Wednesday, June 24, 2015

NSV: Non-Scale Victory

NSV is an acronym popular in fitness circles that stands for “Non-Scale Victory.” It’s used to highlight and share health and fitness achievements independent of one’s body weight, since weight is never entirely within a person’s control, is no measure of health or fitness, and does not accurately reflect fat loss and/or muscle gain.

Mine, for example, has been largely steady this year, but pants that hadn’t fit in 18 months sometimes slide off my hips without a belt now, I have to tear off the sleeves from some of my favorite t-shirts, and I’m busting out of my favorite dresses, resigning myself to donating them elsewhere. My favorite shorty shorts no longer squeeze my belly uncomfortably but my thighs instead.

Though NSV’s can include improved run times and increased weight lifting ability, they typically take the form of seemingly mundane tasks that one could not previously accomplish, as a way of focusing on functional improvement in daily life.
My NSV’s of late focus on functional strength: more easily lifting and moving heavy or awkward boxes and furniture alone and with help in preparation for my upcoming cross-town move.

Sunday saw my most recent and amusing NSV: Though I sat in an aisle seat at the movie theater, I didn't particularly feel like standing and stepping out to let the little kid and dad out to use the restroom and totally miss all of the ‪#‎raptorsquad‬. So I tucked my knees to my chest and with surprising ease lifted my body up and back with my hands on the armrests.

In the past, I and the people around me have marveled at my ability as a casual outdoorswoman to keep up with seasoned hikers on difficult, lengthy, treacherous trails. One afternoon I went for a nature walk and was unexpectedly whisked away by a Korean hiking club for 5 hours. I also signed up for a weekend hiking trip not knowing it was on an expert-level trail; we were told the bus would meet us on the other side, so the only way out was up and over. Sometimes I hurt and I cried, but I kept putting one foot in front of the other, awestruck that my legs didn’t just give out. Years later I joined acquaintances known for their superhero strength and radical outdoorsing on a failed hike to find some caves while my friends took a nap; though it wound up being emotionally taxing, I kept up.

A happier NSV: This year I did my first headstand as an adult, and I didn’t hurt myself.

What are your NSV’s?

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