The View from a Plateau
Sunday, October 21, 2012
So, I have been on this plateau for over a month now. I thought I was moving off it when I went down a pound after a two week stall back in September, but then I went on another stall, this one about 3 weeks. Actually went up .6 lb, then a while later, up another .6, then down in the space of one day by .8 lb where I have held amazingly steady for several days. Let's just say my body really likes being 138.4.
Meanwhile, my goal is 137 but in my heart of hearts I want 135, mainly because it is that much further away from an overweight BMI. At only 5' 3" (and that's rounding UP), I am near the top of my healthy BMI range.
One of my spark friends commented the other day how neat that I was so close to my "secret goal" of 135. It surprised me that she was right. I WAS really close to 135. It's just that I started doing the daily weigh in during this plateau (yeah, bad timing) and so every day it was like be smacked in the face -- nope, not losing, still not losing, wow you just went up over half a lb, still not losing, still not losing, and on it went, morning after morning. I decided this was my chance to work on non emotional reactions to the scale. And boy, am I getting plenty of practice.
But my friend got me to look at see how incredibly close I am to my secret goal, never mind the official one. And that got me to thinking about being on a plateau and what it teaches me whenever I am on one.
1. No matter all the research, no matter all the great information here at SP, no matter how some approach to eating or exercising worked for a friend, the fact is losing weight doesn't always add up. We don't have all the facts yet. It should be simple. Eat less. Move more. And in fact, that does work most of the time but then there are plateaus where that simple formula doesn't work for a period of time. We all need to figure out how to get off the plateau, but the options are endless. Eat less. No, eat more. No, eat more protein. No, eat more fat. Exercise more. No, do some completely different exercise. Change it up. Don't change a thing. Probably the answers to the plateau puzzle are endless too and different for many of us.
2. The scale is important to me but it is still just a number. Although my weight has held eerily steady lately, my clothes fit a bit loser. I'm not down a size, but I can see and feel a difference in my body. Unfortunately, I don't take measurements often or well, so I can't say how many inches over all I have lost on this plateau.
3. I'm honestly OK where I'm at. When I hit 135, this would be what I'd want as my top weight. I don't want to hit 140, but 138.4 is still in my maintenance range. Especially with the way my pants are fitting these days.
4. I need to keep the faith. There is a prayer I liked a lot when I was first starting out as a therapist with children. It went something like, "Lord make me faithful in my actions and indifferent to my success." Sometimes, we don't see the success right away. Sometimes not for a long time, but if we know we are doing what is right, then later, down the road, we will see we were right to stay the course and believe in what we were doing. I believe in what I am doing. I know that staying in my calorie range and keeping active will eventually get me to the weight I want. In the meantime, I am staying healthy and fit.
The view from the plateau, isn't that bad, actually. I can see where I've been and how far I've come.
I can see where I am going.
Best of all, I see that this journey isn't going to end at 135. A year from now, I hope I will be 135 but I also hope I will be stronger and more confident than I am now. I hope that I won't be so surprised at times when I see myself in a mirror. I really hope I won't criticize myself when I look in the mirror at other times, not satisfied with what I have achieved. I am so different than where I was when I began this journey in March 2011. I know I will be different still in October 2013 and in March 2014.
This journey I am on is awesome. I can see that, even from this plateau.