Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What to do when you plateau

Whether it is weight loss or fitness, at some point you are going to get stuck. The fancy name for this is plateau. Let's not kid ourselves, it sucks. So, I realized after taking pictures of me for this blog that I am stuck. I don't weight myself, but I can tell how my stomach sticks out in these pictures that something needs to change. This is so unattractive. (But, I do love this Lululemon Back on Track top. I thought it did a better job of hiding the pooch, but I guess there is no hiding). Anyway, here is what I know and what I plan to do:

First, the important thing is to remember that this is normal as your body adjusts to the new you-whether it is a new weight or a new set of reps. The body is pretty amazing when you think about it. But, all that awesome-ness doesn't help you when you are frustrated and mad. Congratulate yourself on getting to where you are! That is a huge accomplishment. 

Second, accept that you are going to have to shake it up a little to jumpstart your body. Change, while not always easy, is not a bad thing! Something different is good physically and mentally. Try a new fitness class. Add on 10 minutes to your cardio. Do three sets instead of two. Switch out your regular pasta for whole wheat. Maybe one glass of wine instead of two (ouch). There are options and some of them may be big, like trying running, and some may be small, such as half of teaspoon of creamer (that is me!) in my coffee in the morning.

Then, after you have an idea what you are going to change, make a goal or a list and put it somewhere that you can see it every day. Think about it before you get out of bed. It only takes a sec and gets you into the right frame of mind. 

If you have family or coworkers to help you and cheer you on, use it! My kids are great for getting me out the door (they really just want to get rid of me), but they know the right things to say. "You'll feel better when you are done."  "You won't be tired after the first song." "You just bought a new pair of groove shorts at Lululemon and you have to get your money's worth." Or, "You are going to be in a bathing suit soon." 

Make sure your goal is do-able. I find lots of short-term goals are less overwhelming and easier to manage than a big one. I could never say I am going to lose 5 pounds by july because it isn't reasonable and for me, it isn't detailed enough. 

Finally, remember that it takes time. This is the worst part because it is HARD and we all like immediate results, and that won't happen. 

So here is my plan:

1. I am going to eat very clean for the next 5 days (it's Tuesday). That means taking the time in advance to think about my meals and plan them out. Thursday is my hardest day since I am at work for almost 9 hours.

2. Once school is out and I have the summer off, my goal is to run twice a week instead of one. This will be tough because it gets hot and humid, and I can be a baby, but there is no excuse.

I'll let you know on Sunday how my first goal goes. Being accountable is a good thing!