Success Beyond The Scale: Non-Scale Victories Worth Celebrating

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Do you find yourself feeling frustrated and demotivated after stepping on the scale?

Are you tired of using an arbitrary number to determine the success of your fitness efforts or weight loss journey?

Non-scale victories introduction

Getting caught up in scale-centered thinking often causes frustrating and demotivation because it is not an accurate measure of your fitness level or overall health.

Once I learned to shift my focus from body weight to non-scale victories, I feel more in love with exercise and it transformed not only how I saw myself on the outside but how strong and confident I felt on the inside.

Let’s break free from scale centered thinking and focus on what really matters and that is making healthy changes that have a positive impact on both your physical and mental well-being!


  • First, we are going to define “results” and introduce you to non-scale victories
  • Next, you will learn examples of accomplishments the scale cannot measure.
  • Lastly, you will learn how to set physical activity goals outside that focus on performance over weight loss.
  • Bonus, I want to give you a workout progress tracker to keep you focused, committed and motivated to stay consistent with your exercise routine.

Let’s do this!

Disclosure: Although I am a certified prenatal/postnatal exercise specialist and personal trainer, I am not YOUR trainer. The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute of the information and advice you receive from a healthcare professional. This website does not replace the medical advice you receive from your provider.

“I’m Not Seeing Results”

Does this sound familiar?…

You’ve been working your booty off to lose weight but the number on the scale is not budging.

All that hard work with “no results” leaves you feeling frustrated and demotivated.

This is what I call “scale-centered thinking”.

It is easy to become demotivated when the scale isn’t showing you the progress you want to see, but that doesn’t mean all your hard work isn’t paying off!

The problem here is that you are focusing on the wrong results!

The scale does not reflect your physical strengths and progress, how hard you have worked or the amazing accomplishments that you have achieved in your fitness journey.

It can’t show you the 10 seconds you shaved off your 5k time or the 10 extra push-ups you can do compared to a month ago.

The scale only reflects an arbitrary number that can change from day-to-day and is affected by things such as water retention, hormones, and stress levels.

There are MUCH better ways to track your progress with something called “non-scale victories”.

skinny girl in bathing suit vs strong girl in bathing suit

Understanding Non-Scale Victories

A non-scale victory is a measurable health and fitness result that doesn’t rely on a scale number for motivation or progress tracking.

For example, instead of making a goal to “lose 10 pounds” you can make measurable goals like, “run a mile in 11 minutes” or “do 20 push-ups without stopping”.

Non-scale victories are the small wins that keep you motivated and consistent, especially during times of weight-loss plateaus.

They reflect your ability to move better, feel better and become the best version of yourself without allowing a number to define your success.

These victories are about celebrating the positive changes you’ve made and all your hard work and every little step you take towards reaching your goals.

And it’s understanding that you are moving in the right direction regardless of what the scale says.

30-60 Day Non-Scale Victory Challenge (3 months worth)

Now let’s put all that knowledge into action!

  1. First, I would like you to create a list of performance based goals you would like to accomplish in the next 4-8 weeks. These should be things that have nothing to do with body size or scale number. (see below for examples)
  1. Now use this Non-scale victory tracker to document your journey to reaching your goals.

How To Reach Your Goals:

  • Show up– Consistency is the most important part of any workout or weight loss routine. You cant get stronger if you don’t do the workouts.
  • For strength goals- you will try to complete an extra 2-5 reps of your exercises each workout. If you can do more than 15 reps, then you will slightly increase the weight.
  • For endurance focused goals: You will incorporate HIIT 1-2 days a week to help improve strength and stamina. If you are trying to complete a specific distance running, then you will do HIIT workouts on a treadmill.
  • You can find treadmill HIIT workouts here.
  • You can find body weight HIIT workouts here.
  • Modify as needed- If you are trying to increase and improve your push-ups, you can modify them by starting with bench push-ups. Then after a few days, do the push-ups on a slightly lower surface until eventually you are on the ground.

8 Non-Scale Focused Goals

  • Complete X number of push-ups
  • Hold a plank for X amount of time without feeling back or pelvic pain
  • Complete X number of burpees
  • Perform X number of squats
  • Squat X amount of weight
  • Be able to do a pull-up
  • Do X amount of sit-ups
  • Jump rope for X amount of time without stopping
  • Become faster at completing a workout
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How Do I Know My Workouts are Working if I Can’t Weight Myself?

This non scale victory list will help you celebrate your accomplishments outside bodyweight.

Postpartum NSV’s

Your Clothes Are Fitting Better

As your body composition changes, you will likely find that your clothes fit better despite a change in your body weight.

This is because muscle mass is more takes up less space than body fat.

In other words, muscle mass is more condense than fat weight.

  • Feeling more comfortable and confident in your clothes
  • You notice your clothes fit looser in specific areas that were once too snug
  • You are able to wear a smaller size
  • The waistband feels less restrictive and uncomfortable.
  • Can you fit into clothes you couldn’t wear before?
  • Skinny jeans are no longer off limits
  • You fit back into your favorite pair of jeans
  • You realize you need to buy a smaller size
  • Your body measurements getting smaller

Energy Levels

Regular strength training combined with a healthy diet is the best way to boost energy levels and release those feel-good hormones to help you power through your day.

  • You don’t need that extra cup of coffee half way through the day
  • Your concentration and focus is better you don’t feel as mentally fatigued
  • You feel more motivated and productive during the day
  • You have more energy and stamina to keep up with your kids
  • You notice a more positive mood and better able to handle stress

Related: Never Diet Again: Calorie Cycling For Weight Loss

You Are Becoming Physically Stronger and more Fit

  • You don’t need that extra cup of coffee half way through the day
  • You are able to run faster than you could when you first started
  • You can lift heavier weights
  • You can do more repetitions
  • You can complete workouts faster
  • Recovery time isn’t as long or painful
  • You can play with your kids without gasping for air
  • You can complete an entire workout class without feeling extremely exhausted
  • You feel confident exercising outside of your comfort zone
  • You have motivated friends or family members to live a healthy lifestyle

Related: 7 Treadmill Workouts That Will Burn Fat & Make You Fit

Improvements in Your Overall Health

  • You have less joint pain. Reducing body fat levels while building muscle helps protect your joints
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and heart disease
  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Reduced blood sugar levels
  • Prevent weight loss surgery
  • Overall reduction in body fat

Sleep Quality & Mood

Research proves over and over that regular exercise helps with quality of sleep.

  • Improvements in your mental health
  • Reduced risk of sleep apnea
  • Better sleep = happier mood!
  • Less stress eating

Benefits of Non-Scale Victories

Finally, let’s talk about why non-scale victories are important.

While weight loss is often important for overall health improvements, focusing too much on the scale can cause demotivation, frustration and lack of consistency.

5 benefits of NSV’s

  • Improved Body Image: It is amazing what being physically strong will do for your confidence and self-esteem; both of which are important factors of how you see yourself.

Related: 88 Weight Loss Affirmations To Keep You Focused and Motivate

  • Increased Fitness Levels: As you become more consistent in your workouts, you will see noticeable improvements in your fitness levels such as increase running speed or ability to lift heavier weights. All these things can lead to weight loss without you even thinking about it.
  • Increased Motivation: Weight loss motivation can be challenging when the scale does’t reflect all your hard work. When you are working on tangible, measurable goals outside of the scale, you will find that you are more motivated to workout and stick with it.
  • Long Term Success: Most importantly, non-scale victories are the key to lasting fitness and weight loss success without ever stepping on the scale. This is because you are more focused on performance base goals than appearance goals.
  • Better Exercise Adherence: Consistency is the number one most important aspect of any program. As you see improvements in your performance, you are more likely to stay consistent and continue making progress.
  • Healthier Mindset: Focusing on non-scale victories instead of just weight loss can help you develop a healthier mindset about your body and overall wellness.
  • Increased Exercise Enjoyment: When your workouts become less about the number on the scale, and more about challenging yourself to do things such as run faster, lift heavier weight or perform more reps, exercise becomes much more enjoyable.

NSV Tools…Can You Get Faster at These 3 Workouts?

Watch your body get stronger and more fit the faster you get at doing these workouts!

Time yourself each time you do the workout.

Wait a few days in between then do the same workout but try to finish it faster.

  • 5 burpees
  • 20 squats
  • 30 bicycle crunches
  • 40 reverse lunges
  • 50 mountain climbers
  • repeat 3-4 rounds
  • 20 jumping jacks
  • 20 jump squats
  • 20 skater hops
  • 20 plank jacks
  • repeat 3-4 rounds

  • 8 manmakers
  • 15 sumo squats with dumbbells
  • 20 walking lunges
  • 20 jump lunges
  • 20 hammer curls
  • repeat 3-4 rounds
  • 10 thrusters
  • 10 renegade rows
  • 10 power push-ups
  • 10 bulgarian split squats each leg
  • repeat 3-4 rounds

Is It Ever Okay To Use The Scale to Measure Progress?

I want to be clear that the scale isn’t always the enemy and in certain circumstances, weighing yourself is important for health goals.

If you are significantly overweight, then weighing yourself will be important to track your progress.

However, it is important to develop a healthy mindset and relationship with the scale by not weighing yourself daily and remembering it is only one aspect to your health.

Related: 88 Affirmations To Build a Better Relationship With Your Body

Final Thoughts On Non-Scale Victories

I’m not going to lie and say that it is going to be easy to change your focus away from the scale and it is still something I struggle with at times.

However, for me, non-scale victories have been pivotal in helping me stay motivated in my fitness journey, especially as a busy working mom of four.

Once I became more focused on what my body could do instead of my appearance, I began seeing better results in both my physique and mental health.

So, if you’re feeling discouraged, remember to focus on those small like changes.

These are what will help keep you going even when the road gets tough.

Here are some final reminders about the scale:

  1. The scale will is not an accurate representation of all your hard work.
  2. It cannot show important health factors such as body composition, muscle mass and overall health.
  3. Understand that if your goal is to build muscle, increase endurance or improve your overall health, the scale may not be the best measure of progress.
  4. Becoming fixated on a specific number can have a negative impact on your mental health and lead to unhealthy and obsessive behaviors.
  5. Weight loss is not always linear and can be affected by water retention, hormones, or things like constipation. This is why the scale cannot accurately measure your progress.

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