Progress Is Made When. . .

No matter where you are in your journey, you have already made progress. If you have been working on getting healthier for just one week you have made some progress. You may not have lost any weight yet, but you’ve made progress just by taking the first step towards working on your health.

I worked with a woman once who needed to lose over 200 pounds. She turned to me because her doctor kept recommending gastric bypass surgery for her and that wasn’t a choice she wanted to make. So she and I met on a regular basis and we worked on her eating and lifestyle habits one at a time. I still remember when she lost her first 50 pounds. She was thrilled beyond words, but she couldn’t tell she had lost any weight, and quite honestly, neither could I.

To keep her from getting frustrated we sat down at made a list of all the progress she had made that other people could not see. I think it’s important to think of our progress not solely in terms of the number on the scale, but in relation to where we used to be. On my own personal journey to go from weight loss failure to weight loss success, I often wrote down all the different areas in which I had progressed. I could see that I was losing weight, but I also knew in my heart that I was changing from the inside out.

Here are three things I vividly remember from my weight loss days:

1. I knew I was making progress when I was able to say no to a dessert at a friend’s house and not feel sad afterwards.

2. I knew I was making progress when I could fit in a chair and get out without bringing the chair up still attached to my behind.

3. I knew I was making progress when I could walk around my neighborhood streets without feeling like I needed to call 911 to get home.

I want to encourage you to look for all those ways that you are making progress. It doesn’t matter if you are at the beginning, middle or end of your journey. We are always changing, evolving and growing. How do you finish this sentence?

I know I’m making progress when. . .         Diane

40 thoughts on “Progress Is Made When. . .

  1. Marcelle says:

    I know I am making progress when I can say no thank you to a 2nd helping of pudding!

    This entry has so much truth in it….I agree totally.

  2. Susan says:

    Love it Diane! So true your measures of progress. I can tell I am progressing because my time on the different miles of jogging are coming down. I’m in between dress sizes right now but at least I’m getting out of the twelves. I know I am progressing because I can lift more weight and I have more stamina. I know I am progressing because Jillian Michaels Shred doesn’t scare me!
    People should not judge there progress by the scale alone look at how much better you feel inside and how more confidence you have than when you started..

  3. Sandy says:

    I know I am making progress when I can do a chataranga all the way to the floor without sagging in the middle half way down.

  4. South Beach Steve says:

    That is one of the hardest parts of the journey, whether you are just starting or nearing your goal weight. Progress is hard to see when you are only looking at your appearance.

    BTW, in answer to your question on my blog, the study I referenced did not mention tea, but other studies do. This study was stating that caffeine may be the beneficial component. If so, tea should provide a similar benefit.

  5. Diane says:

    I know I am making progress when I feel more alive than I did the day before.

    I know I am making progress when My clothes threaten a wardrobe malfunction just because I stood up
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..Lazy Sunday =-.

  6. Rachel Palmieri says:

    I know I am making progress because this past weekend, at my cousins’ dance recital, I sat in the auditorium seat without my thighs touching either side. Last year, I was sort of wedged in there!

  7. Tish says:

    Great post! I know I am making progress when it’s so much easier to lean over and tie my shoes. And when my wedding rings are spinning on my finger. And when I can cross my legs again!
    .-= Tish´s last blog ..AHA Moment =-.

  8. Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit says:

    That’s a tough period on this weight-loss trail, when you’re enjoying a bit of success but most people aren’t noticing your achievements.

    It was very smart of you to help her find ways to translate all the success she’d had into more concrete concepts. We all want to feel like we’re making headway. Sometimes that’s all that keeps us going…
    .-= Jack Sh*t, Gettin’ Fit´s last blog ..What Would Happen… =-.

  9. Lindsay says:

    I just found your blog and this is a wonderful post. There are so many ways in which we make progress that we don’t even see. For me it was mental changes that showed major progress. I began to see food, excercise, and myself in such a new light.
    .-= Lindsay´s last blog ..Breakfast On The Beach =-.

  10. Shira says:

    Thought provoking post! I know that I’m making progress in my expectations that lots of exercise will solve all the problems in the world. 🙂 Love to work out and that helped me lose and keep my weight off. But have been dealing with a severe case of plantar facitis since last September that has dramatically limited what I can do for exercise. Worked with a holistic nutrition counselor to learn how to make even better food choices so I didn’t have to rely so much on exercise for weight maintenance. At first that was hard and frustrating but now, I’ve realized that patience will make a difference.
    .-= Shira´s last blog ..Vote Early & Often =-.

  11. Tami says:

    Love this post! I preach looking for the non scale victories all the time.

    I know I am making progress when I don’t have a debate with myself when faced with a choice, I just choose the healthy option! Love that!

  12. Cynthia (It All Changes) says:

    I knew I was making progress when people saw the changes even under the big cardigan I wore all winter in the school I taught.

    I knew I was making progress when I no longer huffed and puffed up the steps to my classroom and apartment.

    I knew I was making progress when I could eat out and not fear not knowing how the food was prepared or missing my “usual”.

  13. Gina Fit by 41 Maybe 42 says:

    Love this post and would really like to link to it.

    I can see the progress. I had really, REALLY backslid. Something in me has sparked, again. A discouraging thought crossed my mind: why is this going to be any different?

    My answer to myself is that I DID make progress (not all was wasted). I struggled so much with meal plans/menus, learning about new foods last time but that stepping stone is set in place. Now I can focus on other things (like not binge eating).
    .-= Gina Fit by 41 Maybe 42´s last blog ..Back to Basics Challenge #1 – Hydrate, Mini List =-.

  14. Joy says:

    Great thoughts! I have to continually remind myself to look for the “little” progress steps. DH has lost an obvious 35 lb., and I have lost a not-so-obvious 20, and I get discouraged when people gush over him and no one notices my progress. Another downer is being so happy that my clothes are too big, but still seeing fat girl in the mirror.
    My “yay” list:
    My clothes ARE too big. It’s fun to shop downstairs at Macy’s again! And I bought a new dress that is actually cute, and enjoyed wearing it!
    I have energy when I get up in the morning.
    My skin is the clearest it’s been since I was 10 years old.

  15. Pam says:

    I know I am making progress when a few bites of something I used to stuff my face full with satisfies me, even more than the face stuffing ever did.
    Also when I bag up my next bag of too-big-for-me-now clothes to give to GoodWill <— I love that one!!
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Busy Busy Busy =-.

  16. Kate says:

    …when I’ve become the exercise fanatic at my church who prods all of the other ladies to join me at the gym for Zumba/Power/Step, etc. And when I will get in a bathing suit and have fun at the pool with my kids, even though my body is not “perfect” looking, and I still have half of my extra weight to lose 🙂
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..What Do You Do With 8 Pounds of Blueberries? =-.

  17. John says:

    I know I’m making progress when. . .
    I could do my laudry at the laundromat without eating junkfood there like I use to.
    I made the first month without stepping foot in a fast food joint!
    I didn’t have to talk myself into exercising and just did it!

  18. Shawnee says:

    Man, I am amazed at how many blogs are personally speaking to me today. Anyway…
    I know I’m making progress when
    -I wake up nearly every morning at 5 am to exercise before work
    -Pre plan ALL my meals and stick to them for the most part.
    -Ran a 5k
    .-= Shawnee´s last blog ..Ice Cream Sandwich…or is it?? =-.

  19. Shannon says:

    When I feel it inside. When I know I have done good no matter what and it shows thorugh in the way I look even if I have not lost a pound that week.
    Great idea!

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