Ben’s Profile Journey: Week 5, the View From the Plateau
Hi, Ben here, and I’m embarking on a mission to not be fat when I turn 42. To do that I’ve partnered with Profile by Sanford and I want to take you with me on my journey.
Here I am, about a month into my Profile by Sanford journey and I find myself standing on the edge of a plateau. I can see the top of the mountain that I’m climbing, but right this second I’m stalled on out on the flats.
Starting at over 320, I’m down about 15 pounds since I started. I’ve been going along great until this last week. It looks like I plateaued. From talking to my Profile coach, Erika, I know that this is a part of the journey. It can happen to people around the fourth week of the Reboot and Reduce phase. That doesn’t make it any easier, but then again, along with working to decouple my emotions and my eating; I’m learning a new type of patience.
I have patience. I have kids that were babies once. A tired, sick, or gassy baby is a quick reminder of what you can and can’t control. You learn how much of yourself you can put aside to care for someone. Teaching a child to use the potty, walk, ride a bike, or read will teach you patience unknown before you dove into parenthood. Or tripped into it. Now, as my kids are on the cusp of young adulthood, there’s a whole other level of patience that I’m finding in myself. Letting them make mistakes, push boundaries, and explore the world on their own almost evokes nostalgia for the nights that they wouldn’t sleep if I didn’t hold them and play Johnny Cash.
Now that I’m into this thing with my health and weight, I find that I have to learn a new kind of patience, with myself. I nearly broke down in my last coaching session because I had plateaued and not lost any weight in the previous week. My coach asked me why I was so upset.
“Duh,” I thought. What I said was, “I’m not losing any weight, why am I doing this if I’m not?”
“Well, what did you think was going to happen?”
Such a simple question from my coach, but it stopped me in my self-pity. What did I think was going to happen? To be honest, I’d fallen into this thinking trap before. It's plagued me my whole life. I can have patience with other people, it’s easy for me to understand someone else’s journey and have empathy for them.
In theory I understand that those inspirational Facebook posts are true when they say success is slow. But, when my mind is dealing with myself I get derailed demanding perfection and speed. At worst it can manifest as a “If I’m not an expert right away, I don’t want to do it” attitude. That doesn’t happen much anymore. The usual way, and what happened on my Profile journey is that I made a decision and am following the rules, so I demand immediate extraordinary results. And if I don’t get that I’m done.
That’s what has always happened before when I tried to get healthy. And it would have happened this week if it wasn’t for my coach. I really felt why the Profile coaching is so important. Just talking this stuff out was healing. Sure, it seems silly and stupid, especially to me, but that’s the way my mind works. I can both acknowledge it and work with it to get what I want or keep pretending that it’s not real. Pretending is what I’ve done in the past, and it’s never worked, so I guess I’ll keep working.
My coach asked me, “Did you gain the weight in a month?”
“No, and you won’t lose it in a month.”
So, I’m learning patience, with myself. I’m old enough to be able to look back and see times that slow progress has paid off. It took time and practice to learn the computer programs that I use in my day-to-day work. Same for the broadcasting and digital practices and ideas that I work with. Sioux Falls seemed so big and daunting when I moved here. Everything was hard to find and I-229 was too fast. But, little by little I learned my way around and got over myself so I could take the interstate around town.
Learning to be patient and forgiving with myself wasn’t part of what I expected to learn in this. But it may be one of the most important skills I pick up. \
The view from the plateau isn’t as good as it will be when I get to the top. But, I have to remind myself to look down as well as up. From the plateau I can see that I have climbed a lot already. I’m doing it, I might not be at the top yet but, I’m on my way.