The First Plateau

If you have been following me on InstaGram, you would have seen my post this week about my plateau. This plateau also explains why I have been avoiding adding an entry here to my blog. I have to admit that this stage of the game initially feels like a failure. Yes, I know that plateaus happen and that they are part of the process. But I’m not here to smile and nod; I’m here to be REAL. It feels like a failure. It feels like I’m not doing enough. So that’s why I posted the question – what am I doing wrong? What can I do better? How can I get through this emotionally and mentally without giving up?

Well, there were a lot of suggestions, and a whole lot of support! The Keto Brother from “Let’s Chew the Fat” podcast even did an episode for me regarding the PLATEAU. I like the idea he suggested that the plateau is a stage that is needed, and for the lack of a better term, normal. The episode really got me thinking.

When you Google plateau, there are two definitions that pop up: 1) an area of relatively high ground; and 2) a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress. I think I’m in the space of both of these definitions. I’ve had a lot of success so far. And I had to remind myself of that tonight. I weighed myself – I’m still at 248 pounds. I measured my waist and hips and I’m at the same exact inches as two weeks ago. So I am here at a state of no change following a period of progress, and now I should consider what it means to be at “an area of relatively high ground” – reflection.

I’m going to take Keto Brother’s advice and use these plateau moments as a time to reflect – not only on how far I’ve come, but also where I currently am at. More than one person offered that stress can trigger a plateau. When I first heard that I said to myself that’s not me – I’m not stressed – I don’t let stress bother me. What do I have to be stressed about? But then I started thinking of some of the stressors that are surrounding me. Okay, so let’s break this down –

I’m not stressed.

Really? (in walks the self analyst)

Let’s look at the things surrounding you right now. Yes, we will say you are not stressed. Now what is going on around you?

Okay, let’s see… A classmate suddenly died a couple of weeks ago – someone I grew up with but hadn’t seen in a long time – someone memorable – someone who did not feel well, but not sick enough to go to a doctor and ended up losing her life. At the same time another very good friend, a lifelong friend has to have surgery – and had a cancer scare that, thank God, turned out not to be cancer. My son is in his final months of high school. Both of my kids are going to the east coast next month and money is very tight to get them both there (my son wasn’t going to go, but then we found out that he wasn’t clear enough with his teacher and now we are committed for that money). We had to make my son get a job (which he needed to do anyway) so that he can help pay for it. I turned 40 a week ago. My friend/co-worker sprained her ankle and I needed to make sure the office kept moving forward for our patients. My husband and I celebrated our 19th anniversary (not a stressor, but a stress reliever because he is my lifesaver). On top of that, since finishing up my month of the cheaper first-time-doing-yoga membership, I really haven’t been doing too much on that front.

Okay, so looking at these, I can see how there could be stress going on around me. Maybe I’m trying too hard to ignore them or not “worry” about them that I am inadvertently causing stress under the surface. It’s easier for me to say to myself that I’m not stressed, that I will not allow these things to affect me. But I’ll admit that sometimes I push things down so much and try to stay positive, that I lose track of what I need to deal with or address. I do think though that a lot of these stressors have been addressed – I created a photo collage of my classmate. I got through the work week and my co-worker is on the mend. My friend is going to have her surgery and will be okay. My son is working and will be able to help pay for his trip. My daughter’s trip is almost done being paid for. It will all pass like it usually does. And so will this plateau.

I’m standing here at the top of my plateau and down below I can see the river that flows strong, twisting and turning in a path well defined. Rivers always amaze me. In one way, they flow in a path of least resistance, letting gravity pull it along. And in another way, rivers are so powerful that they can carve landscape and make paths. Of course, one way takes a lot longer than the other. So like that river, I will make a short term plan to start, a path of least resistance, back to the basics – tomorrow I will drink my cup of coffee and coconut oil on my way to work. I will drink water between each patient I room (tomorrow there are about 30, so that’s a good amount of water to drink). I will drink my bone broth for lunch. I’m going to keep on. And for the long term, like that river, I will be persistent, I will keep pushing through, and I will carve my own landscape.

Huh. This plateau ain’t too bad. It’s nice up here. Better perspective.

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