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Progress Beyond Scale

Health coach Ethan Quant, of Elite Wellness Solutions, has succeeded in his weight loss journey and now wants to share his methods with the Bahamas in an effort to foster a culture of wellness and conquer the obesity epidemic.

I remember the first time I saw the number 306 on the scale. Although my lifestyle should have taken away all feelings of disbelief, I still was in shock and denial. I stepped on and off the scale at least three times just to make sure of what I was seeing. The nurse who was performing my routine check-up didn’t seem bothered at all. In fact, she was completely unfazed by the huge number I was staring at. I was 29-years-old and weighed over 300 pounds.

Initially, I went to the doctor because I was having back pain, and not the kind that we typically would dismiss as a minor ache that would eventually go away. It was the kind of pain that stops you in your tracks and immediately you know something isn’t right. I was actually in the mall getting ice cream with my daughter when I felt the pain – not the best place to fight back tears or shout expletives. Honestly, it was like nothing that I’ve never felt before.

At that point I knew I needed to have a check-up. At the clinic I was ready for the doctor to give me bad news. Surely, it was no secret that my weight was a problem. However, I didn’t realise how severely overweight I was until I stepped on the scale. As you can imagine, the doctor confirmed that my weight was the culprit and that if I wanted relief from the pain I would have to lose the weight. He gave me some painkillers and I was on my way. Soon after the pain subsided, so did my doctor’s warning, and I was back to living my best unhealthy life.

It wasn’t until I began to take my health, wellness and fitness journey seriously that I developed my love-hate relationship with the scale. Truly, I would wake up every morning and weigh myself; sometimes two to three times a day. I became obsessed with the scale, which at the time for me, became a clear indication of the progress or lack thereof that I was making towards my goal. I would rejoice when I saw the numbers going down. Similarly, I would be disappointed when I saw that they weren’t going down as fast as I would like. I would get downright depressed if I saw that they weren’t moving at all, or worse, went up. There came a point where I was emotionally attached to the scale and recognised that this was quite unhealthy because you shouldn’t allow something like a scale to dictate your emotional state at any point and time.

As I matured in my process of achieving my target body, I learned that there were actually different ways to assess progress besides the scale. Learning these other methods them was a lifesaver. I was able to appreciate my process even more because I had more ways to measure my progress.

Below are some ways to track and monitor your progress beyond the scale:

• Remember that every inch counts

Taking measurements is a good way to see progress in your health, wellness and fitness journey. Weight is not always a good indicator, especially if you are doing any form of resistance training. Building lean muscle mass burns fat, and less fat means less inches. So measure yourself around the waist, arms and thighs and track those regularly.

• Pay attention to how your clothes are fitting you

I will admit that this can be deceptive simply because I used to wonder if my mind was just play tricks on me. However, if you notice that your jeans aren’t as tight as they used to be, or you have a bit more arm and waist room in that blazer, you are making progress.

• Take selfies

This is a surefire way to see how your body composition is changing, because pictures don’t lie. They also serve as a great motivator when you are feeling down. I remember the first time I put my pictures together side by side. I was almost about to give up, but seeing the progress I made was a great surprise which gave me the inspiration to keep going. You should take pictures in something that allows you to see your body’s changes clearly. I normally recommend that men take pictures in a pair of shorts and shirtless, and women in either a bikini or sports bra and short tights.

• Increased strength, endurance and energy

When you are able to exercise longer and with greater intensity, this definitely means that you are making progress. I remember when I started training, I could literally not run for more than five minutes, or even do a push-up. If you notice that you are doing more, or your workouts are becoming easier you are making progress.

In conclusion, it is important to remember that this is a process. Celebrate the small victories and do not become too emotional with the highs and the lows that will come about on this journey. Most importantly, remember that the scale is not an indicator of failure. Rather, it can be used as inspiration to keep you pushing towards your goal.

• If you need help navigating any part of your health, wellness and fitness process, you can contact Ethan Quant at ethan@elite-wellnesssolutions.com or on Instagram at @ethanquant.

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