Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stuck in Fitness or Weight Loss Slump? Let's Get Past It!

So I have been in a bit of rut lately and that is the reason I have been away for awhile (sorry).  My weight loss has been at a plateau for the past month and half and I think because of that I have suffered from a case of bloggers block.  But I think things are headed in a good direction now and I am feeling much better.

This plateau I have been dealing with has been difficult.  I have been pretty consistently losing weight for the past year and half and I know that plateaus happen, but they are just so frustrating when you actually have one yourself.  I think my plateau is partly my body and partly in my head.  My body has changed quite a bit through this journey and maybe it just needed some time to rest or catch up?  I don’t know for sure, but I know that they happen to almost everyone.  I believe it is also a bit psychological because I am sooo very close to being under 200 pounds, which is a big goal of mine.  I think the last time I was that much was about nine or ten years ago, in middle school.  So the scale as been going down and going up and staying the same right above the 200 lb line.  Now what the scale says is definitely not the end all be all; I truly believe that what is important is how you feel about yourself.  I am SO much happier with where I am right now than I have been in a long time.  When you take the time to care for yourself it changes how you feel and how you live your life.  And although I feel good about where I am, I am still not where I should be or want to be for my health, so getting under 200 pounds is important.  

How did I get past this plateau?  Well, I have to say that I think setting the monthly goals has helped A LOT.  The 30 Day Shred last month certainly helped tone my body and when you look good you feel good.  Also this month’s running and fruits and veggies challenge may have been the final push to get me over the hump.  I am not under 200 yet (about three pounds to go), but I had a good number on the scale this week and it is lower than it has been over the past month and half and that is progress!

So here a few tips to help you get past a plateau:
  • Change up your exercise routine: Try a new DVD, walk an extra mile, do some strength training, whatever, just try something different
  • Write down what you eat: I have said this before, but if you are not getting the results you want writing it down can really make you aware of what you are eating.  
  • Plan some meals: If you have some meals planned out whether it is a few dinner meals or pre-planned lunches you don’t end up searching the fridge or pantry for whatever is available.  Another plus is that because you are making the meal you know the calories and can add lots of fruits and veggies too.
  • Talk with someone: Asking someone for advice or to just be there to listen and share is a great thing to do because they can make you feel better by reminding you of how far you have come or give you some ideas to help you get past the slump.  It doesn’t have to be just family and friends either, you could tweet for some advice, or find some online community message boards.  
  • Stick with it: This is probably one of the most important things to remember.  The plateau will pass, but do not give up on everything you have worked so hard to achieve because you do not see a certain number on the scale.  Like I mentioned before, the number isn’t everything, it is about how you feel and what you are doing for your body.  The changes you have made to your lifestyle are good for you.  Take the time to focus on maintaining your weight, toning your body, or trying new activities.  
This is how I am going to live the rest of my life and I do not want to fall back into bad habits.  If what you are doing has worked for you it will continue to work with a few changes at times, but that is a part of living your life.  I know a plateau or slump can be difficult but try and focus on the positive aspects of your new lifestyle and how far you have already come.  Change can be beneficial and before you know it you will have gotten past the slump!
Do you have any weight loss or exercise plateau experiences to share?  What helped you get past it?