Plateau. Pause. Halt. I’m not sure if there’s a greater purpose for plateaus other than to bring you back to the basics of what you’re doing, but I think most people have hit some sort of plateau at some point in their life for whatever reason.
Me? Remember when I wrote about my relationship with food, and how I was going gluten free to fight back? Well, for starters, it was one of the best decisions of my life. I continue to eat gluten free, but currently, I’m in a weight loss plateau. The good news is that I’ve lost 12 pounds! Woo hoo! Yipee! The bad news is I’ve been stuck at that 12lb. mark for a few weeks now. Whomp whomp.
I shouldn’t really complain, because I know 12lbs is a great feat, and I’m really glad that I’ve been able to lose so much already. But not seeing the scale move in a few weeks, made me realize I need to change some things up. I talked to my CrossFit trainer, and he said a plateau is definitely not a BAD thing. It means your body is getting used to this new state of health. So he suggested doing some little “tweaks” to my plan, to get my body changing again. And to also make sure I’m still being as strict with nutrition and exercise as I was when I was losing weight. (Having a lifestyle change mentality, not a “diet” mentality.)
That made me think about what may have caused my plateau. I realized that our trip to Disney World last month, was kind of the beginning of this annoying health “pause.” I’ve done a great job of remaining gluten free, (even in Disney most of the time!) but I realized that sugar has definitely crept back into my diet in too many ways. The occasional lemonade, the leftover dark chocolate from my sister-in-law’s bridal shower, (that was gone in a matter of days…) and yes, even the few times I’ve given in and eaten ice cream.
Going gluten free has really turned a corner in my health and nutrition; I feel better, have more energy, and my stomach has definitely lost a good number of inches. It has also enabled me to be a lot more self controlled with bread, desserts and baked goods. But gluten isn’t the only thing that can cause weight gain, or in my case weight halts.
I know I’m a day early, but I needed to write this and post it before I could change my mind. Starting tomorrow, for the whole month of May, I’m going to focus on my health plateau and simply have 2 intentional goals for the month.
- Cut out sugar. (Yikes!)
- Add some additional cardio to my exercise regimen.
Cut out sugar. Ok, who actually likes to cut out sugar? Not me. But after reading articles like this, this, and this, I’ve been reminded once again, just how harmful sugar is. (Side note: I also watched the this preview to the “Fed Up” documentary, which comes out May 9th, about the truth to the sugar industry, and I’m suuuuper excited to see it.)
Therefore, Stuart and I are beginning a “Sugar Free-off” for the month of May. Whoever can go longer with no sugar wins $40 to spend on whatever he/she wants. (That may not seem like a lot of money, but hey, we’re missionaries after all.) And if we both stay sugar free for the month of May, we each get $20. I can definitely see a trip to DSW in my future… ;) I’m going to print this out and put it up everywhere in our apartment to remind myself:
Add some additional cardio to my exercise regimen. Another one of the tweaks I decided on is to add some more cardio to my exercise regimen. Believe it or not, CrossFit has a good amount of cardio in the workouts, but since I only go 3x a week, I want to be intentional about doing some cardio on the other days. We’ve been taking Stella for extra long walks on those days, but I’m thinking more of a sweat-inducing type workout. Maybe I’ll train for a 5k and work my way up to some more intense races! Who knows.
So there you have my 2 ways of busting out of my plateau. I definitely want to keep the scale moving down, and experience the excitement I felt when the effort of exercise and healthy eating was paying off! It’s been really fun to see my clothes fit differently, and clothes that didn’t used to fit, begin to fit again, so I’m looking forward to continuing that journey and seeing where my health can take me!
What are some ways you’ve found are helpful to get through fitness and health plateaus? Please share!