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I, along with my husband and another couple, are participating in the Healthy Dent County Wellness Challenge for the next few weeks.

The point of the challenge is not to lose weight but to increase daily health and wellness. A typical day concentrates on drinking 64 ounces of water, sleeping eight hours, taking 10,000 steps, eating two servings each of vegetables and fruits, working out as a group and daily challenges that range from attending the recent SMDH health fair to squats or sit-ups, or calling someone you love.

As every January comes around, it seems that more often than not we make promises to ourselves about eating better, working out more, losing a pant size or two, or stopping bad habits. I know I am part of that group just about every Jan. 1.

This year, I told myself the same thing, I want to lose weight. I want a smaller pant size to fit in the ones I save in the back of my closet. As news of the HDC wellness challenge came along, it started me thinking on the subject. There are so many other components of health, no one is limited to a number on the scale. I follow several healthy types on Instagram and use their workouts frequently. Some are professionals and others are just moms who take time to post videos to help others.

One such woman is Kelsey Wells. She is a wife, mother and creator of the PWR Programs, and touts an impressive 1.9 million followers on Instagram.

She recently posted a simple, yet so hard to follow thought about body negativity.

In a nutshell, she explains that she has been sick and in one week, weighed in at 144, 138, and 141 pounds at various doctor appointments. Wells is a little over five feet, six inches. Before she began her personal fitness journey she had a goal weight of 120 pounds based on absolutely nothing. She weighed herself every day at this point and would “allow the number that appeared there to dictate not only my mood but certain behaviors and even my own internal dialogue. I could feel amazing, yet if I woke up and that number didn’t reflect what I thought it should, just like that… I lost all confidence. I fooled myself into believing no progress was being made and worst of all, I looked at my body negatively,” said Wells in the post.

“This is not ok. if you can currently relate to this, please, please listen. The scale alone cannot measure your health. Never mind the facts that your weight can fluctuate about five pounds within the same day due to a number of things. Muscle mass weighs more than fat per volume, and that I weigh literally the same amount now when compared to what I did when I began my journey post-partum, even though my body composition has changed entirely. Typically, and as far as your fitness journey goes, the scale tells you nothing more than your relationship with gravity on this planet.”

And the next part is one I need to tape to every mirror in my home.

“You are so much more than a number on a clothing tag or a scale — and you cannot afford to allow these things to impact your self-worth. I know it is hard. I understand it can be easier said than done to let go of these things, but this is work you must do. Switch your focus to pure positivity. Focus on your HEALTH. If you’re a measurement person, then try measuring the number of pushups you can do or the cups of water you’re drinking or positive affirmations you give yourself.”

These few paragraphs really hit home with me, and several others I shared it with, as I try to increase my health for myself and my family. I have a day that my pants fit a bit better or a sweater hangs a little better than the last time I wore it or I just feel better. I hop on the scale thinking this must be the day that my hard work pays off, but there it is…same number as before, hardly any change. Like Wells said, I let that ruin all the positive thoughts I had about feeling better.

So challenge yourself, ignore the scale and pay attention to your body, celebrating the small victories.