Every Tuesday, fitness blogs, Facebook pages and Instagram accounts blow up with pictures of incredible transformations. Side by side shots of people that have accomplished awesome feats of weight loss and muscle building. In some the weight loss is staggering, in some it’s the muscle definition that draws attention. And sometimes it’s the very apparent spray tan. Whatever the change you notice in the picture, it’s always physical.

The transformation you don’t see is the one I want to shine a light on. The person in the picture, 9 out of 10 times, is happier. They have set a goal for themselves, done the hard work, and achieved something amazing. Chances are their confidence has grown and they have more belief in themselves. They like themselves more. They are more positive. The person you see has changed their life.

The person you see can do things they didn’t do before. They can roll around on the floor with their kids or give piggy backs. They can take the flight of stairs without question, instead of always taking the escalator. They can lift weights and children. They can walk distances without getting winded. They can sit in a seat on the plane without worrying about crowding the person next to them or needing a seatbelt-extender. They can shop for clothes in ANY store.

These are the transformations you don’t see in a picture, but they are more important than any number on a scale. These are what we call “non-scale victories,” or NSV’s. Sure, the scale is a measure of success, but sometimes it’s misleading. I remember when I was running I was actually getting SMALLER, but the number on the scale had gone up a couple of pounds. My body was getting stronger and leaner, but the scale wasn’t telling the story. Side note: this is actually why I left Weight Watchers. I was a lifetime member so only had to check in once a month, and only had to pay if I was more than two pounds outside my goal (above or below). I was firmly 3 pounds outside that bubble and even though I was smaller, leaner and stronger, I was penalized and had to pay. It went against everything I believed and I had to leave.

I encourage you to celebrate the non-scale victories just as much as you would celebrate the numbers on the scale. What victories would mean the most to you? So what if you lose 10-15lbs, what does that number represent in terms on impact on your life? Why is it important to you?

Here are some ideas for NSV’s you can celebrate:

  • feeling stronger
  • clothes fit better
  • more energy
  • sleeping better
  • feeling more positive
  • more confidence
  • breathing is easier
  • more stamina and better endurance
  • fewer cravings
  • being able to shop for clothes in any store and not worry about the size not being available

What would you add to this list?

Celebrate the big and small wins along the way and the impacts this change is having on your life, and you will appreciate your journey even more. The more you appreciate and value it, the more sustainable the change will be.


Here’s a video I posted to my Facebook page talking about transformations and non-scale victories: