Surprise Your Body

— Written By Christine Smith and last updated by Kim Davis

It has happened to all of us at some point — setbacks and plateaus. These are dreaded words no once wants to hear or experience especially, if you are working out consistently trying to get fit or loose weight. Whenever it happens, oftentimes we don’t understand how to deal with the situation or get past a plateau. Hang in there, I am going help you bounce back once the “honeymoon” phase of change is over and your routine becomes just that – a routine.

You have been faithful to your exercise and healthy eating practices for months. As a result, you have enjoyed seeing small changes on the scale and in the way your clothes fit. In fact, co-workers are even talking about how GREAT you look. Life is good.

Then, boom! After two weeks of monitoring your weight on those dreaded scales you discover there has been not change. To compensate, you increased the time you spent exercising — all to no avail. What is happening? Why am I not losing weight after putting in the time? I have even reduced my calories and fat by almost half of what I usually eat and still not even a pound dropped. To add to all this drama, my muscles are sore, I am physically fatigued, and juggling too many things at home and at the office. By now you are frustrated, dismayed and feel like giving up.

We’ve all hit that bump in the road, the setback, the plateaus, — the problem. What sets people apart is how they react to that bump. Are you one to spin out of control, in despair? Or do you grab a hold of that wheel and steer yourself straight? It is easy just to quit, give up and ignore the hard work you have put into something. The best way to look at setbacks is to see them as challenges or opportunities to grow.

Before you throw in the towel, plan to counter-attack. Here are four ideas to help you get back on track.

Approach life with perseverance and dedication. Vincent Van Gogh said, “Only when I fall do I get up again.” Getting up is the first step toward success. Success is never easy. It remains up to you whether you will give up, or fight through the tough battles to earn whatever it is you want.

Stick to you exercise regiment.  Quitting doesn’t accomplish anything. Besides it hinders your health and self-esteem – it’s a losing proposition. Come on; muster up the determination and press your way through the situation.

Refocus your goal on overall wellness not just weight loss.  When it comes to achieving and maintaining good health, your goals should be all-encompassing and ongoing.

Try a different workout routine.  If you do not vary your workout routine your body will eventually run on cruise control, and you will experience a plateau. Changes in your routine will surprise the body and force it to adapt, bringing you to new levels of fitness.

Putting these tips to work will get you back on the right track. Don’t let an exercise plateau beat you. Fight back and win.

Christine Smith, MS, is an Extension Agent in the department of Family & Consumer Sciences with N.C. Cooperative Extension, NCSU, Wayne County. Information on other services available can be found online at call me at 731-1525 for additional information.