Changing size over the season, a non scale victory


There are Facebook groups I’m a member of in which people are encouraged to share NSVs–non scale victories. The idea is to focus less on the number on the scale and more on what our bodies can do.

A non-scale victory is something that is going well with food and activity that’s not directly measurable in kilos. Sometimes there’s still a weight loss association (see above) but other times, it’s purely fitness related, like having more energy or being able to lift heavier weights.


Here’s a funny NSV of mine. I have big legs and when I go on long rides I want to use two water bottles on my road bike but even with the skinniest of water bottles my thighs rub on the second water bottle. That doesn’t stop me using two water bottles on long rides but on short weekday training rides, I’ll only take one. On the long rides I suffer the effects of rubbing and chafing and my legs are a little worse for wear after. I’ve written before about being a larger woman on a bike and a few people have emailed the blog to ask if there are any specific problems I’ve faced as a larger rider. This has been one of them. During the summer I convince myself that I don’t care but I notice in the fall that I’m happy when it’s tights season. Two water bottles and no nasty rubbing!

This year my legs are more muscular than usual and I’ve lost a bit of weight. It’s not a big deal on the scale, hence the non-scale victory I’m about to reveal. I can use two water bottles on my bike with no contact with my thighs. Yippie! Yay!

And to be clear, I don’t mind my larger than average legs. Cyclists celebrate their larger than average legs. It does mean I won’t ever wear boots I admire on other people but that’s a small price to pay. And it’s a calf issue, not a thigh issue, and it’s thighs we’re here to talk about.

Writes Selene Yager, “Bulging, carved quads are essentially a flashing neon sign announcing that you are a cyclist and you’ve come to kick some ass. And those diamond-cut cannons are more than just aesthetically pleasing in your spandex. The four muscles collectively called the “quads” are the primary movers when you push through the pedal stroke. So more quads also equals more watts.” Read How to get Quads Like These.

Here's Dana Feiss's amazing legs,
Here’s Dana Feiss’s amazing legs,

In my case though, it’s not just muscle and I’m happy not to be chafing my legs on water bottles.

Also in the legs department, here’s women celebrating their unphotoshopped thighs.

But still compare that without the amount of attention male rugby players get for their glorious thighs.