Hey folks…if you’ve been away from the blog for a bit, then you’ve found a great time to jump back in. Over the past week I’ve been sharing with readers the success story of TT’s 2nd ever Transformation Contest winner, Catherine Gordon.
Last day, Catherine shared her thoughts on the under-appreciated, yet highly valuable social support system. Not only did Catherine have a strong group surrounding her during her own transformation, but she has also been a huge contributor in the TT forums, providing countless motivational tips and inspirational advice to her fellow TTers.
Today Catherine and I discuss one factor that can quickly derail someone’s transformation – plateaus! As Catherine mentions, they’re unavoidable, but she outlines a few strategies for busting through them and continuing on in your fat loss journey.
Let’s check it out….
Craig: Let’s talk about what you mentioned before, the plateaus, and especially some guiding advice that you would give to somebody, particularly if they were closer to the end of the contest when things are a little tougher. What words do you have to keep them motivated and inspired to keep on pushing?
Catherine: From the very beginning going into the contest, you may not have plateaus – that’s fabulous. However, as you go into this you may need to say…
“Plateaus may happen. What am I going to do?”
PLAN AHEAD for plateaus because those are the areas that lead to dropping out of the contests for some people. They work so hard and then hit a plateau, and get fed up and that’s when they then start to eat.
I don’t think everyone plateaus the same, it’s more individualistic. With some, they tend to eat up for a couple of days to crank their metabolism again, while some people not so much. For others, it may be because their diet has gotten slippery, and they are eating too many almonds and too much cheese or their portions are getting bigger – their diet creeps.
These are the things that I notice when my diet gets funny. Very often that’s what’s happening when I find I plateau.
The other thing you can do is find some activity after dinner by adding a little movement, a little more physical activity. I think you have to be really careful with TT because so many people rush to add more cardio and I really think that’s a mistake. However, I do think being active after dinner can help in plateaus.
I don’t know if you agree, but it really seems that plateaus are more a mental thing than anything. Have you noticed that?
Craig: I’ve found that what you mentioned about the diet creep, or call it whatever, seems to be one of the biggest things. People get on a roll and then if they don’t know as much about how many calories are in certain foods as they should then it just slowly starts to come back in, and it could be even self-sabotage what you mentioned before from what we were talking about.
Craig: Some people are even scared of achieving such great results. So, that’s where I think a lot of the plateau aspect comes. I think you made a great point about just adding a little pleasurable activity, it doesn’t have to be activity that is structured exercise in terms of getting on a cardio machine or something that you dislike.
You certainly don’t want to think about it in terms of punishment, you want to think about it in terms of lifestyle changes that we really enjoy. Have dinner, get out and have a walk or something and enjoy stuff there. I really like that point that you added in there.
Catherine: When you hit a plateau, I think the first thing to check is how much water you’re taking in, because a lot of times people aren’t drinking as much water as they need to. Then the other one, I’ll say it again, is that sense of diet creep.
There are some people I know on the forums that are very honest and are keeping those calories where they should be. There are times when it’s just a mystery. When that happens you need patience and perseverance. I know patience and perseverance, and they’re not very sexy, but you really need them.
Craig: That’s true.
Catherine: If you’re going to do a contest or a transformation or not, you have to realize that it’s very likely there are going to be these times, and you have to be prepared for using your patience and your perseverance. Sometime you have to say, “I’m going to do whatever it takes to get my ideal body.”
What I’ve also told people, is to just trust the program. So many times you’ll see people hit a plateau and they instantly want to go out and add an extra three hours of cardio a week. I’m like, “No! Just trust the program.” Eventually the train will start moving again and the fat will start dropping.
The other thing that happens very often is you change your body ratio. You’ve added muscle and you’ve lost fat so you really need that tape measure. That’s when you need that pair of jeans to try on.
Craig: Yes. I’ll say to that, sometimes people make the mistake of not being as consistent as you were. You said you’re going to the same person every time to take those measurements.
That is so IMPORTANT that people are consistent with how they measure things, especially when you get started, If you’re a beginner and you’ve never really kept track of your weight on the scale that frequently, you will notice that there are some days where things can be very wild, five and ten pounds shifts in fluid depending on food eaten.
So, people have to understand that those things are going to happen.
The last thing I’ll say about this is that one of our members, I think it was Edenstar, I think that’s her name, she made a great graph of her weight loss, and it was like looking at a mountain range because it was this general decline over time, but there was not a straight line. It was down and then up a little, then down more and up a little.
You’re certainly taking two steps forward and only one step back, but sometimes you will, and you lose five, gain one and a half, lose five, gain one, lose three, gain a half. It’s slowly turning on down, and you don’t draw a straight line. It’s not every day you lose 0.5 pounds.
So, something to keep in mind is that there’s going to be VARIATIONS.
Some people can weigh themselves every day and won’t be too upset by it, but other people maybe it’s just best to go with a weekly weigh in and focus on the measurements with the tape around the waist and that type of stuff.
There are a whole bunch of ways to do it, obviously with experience you’re going to find the way for you. Certainly, you did.
Maybe you could answer this question. How long did it take before you really got into a groove in the program, was it a week, two weeks, even three weeks?
Catherine: I would say four; you have to remember that I had the program before I started my first transformation contest. I’m not saying that this is typical, but because of the way that I was using the program that is how long it took me.
Also, it took that long for me to realize that I had to have all the aspects of the program in place….
I HAD TO HAVE the workouts, the nutrition, the goals, the support, the mindset, it all had to be happening at once.
Just for me personally, a busy mom, and all the things that were going on, I think — oh my gosh, I was choreographing West Side Story, and I was in Steel Magnolias, so I was under a great deal of pressure. It wasn’t until both of those shows opened and closed and were done that I was really able to focus.
So, because my focus was so scattered it took like four weeks. If you are a little better at focusing in on it then it probably wouldn’t take you as long. So, yes, it does take some time.
Okay, we’ll be back again tomorrow with part 8 where Catherine’s shares here experience with adding enjoyable activity into her weight loss plan.
Want to see some other successful TT Transformations? Check them out here….