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Am I settling? And is that such a bad thing?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I started seriously Sparking in January 2012, and within 9 months I had lost 60 lbs. I went from a size 28 pants to a size 18...from 3X shirts to XL. (first time I've said those numbers in public...lol) I was ecstatic! This was life changing for me!

But now, I'm stuck. For the last 5 months I have been losing and gaining the same 5-6 lbs. I've tried numerous things to try to break free of this plateau, without success. I've even read that I should think of this as maintenance, rather than a plateau, given that I've maintained my initial weight loss...lol

I am at a crossroads. I'm healthier and more active. I've met a wonderful man and things are going great in our relationship. I'm actually "living" my life, rather than sitting on the sidelines and watching life pass me by. The NSV's are far outnumbering what the scale tells me. So should I be content with where I'm at as far as weight loss goes? Would I be happier if I could lose more weight? Of course, no question!! But the constant discouragement from the scale is "weighing" me down. And given the many stresses and struggles I'm dealing with at work and with family members, maybe I should just be content with where I'm at? Is that such a bad thing?
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    Unfortunately, these are probably questions only you can answer. I see that you have already answered the one question and stated that you could be healthier and happier if you were to lose more weight. So, given that, the problem is that you have been stuck at a plateau. Why? Are you eating in range and exercising and the scale just isn't budging? Or are you pushing your limits and so the weight is not dropping? Or are you "on" one day but "off" the next so that progress cannot move forward? Depending on the reason for the plateau, the next steps will be different. If you are eating in range and exercising and the scale isn't budging, I can suggest flipping your meals...eat more of your calories earlier in the day and eat lighter at night. This got me through a plateau when I was previously down to around 190 and stuck. If you are pushing your limits, you need to eat more modestly and try to hit the lower end of your range as much as possible and not push the limits up to the high end of the range consistently. If you are on again and off again with your eating, you need to work on consistency so that you can make progress. Hope this helps. Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon emoticon
    2790 days ago
    2 additional questions you may want to ask yourself that I would be asking...is a lot of what you have muscle? and, do you trust your doctors and what do they think?
    2792 days ago
    Teresa, as many have said here, what you have already accomplished is amazing and emoticon I know that 60# loss has changed your life for the better! emoticon And I will note that you lost a lot faster than I did. Of course I consciously chose a babysteps approach. emoticon And the more I lost, the slower it came off. I still bounce up and down within a 2-3 pound range.

    I would kind of like to lose a little more, but now that I finally nudged my way into the healthy BMI range, I don't really care if I lose more or not. I'm not as diligent with my strength training as I would like to be, but overall my eating and exercise habits have improved to where I'm successfully maintaining a healthy weight. And I definitely notice that whenever I have emotional upheaval, my weight goes up, so I know it's important to keep up my inner work as well.

    As I've said often, I think it is key for us to love ourselves wherever we are--and for me that means on the organizational front also, and not just in terms of weight loss. Being happy with and proud of our progress is always a good thing, and withholding love or being self-critical is not the way to success. It occurs to me that it may not just be your body that needs to be ready to lose again. Your emotions, thoughts, beliefs and attitudes have to be on board for it all to work. And when they are, it won't be a struggle, but more of a sense of "Of course I want that for me" or "Yes I deserve that" because it's a matter of making loving and nurturing choices, and not about what you "should" be doing.

    I'll leave you with these beautiful words of my Spark buddy ROSALIEESTHER, who posted on my Babysteps Brigade team today:

    "I've been thinking a lot lately about the baby part of baby steps. Seems to me that we need to learn to embrace each step we make just as we would a baby's step. Wouldn't we make much of a baby learning to walk? Wouldn't we be gentle and full of admiration even if that baby faltered and fell?

    Let's see ourselves with kind and loving eyes. Let's allow ourselves to take the time it takes to make progress. In the grand scheme of things we are all babies."

    So take all the time you need, Baby! Love you!
    Blessed Be, Amanda emoticon
    2792 days ago
  • SJACK06S
    I've hit a weight loss plateau as well and it's extremely frustrating. I've been bouncing up and down a few pounds and can't seem to make a breakthrough. I'll tell you what I'm TRYING to tell myself... The numbers on the scale aren't everything. Use other methods of tracking your progress, like inches and energy. Enjoy the progress you've made and the successes you've had. Don't give up or throw in the towel; continue making the right choices and the scale will budge when your body is ready.
    2793 days ago
    The scale . . . the frenemy! I had the same experience where my body had to "learn how to behave" at certain points along the weight loss road. Seems like every 10 lbs. lost would lead to a "stall" for a few weeks, anyway. But then the acclimation is done, and the weight loss resumes.

    Just definitely be sure you're keeping tract of your NSV's, for one. And DO maintain your healthy habits! Make sure you get enough exercise, eat the proper foods in the proper proportions and see where it goes, but don't give up!

    2793 days ago
    Wow, I wrote this same blog 6 months ago. I've basically been at the same weight for almost a year (in April). I wished I had an answer for you, but I have a lot of the same feelings. At least for ME, if I eat well and continue to exercise, I've done what I needed to do to get healthy. I would love to lose another 20, but I'm not going to stress myself out over it. I've changed my life for the better.
    2793 days ago
    There's a positive side to a plateau. At least you're not going retracing your steps back up where you came from. As Blue42Down said, just keep an eye on it so that it doesn't get away from you.
    2793 days ago
    Perhaps your body is different from mine, but... Mine seems to "learn" in about 20 pound chunks. I lose about that much and then seem to "plateau" or whatever you want to call it. I'd rather call it the new normal. This stage can last for several months. Then the weight starts to slip down again. This has happened 3 times now and I am learning that this is how my body copes with weight loss. I'm not content at any of these weights, but I am not willing to stress or become discouraged with all the attendant problems when it happens.

    It sounds like you are doing very well. Hooray for you! Enjoy life and the NSVs.
    2793 days ago
    My personal take, anyway, is to definitely take the focus off wanting the scale to move downward and simply watch to make sure it doesn't start on its way upward. You can most certainly decide to be content, but add the words "for now". This is a journey, and just like a road trip, we can decide to pull over and get out to stretch our legs for a while, ignoring the miles to go to the destination.

    However, the thing to be careful about is maintaining some focus on the healthy habits. It can be a little too easy to slide into "well, I'm not trying to lose, so what difference does it make if I skip this activity or eat this extra food" thinking. Remind yourself regularly that eating poorly and skipping activities will not reduce stress or make the struggles go away, and that eating well and remaining active actually makes you better able to handle the stresses and struggles.

    Keep doing what "should" have you losing at least a small amount, even if the scale isn't cooperating, so the good habits will not be lost and it's quite possible the body will randomly decide at some point to cooperate because it is ready.
    2793 days ago
  • SARBRO928
    We should always strive to be better - but perhaps at this point your better doesn't really deal with the scale? I know its discouraging to stare at that same number week after week - but really... who cares? It's just a number. It's not a measure of health, its not a direct reflection of what you've done this week, it doesn't tell you how you feel, or even how you look! It really isn't a true measure of success, so why let it give us a feeling of defeat, or make us fear that we have settled?

    We all face different challenges at different points in our lives. It's about priorities - and health is always one. Always make time to be healthy - but who has time to stress about that scale?

    I would suggest one thing. Take that scale and tuck it away for a while (maybe a month or two). If anything, its holding you back.

    That's my two cents. You are doing great! Even if this is the end of your weight loss - you've moved mountains. Seriously. 60 pounds is amazing. emoticon

    2793 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13654686
    Why not promise to spend a month or so maintaining and then you can re-evaluate. At that point - your body will be used to being where you are and perhaps it will be more willing to change - perhaps you will find another way to motivate yourself.

    You have achieved great things - and I'm sure you know you can't just stop there- but in order to keep making progress - sometimes you also need a bit or rest.

    Keep doing what you are doing right - and worry about setting goals again after your break.

    2793 days ago
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