Weighty Matters

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Non-Scale Victories – aka NSVs

on March 6, 2012

Prior to starting my weight loss surgery journey, I’d never heard the acronym NSVs.  Now I see people post about them all of the time on the forum I frequent.  Non-Scale Victories are an important part of anyone’s weight loss efforts.  I know for myself I get too wrapped up in that number that shines back at me from my scale and I tend to hang all my success on how far and how quickly the number goes down.

It isn’t healthy for me to fixate on a scale number.  Take my recent stall.  I think I’m coming out of it, but the number is still moving much more slowly than I’d like.  I got used to losing a pound, sometimes more, a day in those first couple of weeks.  Now watching my weight hover at the same number for a few days or only budget a few ounces in a day builds my frustration level and tests my patience.  So I really need to see, appreciate and revel in the progress I make that isn’t tied directly to my weight in pounds.

It isn’t as easy as I expected.  Even though I’m experiencing lots of great things, I’m inclined to attribute them to the scale victory.  This means that I need to readjust my thinking yet again.  Lots of that going on!  For now, if I see progress and/or improvement in any facet of my being — physical, mental or emotional — that happens separately from the time I physically stand on the scale and look at a lower number, I’m counting it as an NSV.

I can walk more easily for greater distances without pain and without gasping for air.  NSV!

My clothes fit better and some are already too loose.  NSV!

Yesterday, I received a catalogue from a company that sells products made specifically for overweight people.  Products like seat belt extensions for people to use on airplanes, bigger bicycle seats and sturdier bikes, belts and suspenders, personal hygiene aids to help one make sure all parts of the body are truly clean, beach chairs and step stools that can handle more than 300 pounds without collapsing and many, many others.  Normally, I would flip through the catalogue to see if they had something I needed.  Yesterday I took it right from the mailbox to the recycling bin.  I won’t need anything they sell ever again.  BIG NSV!

Adopting the practice of acknowledging and celebrating improvements at NSVs enhances my increasingly positive attitude about the great changes in my life.  I know that even when there are slower weight loss weeks, the NSVs will continue to power my motivation and fuel my progress.

Got an NSV you’ve spotted?  Please share!

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4 responses to “Non-Scale Victories – aka NSVs

  1. pinkpelican says:

    Crossing my legs. That was huge. First, being able to cross them when I was sitting in a chair that reclined back a little. And my foot fell asleep after a few minutes, but STILL. Now being able to cross my legs while sitting in my office chair, mostly sitting upright, and for 15 to 30 minutes at a time before I have to switch legs. I can’t wait for when I can cross my legs and they’ll fit under my desk & I can leave them crossed for however long I want to.

    Being able to sit with my thighs together, comfortably.

    Being able to sit on the side of my bed, bend over forward, put on a shoe, then prop my heel up on the bed rail in front of me, lean over & tie my shoe. Being able to see my shoe & the shoe laces. Being able to breathe while I tie my shoe in that position because my lungs aren’t squashed anymore.

    Going to the movie theater. Putting both arms of the seat down. Crossing my legs. And still having space on either side of my hips, which do not touch the seat arms anymore.

    The first time you look in the mirror and SEE the difference, in your face and your shape. The first time you put on the size smaller, and it fits, and you SEE how awesome you look because the clothes fit properly. And then from there, EACH time you find something another size smaller & it looks good & it emphasizes how good you look.

    Getting in the car, pulling the seatbelt around you, and not having to shift around to make enough room to find the latch thingie.

    So many of these things are, to the “normal world”, so trivial & mundane they don’t even register. But when you suddenly discover you can DO them, EXPERIENCE them; when you don’t have to find compensation methods to do simple tasks that nobody else even thinks about, you get this jolt of pure joy and wonder.

    Treasure the NSVs. They are AWESOME.

  2. robenagrant says:

    This is wonderful.
    So many times we absorb those NSV’s without even being fully aware. I know I had one yesterday when I quickly put on a pair of black pants that were a size 12 and I hadn’t been able to wear for some time, and ran out the door. They fit beautifully. I was aware but not really, and I should have taken the time to congratulate myself. Instead, I’d been berating myself on the fact that I’d slipped up on my program, and I’d gained one pound at the weekend by sitting at the lake, enjoying wonderful company and pizza and wine.
    Today, I’m thinking of that not as falling off the wagon, but enjoying life, and registering it as an NSV. Thanks.

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