Sooner or later when we attempt anything new–adopting a new lifestyle, beginning a diet, trying to break out of old habits–whatever it may be, we all face one of the most frustrating, discouraging elements of that quest: we encounter the dreaded plateau.
If we are dieting, we reach a point where the weight doesn’t come off anymore. If we are changing the way we eat, as I have to Paleo, it gets boring. When we try to break free of an old habit, we may forget why we’re doing it, or we get overwhelmed by a craving for whatever we’re trying to change.
Sometimes I set myself up for that frustration. I’ve heard we should only get on the scales once a week…but I must check my “progress” daily. If there is a change in the right direction–great!! If everything stays the same…bummer. If the change goes in the wrong direction–AARGH!
That is when keeping your word to yourself, persistence on the plateau, can be the most difficult. (Remember declaring “I AM going to do this!!)? It’s easy to stick to the plan when everything seems to be going your way. When it’s not going according to plan–well that just sucks. Pushing the plateau through that time is when new sides of the new you will begin to show up.
I had been on the scales for 10 days with no change–well, there was a change–I gained 2 pounds! I hadn’t changed anything, hadn’t cheated, hadn’t eaten anything I wasn’t supposed to…that’s when you reach the point of saying “just forget it.” “If I’m going to gain weight and I’m doing what I’m supposed to do, then why not grab that piece of cheese, or chocolate chip cookie!! DON’T DO IT!!
I have no idea why, but one day I checked, and I lost 1.2 pounds. Yesterday, I lost another pound. Today when I checked, I lost 1.8 pounds! What started the engine again? I didn’t change anything I hadn’t changed…the only thing I can figure is that at some point, especially with diets, our bodies adjust to our new calorie count and our metabolism matches that new count…so there I am, and we level off.
I’ve done this long enough to know, also, the best way to jump start the engine again is to exercise. To me, that word should be spelled exorcise. I’m already on my feet all day. I rarely sit. When I do sit, it’s more like an up and down, up and down, up and down. My sitting is like most people’s jumping jacks. My butt rarely touches the chair because my feet always hit the ground. Nevertheless…I know the best way to get things going again is to exercise more. And that’s when I begin to convince myself the view from up here isn’t so bad…in fact, it’s kind of pretty…it wouldn’t be so bad to stay right where I am. That’s when I will most likely drop a pen on the floor, or need to tie my shoe, or put on my socks, and I can’t do it and breathe at the same time…ok, ok, ok…I get it!!
For me, the best way to get going is to put on some fun music really loud and dance…I may be 60, but I still can dance. That way, it’s fun, not exercise…as long as I don’t pull or tear something and look like Fred Sanford the next day. One of my biggest fears is that I’ll fall and end up looking like a turtle on its back–arms flailing, neck stretched and getting nowhere. Eventually most turtles do make it back over. That’s when you get up and start all over again.
The point is…stick to your goal. Keep your word to yourself…it doesn’t matter to anyone else…you have to do it for YOU. Meditate, have a Reiki session whether it’s on yourself (if you’re a practitioner) or see someone who is trained to do it for you. Whatever it takes, keep your word to yourself and eventually you’ll break through. And then you’ll be really glad you did.