At some point during our lives, most of us have experienced the frustration of the bathroom scale! Early in a weight loss program, progress is generally steady and motivating. You look forward to hopping on that scale about the same time every week to get the good news! If your weigh-ins aren't at home, you anguish over whether your clothes are as lightweight as they were the week before, or worse yet, you wear the same outfit every week! The anticipation of the good news makes you wish your week away at warp speed. You know you've made wise food choices; you know you've been active each day; and you know you deserve to lose weight! But alas, that blasted scale has other ideas. It's the dreaded plateau!
When something like this happens, it's very difficult to console yourself with reason. Intellectually, you understand that this mechanical device is imperfect. You understand that fluid fluctuations in your system are most likely to blame. You understand that it probably wasn't something in your control. But the scariest part is that because you don't know what went wrong, it could happen again!When you hit that diet plateau, and we all do sooner or later, it is best to focus on the non-scale victories. So many wonderful things happen during your weight loss journey that have nothing to do with that bathroom scale:
- Compare a picture of yourself at your starting weight to the face looking back at you in the mirror today. Notice all the fine details. Notice that your eyes are more clear and opened wider. Notice that your cheeks are more sculpted and your jaw line is more taut. Stand back a little further from the mirror and notice the differences in your body. Focus for just a minute on how far you've come, not how far you have to go. Don't forget to view yourself from the side and back while you're at it. Chances are if you've been dieting awhile, you're looking at some significant changes in your appearance that you might not notice every day because they're so gradual. Celebrate the differences!
- Check out your closet. How many outfits have you put aside because they're getting too baggy and unattractive? How long has it been since you tried on that pair of jeans or that dress that you've wanted to get into forever? Try them on now and note your progress. Find another favorite clothing item that is still too tight and move it front and center in your closet so that you can work on fitting into it.
- Take out your tape measure and note your current measurements. Hopefully you noted them when you started your weight loss journey but if not, write them down now and compare in a month.
- Make an appointment with your family doctor to have your lab work completed. Compare your current numbers with your previous numbers. Do you see drops in blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides? Have you been able to eliminate any medications as a result of your new lifestyle?
- Go for a long walk. Think back to the beginning of your diet when you struggled to walk a few blocks. Notice how much easier it is today. Are you lifting stronger weights or swimming more laps now? Are you able to move into some of those yoga poses a little easier? Have your crunches and sit-ups increased? Can you carry your groceries into the house in fewer trips?
- With the exception of your frustrating weigh-in, what has your mood been like lately? Do you feel mentally lighter? Are you less stressed? Do you seem happier and more positive?
All of these are weight loss victories that have nothing to do with a fickle bathroom scale! Remind yourself frequently how far you've come. Even though you're anxious to get through the “losing phase" and on to the “maintenance phase" of your journey, try as much as possible to enjoy the ride and remind yourself often to be proud of your many accomplishments!
Gail M. Davis is the author of the weight loss advice site http://www.easy-weightloss-tips.com . For more tips on weight loss visit our site today!