Finding Peace in the Plateau

Peace in the storm

How frustrating is it when you’ve been eating healthy and treating your body right, only to step on the scale and realize you didn’t lose any weight or heaven forbid, gained a pound?

Hitting a plateau can be an infuriating, soul-crushing experience, but your reaction to it is crucial to your success. Your first impulse might be to give up, declare yourself a failure, and decide you’re never going to reach your goal. You may be tempted by the ever alluring siren call of the kitchen. Though you were strong yesterday and avoided those Nutella filled cookies, now it seems like a sin not to eat them, because if you’re going to be stranded on this plateau forever, you might as well get a little something for it, right?
Wrong.

The Real Fight:
Though you may feel like you’ve lost the battle, you need to understand there is a bigger war going on. Ultimately it’s not the war of you against the scale. You’re fighting for freedom from this deadly and destructive cycle, an end to the chaos in your mind that drives you down this hurtful, repetitive path.

The ultimate goal is not an external, fluctuating number on the scale. It’s an internal, invaluable, sense of peace. Peace from being held captive to the chip bowl for the entire night. Peace from the bloating guilt that you can still taste long after the thrill of the cheesecake is gone. You can’t force yourself to feel peace the way you can force yourself to abide by iron-clad diet rules. The only way to attain permanent change and a lasting sense of peace is by loving yourself, making your decisions mindfully, and shifting your perspective.

1. Love Yourself
-When you’re feeling down, under attack from the stone-cold scale, those dangerous cookies, and your own rabid thoughts, this is when you need to prove to yourself that you love yourself. Because that’s what will give you the strength to pull through.
-When you love yourself, you will want to treat yourself right, and your perspective will slowly change. Your commitment to taking care of your body and mind will begin to override the obsessive and thoughtless desire that urge you to finish that bowl of pretzels or shovel yet another helping of pad thai into your already suffering stomach.
-Love yourself enough to stop eating when your stomach tells you to. Love yourself enough to value yourself as you deserve.
-Don’t just think it, look in the mirror and say it, out loud: “I love you, you wonderful, beautiful person. And I love you enough not to hurt you anymore.”

2. Weigh the Cost
-Before you eat anything, ask yourself: “Will this make me happy?” Don’t think about how good it’ll taste, think about how it’ll make you feel feel five minutes after, five hours after. Will you regret it? Or will you thank yourself for it?
-If it’s killing you that you passed up that second helping of lasagna, don’t dwell on what you missed. Think about the triumph you’re free to savour for the rest of the day, the light, agile feeling that makes you feel alive and ready to face the world, instead of wanting to pass out all afternoon on the couch.
-Don’t get caught in the heat of the moment, the smell of the brownies, the soft, crumbly texture. Think forwards. Really acknowledge how your actions will affect your physical and mental well-being. Is thirty seconds of brownie really worth all the pain it’ll put you through?
-Be proud of your actions and stand by them.

3. Realize You ARE making Progress
-You are more than a number, so stop judging yourself solely based on the scale. There are many other forms of progress, many of which must come before you see changes to the scale.
-As you continue to learn to treat yourself right, do you find there are days where your cravings aren’t as strong? Are you starting to embrace the First Gate instead of pounding your fists against it in frustration? Are you drinking the water you needed instead of the extra food that you wanted?
-This is all progress, and it is 100% valid. It is moving you in the right direction, and you are being transformed, from the inside out.
-Even if you don’t see results on the scale right away, or if you have stopped seeing results, that doesn’t mean your endeavours have failed. All it means is you are making different kinds of progress, progress which is necessary and positive. So smile. Pat yourself on the back. Be happy!

Peace is better than those Nutella cookies. It’s better than anything else you will ever eat. That’s why the process takes so long, why there’s no short-cut to weight loss. It’s not about temporarily changing your body. It’s about permanently changing your mindset for the good of your body.

Learning to love yourself will change your life. And when you have peace, there’s no plateau that can stand in your way.

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