Episode 27: Plateau Phobia Part II
Today we take a more in depth look at plateaus. We will learn what they really mean, and go learn specific steps you can take to move forward beyond your plateau. Plus, what the economic downturn might really mean and how that relates to our success in our weight loss journey. Check the blog at www.personallifemedia.com/renee for the lyrics Renee shares on today's show.
Renee Stephens: Welcome to Inside Out Weight Loss. I’m your host Renee Stephens. Together we’re accessing the control panel of your mind/body system, brining ease and joy to your weight loss journey and focus to the rest of your life. On today’s show, the economy and the hidden gift of plateaus.
Renee Stephens: These beliefs, as we’ve learned before, have a very strong placebo effect. They become self-fulfilling prophecies, and so that if we read the economy is going down then we begin to believe and act as if the economy is going down.
Renee Stephen: A plateau is maintaining your weight. In fact, it’s maintaining a weight that is lower than you weight has been in the past, in the recent past. What do you think of that idea? Maintaining a weight lower than what your weight has been.
Renee Stephen: What do you notice here? Do you see what I see? That our deepest fear is that we won’t change. We have to change. Remember the power of relaxed intent, that when we make a demand to change it slips through our fingers? And yet when we relax, when it’s an invitation, that’s when change flows through us so easily.
Renee Stephen: So lets go ahead and set our intention for this episode. Drop down inside of yourself. Take a deep breath. And as you exhale, let go. Let go of any cares or worries you have. Let them float away like clouds in the sky. It’s time to become present with you. Present with your body, present with your current experience, present with yourself. I’d like you to take a moment to check in with your body. Notice how it feels in this moment. Does it feel heavy or light? Where is it tense? Where is it relaxed? And as you find the areas of relaxation, even very small ones, allow that relaxation to spread, as you sink into this episode on Inside Out Weight Loss, and allow your intention for this episode to come to you now as a word, a phrase, a symbol. Is your intention to renew? Is it to break through what’s been holding you back? Is it to make your journey easier and more natural? Perhaps it’s simply to enjoy the ride. Whatever it is, go ahead and set it now. And as you listen go ahead and open up and connect energetically with all other listeners of this show, across space and time. Feel their presence. Send them your support, whatever that looks like for you. We’re starting a movement here, a movement to end the weight struggle, free ourselves from our own oppression and confirmly, harmoniously and clearly into our lives, into live that we love to live. We’re replacing the struggle with peace, freedom, fulfillment and fun right now. Not in a week or a month or a year, when we reach some magic number on the scale or some magic number in close size, but right now. My intent is to bring my message to millions, starting with you. My intent is to not only show you what’s possible, but to take you there as quickly or as slowly as you like. We spent a whole series of shows recently talking about limiting beliefs and how to change them. And I want to talk to you a moment about the economy, if you’ll indulge me for a moment, you’ll see the connection in a second. Several days ago in San Francisco there was a headline in The Chronicle, and the headline had a big picture splashed across the front page of a column, like a cement column or a plaster column with deep cracks running through it, and the headline ran, “Is The Economy Cracked”, or “Are There Deep Cracks In Our Economy”, it was a very upsetting headline for just about anyone except for maybe a few people who like economic downturns. And that image really hit me, because I had just listened to a Leonard Cohen song, and I’d like to read you the lyrics of that Leonard Cohen song right now. Remember the image was of a big column, a solid column with deep cracks in it. So what Leonard Cohen sings and writes is: “Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There’s a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” I love that lyric. “There’s a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” And so as I read that headline in the newspaper about the doom and gloom coming in the economy, and of course a couple days later the news of distress in the financial markets, the fire sale of Bear Stearns and all of the problems that are happening economically, I thought, “Isn’t that interesting? There’s a crack and that’s where the light gets in.” You know so much of about an economic downturn, or an upturn for that matter, is perception or belief, because we see the headlines, we hear the news on the television or on the radio and we hear this headline and that headline and, really, when we hear the same message three times that’s when it tends to enter us, if you were in marketing as I used to be you’d know that typically someone has to hear a message three or more times, often up to seven times, to actually take action on an offer. That’s why you’ll hear the same ads over and over again. It’s the same thing with news about the economy. So once we hear the same message, it may be that the same thing is reported by three different media outlets in three different ways. Or it may be that we hear one angle and another angle and a third angle of the same story, and that creates a perception and even a belief that’s, oh my goodness, the economy is turning down and we’re going, we’re entering a very difficult cycle now that’s going to be hard for everyone. Well guess what? These beliefs as we’ve learned before have a very strong placebo effect. They become self-fulfilling prophecies, and so that if we read that the economy is going down, then we begin to believe and act as if the economy is going down. Well I can tell you from my perspective, in my world of friends and people that I know, I have yet to experience directly any indication of a declining economy. It hasn’t entered my world. And I’ve decide to hold a different belief that the economy is restructuring, that it’s letting in some light that’s very much needed at this time. So think about that the next time you hear the news of doom and gloom. Think about taking that news as a hypothesis, as something that you can consider to believe if it serves you, because remember, we have the opportunity to choose the beliefs that serve us. Focus on the steps that you need to take to have a secure abundant financial future. Focus on the steps that you need to take to improve your own life, because remember Ghandi’s words: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” If you want to see abundance, you want to manifest abundance, be abundance. Live a life focusing on the abundance that you already have now in your life. Lets take a break now to support our sponsors. This is Renee Stephens, and you’re listening to Inside Out Weight Loss on Personal Life Media.
Renee Stephen: Last show we discussed graduating to the naturally slender club, and that that means being grateful for your journey. It means recognizing the gifts of your path and understanding that your path has made you who you are today. I even talked about some of the gifts of my path; sensitivity and my ability to connect with you. I’d like to share with you a poem by Rooney, translated by Coleman Barks. It goes like this: “Let a teacher wave away the flies and put a plaster on the wound. Don’t turn your head. Keep looking at the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you. And don’t believe for a moment that you’re healing yourself.” What a beautiful poem that is. It reminds me in fact of the Leonard Cohen lyric that I read to you a few moments ago. That the cracks, the wounds are where the light gets in. And so, our struggles, our suffering, our issues with food and weight and our bodies, that’s where the light gets in, that’s leading us somewhere important. And we may have no idea, no ability at this place to see the gift of it. All we can do is trust that it’s there. Last episode we also talked about the brilliant secret agenda of the law of attraction, how the law of attraction gets us to feel good now so we can feel good later. You got to love that. And finally, we began to discuss plateau phobia, the terrible fear that we have of plateaus. So this episode lets look again at what plateaus are. A plateaus is maintaining your weight. In fact, it’s maintaining a weight that is lower than your weight has been in the past, in the recent path. What do you think of that idea? Maintaining a weight lower than what your weight has been. That sounds suspiciously like what most Inside Out Weight Loss listeners want. Hmm. It doesn’t sound so bad when we say it like that, does it? You’re maintaining a weight that’s lower than your weight used to be. Your pants are probably looser. In fact, all of your close are probably looser. Maybe you’re buckling your belt at a smaller size. Maybe people are beginning to notice at work, or maybe just you notice. Maybe you have a lighter feeling or a spring in your step. Maybe you’re feeling kind of clean inside, you know, that wonderful feeling when weight’s just beginning to come off of you or maybe its been coming off for a while. So we’re maintaining a lower weight. That’s got to be a good thing, doesn’t it? And in fact, it is a good thing. It’s a wonderful thing. Of course it is. This is what we want. We want to know that we can maintain a lower weight. And yet for some reason plateaus have got one bad rap. I think they need a new PR person, because boy, they really do not get a lot of love from us, do they? In fact, we hit a plateau, our weight is stable for a day or a week or a month and we think, “Oh my god, this is terrible. The world is ending. I’ll never make it.” And yet, this is just what we want to be practicing, isn’t it? Maintenance. Maintenance. Maintaining our weight at a slimmer level. And we’ll go into this more in a moment. Lets talk for a minute about what’s underlying our discontent with the plateau. What causes us to look this gift horse in the mouth? The problem is that we want to weigh even less. We feel we’re on our way somewhere, somewhere that will feel really great when we get there, and the plateau is slowing us down. In fact, when we look at what’s often under our discontent at the plateau, it’s a couple of things. Firstly, it’s a feeling of lack of reward for our efforts. We’ve been doing all the right things and, darn it, it’s just not fair. Weight isn’t falling off of us like snow melting in the springtime. We aren’t seeing results. This leads us to the deeper fear, the underlying fear. And the underlying fear, the second thing that is underneath our discontent at the plateau is that we may never make it where we’re going. We’re terrified that we may never make it to our goal. Our greatest fear is that our goal is unattainable. We may be stuck, yuck. We may be condemned, oh my god, this is terrible. What do you notice here? Do you see what I see? That are deepest fear is that we won’t change. We have to change. Remember the power of relaxed intent, that when we make a demand to change it slips through our fingers? And yet when we relax, when it’s an invitation, that’s when change flows through us so easily. It’s the same thing here. When we think we must change or our life will be unbearable, we’re demanding to change. From a law of attraction perspective we’re lowering our vibration, we’re feeling very bad. And so, we’ll attract more bad feeling to us. When we feel bad about plateaus it’s simply a bad feeling. It’s simply a feeling that brings us down and attracts more bad things to us. So what’s the antidote to plateau phobia? There are two steps. First and foremost, it’s accepting and enjoying where we are. You know this. Reveling in the fact that we’re smaller than we were, in the fact that we did create this change. This is wonderful. We have a problem of success. We have a very high-class problem. My friend Robert Harrison who hosts Coaching the Life Coach on the Personal Life Media Network said to me once, “You know, the way I see it, really our goal in life should be simply to upgrade our problems so that we go from having really lousy problems to having really high-class problems.” Well, you know what? Plateau, a plateau of weight loss is really a pretty high-class problem as problems go. It’s kind of like, “Oh gosh, I don’t know how to manage my money, I have so much of it.” These are good problems to have. So the first step, the first step, the first antidote to plateau phobia is realizing that we can enjoy where we are now. And the second step is to take advantage of the plateau as an opportunity for learning. I recently worked with a woman who only wanted to lose about ten pounds, but she had been struggling with these same ten pounds for twenty years and was really ready to finally let them go. She had tried everything she possible could on her own. She’s a very successful woman in other areas of her life, and yet this area she wasn’t able to handle. She just couldn’t do it. So she came to see me. So we worked together, and five pounds just came off her so easily for the first time, as I said, in about twenty years it just came off, and she’s easily maintaining this weight loss which was fifty percent of her goal. And she said to, “Okay, well now I really want to go to the next level.” She was at a plateau. So what did we need to do to take her to the next level? Well the next level is simply looking at her behaviors and where she was eating too much. And that sounds really simple, well in fact it is really simple. All we did is I said to her, “Okay, well what can we change now? Where would you like to be more at peace with food? Where would you like to feel even better?” And so she identified a context. We had already covered the context of afternoon boredom eating at work, that was a big problem for her. And now it didn’t even occur to her at work to eat out of boredom, she had other things that she would do if she needed a break from work, which is really what she most wanted. And I think perhaps it was some sort of small context to like going to parties, that was a problem for her. And so we just go about identifying the next context where she isn’t yet fully behaving like a naturally slender person, where she isn’t yet fully at ease and at peace with her behavior around food. And that’s what will take her to the next level. So the plateau, the pause, gave us an opportunity to identify what’s next. And this has happened with all of my clients that I’ve been with on these, for even much longer weight loss journeys. For example, I have a client who’s down, goodness, I think 135 pounds now from her peak, and along the way she’s had several quote/unquote “plateaus”, and each time we’ve looked at what was going on in her life, where were the places that she was perhaps a little sloppy with her eating, where she wasn’t completely at peace, and we addressed those contexts. We also addressed any inner objections or fears. So often when it was a big milestone, for example, going below 200 pounds can be a big milestone and it seems like a lot, or reaching a hundred pound weight loss, that was another milestone for her, and it can seem scary on the other side. We can read all sorts of meaning into it like somehow our life will dramatically change, and in fact, perhaps a change is in order, perhaps an adjustment is in order. And the plateau is simply saying to us, “Okay, we need to make some more shifts here. It’s time to shift at some deeper levels.” So it may be a shift in a context, a situation where you’ve been having trouble with your eating or you’re not yet at peace where you need to do some brainstorming and some movie making about how you’d like to be. Or at a deeper level. It could be time to update your identity in the world. It could be time to adjust the way that you relate to your partner, your husband or wife or significant other. Perhaps some adjustments need to happen there, that your partner isn’t used to having someone who’s capable or someone who’s slim or someone who’s sexy, or you’re not used to being that way in your relationship. And so it’s time to update your identity, your self-concept in relationship to those around you. Plateaus are opportunities for all of these things. And we’ll talk more about plateaus on the next episode of Inside Out Weight Loss. That brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present. Be sure to check out the Inside Out Weight Loss blog at www.personallifemedia.com/renee. That’s where I post things like links to books that I recommend, I’ve got my favorite ten minute or less week night salad recipe up there, links to free conference call services if you’d like to set up a podcast club with some of you friends via telephone or connect with people via the online groups, the Yahoo group or the MySpace group, so that you can connect support and be supported. So be sure to check out the Inside Out Weight Loss blog at personallifemedia.com/renee. You’ll also find there a link under ‘blog roll’ on the right hand side, to the Audio Journeys that I have for sale on my site. As you may know, they’re the same focus journeys that I use with my private clients that are powerhouses of change. For other shows on the Personal Life Media Network, like Coaching the Life Coach hosted by Robert Harrison, please visit our website at www.personallifemedia.com. There’s loads of intriguing content to feed your mind, body and spirit. This is your host, Renee Stephens and I am on a mission to eradicate the weight struggle from the planet and replace it with light, love, fun and fulfillment. Join me as we evolve the world by evolving ourselves. Take good care.