Author: Amber French
Imagine this, you are driving down a hilly, winding highway at a relative good speed thinking of your sunny and bliss filled destination. Only to be stopped dead in your tracks by a GIANT Boulder blocking the entire width of the road. You have travelled over 80kms since the last exit and you see no way around your boulder. What do you do??
Some angrily go back to the last exit (80km ago), some continue to move the bolder using sheer willpower (and a stick) and some go all the way home, climb into bed and forget the whole trip.
Now imagine that your boulder is your plateau, you have been zooming along losing weight, staying positive, going longer distances, staying in your yoga poses or whatever your Highway/Goal is. You hit your rock. Whether it be stalled weight loss (or even a small gain) a bad class or a crappy run (or 5).
Ask yourself how do you handle this? Do give yourself permission to eat everything in the fridge and the local coffee shop, do you fume through your class or vow to never run again.
Seems a little dramatic when you say it out loud, but unfortunately that is what most of us do. After a brief period of time without seeing progression, we allow ourselves to become completely derailed. We turn around head all the way back to your starting point and lock your front door behind you.
Plateaus suck (literally) they suck out the ability to see how far we have come and to see even if we stop progressing right now, we are still in a better place than we were. But…what if we used the plateau to change and re-evaluate our goals. Maybe the half marathon is out, but your speed work is amazing so you aim for a Personal Best 10km instead. Sometimes it is a very loud and clear message that it is time for a change. Muscles adapt, brains get bored and goals become unrealistic. Start over from where you are. Change your routine, change your goal and get rid of what doesn’t work (or only adds stress).
You can look at your bolder, learn how to rock climb and go right up and over that sucker. Or you could go back 80km and take a different route longer more challenging route that reignites your fire, or maybe you get close enough to your boulder to realize it is actually a gigantic mound of tiny pebbles.
Pick up your shovel and blaze your own trail. Either way you are still on track to your desired outcome AND you have a renewed positive regime that will take you even faster to your next plateau that you will look forward to meeting, as now you can see it as an opportunity to change as it is a very clear message that you have mastered what you are currently doing.
Change what you do physically – training for a race? Switch to hills.
Change what you think mentally – see it is a chance to embrace something new and re-evaluate goals.
Change how you feel about your Plateau – see it as the door to the next chapter and a closing to your current chapter.
Most importantly keep moving forward and avoid moving backward – ALWAYS! Plateaus can always be broken.
About the Author: Amber has been in the fitness and recreation game for over 15 years (not including school!!). She made fitness her life because as the age old saying goes, study and teach what it is you need to learn. In other words, she’s battles with some weight issues for many years and wants to share what she has learned along the way.
You can follow her @TheVeganHouse