Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Plateaus to Flatlines to Hurdles

Plateaus. If you've ever tried to lose weight or known someone who's tried to lose weight or even read an article about losing weight, then you've heard about the horror of plateaus. 

It's not even a nice sounding word.  Platt Toes. Feels a lot like splat on your toes. 

My body has decided to set a flattoe of it's own and has remained doggedly persistent in sticking to it.  Oddly enough, it is exactly at the initial goal weight I set over two years ago.  My mini goal. My first goal.  I will get below xx weight.  Over. Two. Years. Ago.

It's not like I haven't made progress toward this goal.  I've lost 20 lbs to get to this goal and had to learn to change my eating habits completely. I've had to work at changing my relationship to food.  I've had to give up one of my closest friends and allies. My comfortable and safe place. I've had to venture into the world of standing on my own two feet. Alone. Without the comfort of warm buttered bread, bagels and potato chips.

It took me a few years of stops and starts and slips and falls before I figured out how to traverse this mountain at a slow and steady pace that gets results, instead of the free for all sprint to the top.  You would think the sprint to the top would work. Sadly, it just results in sprained ankles, broken bones, cuts and bruises as you find yourself back at the bottom, once again.

For the past five months, however, I have lost and gained the same 5 lbs as I attempt again and again to traverse the plateau my body has set for itself.  Last week I even came within 3 ounces of reaching that goal.  To be smacked right back down this week with hormones and bloating and a curse which doctors and the advertising industry continually try to convince women is a gift and a blessing. But as I stare at my scale showing a 2 lb gain; I know better.

I tell myself it will be better in a week in the hopes this will help me resist the urge to run to the store for that bag of Cheetos that is calling me. Good 'ol Chester. He'd never tell me I was fat. But then again, he'd never told me that 86% of corn products in the US are genetically modified either. He's not really my friend. He just pretends to be. He can stay at the store then for all I care. Last thing I need now is a faux friend!

I'm hanging in there, but I won't pretend that it's not frustrating and depressing to keep coming so close, only to be put off once again.  I know if I could get past the mental fatigue that keeps me from exercising each and every single day that I would probably break this plateau.  But, for now, that seems to be the hardest thing to do.

So tell me . . . what do you do to get beyond that mental exercise fatigue?  The part of your brain that is fighting so hard to keep every last ounce of fat that it completely incapacitates your will to spend 30, 20 or even 10 extra minutes a day in motion?  It's not physical.  Physically my body is screaming out for me to go hit that weight bench, go walk around the block, pull out the Wii Fit.  But everytime my mind just shuts me down.  How do you take a plateau that feels like a flatline and turn that into a hurdle that can be surmounted?  What works for you?

Where is it inside that you find that motivation?  Obviously, I haven't found mine yet.  I must not be looking in the right place.  Or perhaps I just need a fucking flashlight.

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