NSVs: What they are and why they’re important

Hashtag ‘NSV’ is something you’ll come across often if you follow weight loss journeys on instagram or blogging sites like Tumblr.

NSV stands for Non Scale Victory. It is about milestones on your fitness journey that aren’t related to the scale. There are going to be times, and I’m sure you’ve already experienced this, where the scale doesn’t respond the way you want it to. Whether it’s a plateau or you just don’t lose as much as you want, it can be infuriating. It is way too easy to become obsessed with the scale and what it says. It is very easy to attach your worth to a number that represents your body against gravity. If you’re not aware and prepared, you can fall down a very dark path.

If you’re already obsessed with the scale, it can be hard to recognize that there are any wins or victories outside of it. I’ve been there. Everyone tells you that you look amazing, but you don’t believe them. Every time anyone talks about anything weight loss or vacation related, all you see is that horrid number blinking in your mind. But I’m here to set you straight.

First and foremost, your worth is not tied to that scale or anything extrinsic in the least. Your worth lies in that you are you, which means that you are worth a whole heck of a lot more than you give yourself credit for. You are capable of so much more than the scale could ever measure. I know what it’s like to hear this stuff and roll your eyes. But I promise you it’s true, and once you realize this your entire journey will have much more clarity, much more confidence.

Part of that realization is getting excited about things other than the scale.

It could be fitting into a pair of pants that you couldn’t fit into before. It could be sitting comfortably in a plane seat or running for a minute longer than you could before.

Non Scale Victories can be big things – like landing on the competition stage or putting on a dress that is significantly smaller than you’ve worn before. But they don’t have to be.

It can also be that you were really struggling with life and you didn’t eat a bunch of junk in response. It can be that instead of choosing the couch and a Netflix binge, you put on your shoes, got the kids ready, and went to the park to play.

Anything that shows your growth, anything that moves you closer to your goal, that is something worth celebrating.

I have chosen not to weigh myself anymore. I’m not sure if that will change, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that when I’m in ONEderland (under 200 pounds) I will do a happy dance. But it isn’t my first priority anymore. My current goal is to land myself on stage as a competitive bodybuilder. That isn’t a sport of who weighs less – it’s a sport of aesthetics. It’s a sport of muscle definition and showing off months and years of hard work. When that sunk in, I realized that being obsessed with the scale was silly. What did the scale matter when it didn’t have any impact on my goals whatsoever?

I have changed my outlook completely. Instead of weighing in every week, I take progress pictures weekly. I make a point to take full body photos (not official progress ones) as often as possible. I compare where I’m at today to where I was a week ago, two weeks ago, a month ago. Seeing my body change, seeing my stomach get smaller and my biceps become more defined, that is what sets me on fire. That is progress the scale could never show, regardless of the number.

The scale was a constant weight hanging on my heart. It was heavy and suffocating. My entire life revolved around a number that truly had no impact on my life at all. And it breaks my heart knowing that there are many out there who understand that feeling. Knowing that there are others that don’t feel they have anything to celebrate except a smaller number every week.

This is why NSVs are so important. You need to celebrate every single win, whether you do a happy dance yourself, call your mom, or blast it on Instagram. Find ways to celebrate every move in the right direction. You deserve it – look at how far you’ve come. Even if it has only been a day, you’re farther than you were last week. Be proud of that.

What are some of your Non Scale Victories? What’s an NSV you’re ridiculously proud of? Let’s celebrate!

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