Before we even get started on the meat of this post, I want to make sure that I’m clear that taking body measurements do not measure our worth or value. Postpartum weight loss journeys are hard physically and mentally and sometimes we get so stuck in the idea that our only measure of success is the scale and our measurements.
However! Knowing your measurements is a great tool for knowing exactly where you are and what kind of progress you have made in your journey.
Did you know…. Once upon a time (this is a true story) there was a client that was on a weight loss journey and the scale wasn’t moving as quickly as she would have liked, but the inches were literally falling off. In a matter of 6 months, she had lost around 40-41 inches. Her body was literally disappearing.
She was getting stronger and lifting some killer weight, she had stamina that she never had before, and she was even starting to feel confident in a dress again.
But the number on the scale hadn’t moved much.
Keeping in mind that she had never worked out in her life, her muscles were gaining density which could account for the small budges of the scale.
She had a really hard time getting over this fact and in fact, she really never did get over that fact even though she was having to buy new clothes and she was seeing the changes in her body.
The number on the scale kept her back. Sometimes there are things that we have to work through personally to help us on our journeys.
Why am I telling you this?
Because, it’s so important to remember that measurements, the scale, body fat percentage, etc. are simply tools for the journey. They are not to be seen as what you are worth.
She made some great strides in her mental focus over our time together and it was great to see. Again, these numbers a just a tool.
These numbers can give you a starting point and markers along the way during your journey.
Now that we have that speech out of the way, mama, let’s dive into taking accurate body measurements.
To do this, I will take you through the measurements that I like to take on my clients and then after we talk through it, you will see a video that you can watch of this entire process.
The areas that I like to measure for my girls are as follows:
- Both Upper Arms
Some people go so far as to measure calves, necks, even wrists. I think that’s entirely too much but if you want to, then go for it.
For the purpose of this post, we are going to stick with my list and we’re going to start with the arms and work our way down the body.
Keep in mind that this is easier with help and for each of these positions, you can keep thin clothing on and be in a fairly relaxed state. What I mean by that is, don’t flex your muscles, it skews the results.
Okay! Here we go. Taking body measurements
First thing is that you are going to need a measuring tape that is flexible and can easily wrap around the body part. Try to steer clear of a regular measuring tape you might find in a tool box/bag.
They’re very inexpensive if you don’t have one that you can grab on Amazon.
Okay! Measuring the Upper part of the arm
At the thickest part of your bicep (muscle on the front upper part of the arm), wrap the measuring tape around the bicep and right where it touches, record that measurement.
Then you will repeat this for the other arm and write it down.
Remember that when you record the measurements you will want to specify right arm vs. left arm
Moving on to the bust
You need to be wearing a bra for this one. Just a normal bra will do, as I don’t like taking measurements in overly flattening sports bras or push up bras because the measurements will be a bit off.
You will wrap the measuring tape around your trunk and position it so that the tape meets at the thickest part of your bust which is typically over the nipple.
Relax, but be sure that you are standing up tall.
Then move on to the waist
Take the end of the measuring tape and place it right over the belly button and wrap the tape around your body until it meets right over the belly button.
Ensure that you are standing up straight, not sucking your belly in, and the tape is not wrinkled up.
Record that measurement
Next move onto the hips
For the hips you will wrap the measuring tape around the thickets part of your hips until the measuring tape meets again.
For reference, it is typically a few inches above your pubic bone. Again, ensure that the tape isn’t wrinkled up.
Last part that I like to measure are the thighs
You will do the same thing that you did for the upper arms and will specify right thigh vs. left thigh.
Thickest part of the thigh, wrap the measuring tape around until it meets and record those measurements.
You have officially taken your measurements. See? That wasn’t too bad now was it?
Video of the entire process below and then I’ll leave you with a few words.
Couple more things that I want to leave you with before I close out this post.
Taking body measurements every week is not ideal. In fact, I recommend taking them every 4-6 weeks or even longer.
For one, it takes some time to do and for two, if you are obsessing over your measurements, then you’re not enjoying the journey.
Remember, measurements are simply a tool to use that will help give you a guideline of where you are in reference to your goals.
For a lot of mamas, their measurements aren’t as bad as they thought they were because they see themselves so harshly.
I’ve said it about 135 times this post, but please remember that you are more than a number and that these measurements that you are taking are only a tool.
They will help give you a starting point and progress points on the way to your postpartum weight loss goals.
You are worth far more than a number on a scale or a number on a measuring tape.
So! Simply take your measurements and move on with your life.
One last thing – be sure to write down the date that you took your measurements so you can be sure that you’re at least 4 weeks out when you measure again, but 6 weeks is better plus, take a picture so you can post your progress to Instagram! ? Use hashtag #strongnfitmamas so I can see your progress and cheer you on!