Some of you know the ‘success story of my weight loss, but I would like to share a bit of the Darker Side.
I had lost over 100lbs – not insignificant! But not where I needed to be yet. I was doing all the right things. Watching what I ate, chastising myself when I exceeded it (sarcasm…oh, I did that, but I am not recommending it!), going to the gym, buying smaller clothes and throwing out or donating those too large. Happyland!!
But then the loss stopped. I don’t mean for a week or two. I mean, I was up and down the same ten or so pounds for over a year. Of course, frustration set in and my eating wasn’t the best, but seriously…how could I work this hard and NOT LOSE WEIGHT?!?!? ARGH!!! OVER A YEAR!!! Uh, clearly I still have some emotion about that.
I tried everything I could think of (except Keto, which came later). Different weight training program, more cardio (I biked over 1000kms that summer!), less carbs, praying, crying, throwing things…ahem. You get it. You’ve likely been stalled too. But, something wonderful happened out of the stall, although I didn’t realize it until much later. So, maybe this kernel of wisdom will help you earlier.
I learned how to MAINTAIN and still get smaller by putting on MUSCLE. The muscle part is credit to my trainer, Steve. Wonderful man, super patient, listening to my moaning and groaning about weight forever. Reminded me regularly that I was smaller. And stronger. Then even stronger. Eventually, I began to listen. And I was! I had to keep buying smaller clothes, so it wasn’t an ice cream induced dream…nope, I was smaller. And out of that, I started to see my body differently. Not the fat around my middle that wouldn’t leave me not matter what I did, but the beautiful muscles that were growing right in front of my eyes! When you start to see your muscles first, and fat second, I believe that is a strong turning point to how you see your body identity.
The maintenance piece was the later realization. I am doing all the right things to maintain my body weight. Working out, eating well most of the time, sleeping, enjoying life and the outdoors. That is a gift to know because I have done all the weight loss programs ever and have always put the weight back on. But I know I won’t this time. It has taken long enough to lose that I have inadvertently built in the habits that will keep it off.
I think the other part of the stall has been my body coming to terms with itself. My Body knew itself as a certain type/person/weight and we were working together to change that. I needed to be gentle with my Body to give it time to adapt. To learn to love the new Body. To become.
A stall can be better than a loss. It only took me over a year to realize it. I’ll look forward to the next stall because I know that it is all of us…Me, my Body, my Habits, my Mind…adjusting for the long term. And, this is a marathon, not a sprint.