Friday 9 December 2016

Finding peace on the plateau. Well, nearly.

Published 01/06/2015 | 02:30

The dreaded plateau phase has well and truly arrived and made itself at home. And what a tedious place it is. No matter how far you run, how much you don't eat, the scales says the same. It generally happens because having played nice for a few weeks, dutifully shedding fat in a calories in, calories out fair deal, the body panics and goes into safety mode. It clutches on to every familiar fold and lump, reluctant to shed the safety blanket of old fat.

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The established wisdom is that it is best to wait out these becalmed waters, keep doing what you're doing and wait for the body to adapt and once again begin surrendering the flab. The plateau is a place which usually prompts me to say something defeatist, dig out an excuse and something laden with calories and attempt to resign myself to being a fatbird. How bad can it be to be to be chunky? Who's looking? Who cares? And although I always know the answer is "Me, I care", I still manage to undo all the good work and chunkify again.

But something has changed. Advised by Mary, my guide through this hypnotic weight loss, to ignore the scales and concentrate on eating right and living well rather than on weight loss per se, it is much easier to just see this as a way of living as opposed to a period of deprivation and much easier to keep going.

The twice daily listening sessions also mean I have very little interest in eating fattening food. Every week there is a different CD and we're on the gentle downward slope now, more encouragement than aversion therapy, as much about self-esteem and confidence as dog vomit. I can eat chocolate if I want as long as my body rather than my self-saboteur dictates the amount. And it turns out my body is a much more moderate creature than I knew. Sweet things taste too sweet incredibly fast. I stop eating when I'm full, come back for more if I want it later.

And I trust that at some point the plateau will pass, it's only occasionally that I want to fling the scales out the window.

Sunday Independent

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