Join me on this episode of the Fit is Freedom Podcast as we take a deep dive into understanding why we plateau in our fitness journey and how to keep it afloat! Your fitness journey is more like sailing than you would think. You get all excited about your journey, hop on board and start sailing away happily. Next thing you know, your momentum is slowing, and you aren’t quite sure what to do. Instead of just jumping ship and giving up, it’s important to figure out what’s going on with your boat, learn to make some slight course corrections on the way, and you’ll be back to smooth sailing in no time!
Listen to the full podcast episode below!
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- Interview with Dr. Robert Wolfe @ AminoCo – The Science of Living Longer – Episode 180
- Say No to these Eight Fitness Inhibitors – Episode 179
- What Creates Fitness Motivation for You? – Episode 178
- Interview with Ros Place: Author of Channel of Clarity – Episode 177
- Healthy and Fit at Any Age: Interview with Dr. Mimi Secor – Episode 176
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The Pattern of Your Fitness Journey
From my years of experience with my own fitness journey and helping others navigate theirs, I’ve been noticing a particular pattern that arises whenever someone is ready to start a new journey or reach a new weight loss or fitness goal.
I don’t know if it’s the leaves changing and the new season among us or if people are just ready for a change, but I’ve been having this conversation with friends and clients lately about how to get out of a plateau and whether or not they should try a completely new program or simply make adjustments. I figured I could share this pattern with you today and discuss my advice on how to handle the dreaded plateau.
Whenever we make a goal or set out on a new journey in our health and fitness, it is more often than not greeted with optimism. Like getting on a sailboat to start your voyage across the sea, you’re filled with excitement, motivation, and a dash of anticipation. You’re ready for what is ahead, and you’re dedicated to the journey.
Because of all these positive feelings and the “newness” of it all, people will also tend to see encouraging results coming their way. But, as time moves on, obstacles move in, and that’s where people enter the next stage of their journey.
Valley of Despair
At one point or another, I notice that clients will eventually begin to plateau. Their body becomes used to the once new and exciting routine. They grow weary of the early morning wake-ups or the numbers on the scale slowing and showing less progress. Known as the “Valley of Despair”, this is the moment in sailing when the sailor notices they’re getting off course or they see a storm ahead.
When the Valley of Despair arises for those on their fitness journey, a decision must be made.
The Decision: Course Correct or Jumping Ship
The final step in the process of getting through these plateaus is often reached with a decision. More often than not, people will see the slowing progress as a sign that it has completely stopped working altogether. For these people, they will choose to abandon the ship completely. They will course correct so quickly and so hard that they essentially will start this entire process over.
However, I want to challenge you all to think about these plateaus as a simple wind shift. With my sailing analogy, a sailor would approach this issue with a small course correction and get back on track, and we can do the same.
Slowing in progress doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world. It can mean that our bodies are ready for an adjustment. Maybe we need to mix up our workout routine and try something new on top of what we’ve been doing. Maybe we can hire a coach to walk us through our journey so far. Maybe we can stop drinking soda except for the weekends.
When you’re sailing, it’s never going to be a perfectly straight line to your end destination with beautiful weather for the whole journey. There will be storms. There will be times for course correcting. But, if you stick with it, you’ll find yourself somewhere incredible, and that’s how I want you to think of your health and fitness journey.
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