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September 8, 2007

We’ve all experienced the inevitable plateau. All of us experience it differently, however. For some, the weight doesn’t budge. For others, our body isn’t changing the way we’d like. Maybe you want more “toned” or “ripped” muscles, flatter abs, and your body isn’t responding to what you are currently doing. Or maybe you are just burned out and aren’t feeling energetic or as motivated as you once did. These are all common signs of a plateau, and a definite indicator that something needs to change.

I get the complaint all too often. It’s common and you are not alone. The plateau. For years, I’ve dreamed about having arms that look like Madonna’s, but in reality, I probably won’t get them anytime soon because I don’t want to spend 2 hours working out every day. I have better things to do (like blog!).

I’ve heard a saying about Madonna that is probably very true “not a grape passes that woman’s lips without it being planned”. I believe it. To achieve a certain level of fitness, one must be extremely diligent and careful. When a client tells me they have a certain goal, I ask them how far they are willing to go and what they will sacrifice to get there. Is it worth it?

For me, balance is more satisfying than spending all my free time at the gym. Been there, done that. Balance is crucial in maintaining my sanity and health.

If you are experiencing a weight loss or fitness plateau, I want you to sit down and ask yourself, in all honesty, if you’ve been 100% diligent and honest about what you have been doing and what you have been putting into your mouth. Everything counts.

The day you decided you were too tired to get to the gym. The extra cosmopolitan or martini. The Venti Mocha you have on Sundays. The piece of cake that no one saw you eat. Or even cutting back on one cardio day a week. What you may consider “harmless” is costing you your goal. Believe it. If I had told my coach in college that I was too tired to do my long run in any given week, he would have kicked me out of practice. Being a collegiate athlete was HARD WORK. But each and every single workout in those days was crucial. Skip one and see the result on the track. That simple.

Also, are you doing the same things day in and day out? Same workout? Same amount of time, tempo, distance? If so, you need to SWITCH IT UP! Add 10 minutes to your cardio session, try intervals, try a new class, train for a race or bike ride.

Your body will adapt and become very efficient to what you are currently doing. Try switching it up for a few weeks, and I guarentee you’ll see a change.

As we age, we cannot eat the way we once did back in our teens and early 20’s. We must account for a slowing metabolism and decrease in muscle mass (how to combat this? Lift weights!). Most women gain weight in their late 20’s because of this decline and then again in their 40’s. Why? They are not adjusting the way they are eating and exercising!

You MUST adjust how you eat or you will inevitably gain weight (unless you are blessed with a high metabolism, which is rare). The body does not require as many calories as you age. You must change your habits, because in essence, eating dessert is a habit, eating a second serving is a habit, and having “fries with that” is a habit. You do not need to be eating those foods on a regular basis. Unless you want to do 2 workouts a day. And if that is the case, then go ahead and indulge! 🙂

That being said, be honest with yourself. Losing weight and maintaining the body of your dreams is HARD WORK. It is not easy and will never be easy. Do not kid yourself. Everyone you see that has a body you admire works very hard for that body in some way or another. Some eat super clean, some work out super hard, but the fact of the matter is, they are working hard at it.

That being said, get out there and do the work!

With love!

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