Dealing with the Dreaded Plateau
I haven’t even gone off plan for weeks, why can’t I lose a stinking pound?!? I mean at this point I’d be happy with a half a pound. Anything!!!! The lip starts trembling, tears are flowing, and yelling has ensued. The Dreaded Plateau Meltdown. Yes, the plateau meltdown is real. It has happened to me before and I know it will happen again.
Right now I’m in the middle of my third plateau. The first one I had lasted six weeks. Maybe the most frustrating six weeks of my life. I was constantly getting on the scale. You know, that mean, stubborn machine we sometimes torture ourselves with. In those six weeks I gave my identity over to something that I so desperately wanted to control. Up to that point I had fifty something pounds consistently. Every week the scale had moved, even if it was only a half a pound, it was progress. No need to get upset, everything was great. I had goals for how much I wanted to lose every month and I was hitting them almost every time. And then, out of nowhere it stopped.
Week 1 - no loss. “Oh well, I’ll work out a little harder this week."
Week 2 - no loss. “That’s so weird, I haven’t gone off plan. I don’t think I even had a crossover this week."
Week 3 - no loss. “Seriously! What is going on? Fine, I’m going to the gym at least twice a day. That’ll kick it." And I did. There were 2 days I went to the gym 3 times.
Week 4 - no loss. This is when the meltdown happened. I got on the scale and it hadn’t moved, AGAIN! After all that work?!? In fact, it went up 3 lbs. I can’t tell you how mad I was. I went in the kitchen to angrily make some breakfast. You know when you throw pans and make as much noise as possible because of the rage within?!? And my poor, sweet sister just happened to be there. She could tell something was up. Not sure what tipped her off :). She asked me what was wrong and I just unloaded. Lip trembling, tears flowing, yelling, full on meltdown. And she did the only thing you can do for someone when they are in that state. She just hugged me. Reminded me how far I’d come. And that every thing would be okay. So, I pulled it together. Ate a crossover for breakfast. And decided to dig my heals in and keep going. I also decided it didn’t matter what the scale said. I was doing this for me. For me to be healthy. I had to remind myself that the Trim Healthy Mama plan works and giving up was not an option.
You see, I’d been here before on other diets. It would get tough and I would quit. I could maintain for a little while but eventually, I would gain back everything I had lost and always a little more. I couldn’t and wouldn’t let myself do that again. I am going to be successful. I am going to reach my goal weight. It may take longer than what I have planned, but I’m doing it.
The struggle is real when you’re losing weight. And the biggest struggle of all is what goes on in your mind. What are you telling yourself daily? Are you building yourself up or is your self talk destroying the very person that God Himself created for greatness? That’s right, the creator of the universe has designed you, and you are pretty amazing! So when the self doubt and the negative self talk starts, stop and remind yourself whose you are. That you are changing the destiny of you and your family’s life. That nothing the scale says will stop you. That you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Start telling yourself that you can and will.
Week 5 - no loss. “Okay, keep being strong, and consistent. The weight will come off." I also decided to go back and read parts of the Trim Healthy Mama plan book again. I realized I hadn’t been counting some things right and made some adjustments. I added in some more S and FP meals. Just remember, you need at least 5 E meals a week.
Week 6 - FIVE POUND LOSS!!!! You know on The Little Mermaid the song that comes out of the necklace that breaks and Ariel’s voice returns? Yes, that’s the sound I heard as the clouds parted and I looked down at the scale and saw the five pound loss. Hallelujah, the plateau was over! I not only survived it, I came out on the other side stronger.
So how do I deal with the plateau?
- Be Consistent.
- Rely on God’s strength.
- Give myself grace.
- Do the work.
- Stay positive.
- Read the book again.
- Support from family, friends and my sisterhood of the shrinking pants!
- Be patient.
And even when “The Meltdown," happens, and it most likely will, don’t give up! Don’t live there. You are incredible and brave and strong. The plateau will end. And you will shine!