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How to Measure Success

Which Measuring Methods Do You Want to Use?


All right, so, in this video we’re going to talk about measuring success.

Now, historically, we have been taught that we want to measure success with the scale, okay. And the scale is actually not 100% accurate. I mean, it is accurate, but what does scale weight actually mean? And in this program, what I want to do is I want to start pulling you away from the idea that scale weight matters.

I mean, quite honestly, I couldn’t care less if I weigh 300 pounds, as long as I fit into my clothes. So, the scale weight, the weight that we see when we stand on the scale, doesn’t really matter. And yet, so many of us make that number mean something about us and our worthiness. And so, what we want to do is we want to really decouple, what number is on the scale and how we feel about ourselves, okay?

Now, I am going to suggest that for the first month, that you do not weigh yourself. And in fact, I’m going to encourage you to choose a different measure of figuring out if you’re being successful or not. There are tons of different options for you. You can use girth measurements, and so, what I mean by that is by finding a tape measure and measuring different body parts.

So, your neck, your bicep, your chest, your belly, your hips, maybe your thighs or calves. So, making sure that you have the same sites each time and measuring those like once a month and seeing how the number goes down, okay. So, that’s one girth measurements are a possibility.

Number two, and I would highly-highly recommend. I know you’re not going to want to do this, but I would highly recommend that everyone take pictures of themselves, and I’ll post some directions on how to take pictures below this video.

But basically, what you want to do is you want to put on something that’s somewhat revealing. And you want to make sure that your camera, like you can do this with a tripod or a standing it up on a desk or something like that. Or you can have someone take a picture of you, do it in your underwear, do it in a bathing suit, something that’s somewhat revealing. We want to see your shape in other words. And then, take pictures every few weeks.

I personally take pictures of myself at the beginning of each month on a Friday. And what that does is when we see ourselves on in the mirror on a daily basis, we don’t really see the daily progression. But when we have pictures that we can compare ourselves to, even though we don’t feel like we’ve made very much progress, if we can at least see where we were and compare the two, we can be like, “oh yeah, I have totally made progress.”

Okay, so again, I’m going to highly recommend that you take pictures. You don’t have to look at them, okay. But take them, file them away, and then after the first month we’ll look at them again, compare the two and you can see if you’ve made any progress, okay. And again, what you want to do is you want to take full length pictures, so head and toes included.

Try to do it against a blank background, like a blank wall, or a door. And also try to make sure that you have the same distance every single month that you take pictures. Just so that you can make sure that you’re comparing apples to apples, okay. Take a front view, take a side view, and then you can take a back view as well.

Lovely, isn’t it? But it’s really going to help you when it comes to looking at the photos objectively, all right?

So, the other things that we can do in terms of measuring success is if you have a piece of clothing that you want to fit into or is your like goal clothing. We can use that as a measure, so every month you would try that on and see where you are.

If you have someone near you, like a personal trainer or someone like that, who can take skin fold tests. And that’s where they use a piece of equipment to actually measure the amount of subcutaneous fat. So, the amount of fat that’s underneath your skin and then they can do measurements to figure out what your body fat is, okay.

The other thing that we can do is we can look at athletic performance. So, like for example, If you want to be a better runner or if you want to be a better athlete, figure out how long it takes you to walk a mile.

And then every month, see if you’re getting faster-and-faster-and-faster. You know, that is not related to body size at all. You can also get your blood tests taken. So, making sure that your health is actually improving. So, things like blood sugars, or cholesterol, or measurements like that, okay.

And so, those are just some options for you. So, decide what unit of measure or what method of measure. And you can use a couple of them but decide what measurements you’re going to be looking at and which ones you aren’t. And let’s just plan for that, okay. And then once you’ve decided, let’s put it into the slack channel and see what everyone is thinking about, okay.

You don’t have to put your pictures in there, just talking about, you know, how are you going to track?

All right, that’s it for this video.

Historically, we’re used to measuring success through the scale.

The problem with this is that we sometimes make the number on the scale mean something about us depending on if it goes up or down.

Frankly, I couldn’t care less if I weigh 500 lbs as long as I can fit in to my clothes & I feel strong & capable.

So, within this program, I want you to decide how you are going to measure success. You do not have to use the scale if you don’t want to.

Now – if you want to use the scale, that’s totally fine. Many of my clients will ask me how often they should weigh.

First, I’m going to suggest that we not weigh ourselves for the first month or two so that we don’t get caught up in the number on the scale.

But after that, you can weigh yourself daily, weekly, or every other week. I would generally not suggest that if you’re using the scale, that you not weigh less frequently than every 4 weeks.

That said, there are pros & cons to the scale. As mentioned before, if you are going to make the number mean something about you as a person, we may not want to use it. However if you can look at the number on a daily basis and start to see natural fluctuations in how the body holds water, in response to hormonal changes, eating different foods, and such, it can be a good data point.

One thing I’ve noticed in myself and with many clients, is that the scale typically reflects overall the last 2 weeks. So just as one ‘bad’ day isn’t going to make a difference, neither is one ‘good day”. Think about it as a rolling average.

The best time to weigh yourself is on Friday or Saturday mornings after you’ve voided, but before you’ve eaten. It will be the most consistent.


Other Methods of Measurement (Other than the Scale):

  • A piece of clothing or belt
  • Body composition and skinfolds (mm measures, %fat, %lean, etc.)
  • Body part girths (thighs, waist, arms, etc.)
  • Athletic performance measures (strength, speed, power, endurance, etc.)
  • Blood variables (cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc)
  • Visual progress (progress photographs)

How to Take Pictures:

Tip 1: Show your shape

To compare the changes, you’ll need to see the changes. It’s impossible to do this if you’re wearing a baggy t-shirt or shorts. Form-fitting activewear/swimwear is best. Your stomach area should be visible, as this is a great indicator of weight loss and/or muscle gain.

Tip 2: Wear the same clothes

If you can’t wear the same outfit, at least wear something similar every time you take your picture. If you’re proud of your progress, you might want to show others, so we encourage you to avoid posing in your underwear.

Tip 3: Use a plain wall

Make sure there is no clutter, patterns, bright colors or distracting objects in the background. Also, use the same spot for each time you take your progress shots.

Tip 4: Take a full-body photo at eye level

No mirror selfies. If you find this challenging, ask someone you feel comfortable with to take your photo or use a timer function. Make sure to position your body straight and center to fill the frame.

Tip 5: Shoot from 3 angles

To understand the full scope of how your body is changing, it’s important to capture your front, side, and back. For consistency, always choose the same side each time.

Tip 6: Stand in natural light

Try to take your photo in natural daylight. If that isn’t possible, ensure that your room is well lit and there is as much light as possible.

Tip 7: Maintain good posture

Stand up straight, with your shoulders back and down and arms relaxed at your sides. Recreate the same pose each time.

Tip 8: Take photos monthly

It’s important to take your photos once every 4 weeks and schedule it on the same day each month.