- A tape measure.
As I mentioned before, I grew so tired of the You're building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat line that I wanted to punch the next person who said it to me. But fact of the matter is muscle DOES weigh more than fat, and sometimes, when you're trying to lose weight, seeing concrete proof of progress on seamstress tools can be enough to keep you from getting discouraged.
- Lung capacity and heart rate.
If you're moving more and choosing better foods, you should be breathing easier. When you crawl into bed, you should be able to feel a marked difference in the time it takes for your breath and heart rate to grow calm.
- Your level of relaxation.
Your ability to concentrate and your ability to push troublesome thoughts from your mind should increase as you become more active.
- Your temper.
Have you ever seen the movie "Legally Blonde"? There's a scene where the main character insists her fellow Delta Kappa Nu sister couldn't have murdered her husband because the sister was a gym instructor and exercise gives off endorphins.
Endorphins make you feel good. It's true. A little bit of exercise is like lengthening a short fuse and soaking it in water. You should see a marked difference in your desire to get upset and the amount of patience for the utterly stupid curveballs life throws our way.
- Your strength and endurance.
This one is my favorite. I look at going to the gym one of two ways: 1. An opportunity get done what I need to do. 2. An opportunity to challenge myself. My trip to the gym almost always starts off as the former, but it always ends up as the latter.
I might not be doing P90X yet, but there are days when I leave feeling like I've turned into Sarah Connor kicking the a**es of an entire army of terminators. There's nothing more empowering than that.
On Thursday: Your dreams and the mind-body connection.
In the meantime, tell me about your favorite way of measuring progress. Tweet at me. Email me or leave a comment below.