There are many ways to measure success in health and fitness. The simplest and most tangible is weight lost, but once you reach a goal, how do you keep up with success? We need goals to keep reaching toward, and once you reach a certain weight, that simplest of goals is marked accomplished.
Some measures I’ve added and work towards are changes in my body composition that can be measured in my waist size or shirt size. I still have another inch to go on my waist, but that’s more a function of my skin shrinking some more than actually losing any weight. There’s no fat between my skin and my muscles at my waist, so this is a somewhat silly goal, but I still work toward ensuring I don’t gain any fat to make the skin shrink any slower.
My health is greatly improved, and not just on the outside, but inside as well. I am no longer a Type-2 Diabetic, I no longer suffer from fatty liver disease, my vision has improved slightly (due to no longer being diabetic) and I no longer have circulation issues in my feet.
I also measure my success in health and fitness in being able to help, aid, and assist others get healthy and fit. I make myself available to help others for not other reason than I know how it felt to be overweight and feeling helpless. I remember thinking there was no way I could ever lose the weight without a lot of pain. I want to help people realize they can do this by just changing what they eat. Adding exercise when they are comfortable and ready is a great thing, but not necessary for losing weight.
One way I have been able to measure success is by doing things I couldn’t do when I weighed more and was a larger size. Fitting into the cockpit of a PT-19 WWII bi-plane trainer is something I’ve always wanted to do, but never could due to my weight and size. Earlier this year, I was able to realize that dream and fly a bi-plane. It was exhilarating, and a sweet culmination of the work it took to get to that point. I have also been zip-lining, hiking, running, been in a NASCAR race-car on a track, and most importantly, I’ve been able to go back into the military as a Staff Sergeant in the National Guard. All of these are successes that I can cling to and help to motivate me.
The final measure of my success is in staying healthy: eating right, sticking to a strict Paleo Diet in every way I can, and getting exercise three times a week. Sometimes I miss the mark in both areas, but I never give up, and I never consider quitting. I have a lifestyle I maintain now, and I am set on keeping my health and fitness at their highest levels as I can for the rest of my life.