Ugh! The word sends shivers down our spines! It ‘s not a fun place to visit. Nobody wants to go there, stay there or spend any amount of time there. Unfortunately, many of us end up there and find it VERY hard to leave! We’ve been talking about the dreaded plateau in my challenge groups because it can be SO frustrating to know you’re doing the work, and you’re eating healthy foods, so WHY GOD WHY are you STUCK?!
I know all too well what this feels like. And worse is that when I was there, I convinced myself there was no way off! I was working out almost every day. I was eating ‘healthy’ foods every day, too! I told myself, “Self, you’re 40 now, and this is it, the end. There will be no more progress, no matter what you do, from here on out. That’s it, you’re done.” “SHUT UP SELF! YOU’RE WRONG!” Anywho…then I had this crazy idea that I should give fitness coaching a try! WHY NOT!? That was my ticket OFF the plateau! I didn’t know it then, but I DID have it in me to get off that damn plateau! And what’s great is that it happened while I was helping other people on their fitness journeys. My success was just a big fat BONUS! So 22 pounds later, I’m off the dreaded plateau and finding that my body had it in her to take it to the next level after all. The key is mixing it up, don’t get comfortable and don’t get complacent! Don’t convince yourself – like I did – that you’re too old, too overweight, too busy, too ANYTHING! Just find a way and get it done.
Here is something I wrote to my challenge groups the other day about getting off the plateau:
“If you’re on a plateau, it sucks, but there are ways to bust through. First, look at your workout and if you haven’t mixed it up in the last 30 days, start there. Kick it up a notch. Look into a new program. Change up your routine. Do something you’ve never done. Think outside the box! Increase intensity. Go outside your comfort zone! You really need to get uncomfortable to supercharge your results. And possibly even more importantly is your nutrition. Again you need to be SO on point in order to break through the dreaded plateau! That means NO cheats! 5-6 small meals/day consisting of clean, whole foods and very little or NO processed foods! Keep sodium in check. Eat lean proteins and LOTS of veggies. Don’t eat until you’re full; eat to be satisfied and know when to step away (you can eat again in 2-3 hours). Try not to snack before bed – last food about 2 hours before hitting the hay. Plateaus can be so tricky and frustrating! So you have to really dig deep and push hard! Your body gets comfy when you stall at a weight. It fights to keep you there. What you’re doing is forcing a new baseline weight. It takes effort and a new commitment. But if you’ve made it to a plateau, it means you’ve done the work to get there so you know what it takes to push yourself again! You can do it! I can help!”
A few days later I posted this article, which seemed to click with a lot of them! Check it out!
The bottom line is you have to get creative. If you typically do a lot of cardio, start incorporating weights into your fitness routine. If you do the SAME things every time you workout, it’s time to switch it up. Beachbody carefully constructs their workout programs/schedules to account for the muscle confusion and switch-ups your body needs in order to NOT get too comfortable. The rule of thumb is that every 30 days you should be changing something up a little, or a lot! I went from Turbo Fire to Chalean Extreme to Les Mills Pump and now I’m on to Insanity and with EACH new workout, I’m impressed with how my body responds in a different way. Combine that with proper nutrition, hitting your calorie goals each day and BOOM! you’re on your way to the next level, off the plateau and on too bigger hills to climb! 🙂 You’ve got this! Just keep swimming – or climbing I guess! 🙂