San Diego Hypnotist

Advocating Mental, Physical, Emotional, Spiritual Fitness

The Dreaded Plateau

avocado.jpgAs of this morning I am down six pounds! Yippee! I had been on a plateau but not anymore!

Plateaus are tricksters. They seem like they aren’t our best of times. They frustrate us. Zap our drive and motivation. Often times, kill our god and goddess physique dreams altogether. It’s during the long plateau that people will turn back to doughnuts and chips. (As if they were the fire on a cold, lonely night…yea right. Good friends those processed foods.)

Well, let me tell you, plateaus ARE our friends. It has very much to do with the subconscious mind, and works like this. The subconscious mind controls what’s called, homeostasis. That is the regulation of our set points. Also known as our comfort zones. You know, like temperature is 98.6. Blood pressure is 120/80. The number of heartbeats, and breaths per minute. That kind of thing.

When we move beyond our comfort zones, whether the blood pressure rises high, or falls too low…or our temperature gets too hot, or we go cold…well, the unconscious mind is keeping tabs on all these “abnormalities” and sends messages to the body to do whatever it can to get the system back into the comfort zone.

Well, our weight gets a set point, too. Say a lady weighs 220 pounds, and she’s just lost 20 pounds. The 20 pounds had come off at a steady, consistent rate, say 10 lbs. a month. But suddenly, the scale stops going down. Two weeks go by and she’s still weighing in at 200 – give or take 2 pounds. She’s disgusted. Puts in new batteries. Tries her mom’s scale. She’s not losing weight anymore, though she’s still going to the gym three times a week. Hasn’t had any ice cream in two months! She is devastated, right? Most of the time, she’ll think the diet is no longer working, that she’s exercising in vain, and all kinds of additional frustrating thoughts.

In the past, when frustrated, this same lady always turned to mashed potatoes and brownies for comfort. Now, the package of brownie mix in her cupboard starts whispering in her ear, “you’re always welcome here…” IT says comfortingly. Dr. Boxof- Instantmashedpotatoes calls out, “Take three servings of me, and call me in the morning…”

EeeeeGaaaads. What’s the use?, she wonders, as she takes the hot brownies from the microwave.

I’ll tell you a little something about what’s going on with her body. I think you’ll like this. The bottom line is she’s now 20 pounds out of her comfort zone. If she eats the brownies, it’s probably all over until “Monday” (of what year we don’t know) because she will feel failed, and start the feeding cycle all over again. Brownies -> Frustration -> Mashed Potatoes -> self-disgust. You know where this is going. Soon she’ll be at her comfortable 220 again. And maybe more. Just in case, her body says, fearful of another attack of the Diets.

But if she resists the brownies…and continues on track, she will break-through the plateau and be able to lose another 20 pounds. What her subconscious mind is doing through this plateau is setting a NEW weight set point. A new comfort zone for her, if you will. So after she loses another 20 pounds, instead of wanting to go back up to 220, her body will simply have a drive to move back to 200. That’s GOOD news! She isn’t just recreating her weight, she’s redesigning her system to be, think, and act thinner.

There are other factors involved, but that’s one important aspect we must acknowledge and respect. It doesn’t matter what we’re trying to master, on the road to excellence – whether tennis, golf, fitness, musicianship, art whatever – we will encounter the plateau. Embrace it, and adore it, for it is a partner in your physique-al transformation.

If the lady abstains from the brownies and keeps doing what she’s been doing, while her body makes the necessary homeostatic adjustments, she will see the scale move down again – fairly soon. How soon depends on various factors, but unless she’s some exception to the rule, she will resume her reduction within a couple of weeks.

Hypnosis is a natural champion when it comes to enduring the plateau. If used correctly it will redirect the lady’s thinking from the brownies back to her goals. Hypnosis will refocus her to her current and sure-to-come success. She will be driven towards alive, healthy food choices. She will be satisfied with smaller portions. Most interestingly, she will not only undergo a transformation as far as weight comfort zones go, but her comfort foods will also undergo redefinition. My big comfort food used to be ice cream. It no longer is.

I still like ice cream, don’t get me wrong. But it’s not something I use as medication, to manage my stress, or ease away my frustration. I no longer find it emotionally rewarding like I used to. But I will still eat it on special occasions. Why not. I’m human and have every right to enjoy cake and ice cream at a birthday party, like everyone else! More than that though, I feel better when I eat to live energetically rather than live unenergetically to eat. Plateaus don’t zap my dreams. Ice cream zaps my dreams. Okay. You get the point that ice cream no longer rules me, I rule it. And to be honest, I don’t even care for ice cream anymore, except for every once in awhile it does hit the spot, but it’s not like I go around thinking, should I or shouldn’t I? And hypnosis got me to thinking that way. My new comfort food? Well, there are some that would say food shouldn’t be a comfort at all. So what should be a comfort to us? A hug? Exercise? And who’s to draw the line that those are acceptable comforts and a big, crunchy red apple isn’t? Not me. But I will distinguish between healthy, life-supporting comforts and depleting, life-draining crutches. Healthy foods in moderate portions are life-supporting. So, back to what is my new comfort food? Believe it or not, albondigas (Mexican meatball with veggies and herbs) soup is one of them. As is green salad with avocado, chicken or hard-boiled egg, sun-ripe vine tomato, cucumber and bleu cheese AND Catalina dressing. Depends if it’s cold or hot weather. Ok, time to get back to the clinic work.

Till soon! Gina


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