“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” -Bruce Lee

Our life’s journey of self-discovery is not a straight-line rise from one level of consciousness to another. Instead, it is a series of steep climbs and flat plateaus, then further climbs. Even though we all approach the journey from different directions, certain of the journey’s characteristics are common to all of us.” -Stuart Wilde

“Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.”  -Rick Warren

I recently had a follow up with one of my clients.  He is a new client of mine, but caught on dry quickly.  He made the changes we discussed right away.  After a few weeks, he had already lost 10 pounds!  We were both excited about the progress he had made.  Through our discussion, it was evident that he had a handle on the positive behaviors it takes to sustain weight loss.  I asked “what, if any, challenges do you see upcoming in your journey?”  He stated very simply “I am worried I will plateau.” This answer threw me off a bit.  I had seen this client twice and he is already thinking that far ahead?  This guy was evidently self aware and understands the journey.  We discussed how a plateau occurs and strategies to minimize the effects.  I am happy to say he is still progressing to his goal!

Today, I want to discuss the dreaded “Plateau” and how to manage it when it hits.  Most of the time, a plateau displays itself as a slowing or halt in weight loss.  Many people freak out over a plateau.  However, did you know that a plateau is a good thing?  It means you are doing the right activities.

You see, our bodes are built to adapt.  When a change occurs, our bodies change along with it until it can handle that change efficiently.  For example, say you have been running outside 4 days a week for 30 minutes.  you have consistently performed this routine 4 weeks in a row.  All of a sudden, your weight halts and your times do not change.  What happened?  Your body adapted!  Your body rose to the challenge and made itself efficient in that routine.

The million dollar question: “What do I do when I hit this plateau?”  My answer: “reflect.”  Take into account all of the actions that impact your weight.  Check in with your self regularly.  Think back not only on your workouts and nutrition, but also consider your stress levels, hydration, and sleep.  Dig deep into all you have been doing lately.  Ask yourself questions such as “Have I been disciplined in my nutrition?”, “Do I get adequate sleep at night?”, or “How can I mix things up?”  During this practice, you will find answers.  You will determine what is holding your body back.

Once you know the snag, you can adjust. It can be as simple as adjusting the snack you eat, going to bed a bit earlier, or switching up your workout routine.  A plateau should not be a huge road block in your journey.  It should not derail your confidence in how far you have come.  Instead, treat it as a lighthouse.  See your plateau as a guide.  It is trying to tell you something.  Once you slow down to listen, you will find the next steps in your journey.  Continue to reflect and adapt.  You will continue to move towards your goals!
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