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The Dreaded Plateau (Posted On: Monday, June 29, 2009)

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Now entering week 13 of my Quest for Fitness, I am frustrated to report that I have reached a plateau situation for the past few weeks. This fact is both annoying, but at the same time has caused me to investigate. I have been doing everything right…sure I slip up now and then, but certainly not enough to cause the plateau situation. So I have been talking with my fitness and nutrition coach Sarah about this and what it means.

At the onset…to me, it was very discouraging, however, after discussing this with Sarah she has enlightened me and provided me with this very excellent information that she found on-line…

“The term plateau is bandied about in health and fitness as a negative state. Plateaus are seen as a holding pattern that a person can’t seem to get beyond. If you think about the meaning of the word plateau, it’s really about a relatively stable period or level. How you perceive a plateau, just like how you perceive any situation, will determine if it becomes stressful for you or not.

Since we hear about plateaus mostly when it comes to weight loss, I would venture to guess that this fear about plateaus has been created to entice you to buy more products. The reality is that plateaus mean nothing more than a temporary stable period. When it comes to weight loss, if you are losing anywhere from 20–100 pounds, your body may have a period where it stalls for a bit as you begin to release weight. If you’re focused only on the numbers, you may be excited when they drop and then feel like a failure if they stall.

Have you ever exercised really hard for two weeks and noticed that you looked exactly the same? That can really defeat your motivation to exercise, if all you are looking for is immediate physical changes. Now, what if instead, you tuned into how you felt? What if you noticed that you felt really good, you felt like your blood was moving and as if you had more energy when you woke up in the morning? Rather than focusing only on numbers, take an inventory of how you feel. That’s how you recognize that success comes in many forms and you may be missing some important cues if you only look at numbers.

Here are some tips for responding to plateaus:

  • Take an inventory of how you feel. Tune into your body and your moods. Notice all of the benefits you are experiencing from inside, rather than simply focusing on the outside.
  • Focus on building good habits. Recognize that a plateau is simply a stable period and trust that this is a time when you can focus on creating or maintaining good health habits.
  • If your goal is only about losing 50 pounds, you may miss the opportunity to focus on the feeling of creating a habit that supports your well-being for a lifetime. Trust that your healthy habits will allow you to reach your goals. In this way, you can lose weight without having to stress about it.” 

    - Kevin Gianni

This advice has helped me realize that it is so very important to ‘Stay the Course’ and not give up.  So if you have reached a plateau…don’t give up…just keep on trucking and remember the motivation you had when you started your own Quest for Fitness.  Tighten the reigns and step it up a notch or two.  Get mad and use that anger to fuel your desire for success.

Also, I try and remind myself that I am fitting into clothes 2 sizes smaller…feel better and am more focused in everything that I do.

I can’t tell you how frustrating this plateau thing is.  I have been eating better, exercising more and more each week and still the scale and the measuring tape seem to be my enemy week after week…but that’s only for the past 4 weeks.  If I look at the big picture, I can feel very satisfied that I have lost a total of 22 pounds, feel better, look better, sleep better and do business better.

If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me, because if you are feeling discouraged in your own Quest for Fitness, I would love to help you stay motivated. 

Remember, you are in control of your own body.  It’s all up to you…no one else.  Make it happen and don’t let anything get in your way.

For all of you that have sent me e-mails encouraging me, or given me nice compliments on the street when I see you…thank you so much, because it is truly encouraging and this kind of feedback gives me the extra will power that I need right now.

For those of you just tuning in please check out the history of my Quest for Fitness by clicking on the links below…

Good Energy
Julie Card Fitness
Quest for Fitness

Happy Hiking,

 

Julie Card
jcard@mycollingwood.ca
705.444.0123

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