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Things to Do When You Find Yourself on a Plateau

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Be a tourist. Do touristy things.

1. Check the details of your itinerary. For this journey, be sure your goals, your fitness activity levels and tracking information, food tracking, water consumption, sleep, stress management, are right on time. They are like stamps on your passport for the next train on the next leg of your journey. All of those stamps need to be collected and in order before Customs will let you continue traveling.

2. Take time to get used to your surroundings. Anytime you go on vacation, jet lag takes over until you get used to the newness of the place. So observe the new landscape that is YOU. Take some measurements. Go window shopping and catch sight of that new person in the reflection in the windows and mirrors. The last two weeks, I have been catching myself in the window or mirror, I look again, and actually smile at myself and say, "Hi!" or "Hey, how ya doin?" or "Wow!! Lookin good!"

3. Go shopping for yourself--not to buy anything--but to learn what you like now and what you don't, to learn what fits and what doesn't, to learn what styles look good on you and what styles don't. For me, as I packed up boxes of clothes for the women's shelter, and started shopping for a couple of shirts to wear with pants that still fit me, I learned that the boxy shirts and crew neck t-shirts should now be replaced by fitted shirts and v-neck t-shirts with sleeves that fit. AND I learned that I could find those things that actually fit. In fact I found several things that fit in a range of sizes. I learned I needed to buy for the immediate journey ahead, not for the winter season 9 months away. Who could predict the landscape then?? Certainly not me. That is uncharted territory!!

4. Collect Souvenirs of your visit.
Hand the camera over to another traveler on your journey to get snapshots for your scrapbook page "A Day in My Life on the Plateau" Then create the scrapbook page, or even a Travel Poster with the next plateau off in the distance. You might be close enough to goal so that you even see the Maintenance Station in the hazy distance. But it might also be just another plateau on the journey.

5. Start a travel journal if you haven't yet. Record in pictures and words your nostalgic Visits to the old and familiar places you USED to visit. Then go to a few that you now enjoy. Then visit some new ones, places you felt you'd never go, that you perhaps are a little afraid to venture there.

What are your nostalgic places? For me on this journey, I have two: my recliner and my winter robe. I haven't been sitting in that recliner as much. And during this current cold snap, I was very cold after 90 minute workout in the pool. I put my winter robe on and it wrapped around me twice.

The place I thought I'd never go, let alone enjoy is the gym--the YMCA. Yet as I walk out after Aqua Zumba, I pass the regular Zumba class and think, "I can remember a time when I'd never dream of setting foot in there, because I'm so uncoordinated." And now, while I worry about my ankles and feet being able to do the hour workout, I'm not afraid of trying it.
Perhaps that's what I'll work toward so that when I make it to my next plateau, I'm able to actually do a complete hour of Zumba class.

And while it might seem ludicrous, my food tracker is a nostalgic place. I actually went back to last August and read through the types of things I was eating. And then I compared that to the daily plans of the last week. Wow!! They have REALLY changed. And that made me look at my Groupings and favorite recipes. I spent some time weeding out the things I would probably never again eat or prepare in that way again. Yes, some choices now are for health, but I have developed a new idea of delicious also. So I need to create a scrapbook page with a key then and now picture, measurements, blog, menu plan for the day, fitness tracked for the day . . .

6. Put together A Plateau Cookbook

So while I was on this last plateau, I decided I'd create Bravelute's Plateau Cookbook on SP Recipes, where I start recording my recipes and saving recipes from other Sparkers that fit the current new me. And I will also include favorite groupings from stores and restaurants where I go to sample the work of creative chefs on this vacation. A vacation where I experience new foods, where I'm not afraid of being around those old triggers, where I can find my healthy choices. A vacation where I search out places with like-minded chefs who care about my health. While I'm relaxing on this plateau, I can take some time to consult some Healthy Food travel Guides and plan some new food adventures. I found some delicious, healthy offerings at Trader Joes. Next week, I'm going to check out Whole Foods.

You are welcome to steal recipes from my Plateau Cookbook. It is a work in progress, but available at

7. Collect memories of NEW in your journal. Especially newness of reactions and relationships. Take time to reflect on the subtle and up in your face differences in your close relationships and the way people respond to you now. Is it them? Is it you? doesn't matter. What does matter is that you stay happy in your close relationships. Have you noticed changes? Are they for the better? Great. Are they for the worse? Do they need some attention here? You have the time while you're on this plateau. Make good use of it so that when the next train comes along, you are ready to hop on board.

8. Take some time to imagine this IS your goal and that you are in training for maintenance, when you get there. Because maintenance really is a plateau, a relatively flat place where you really don't want to fall down, and you certainly can't see anywhere to go that is "UP", at least scale-wise.

9. Enjoy the visit to the Plateau Resort. But be ready at the station when the train pulls out, because there are new landscapes still waiting for you to create.
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