I got this expression from when my wife and I were attending Weight Watchers. If you are trying to lose weight, it can be discouraging when the number doesn’t go down, or worse, goes up. You’ve been following your program hard all week and don’t get a good result. This can be enough to make people go “off the wagon” or even give up completely. I’ve been there!
At this point, it helps bolster your resolve to stay “on the path” if you’re successful in other ways. The most important non-scale victory is to remember it’s the process that is important, not just the result. Pat yourself on the back if you’ve been eating healthy foods and/or exercising regularly, for example.
An important attitude shift is that the most important thing is eating well and staying active for good health. Weight is not the most important outcome. In fact fat loss is more important than weight loss. Supplementing your weight measurement with your waist measurement is helpful because if you gain some muscle while exercising, your waist measurement can go down while the number on the scale stays unchanged or even goes up. But you have to take the long view with waist measurement because it changes more slowly. I’ve definitely had times when the scale gave a discouraging result and the tale of the tape remained unchanged. Then I need Non-Scale Victories And Non-Tape Victories 🙂
My most important motivator is freedom from compulsive eating. So if I’m ever disappointed by the scale or the tape, my most encouraging “victory” is if I know I spent the last week following my rule of “no junk, no exceptions, no negotiations”.