Weight loss is a long journey. It ebbs and flows. At some point in your journey you are going to plateau. It may be for a few weeks, a month, or even a year. You aren't gaining weight, per se, but you sure aren't losing weight either. It can be disheartening. Scroll through to see a few things that may help you appreciate this part of your weight loss journey.
Remember where you started
When you are losing weight your body is constantly changing, but once you start maintaining your clothes fit the same way every day, and you stay the same size. The same body you thought looked a lot smaller three weeks ago, is now just your body. Those size 8 jeans are no longer an achievement, but just the size you wear. When this doubt sets in, look back at pictures of yourself over your weight loss journey. See how different your body was one year, six months, even six weeks ago. And then take a picture of yourself today. Nothing will remind of your weight loss success more than looking at a picture of yourself and realizing how the rest of the world sees you.
Remember maintaining weight is not gaining weight
The scale refuses to budge. One day you're at your goal weight, the next day you are two pounds heavier, and the day after that you are somewhere between. Maintenance isn't an easy place to be, but it's important to remember that maintaining isn't gaining. All that work you put in isn't suddenly wiped away because the scale isn't moving.
Appreciate the consistency in your clothing
In the last year, I changed three pants sizes. I was either constantly searching for new clothes, or wearing pants that were too big. It was an expensive time, not to mention stressful. Shopping for clothes is rarely easy, but when your size is changing, it's hard to know how much to buy. I've been a consistent size for the last few months. I bought an entire summer wardrobe. It was great to know what size I needed, and how that size would fit. It helped to know I'd get to wear these clothes for longer than a few months before I had to hit the fitting rooms again. It was fun getting to shop for different sizes, but I -- and my wallet -- am much happier shopping because I want to, not because I have to.
Evaluate your diet and activities -- why aren't you losing weight
If you are maintaining, but want to be losing weight the best thing you can do is to evaluate your diet and activities. Are you eating more snacks and sweets? Did you lose a day of fitness every week? Maybe you are just in a food and fitness rut--eating the same foods and doing the same workouts. Did you freak out and cut back your calories? All of these things can contribute to your weight loss plateau. Your body needs variety. Add in some cross training, or try out a new protein in your salad. Switch up your routine, and see if that starts tipping the scales back in your favor.
Most importantly, remember that three pounds is not the end of the world
Whether you decide to push forward with your weight loss or enjoy the maintenance period, always keep in mind that three pounds is not the end of the world. When we got back from our Disney World honeymoon, we were both a few pounds heavier. Within a week of being home most of that weight came off as we returned to our normal eating habits. However, three of those pounds have stayed with me. For two months I've been saying I just want to lose three pounds. It would put me back at my wedding day weight and right at my goal weight. However, as the weeks have gone by those pounds have just stayed there. It's not that I'm not working out -- I am, three days a week. Those three pounds are just where my body is comfortable. And when I decide to kick start my weight loss journey again, I know they will come off easily. But for now, I'm taking a moment to enjoy the maintenance.