Guest Blog: Vtrim Helps Us With Plateau Busting!

So you haven't seen me post my weightloss on Twitter for the past two plus weeks, have you?  Nope!  Do you know why?  Because I've hit the dreaded PLATEAUArggghhhhhh! 

I'm working out, walking, eating right, logging everything, drinking my water, counting my fat grams, working out, walking, etc. etc. etc. and guess what?!  The darn scale won't budge!  I think I've focused so much on ONE-derland that my body refuses to give it to me! 

But now serendipity has stepped in and, like a message in a bottle out of nowhere, the second installment of the answers to our questions for the Vtrim folks is about... of course.... PLATEAU BUSTING! :)   

It’s Beth and Heather, Registered Dietitians from Vtrim Online, and we’re here again with answers to your insightful questions from HLG’s birthday blog post.

We were excited to see so many great questions that indicated you do not take your health for granted. At Vtrim, we also value credible, scientific information – no gimmicks! So with that in mind, we narrowed your questions down and merged a few into one response to get more of your questions answered.

We’ve had several questions centering around the dreaded plateau…

Mostly Meg asked, “I've lost 18 pounds and would like to lose 10 more, but I've hit a plateau. Does Vtrim have any advice for getting over the plateau and reaching the next goal?!?”

Benita also asked about plateaus, “My question is, how do you break out of a plateau, especially when you're struggling with being peri-menopausal? I've been on a weight loss journey for a little over 2 years now & lost about 60 pounds, most of it in the first year. This last year, I've been maintaining, but I'm only about half way to my goal weight & just can't seem to lose anymore.“

And another reader asked, “I've plateaued and can't seem to get past it, any ideas?”

First of all, pat yourself on the back for what you HAVE accomplished thus far. The most detrimental effect of a plateau is how it impacts your motivation to maintain a healthier lifestyle which is benefiting you tremendously independent of continued weight loss. It is so important to continue to celebrate the positive changes you’ve made and are maintaining. That is not easy! Whether the scale is moving or not, you’re still healthier than you were before losing weight.

It’s also important to know that weight plateaus are completely normal and an expected part of weight loss. Everyone experiences them. Even research shows that it is normal to see a plateau in weight loss, especially after about 4-6 months of engaging in an active weight loss plan. While researchers haven’t been able to explain exactly WHY plateaus happen, it’s thought that the body needs time to adjust to the changes that have been occurring in your body.

With that in mind, let’s talk about what you CAN do to get the scale moving again. One of the best things you can do is to shake up your exercise routine and take it up a notch. How is your exercise routine going—have you been doing the same thing for awhile? Are you bored with your routine and slacking off a bit? To help bust through a plateau, start pumping some weight.

Strength training is a boost to your metabolism and can help counter the natural slowing that occurs with metabolism and weight loss (as you lose weight, there’s less of you to move around all day, thus lowering how many calories you need on a daily basis). And guess what one of the biggest predictors of weight gain during those peri-menopausal years? --a decrease in physical activity. So exercise becomes doubly important in that stage of life.

As for your food goals, sometimes cutting yourself a little slack for a week or two can actually give your body a chance to reboot its weight loss efforts. If you’ve diligently counted out every carrot stick and ounce of chicken, giving yourself permission to relax your calorie goal for a few days (we said “relax” the goal, not shoot it to pieces) can make your body feel a little more willing to start giving up some extra pounds again. Allowing yourself an extra 300 calories or so per day can typically create a little more breathing room without running the risk of weight gain.

Thank you to Beth and Heather for helping us out of the plateau crazies! :) I can add only one thing to what they've said and that is that I know that if I keep eating right (the way I'm learning to weekly with Vtrim Online!), keep exercising and if I stay POSITIVE, this plateau will be busted and the scale will move in the right direction!  And, believe me, I'll let you know when that happens in a very big one-derland way!! *grin*

Fifteen months into the journey...

So here I am again.  Now fifteen months into my weightloss & "get healthy" journey! I am proud of how far I've come but not ready, by any means, to say 'this is good enough'.  It  isn't.  I'm getting out of the "overweight" BMI stats and will be able to take whatever my trainer, Parker, throws my way within the next three to four months.  By Columbus Day of this year, I will be at my healthy weight and I will be able to RUN! :)

Today is Father's Day in the U.S. and I cannot help but think of my Dad, whom I loved so very much and was so close to, and how proud he would be of me now.  He died over 25 years ago now and - of course - I miss him, but somehow I think I may not have been on this journey at all were he still around.  He had a way of cutting to the quick of the matter if he thought I was steering off course.  Somewhere along the line I would have heard something like "those pants are kind of tight, don't you think, Jan?  You might want to lay off those Pepsi-Colas!" and he would lift his eye brow and give me that 'all knowing nod' as if to say "You hear what I'm saying to you, right?"  *grin*  And because his approval meant so much to me, I probably would have 'laid off the soda'!   So, I can't help but think today that he may be smiling down from above, knowing I've worked damn hard at this and would be proud of me.

Many of you who I yack with on Twitter or have followed the blog here for awhile know that I have a dream board.  It is a way of keeping your dreams and goals front & center in your mind throughout everyday.  I have made my dream board my laptop's wallpaper as well as the background on my Twitter home page.  One of the pictures I included on the dream board (although you can't see it on Twitter) is a photo of a fit woman on a beach, her shoulders/head on a stability ball, her hips raised, her feet planted square on the sand as she is doing chest presses.  I saw that and included that photo because I thought "when I can do that, I will be FIT!". 


Please take a look at these two photos.  One is the photo on my dream board.  The other photo is of me and Parker yesterday at the YMCA in Waltham... doing the same exact thing.  I teared up at training this week and told Parker how much his pushing me has meant to me - how much he has helped me and how thankful I am to him that I have gotten to where I can look in a mirror and actually recognize myself again.  He started to say "you've done all the work" and I stopped him mid-sentence to ask him to please accept my thanks.  He grinned & did which made me feel truly happy.  I believe that good things and good people enter our lives when we believe in our dreams.  Beth Casey Gold and the folks at Vtrim are a great example of that.  Anthony at the YMCA changing his mind from who he was originally going to assign to me as a trainer, and pairing me up with Parker, is another example.

Dream. Believe. Achieve. 
I'm no longer the person who couldn't walk a flight of stairs without getting winded.  I'm no longer terrified if my inhaler isn't within sight!  I'm no longer the person ordering a large pizza and - when the delivery guy arrives - pretending someone else is in the house with me to eat it!! I'm no longer the person looking at a photo of a fit woman on a beach doing something that was out of reach.

The reality is if we believe in ourselves, nothing is truly out of our reach. 

With hard work, patience and persistence... we CAN do this!  And guess what?  I *am*! :)