Wednesday, August 26, 2015

On Losing Weight: What to do when you hit a plateau

I think there comes a point in every weight-loss journey, when you stop losing weight. For whatever reason, things just slow down and eventually stop losing weight. At the beginning of this year, I lost the little bit of weight I put on over Christmas, and then... nothing. I was doing the same things, eating the same stuff, and nothing was happening. I know it is the most frustrating thing, I'm with you, kids. I got really disheartened, because I knew I still had a bunch of weight to lose, and it was just very frustrating for me. I felt like I was doing all the right things, making good choices, and nothing was happening.

what to do when you hit a weight loss plateau

In March this year, I started in a new job, but it became harder to lose the weight. I'd gone from being up and about and on my feet all day, working shifts and being able to fit it in the gym around my hours - to working in an office, sat down from nine to five, and being so sleepy in the evenings. I kept trying to go to the gym, but something just wasn't working anymore.

June rolls around, I realise I've gained about six or seven pounds. Not a lot, in the grand scheme of how much I've lost, but enough to make me feel a bit gross, a bit sluggish. In July I get the call saying my appointment has finally come up on the NHS waiting list, I'm off to get my gallbladder taken out, I can't exercise for about a month and spend two weeks lying around feeling sorry for myself. Now I'm starting to get back into a routine, and I feel horrible in myself, I wake up most mornings and I'm still tired and sleepy and lethargic. I'm getting back on track with my eating, but I want to kick start things. I'm going to New York later in the year and I want to be a bit lighter, a bit more free to do things.

So what now? I know that the gym I was previously going too, wasn't working for me anymore. It was a lovely place, but it's not motivating me enough, the hours don't suit me anymore, and I know that doing what I've always done, is not going to work anymore. When I was was (almost) 100lbs heavier, doing a bit more of any exercise or eating less than I had been doing would've made me lose weight, but now I am a lot lighter, I'm realising that this won't cut it anymore.

And so I found the most crucial thing to my weight loss journey, which is basically to...

C H A N G E   S O M E T H I N G

I mean, you made a massive commitment to kicking this shit off in the first place, didn't you? So why are you so afraid of change?! I'm mostly talking to myself here, by the way - I don't know why I was so terrified to try something new, I guess cause this thing I had been doing worked for me - it worked really well!
I had built up a security blanket around me, of how I got fit, how I lost weight. This was very much sticking to what was safe. Which is all good and fun, and I'm not knocking the method that I used - the way I lot weight really did work for me. But then I know I hit a point where I grew bored, grew complacent, and grew tired. Things slipped, I started reaching for more chocolate, dragged myself to the gym less...

So I decided to change things up a bit. Looking back at the periods of my journey that I enjoyed most, it was things like the month I quit sugar, the two weeks I went veggie... For me trying out running was an amazing learning curve, which I began to document right here on my blog! It also meant, trying to quit sugar for lent, which was semi-successful.. but even if these things aren't the most successful processes, you grow and you learn from it, and you take away things that work for you, and the things that don't.

For example, if you always use a meat-based protein in your meals, maybe try vegetarian proteins instead, and stick to that for a week - it makes you more creative in your cooking, makes you try food that you might not ordinarily go for.
Similarly, if you always use white rice, flour and pasta, maybe try doing brown flour for a bit, in doing this I realised brown rice was really nice, and some brown pasta is disgusting! I also discovered I really love beluga lentils and pearl barley. I was talking about this with my friend at work: you really have just got to find the thing that works for you, that you can get on board with.

This month, I joined a new gym. It's a big fancy gym, full of super-fit people, and proper gym equipment that scares me. But in a good way - I need this, the hours and equipment suit me better, but it does scare me. Even though I've done so much for my health, I will always feel like the fat girl, and I want to change this mindset. I feel like I've been wrapped in my blanket for too long, when it comes to losing weight - I want to get out there.

I think I'm quite old-school, in that the end of the summer feels like the end of the year: Autumn is around the corner and it always makes me think of new school years, and fresh starts. It's all good fun, is what I'm saying, and I think it helps kick start you when you're in a bit of an eating, exercise, weight-loss rut, and it helped me shift a few pounds. Now I'm wondering what I should try next...

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