Time and time again I receive the following complaint:
“I think I’ve hit a plateau. I’m not losing anymore weight and I don’t know what to do.”
Well, here’s the thing… The body is an incredibly adaptable machine. Seriously.
And the body will change when you tell it to. The thing is, most people believe that it has to be some gigantic, huge, cumbersome change. They get bogged down, almost to the point of quitting (in fact many do) because they believe that they are truly stuck.
But let me give a quick analogy.
If you chain a baby elephant to a stake, it will struggle and struggle and struggle to get free up until the point it becomes exhausted and it will eventually tire out and give up. Eventually, each consecutive time the elephant will struggle less until it finally associates the stake and chain as an insurmountable obstacle. Or, in other words, it quits trying.
But here is the interesting twist, the elephant will continue to grow. Duh. And it will become bigger and stronger until it finally reaches its full size and strength as the largest and strongest animal to walk on dry land.
Now, do you really believe that an elephant is going to be held down by a wooden stake tethered to a chain?
Are you joking? NO. The stake might as well be a toothpick and the chain a piece of floss compared to the mass and size of a fully grown elephant. It could simply lift its leg and either the stake would come right out of the ground or the chain would snap cleanly in two, freeing the elephant.
But tell that to the elephant.
You see, it grew up thinking that the chain and stake meant that it was stuck in that spot because when it was a baby, it didn’t have the strength to overcome the obstacle.
And for a time that was true. When it was a baby, the chain and stake were strong enough to hold the elephant there.
But the belief of captivity remained long after the elephant became plenty strong enough to rip it’s rope from the ground without much effort. The elephant, originally slave to the stake and chain, is now slave purely to its own belief system.
And that is what happens once we reach a plateau. We start out great, motivated that the weight is coming off and that we are getting noticeably stronger. Everything is going smoothly, our drive is strong and confidence is high and our energy levels are through the roof.
And then… the plateau open-hand slaps you in the face.
What you are doing is no longer working. The scale has been the same for 2 months. Inches are no longer melting off and we think something is wrong.
But really, all we have to do is simply break the chain.
And for us that merely amounts to changing something.
As I mentioned above the human body is an incredibly adaptable machine and it will change if you ask it to.
The way that we ‘ask’ is to change our actions.
That is it.
And really, it does not have to be a big change.
You see the once we reach that plateau, the thing we don’t understand is that our body has adapted to the stimulus that we are giving it. It is no longer responsive to your actions because you have been doing them for too long.
If we want it to continue the trend of losing weight, we just need to tweak the input that we are giving the body just a bit.
This can be as simple as adding an extra workout during the week, adding a little extra protein to our meals, or sometimes even drinking a little extra water throughout the day.
Again, it really doesn’t have to be a big change. Just something substantive enough to shock the body back into a fat loss machine.
Where people get bogged down and overwhelmed is that they, like the elephant, are used to existing in a certain state of mind. In their thoughts, there is no way out, but really, all that has to be done is just a little change, and they are back on track.
Don’t be like the elephant.
Simply take a step back, breath and think about what you have been doing, and change one thing. JUST ONE.
Then, observe if that works over a couple of weeks and re-try if it does not.
If it does. Winning. Keep doing that.
If you like this article, please share it with someone who needs to hear this. If you have any questions or would like my help overcoming your ‘stake and chain,’ simply email me or find me on social media. I will respond promptly.