At the start of my weight loss journey, I weighed in for the first time in a long, long time and I took my body measurements. I wrote the information down in this journal for safekeeping.
I didn’t look at the body measurement numbers again until I was certain I had made some progress, several weeks later. At that point, I got out my tape and took my measurements again, recorded them in the journal with the date then did a happy dance because I lost some inches! I continued to record my measurements several times throughout my year of losing weight.
The reason? Charting my progress was motivating and inspired me to keep forging ahead. Measurements gave me assurance beyond a weigh-in. I could clearly see, on paper, that the hard work I was doing was getting me where I wanted to go.
I encourage you to record your progress. Even if you’ve already begun your weight loss journey, it’s not too late to start collecting that data.
This is what I did to chart, measure and record my progress:
- I used and still use the food log on Noom but I know there are many food tracker apps out there to choose from. If you want an app, try a few out and see what works for you. You could also just use Notes in your phone or use a traditional journal or notebook.
- I entered my starting weight in a journal and my Noom app along with the date. Every time I weighed myself, I added the new weight and the date.
- I took my body measurements: upper arm, chest, smallest part of waist, regular waist where your belly button is, hips, upper thigh, and calves. That’s what I did but it’s up to you where you want to measure. Use a fabric or soft plastic measuring tape (I use this one). Be sure to record the date!
- I took photos of myself wearing something that showed my figure. A swimsuit, yoga shorts and a tank top, or just jeans and a fitted shirt. No one but you needs to see it. I did not do that at my heaviest and I wish I had. Luckily a friend took a photo of me while we were in Tahiti last January at 235 – 240. I am so proud of myself whenever I look at my side-by-side.
- If you plan to do down two dress sizes or more, you may be getting rid of your bigger clothing along the way. Be sure to save a pair of jeans, pants or shorts that you wore before you began your journey. You can try them on as another way to chart progress and see how far you’ve come. I keep one pair of jeans in a drawer – they are the jeans I relied on when I was at my heaviest. They have no zipper or buttons – just pull-on and they saved the day for me many times. I am oddly sentimental about them.
You don’t have to do any of this, of course. But I am betting you’ll be thrilled you did when you start noticing changes.
As a side note, when I measured the smallest part of my waist in early February, it was 41.5 inches. That information rang all my health alarms because I knew a waist measurement over 35″ for women can elevate the risk of heart disease. A little over 13 months later, and my waist is now 29 inches, I am happy to report. Had I not measured, I would not know about the 12 inches loss from my waist. That is a foot, people!
Let me know if you have any questions!