Plateau. If you're trying to lose weight, this word can trigger nightmares.
Since I'm not on a "diet" but rather a lifestyle change and journey, the fact that I was stuck at the same weight for what seemed like forever with no drastic pound decrease was especially frustrating. Yes, it's true I've been losing inches around my body. In fact, my husband is continuously raving about how compact my body has become. Yet the changes have not been outrageously obvious to me.
I began wondering why I was putting in all the effort if the scale wasn't budging. I felt myself waning and was reminded of why crash diets can be so gratifying.
But I was not going to give in after all of my hard work. Instead I stuck with my lifestyle changes, and finally something magical happened: The scale began to move. When I weighed in recently, I noticed a five-pound loss that was completely unexpected and exciting, to say the least!
What had I done right, I wondered? I began to think about the changes I'd been making lately and realized that I'm:
1. Switching up my fitness. I've change my exercise routine and have made weekly and daily commitments to myself. For example, I've started aiming for 10,000 steps a day, I joined TEAM weight loss (a group fitness class), and I now take weekly tennis lessons.
2. Stressing less. Instead of worrying about the scale or my 30-pound weight-loss goal, I've been focusing on how I can feel my best by sleeping better, making healthy food choices, enjoying the warm days in the sun with the kids, and not taking on extra work assignments so I don't feel guilty going to the gym.
3. Eating new foods. I've been able to find more fresh produce now that summer vegetables are in season, so I'm making various salads (such as cucumbers, tomatoes, mozzarella, and bacon), grilled zucchini and squash, and eating fresh fruits like watermelon and berries.
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Both my Life Time Fitness trainer, Tomery Stolz, and life coach, Kate Larsen, said on different occasions that the reason I was able to bust through my weight-loss plateau is likely a combination of all of these things. Changing your exercise routine, trying new foods, and releasing tension can all help decrease the number on the scale.
Moving forward, I'm going to embody another piece of advice Tomery and Kate have told me: The key is to not focus on exactly what I'm doing right but to keep up the healthy habits that have gotten me to this point. What I'm doing is finally adding up to something my body agrees with. It's just taking time.