Charting Your Progress

When you begin to exercise and change your eating habits there will be no way to know if you are making progress without first finding a way to keep score. You need to have a means of measuring the effectiveness of what you are doing. Otherwise you will never know if what you are doing is really working.

There are a variety of ways to honestly evaluate your progress. The bathroom scale is a great scorekeeper.

The day you begin your new fitness lifestyle, write down your weight on the calendar. Then once a week weigh yourself again and write that weight on the calendar. Now you have a reference point. You’ll be able to see if you’ve made any progress in weightloss over the course of the week. Always be sure to weigh at the same time of the day. Your bodyweight fluctuates throughout the day based upon your level of hydration. I like to weigh first thing in the morning before I have anything to eat or drink.

Along with the bathroom scale, a full-length mirror combined with a hand held mirror is another great score keeping tool. Simply strip down to your birthday suit and stand in front of the mirror. DO NOT SUCK IN YOUR GUT! Do not try to make yourself look better. Simply stand the way you normally stand. Soak it in…and then be honest about what you see. Turn to the side. Turn your back to the mirror and use the hand held mirror to check out the rear view. Let those images settle into your mind. Then be honest. What do you think about the way you’ve been caring for your earth suit?

An honest look in the mirror may be the only motivation you need to make some positive changes.

A camera is one of the best score keepers of all because it causes you to see yourself differently than you would by simply looking at a mirror. One moment frozen in time speaks volumes.

Ask someone you trust to be your photographer. Wear as little clothing as possible for the score keeping pictures. Take front shots, side shots, and rear shots. Date the pictures and then file them away. After working out consistently for 2 or 3 months take them out and give them a look. Then take a new set of pictures, date them and file them with the others. This will be the best way to chart your progress. (Thank God for digital cameras. Now you can take the scary “before” pictures without having to have them developed!)

I don’t know about you, but if I am trying to make progress in any area of life, I want to do what works. If what I am doing isn’t working, then I want to make adjustments until I get the desired results.

The only way to know if what you are doing is working is to HONESTLY track your progress.

Someone once said that the simplest definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over expecting to see different results. Don’t be insane! Be wise. Be honest. Make the commitment to get the results you want and then do what you have to do to get them.

Change is never easy, but by the grace of God, you can do it.