Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Measuring Progress

One of the things that discourages people is feeling like there is no progress.

If you walk or do aerobics, being able to longer is a measure. If you are lifting weights, which you should be for long-term body change, you can measure lots of ways.

You can take before and after pictures! How horrifying to me and, I've found out, others. You can lie to yourself in the mirror (both negatively and positively), but pictures will show you real changes. What to wear? That's up to you. From speedo/bikini to regular clothes. Depends on how much you want to record of your body change.

Tape measure yourself. Get a friend to help with arms, shoulders, upper body. This will tell you if you're losing inches or gaining them - depending on your goal at the time. Try to do them at the same time of the day and in the same way to keep you accurate.

If you're lifting weights you can measure your strength increases, which at the beginning are very motivating. As you progress they slow down, but are still measurable.

Of course, the scale is another way to measure, but if you're losing weight, you also lose some muscle - and muscle burns fat! If you're gaining because of weight training, it may not tell you how much fat you are also gaining. Not the best, but not totally useless. I'm still trying to get down to 165 just for the benefit of my joints.

If you can get your bodyfat measured that will be helpful to because you may still weigh the same, or even look a little bit the same, but if you know you're losing fat and gaining muscle, that's progress!!!

Hope that helps!

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