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The Dreaded Plateau and How to Own It

It’s a spot we all hit at a certain point in our weight loss (or life) journey – the dreaded plateau.

Though they are 100% completely normal and expected, when we hit plateaus they feel unfair, annoying, sometimes everlasting, and always discouraging. Why is it that everything was going so well and then stopped?

Plateaus happen for a number of reasons – you may need to reduce calorie intake a little more or switch up your workouts (ahem, venture into strength training). But rather than focus on why they happen, I want to focus on what you need to do to get through it – like, mentally get through it.

We often make this equation in our minds: plateau = failure. But if you can consider changing up your mindset (and I’m hoping you will), consider weight loss like moving up a mountain. As you ascend, you’re going to hit check points far before you hit the peak. And just like climbing a mountain, at each check point you re-asses what else you’ll need to get to the top. Maybe it’s more water, maybe it’s adding more steps per day, maybe it’s cutting out that nightly glass of wine… no judgment…

Sure, assessment is key but let’s also, most importantly mention that at each check point on that mountain climb you CELEBRATE reaching that check-point. You look down at all you’ve accomplished and you stretch out those triceps by patting yourself on the back. And rightfully so! If you stop thinking of plateaus as failures and see them as giant accomplishments instead you’ll be far more encouraged to keep on keeping on. Boom! I hit this check-point! What might I need to do now to get to the next one? Rather than throw in the towel and binge eat everything in your hiking pack, let’s re-evaluate what’s in that hiking pack. We could just need a slight re-calibration of sorts to get you closer to the peak.

One Last Consideration

Now here’s the thing I want you to consider – what happens when you reach the peak? Will you know you’ve reached the peak? And even a further thought – if your goal is weight loss – won’t the peak be one giant plateau?

Eventually, you will hit that point where there’s no more fat to be lost. What does that mean to you? I hope that you’ll continue climbing – but maybe up a different mountain. Maybe one named the “I want to work on doing one (or 20) amazing pull-ups” mountain or the “I want to take a TRX training course” mountain. Whatever your mountain is named, whether it be “lose 20 pounds so I can fit into my wedding dress,” or “I just want to be able to keep up with my grandkids,” we’re here to be your Sherpas!