Measuring Progress

Ever since I can remember I have measured my success by what the bathroom scale reads. And for many of you, you are still measuring your success by this standard. In fact, all across America, people are obsessed with the number displayed between their toes and this little number can send their motivation and self esteem down the garbage chute. Well its time to stop measuring success based on wight loss and what the bathroom scale is telling you.

So how do you measure progress?

1) The mirror: Through dedication and determination you have began to see the fat melt away and a glimmer of hope found in your new muscle definition.  Rather than stepping on the scale and letting some numbers tell you how you look, take a good look in the mirror and decide for yourself if you are happy with the results you are getting. I have an online friend that posted his pics on the P90X Facebook page, and this guy got great results! His name is Lance Lyell. The sad part was that some moron posted “Not impressed” in the comments. How sad of a person is this? Lance is absolutely ecstatic about his results and that is all that matters. Lance is pleased with the changes he sees in himself and isnt going to let some random guy tell him he hasnt been successful. The same goes for the bathroom scale. Thebathroom scale cant measure how pleased you are with your achievements thus far, nor should it be a measure of such.YOU decide if you like what you are seeing in the mirror.

2) How you feel: How you feel as a measurement of success is far more important than the numbers! For me; P90X and Shakeology took my health and body to whole new levels. Not just by changing my physical appearance, but my changing my attitudes energy levels. Think about this for a second: Let say you have 30-50lbs to lose. Go put on a backpack with 30-50lbs of books in it and carry it around for a while. Now when you remove that weight, its a releif isnt it! The same goes for body fat. When you remove body fat, your body feels better, it functions better, that causes your mind to function better. Add something like Shakeology to the equation and you have a masterpiece! How you feel is also what is going to keep you motivated which is why I cant ever imagine going back to life as it once was….on the couch with ice cream and cake feelin like a loaf. I feel amazing now!!! This should be one of your primary measurements of success.

3) Body Fat %: There are always those who NEED to see some numbers…They call us nerds, lol. If you absolutely need to see some numbers, then you need to measure your progress by measuring your body fat percentage.  As you progress in your fitness program you will begin to lose fat, but you will also notice that you will be getting stronger and building more muscle. This creates quite the paradigm when using the bathroom scale to measure progress. If you were to go by weight alone, you are not going to like what you see. Muscle is much more dense than fat, therefore it weighs more. In my first two rounds of P90X I lost 53lbs. Since then I have gained back 3lbs of muscle. That doesnt bother me since the scale lies!!! I went from 27% body fat down to 7% body fat. You can measure body fat composition a number of ways, but the most common way is to use a set of body fat calipers. You can find these at most sporting goods stores.

So how do you measure your progress: The mirror, how you feel, and if you are a nerd like me, measure your body fat percentage. But you absolutely will not get an accurate measure of progress or success by simply reading the numbers on the scale. Do yourself a favor and avoid the scale for a while and focus on these items. Im not saying that the scale is useless because I still step on it once in a while, but I saying that you shouldnt let it determine how you feel about yourself. Dont let it curb your motivation. Dont let it tell you that you arent trying hard enough! Just keep pressing play and showing up for the workouts, while focusing on eating right and progress will be made…success will come!

You guys are awesome!!!

Let us know: How do you measure your progress?

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2 comments
Luis Pichardo
Luis Pichardo

Hey coach, Iam 5'8 207 pounds and love your vids and your website, Ben following your diet for the past 2 days and I started p90x in the past two days. My problem is that I'm fealling dizzy after the work out or right before I'm finished and nousios too. Is this from just being out of shape or could it be my sugar being low since I tried to stay away from it in the diet?

Coach Todd
Coach Todd

Luis - this happens to me as well when I BRING IT really hard in the mornings on an empty stomach. What I do is slip 1/2 a scoop of recovery drink into my water about half way through my workout. you’re running low on muscle glycogen after an intense workout and the recovery drink prevents you from "bonking". You could also eat a small peice of fruit before your workout. That would help also.