14 non-scale victories worth celebrating

The number on the scale only tells part of the story. WeightWatchers members share the wins unrelated to weight that signal major progress.
Published October 3, 2019 | Updated June 6, 2024
Non Scale VictoriesNon Scale Victories

The scale can feel a bit like a frenemy when you’re on a weight-loss journey — something you love one week and hate the next. But if you spend too much time focusing on the number it displays, you might overlook some really exciting milestones. Sure, your goal might be to lose weight, but that’s just one measure of success. There are so many non-scale victories worth celebrating.

What does NSV mean?

A non-scale victory, or NSV as it’s commonly referred to by WeightWatchers members, is a marker of success that isn’t measured by the scale. It can be anything from feeling better in your favorite jeans to not getting winded on a second flight of stairs.

NSVs prove that you’re making hard-won, life-changing progress. They can be hugely powerful for your self-esteem, and they can help keep you motivated during those weeks when the scale doesn’t want to budge. Here are several NSVs that deserve acknowledgment.

14 Non-scale victories worth celebrating on your weight loss journey

1. Your clothes fit better

Whether it’s slipping into a pair of pants you haven’t worn in years, or buying something a size down, feeling good in your clothes can be a huge motivator. “I tried on a sweater dress in my usual size but it turned out to be three sizes too big! I had to ask for a smaller one. In this moment, I felt happy and proud of myself for how far I’ve come,” says WeightWatchers member Jacqueline S.

2. Your confidence is soaring

When you make a choice to improve your health by losing weight, there’s a ripple effect that can improve your confidence, too. “This journey has taught me that I don’t have to hide. I don’t have to feel embarrassed. I can wear crop tops — and even if I didn’t lose a single pound, I would still think that,” says WeightWatchers member Shannon M.

Other program members agree: “I have noticed that I do not have as many negative thoughts about myself. I am happier and more confident overall, because I know that I am on the right track,” says Victoria K.

3. Your skin looks great

All the healthy choices you’ve been making to stay on track — drinking water, eating more fruits and veggies, exercising—can help your skin look and feel better, too. “I’ve been drinking more water and already notice that my skin is clearer and not as dry,” says WeightWatchers member Jenni C.

4. Your health is improving

Better eating habits, regular exercise, and weight loss can improve several health markers, including BMI, blood pressure, and blood sugar, which might help further motivate you to keep it up.

5. You’re breathing easier

One small study showed breathing becomes more efficient as you lose weight, so it’s a marker of success when you no longer feel out of breath during everyday activities or when briefly pushing yourself, like when you have to jog a few steps to catch the bus.

6. You have fewer aches and pains

Extra body weight puts more pressure on your joints, which explains why you might notice fewer aches and pains as you progress on your weight loss journey.

7. Your workouts feel easier

Starting a new exercise routine can sometimes feel hard, like force-yourself-to-tie-your-shoes hard and then drag-yourself-to-the-door hard. But that day when you suddenly notice your workout feels easier makes it all worth it. Pat yourself on the back and ramp up the intensity — it’s time for a new challenge!

8. You’re sleeping better

You may have heard not getting enough sleep can stall weight loss, but did you know there’s an opposite effect? Losing weight, according to one study, can improve the quality of your sleep.

9. You’ve got healthier habits

Opting to cook at home instead of ordering take-out. Going for a walk after dinner rather than sitting in front of the TV. Getting a glass of water on round two at happy hour. Calling a friend to de-stress. Regularly making healthy choices is a non-scale victory, for sure.

10. You have more energy

Having the energy to fully participate in life is both a benefit of weight loss. “I’m no longer the mom on the sidelines. I am the mom in the game, being able to stay active and keep up with my son,” says WeightWatchers member Stef D.

11. You’re making moves — literally

When you achieve the NSV of having more energy, you move more. “I have the energy and motivation to break up long stretches of sitting with online workout videos,” says WeightWatchers member Angie W. And you encourage others to get up, too. “I now love being active with my family. I’d even choose an outdoor activity over going out to dinner, which is a huge shift for me!” says WeightWatchers member Andrea S.

12. You’re doing things you never thought possible

Trying new recipes, traveling more, improving your health opens you up to lots of new experiences and opportunities — and that’s something to get excited about. “I was never able to run, even when I was a kid. If I ran half a block, I’d get a stomach ache,” says WeightWatchers member Beatriz F. “Now I can get up to 7 miles and I feel amazing. For the first time in my life, I’m training for the New York City Marathon!” she says.

13. You’re making powerful mental shifts

As you rack up new healthy habits, you might notice your outlook is improving, too. “I’m able to shift my perspective from ‘there’s so much I need to do to reach my goals’ to ‘focus on today.’ For example, I tracked my Points® within 24 hours — that’s major! Learning how to exist in the present helps me to stay consistent more than anything else,” says WeightWatchers member Jessie D.

14. You’re eating healthy foods — and loving them, too

Okay, lima beans may never appear on anyone's list of favorite foods, but finding delicious ways to eat more fresh produce, whole grains, and lean meats is definitely on the non-scale victories list. “I’m eating more vegetables now than ever before. I love collard greens, turnips, cabbage — and I’ve noticed that eating more of these makes me feel so much better,” says WeightWatchers member Zackory K.

Celebrate your non-scale victories

It’s easy to become hyper-focused on weight — it’s a significant number measuring progress toward your goal, but it’s not the only milestone on your journey. Non-scale victories are wins worth cheering about, too.

“They might seem like intangibles, but being more active with your kids, longer walks with the dog, taking the stairs without getting winded, the healthy choice becoming the easier choice — these are all signs that the program is working for you,” says New York City-based certified strength and conditioning coach Christi Smith, MS, CSCS. And when you take a moment to savor your success, you’re much more likely to stick with the healthy habits that got you there — whether it’s showing up on the scale or not.

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