Happy Friday Eve, all you lovelies!! Friday is so close I can almost smell it...can you??
I haven't really been talking much about weight loss or fitness related topics on here in awhile. Maybe it's because that has kind of taken a backseat to some more pressing issues in my life at the time. I'm not going to say I have completely given up on that area of my life, because I haven't stopped what I was doing. I'm still chugging right along. I find working out to be my only source to let out my frustrations...the best form of therapy for me, so to speak.
I figured it was long overdue to talk about what I started this blog for in the first place! An area that I haven't yet touched upon on here is something that we have all been through, or are currently at that point: Plateaus. That nasty word just stings my eyes when I say it.
So you make the decision to work out, eat right and get in shape. You are trucking right along, seeing some progress. That scale is being nice to you, and slowly but surely going down a pound or two at a time. Your clothes are fitting better and you are thinking you can conquer anything at this point because this dieting and working out thing isn't as hard as you had it played out in your head!
Then, one week goes by and you don't see any change. Then another, and another, then a month, then two months. That's when it hits you: I've plateaued. :( What do you do? You want to give up because you feel like you are working your butt off, doing the same things you were before, and you were losing weight and shrinking pant sizes every other week...to now being at a stand still.
I've been there. We all have been there. I can remember the exact number I was at for three full months...it's burned into my brain: 157 lbs. I remember getting so down on myself because at that point I had already lost 23 lbs, and although it wasn't easy, I was still being rewarded for my efforts. But that dang "157" flashed at me for 12 weeks straight. I was beyond frustrated. I was eating the same things. I was doing the same workouts I had always been doing. Why wasn't more weight melting off?
That's when I did some research. I had never heard of a "plateau" before, but everywhere I searched, and everyone I asked kept saying that dreadful word. And, the only answer to getting over that plateau was to change. Say whaaa??? Why would I change something that has always worked for me up until this point? Well, I was so desperate to see something change at that point that I was willing to try anything.
What I found was by changing up my cardio, (I was doing the same 30-45 minutes of elliptical work every day) and my diet (I was eating pretty much the same things every.single.day because it was easiest to meal plan and prep the same things day in and day out) I would start to get the results I was striving for.
So, I started first with my workouts. I would do intervals on the treadmill one day, then the stair stepper the next, then the elliptical the next. Then I changed up which muscles I worked every day. One day would be back and chest. The next would be biceps and triceps, and the next would be shoulders, followed by a strict leg day. Just by doing that alone I started to see a slow change. It's amazing what a little muscle confusion will do for you!
It wasn't until I changed my eating habits that things really started moving! Here I thought as long as I stayed in my 1300-1500 calories per day, as long as I was burning more than I was consuming I should see a change, right? Wrong! Did you know that by changing up the amount of calories you eat every day is pretty much like muscle confusion for your stomach? It's crazy, but it's true. So some days I would eat 1300 calories. Other days I would be more in the 1800-2000 calories range. And lo and behold, that's when the biggest change happened.
Moral of the story is this: Don't be the "steady Eddy" who gets in a rut and is scared to try new things or change it up a bit. No, I'm not a doctor, but I do know some things just strictly from experience. If you don't continually change your habits, you won't see any progression. Try a new class at your gym. Go for an interval walk/run around your neighborhood. Add some carbs to your lunch to get in some extra calories. Whatever it may be, one thing is for sure...plateaus only occur when you are not willing to change what obviously isn't working for you!!
Until next time...