Measurements are like a road map, they tell us where we've come from and where we have yet to go. Intrinsically, they are neither good nor bad. They are merely there to serve a purpose. They gauge our progress and help us to better evaluate our goals.
Measurements have no power on their own, however. They are only as powerful as we let them be. We can choose to be enslaved to them or we can choose let them serve us. The choice is ours, and we must choose wisely.
The truth is, our measurements should determine certain things in our lives, like our food choices, our exercise frequency, and our determination to reach our goals, but we should never allow them to determine our happiness, our mood, or our self-esteem. No number on the scale, inches on a tape measure, or color coded body composition graph should ever be given that much power over us.
The fact is, whether we like it or not, we are the ones who choose how we feel. Period. Not a scale, not a tape measure, and not a fancy graph. We can choose to be depressed, defeated and discouraged because our numbers aren't exactly where we wish they were, or we can choose to be happy, positive, and confident despite things not going quite the way we hoped.
We decide where we put our focus. We can either find something positive to focus on, or we can allow ourselves to get consumed by the negative. But know this, either way, it's always a choice.
Personally, this was a more difficult week for me. My emotions were all over the place, and I wrestled with discouragement. It was my first week back in the gym after 2 weeks off due to illness, and my own measurements were not as encouraging as they had previously been.
Although I, thankfully, didn't loose any progress, I also didn't make much measurable progress either; plus, I gained a couple extra pounds of water weight, which was likely a side effect of my illness and antibiotic medication.
Up until this point, however, I had been making much more significant, steady progress, so this was much harder for me to accept. Admittedly, I expected as much, since I knew I had been unable to work out very much these last couple of weeks, but it was still frustrating.
However, I knew, despite how I felt, that I had to choose well. I couldn't allow myself to give in to those negative emotions that were threatening to swallow me up the moment I stepped on the scale.
After all, what good would that do me? Sure having a pity party would have been infinitely easier (feeling sorry for yourself always is, I've found) but how would that help me press on for the next 6 weeks of my challenge?
So, instead, I looked back at all of my previous body composition reports, and I chose, instead, to remind myself just how far I've come in this first half of the challenge. And you know what? I was pretty darn pleased with myself. It really helped me to re-focus & give my motivation and determination a much needed kick in the rear. I realized that I'm a mere 4% away from my goal weight, and I've replaced several pounds of excess fat with healthy, lean muscle.
I also have lots more strength, stamina, balance and energy than I used to and my clothes are fitting much better. So much so, that I will even need to go shopping for new clothes in smaller sizes fairly soon, and that's definitely something to be proud of.
So, I hope that, like me, when you're feeling a little down about your progress, you too will choose to focus on all the positive things. I hope that you will choose to look at your own measurements as reminders of how far you've come.
And, most importantly, I hope that you will be their masters and not allow them to enslave you and your emotions. Because measurements are just that - measurements, nothing more, nothing less. Simply tools to use along the journey and ones that I hope we all will choose to use wisely.