Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Plateaus: Turn the Negative into a Positive

There is no requirement to jump off! 
I've had them. I bet you have, too. Those plateau periods where we do the same right thing but do not see the desired results (read desired and results as weight loss on the scale). If I honestly know I have been doing everything as planned, such as weighing and measuring, staying clear of the trouble foods, balancing my food ratios to work with my metabolism and not finding excuses to suck in a batch of cookies to 'sample' anything; when I am doing all this and still have a plateau I sometimes responded with freak-out fits of entitlement. Sometimes I rode it out until my body released the next pound. Sometimes I cried and bitched and doubled my exercise and starved myself to break though (only to have it creep back again). Yes, I also responded by saying screw this and picking up a pint of ice cream, as if some contract had been severed, permitting me to overeat without consequences.

When I am focused on the number on the scale a plateau is a negative. When I am focused on the big picture (health, serenity, life-long changes and acceptance), I can see and feel the positive attributes in a plateau. It is a time for my mind and body to come together before the process continues. When I keep doing the right things, a plateau is a step towards maintenance.

When I think about it, my goal is maintenance. What is maintenance but a never ending plateau. Steady weight, no more losses and hopefully no weight gains. Perhaps plateaus are the healthy way to bring the body and mind together in the same place. When my mind wants to argue with the plateau period it is usually my food addiction trying to nudge it's way back in.

Anyway, I think finding a positive way to look at and accept a plateau keeps it from becoming a step in the wrong direction.

Let's hear some more positive aspects of a plateau. Please share your positive experiences.



Jeanette said...

I think you hit the nail on the head. Plateau's are time for your body to find some sort of balance and to self regulate. It's a time for you to get used to a new weight and to figure out if new behaviors are warranted if you want to get to a new weight.

Karen said...

Plateaus are part of weigh loss for many of us. I figure plateaus are my friend. I need to be on a lower plateau to keep my $40 health discount, regular clothes and a calm mind.

When on a plateu while loosing , my body size tends to shrink, so that keeps me motivated.

The way I figure it, I HAVE to power through it and keep going. Each plateau will take me closer to the real me.

Long term maintence is the best plateau I can be on for life. All plateaus end at maintenance

Vickie said...

Believe it or not, I have quite the collection of Stalls/Plateau links on my side bar. I have added this one to it.

Anna Down Under said...

Great post, and thanks for giving me another way of thinking about it. While not on a true plateau yet, I have gone from fast, steady drops to a rather slow month where I've lost only five pounds overall, going up and down a bit. As I'm well over half way to goal those times are bound to get more frequent so this post is very helpful.

Jane Cartelli said...

Vickie - I always believe you. :-)

Lynn said...

I love this article re: the scale.

I know I am a much happier person now that I am focused on things other than the scale.