How do you break through a plateau?

As part of the August Healthy Living/Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge, this is the seventh post in a month long series of posts.

How do you break through a plateau?

I am really not one to be able to answer this.  I’m not a medical professional or a fitness trainer by any stretch of the imagination.  I can hardly get started on weight loss, let alone talk about breaking through a plateau.

When I lost 85 pounds 8 million years ago, there was a time where I plateaued.  I had a personal trainer and her advice was to lower my calories and workout harder.  In retrospect, this may have not been the best idea.  I was already restricting eating to a severe degree.  There was no room for moderation in my diet.  I didn’t enjoy food.  It was just transport.  I was so focused on seeing a number on the scale, rather than what and how I was fueling my body.  I finally got to my goal, but I didn’t stay there.  I started eating “normally” again, and gained about 20 pounds back in 2 weeks.

What I’ve been doing now is trying to stay at an average calorie per week, to try to “reset” my metabolism, which has been wrecked by yo-yo dieting, fad diets, and scary weight loss programs.  I’ve been eating 1700-1800 per day, sometimes a little more on weight lifting days.  That may seem like a lot to some of you.  Remember, I’m not a tiny person at this point!  I’m trying to get more protein, and eat less carbs.  That’s my weakness, especially since I find whole wheat pasta and brown rice revolting. So I have an actual portion (measured out) of regular pasta once or twice a week, instead of the 3-5 servings I was having 5 days a week.  Bread is less of an issue, since it’s near impossible to find regular whole wheat or whole grain bread in Scotland that doesn’t have soy flour in it.  Or soy anything for that matter.  (Why soy and pea flour need to be in anything is beyond me, but that is neither here nor there, it just pisses me off!)

I’m trying to stay consistent in exercise, in getting at least 4 days of cardio and 2 of lifting.  That might not seem like a lot to some people, but when you have a chronic pain condition, some days getting out of bed is a struggle.

So, what I will say re: plateaus is to not give up.  Add in a bit of extra cardio.  Make sure you’re eating enough calories.  If you are, try a small cut of calories for a week.   Don’t deprive yourself, and don’t let the number on the scale define you.  (And if you figure that last one out, let me know.)  🙂

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