learning that research suggests exercise could support both of her mental health concerns, Doe realized her approach to health and fitness was actually backfiring - so she reset her priorities.
"Now I am more gentle with myself," she says. "I aim to go to the gym three days a week, but don't force myself anymore." For Doe, viewing exercisw as medicine and a means to better well-being has helped her enjoy gym time more - and feel all-around happier and more in-tune with her body and mind.
Health and fitness have always been top-priorites for personal trainer Alexandria Bizub. However, for years, she denied her strong, athletic build an effort to be as lean and thin as possible. "No matter how lean I got, though, I was never fullfilled," Bizub says. So, when she decided to embrace her natural strength, everything changed.
"My current goals are to get as strong as possible and be proud of the muscle I am building," she explains. To support this shift in focus, Bizub started competing in powerlifting - and is now even tracking to beat a couple of state records. "I find this extremely empowering," says Bizub. "I'm going to be recognized for how strong I am, not for what my body looks like."
By focusing on her own strength, Bizub feels better able to motivate her clients to strive for feeling good, too.