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.

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KANOE10
    You are right..sometimes your body does not coopereate when you are doing all of the correct things. Eventually something has got to happen if you are staying on track!!!! Hang in there. Plateaus are some of the hardest hings to deal with!

    You sound strong and confident in your new life.

    Great job.
    2066 days ago
    I love this blog I have only been on a plateau for a few days, but it is already stressing me out. It was really good to read this. emoticon
    2067 days ago
    Love this! What a thoughtful blog. I have historically defined myself (I mean my WHOLE SELF: professionally, personally, spiritually, everything!) by the number on the scale. This was just the gentle wake-up call that I needed.
    2067 days ago
    I've been maintaining for about a year now, and the other day I had an odd experience with my pants not fitting correctly. Apparently, though my "official"measurements have not changed, the ones I haven't been tracking have. My waist is slowly extending downwards (in a good way)! But because it's not a measurement I have historically taken, I had no idea until a favourite pair of workout pants started slipping around!

    The other key is that the last few lbs are always the hardest because you're approaching the "necessary" fat (every woman's body needs a certain amount of fat), so the body stubbornly clings to what is left.

    Relax, enjoy what you do, and you may find that one day you step on the scale and, Surprise!, they're gone!

    2069 days ago
    I agree with everything you said on this blog and think you expressed it well.
    I do think you ought to take your measurements though. This way you can see some progress, and I guess that means you are not really at a plateau. Sometimes there can even be a slight weight gain, but measurements go down. One thing I noticed in the past is that sometimes I do things relatively consistently for a while and stay at a plateau, then I drop 2 pounds and that weight is my new plateau. We expect weight loss to be a steady decline, but that isn't the way it seems to work.
    2069 days ago
    Well written blog! I think you look great! It is true - we always need to be looking forward - thanks for reminding me of this today! emoticon
    2070 days ago
    A very nice and optimistic blog! During my journey, I realized that plateaus can be good for many different reasons. And I agree with you that the simple rule of "eat less - move more" doesn't always work simply because our bodies are not mechanical and they sometimes work in mysterious ways.
    With that said, I can understand your "secret" weight goal. I have mine, too, for the exact same reason - it's far away from the overweight BMI.
    I'm sure your positive attitude will get you there.
    2070 days ago
    I'm really hoping I don't end up on a plateau again anytime soon. I was stuck on one for two months, and I really want to lose weight!
    2071 days ago


    my sister walks 15,000 steps a day at 63 years
    old and has lost 105 pounds. she went from a size 24 to a size 10. all her health issues dropped off as the 105 pounds dropped off. took 16 months.

    i gave up grain and sugary products and have lost 44 pounds at age 60. i went from a size 18 to a size 10 shorts and medium tops from a 1 or 2x. took 7 months.

    use a salad plate as a dinner plate

    use fruit for your sweet tooth cravings, an apple works great. helps with the chewing sensation.

    fill your salad plate with half vegetables.

    we are both still loosing weight until we reach our goal

    2071 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

More Blogs by WILLOWBROOK5