Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ha!! Take THAT plateau!

Dear Mr. Plateau....

You thought you had me this time didn't you? Your and your little minions really believed that THIS time, you could stop my weight loss and in the process crush my spirit and lead me back to the comfort of ice cream, donuts, potato chips, and the couch.


Showed YOU sucka!!

So very not sincerely yours,


Whew....that kind of felt gooooood.

Admittedly, this was the worst plateau I've encountered on my trip down the scale. Just stuck in about one place for almost 6 weeks. And yes, there were times I almost gave in and said, "I can be happy here can't I? Isn't this just too hard?

And while it is lovely that the scale is moving down, more importantly I need to pick out what lessons I learned from this experience for the NEXT plateau, which we all know could lurk around the corner.

#1 - Don't stop moving, but change the cardio. A plateau is a great opportunity to try something new. Why not? Nothing else is working. Myself, I took up running 3x a week. I decided to focus on how long I could run without stopping for a break. In doing this, I forced myself to slooooooow down and work on controlling the breath and not allowing the body to go into an anaerobic mode. And the best part was that this satisfied the part of my personality that loves goals. Right now, I can go at a 4.2 pace for 30 minutes. Slow? damn straight it is. Do I care? pleaaaaase....just happy to be out there moving.

#2 - Really look closely at eating patterns. Has a new food slipped into the regimen without notice? Sadly, I discovered that the mocha lattes I was ordering from Starbucks several times a week were NOT the skinny version, and as a result I was adding about 250 extra calories every time. That adds up. So, I ask the barista to repeat "SKINNY" to make sure I have the sugar free syrup and skim milk.

#3 - Be patient!  Of all the things that helped me, this was probably the most important, and the hardest. The body is not a machine with strict in/out controls. As much as we would like to think it is, it just isn't. After all these years of inactivity and excessive eating, my body is probably pretty confused as to what the hell is going on here. The evolutionary settings of preserving fat for long term survival are deep and at some level, the body will do what it thinks is needed to survive. I must give it time to adjust, function, and assimilate all this new information.

So that's my process.  What are your steps to overcoming a plateau? I'd love to know. We are all in this together and what works for you today, may be exactly what I need tomorrow.

Thoughts to take with me today: This is a journey, not a race. There is no finish line, there is only the joy of today; it truly is all good.


  1. Since this is for life if we want to maintain our loss, we must take temporary things like this in stride. Even if you fall face first, you have still moved forward. Congratulations for hanging in there.

  2. Me thinks I better keep your post for the time when or if that happens to me. Good informative post.

  3. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at all that it was *today* that you left a comment that led me to spend an hour or so reading back through all your older posts - they always say "The teacher will come when the student is ready."
    I'm in a weight-loss journey of my own (as so many of us are) with my own set of issues, but I really appreciate all of your insights. I started my own personal 30-day yoga challenge eight days ago - just working at home with DVDs (haven't been to a class since moving to Seoul) and had a really low day yesterday - your comment came at just the right time, and many of your 'yoga insights' were particularly helpful in re-focusing my thoughts on why I'm doing this and what my intentions are...much food for thought!
    My dear friend Holly sent me a link to your blog back when you first started posting, but somehow in the bustle of the holidays, I lost it. So glad I've found it again! Adding you to my blogroll, and just maybe I'll get to meet you in person when we're in VA during our home leave this summer!
    Thanks for the words of wisdom. I needed them today!

    1. Caroline - thank you so very much for your kind words. The phrase... "The teacher will come when the student is ready." resonates with me deeply and I am truly honored that in some way I was helpful to you.

      Indeed, when you are back in VA, I would love to meet up with you, along with Holly, who spoke so very lovingly of you.

      Namaste my friend...