Monday, May 27, 2013

Plateau Point

Plateaus suck. Drastically cutting back the calories and increasing the exercise for a week might break the plateau temporarily but chances are the pounds will come right back and be even harder to lose the next time. Giving up and gaining weight and then starting again is just as negative a behavior. There are no positives in it. Accepting the plateau is normal and healthy and even the optimal place to be today is the best thing I can do for myself.

I am an impatient person who wants results yesterday. Accepting a plateau is always hard for me. I need constant reminders of why it is good for me to just keep doing the next right thing and not look to change up my healthy food plan because I seek a change in scale numbers now, today, this minute. When I stop using the scale as a tool and start giving it power to control my emotions it is time to change my focus, not my food behaviors.

Last November at Thanksgiving, Dawn at Fixing Myself Happy wrote this (Bold emphasis added by me)
When it comes to the scale I really am focusing on it not having power over me and that seems to be working. I don't want to go through my life obsessing about it, worrying over 5-10 lbs. Like I was telling the TOPS ladies last night this is about a lifetime not just "right now". One lady asked what do you do when you are on a plateau? I told her "just hold on, practice maintenance, after all you'll be doing it for life eventually anyway". Then I went on to say I'd like to think as I find more peace with food as time continues to go by my weight will just naturally drift down. I think being honest with myself here will always be important for me too. The scale said 185 this morning and though that's not as low as I would like I'm just fine with that number. I think finding that contentment wherever I am is the bigger picture in this journey.
My reply to Dawn was this:
I loved your maintenance comment because of the common sense of it. It is hard to get people to understand that maintenance is a simple but loving gesture to ourselves. It IS what we are going to be doing anyway. At least, that SHOULD be the goal, not the weight loss. Otherwise, we all know what happens when a goal is reached and discarded - the pounds come back.
Lots of people on the plateau! 
Six months later, Dawn is down seven pounds, which is a healthy maintenance weight for her and a great example for anyone who is struggling with a plateau. 

I am looking to Dawn as my hero today. She is practicing what I know to be true. Lots of people reach a plateau. We are never alone there. The trick is to stay level headed and not jump in the wrong direction and fall into an abyss. 

Can you stay the course and maintain through a plateau?



bbubblyb said...

Well darn lost my comment :( was saying I've learned a lot from you too Jane. You are so right about not losing our head and staying the course. I also think it's about trusting ourselves. You will get past this plateau!

Mary Ellen Quigley said...

I love her comment as well. What great advice! I'm trying to make it through the plateau. It's tough, but it's good to know that others have been here and made it through.

E. Jane said...

Consistency will win out every time, when you're trying to break a plateau. You have done amazingly well, and your honesty is refreshing and helpful!

Diane Fit to the Finish said...

Plateaus are hard but I think they are valuable during the weight loss process because they give us a bit of practice at weight maintenance.

Consistency during the plateaus with their accompanying emotional angst are a great time to focus on doing the right thing even when it is hard.

Unknown said...

I'm just so happy to be at my current weight that if I plateaued at it, I'd be fine with that. As it is, I'm still losing very slowly.

:-) Marion

Jane Cartelli said...

It is a warm feeling to be in such good company.