Thursday, 15 September 2011
Motivation and the dreaded plateau...
One of my favourite Tweeters, purple_cath, and I were chatting the other day about the power of motivation, in relation to weight loss plateaus - and between us, I realised that there are physical plateaus and also emotional plateaus to this weight loss bizzo.
After a time, your body gets totally used to the plan you're following, What worked before, and the regime that saw you regularly lose weight each week no longer seems sufficient. Your body is used to it, it's adapted to the shortfall in calories, so your weight stays stable. Frustrating. Annoying, to know you have been as "good" this week as you were on previous weeks, but to not loose.
And the same too, for emotional plateaus. For months, motivation stays high. You have a vision, a goal, and you're fired up, working towards a healthier lifestyle, a lesser dress size, and slimmer body. Then all of a sudden, it's not that you no longer care, but a subtle shift occurs and for some reason the fire has dimmed and whilst your interest is still high, you mental and emotional dedication to the weight loss journey seems less?
Sometimes the physical and mental plateaus come together. Sometimes the mental slump is a result of a physical slowing. Sometimes the body may be raring to go but you just can't summon up the emotional energy to get back into the right head space.
I do not have any of the answers to either, sadly.
I know that in order to get over a physical weight loss plateau, I need to get more sleep, drink more water, and shock my body back into weight loss mode by dropping to 1200 calories made up of lean protein and fruit and vegetables only. No processed carbs and very low sodium. I suspect a change in exercise also helps; in combination.
But the emotional plateau? The mental aspect of dieting? The motivated attitude that can knock down all weight loss hurdles? How do we keep that burning and firing on all cylinders?
For me, I revisit all the original reasons I started this weight loss caper. I have to go back and visualise what I want my body and my life to look like. I have to try and create environments where I can feel how brilliant it feels to be on the right track with my health. I have to put a little extra planning in. Maybe read a new book on weight loss, or find some success stories that remind me of how possible this all is. I need to feel it.
There doesn't seem to be any concrete answers for this one. There is no "one size fits all" answer.
But I do know that even if I am not speeding along the track, even if I am not at the destination yet, even if I feel I have stalled, I am still ON the track. I am still on the journey. And I will not ever give up.
How do YOU deal with plateaus?