Expect Discouragement, But Don’t Let it Hang Around

Aug 15, 2018

how to overcome a plateau

By Jaimee Hunter, RYT200 Certified Yoga Instructor

When we decided to have the gastric sleeve four years ago, it was a family decision because it was going to change all of our lives, not just my own. Sure, it was a personal decision, but, just like raising a child, it was going to take a village to be successful. In the beginning, it was imperative that we not only made healthy choices with food and portion control, eating whole foods and avoiding processed, “easy” meals, but we also had to get moving.

My husband, who has always been the better chef, took all of my Pinterest finds and learned how to make the cauliflower pizza crust and spaghetti squash “pasta.” He also was pretty ingenious to turn baby portobello mushrooms into buns for slider burgers. As time has passed, any time I have hit a stall or gained a few pounds back, we looked at the daily food logs and could tie the lack of progress back to a period where we “got off program” and were eating out more because of hectic schedules that kept us from meal planning and cooking at home.

These periods were almost always accompanied by a slow down on the physical exercise front as well. At first, I started with walking and added in physical training at a gym when that started to bore me. Then I began adding in yoga for muscle tone and flexibility. I was so in love with the results that I challenged myself to become a yoga instructor. However, even with this regimen, I have seen periods of slight gains in weight. Never to be one to just maintain status quo and hoping for a different result, I tried mixing it up and keeping my physical activity fresh and ever-changing, trying hiking, spontaneous dancing around the house while cleaning, <gasp> helping with yard work, etc.

My point is this, rather than staying on a path that was not currently working for me, each time I have hit a plateau, I recognized that I needed a change and made the necessary adjustments. With every season in life, we will all struggle to maintain food and activity levels. Also, as time passes, you will find yourself returning to the behaviors that brought you to the wonderful doctors with Nicholson Clinic in the first place.

Here is what works for me:

Keep a daily food log with an app like MyFitnessPal. My rule is that it doesn’t go in my body unless it first goes into the log. This also helps you identify where you might have strayed from the path.

Change up your activities. Don’t let your mind get bored, but also keep your muscles from becoming complacent with the same activities. Keeping it fresh will keep your interest and help you discover activities that you never thought you would like. Hiking was my big surprise.
Meal plan as a family and learn to cook new recipes together. What began as experimenting with finding healthy alternatives to our favorite meals ended up teaching our daughter about choosing whole foods over processed.

Find your tribe! Without support and fresh ideas, you might find yourself easily falling back into the unhealthy ways. By joining a group with shared challenges, you will find new ideas for activities and food choices but will also receive the necessary support to keep going even if you’ve fallen down. We all do it.

Remember, you should expect to find discouragement along this life-long path, but don’t let it hang around. We all fall down. Staying down is your choice because you are the only one who can choose your path. You already made the hardest choice. Choose you every day.

About the Author

Jaimee Hunter is a Nicholson Clinic patient and registered yoga teacher. Since her surgery in 2015, Jaimee has maintained a weight loss of more than 100 pounds by making healthy changes in her diet and lifestyle habits. She has received her designation as a Registered Yoga Teacher and instructs a monthly yoga class for Nicholson Clinic patients. To read more about Jaimee's story, click here.

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