Plateau Breakthroughs
Inside Out Weight Loss
Renee Stephens

Episode 29 - Plateau Breakthroughs

Today, how a listener went from overstuffed to overjoyed in 4 miles or less. We’ve talked about learning from our experiences and using them as a spring board for growth. One listener and member of the yahoo group did just that by tapping into a resource that was there all the time, the perfect resource for her. She turned her dip, her “failure” into a breakthrough by setting herself up for success. Plus, words of wisdom from The Dalai Lama’s and more on how to create breakthroughs from those now appreciated plateaus.



Renee Stephens: Welcome to Inside Out Weight Loss. I’m your host, Renee Stephens, and together we’re accessing the control panel of your mind/body system, bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey and fullness to the rest of your life. On today’s show, how a listener went from overstuffed to overjoyed in four miles or less. Plus, words of wisdom from the Dalai Lama, and some final words on breaking through those plateaus as we harvest them for learning.

Renee Stephens: It’s the same thing with our bodies. It’s only often when we lose the ability to use them, some important function, that we appreciate them. My father-in-law, in his later years, almost completely lost his eyesight, and as I was thinking about him, I though, “My goodness, how difficult that must be for him, to have been sighted his whole life and now not be able to read”, which was one of his great joys in life.

Renee Stephens: And after about ten or fifteen minutes of this and really just allowing the light, allowing positive energy to come in, whatever it would be for you, I don’t know what you want to call it, for me I think of it as a spirit or light or positive energy, and it turned my day around. I got up from there, I knew when it was time to get up, I just felt better, and I felt, “Wow, what a beautiful day it really is.”

Renee Stephens: They’re not real people. So, if you want to make yourself feel good…And why would you want to make yourself feel good? Well, number one because, well heck, it feels good. And number two, because it attracts more good things into your life and will even motivate you.

Renee Stephens: So lets go ahead and set our intention for today’s episode. Drop inside and become present with you. So often we walk around completely unaware of our physical bodies. We expect our bodies to work for us, yet we can pay so little attention to them. Often think that pain is simply our body’s way of telling us to pay attention, to tune in. So why not tune in now to our physical bodies, and notice how our bodies make our lives possible. We have a body for a reason, and to be fully human we must be in our bodies. I know that you may have developed a habit of being outside of your body, of not feeling or ignoring your body. We often wish we had no physical needs. I have to admit that during the height of my crazy days working in high tech, I was annoyed when I had to go to the bathroom and even considered, now this is a little embarrassing, if I could do a little multi tasking on my cell phone while I went to the bathroom. I think I may have actually only done that once or twice, thank goodness. But think about it. Your body allows you to live. If you walk it allows you to walk. It allows you to take care of yourself. If there are any disabled people in your life or if you’ve ever been disabled, notice the valuable the basic functions of our bodies are. Have you had a power outage recently at your home, perhaps in winter storms you’d lost power? And it was only when you lost the power that you appreciated how many times a day you reach for the light switch and expect it to work and how valuable it is to have electricity to keep your food cold so you don’t have to shop everyday. Or how valuable it is to have a washing machine to allow you to clothes, clean your clothes without having to hit them over a rock down at the creek, or how wonderful it is to have hot water. Now there’s a personal favorite of mine. It’s the same thing with our bodies. It’s only often when we lose the ability to use them, some important function, that we appreciate them. My father-in-law in his later years almost completely lost his eyesight. And as I was thinking about him, I thought, “My goodness, how difficult that must be for him to have been sighted his whole life and now not be able to read”, which was one of his great joys in life. And I thought how incredibly grateful and blessed I am that I have eyes that allow me to see. So notice your body. Notice all of the things that it allows you to have and to experience. It allows you to be in this world. Take a moment to appreciate your body now, rather than waiting until there’s some sort of crisis and you don’t have what you’ve come to rely on so completely. So lets name this Body Appreciation episode of Inside Out Weigh Loss. Spend the rest of your day today or tomorrow giving thanks for all the little things that your body allows you to do everyday. I thought I’d share this post from the Inside Out Weight Loss Yahoo group about episode 23, where I explain a resource that you always have with you, a resource that can help you like no one else on the planet can, exactly when and how you need it. Here’s what the listener said: “I just have to share this because this episode was very, very inspirational and went right to work with me the moment I finished listening to it. To make a long story short, I was listening to this on my iPod during my four-mile walk after overeating my favorite type of food, Chinese food, for dinner. And immediately I envisioned the wonderful evolving me, the me I used to be only just a few years ago. I still had a few miles left to go before I reached back home on my route and my walk turned into a jog. That me loved running, trained for three marathons after having her first baby. I was stepping to that me at the moment, and I don’t know how to explain it, but I did know that me. And when I reached home I felt wonderful, that feeling I used to get after a run. I didn’t manage to run straight through, I walked a little bit, but always managed to run some more and I ran most of the way. I hoped to continue to remember, what would that envisioned me do? I certainly know she wouldn’t have had two helpings of Chinese food, but would she have chosen that food at all. Thank you Renee. I absolutely love all your podcasts. I need to make sure I apply them all.” Now I want to make a couple comments about that. Number one, really amazing, fantastic for that listener, for going on that walk after overeating and listening to the show. What she did was self-correct. Level one, self-correcting, something that she could do on her own, which is level one of self-correcting. She put herself in a situation to self-correct. Now she didn’t have to do that. She could’ve sat on the sofa and made matters worse with a bag of who knows what. But she didn’t. She got out of the door, onto the street, tuned in and opened up. That is what it’s all about. It doesn’t take much, but it does take something. And she gave herself that opportunity, she set herself up for success by bringing the resources into her life that she knew would help her, even though she did not feel like it, ‘cause she was feeling lousy after overeating. We know the feeling. We know it all too well. And we have a choice. We can let it cause us to sit on the sofa or crawl into bed and feel even worse for our self and make matters worse. Or we can get out the door, we can stand up and say, “Even though I don’t feel like it right now, I know, I remember, because I’ve told myself at other times when I’m feeling good, that these are the types of things that work for me.” Why just this morning I drove my kids to school and it seemed like the drivers were all conspiring against me today. You ever had one of those days? Somebody ran a red light and kind of cut me off and there are a lot of four-way stops here in San Francisco and people go out of turn, and there was a truck who almost drove right into me going around a corner this morning that didn’t see me at all. And then I got home and there was a big truck parked in front of my driveway, so I had to get out of the car and ask him to move his truck. And I got home and I thought, “Wow, my energy must be in a real funk because I am attracting all sorts of negative things into my life. I’m noticing the negative. And so I thought I need an emergency immediate self-correcting episode. I need to do something now. So I sat down in my office, I turned on the heater and set the environment so that it was really comfortable, and I meditated. I dropped inside, and I thought about how I was feeling, and I thought about how I would like to feel instead. And I just sat with it and let the feeling of light come in. And I noticed, it was almost like there were times when I kind of took a wrung a down below all those thoughts and worries that were going around in my head where my attention had somehow gone accidentally that was causing the problem. And after about ten or fifteen minutes of this, and really just allowing the light, allowing positive energy to come in, whatever it would be for you, I don’t know what you want to call it, for me I think of it as a spirit or light or positive energy, and it turned my day around. I got up from there, I knew when it was time to get up, I just felt better, and I felt, “Wow, what a beautiful day it really is. I’m, my intent is to really enjoy this day.” And I even had an inspiration, I thought, “You know what I want to do? I want to be one of those people who helps people who are in a funk.” Maybe that’s in fact exactly what I do. I love that. To be the person who sees through whatever negative vibe someone might be in and does something to help them, to give them a hand, to help them come out of it. Now that might be by giving somebody a compliment, a stranger. I might go up to a stranger on the street and say, “Wow, that color looks so beautiful on you.” I did that once. I was sitting in a restaurant, ironically it was a Chinese restaurant, and the woman who was straight in my view was wearing this beautiful blue sweater and she had eyes and the sweater just matched her complexion, matched her eyes, looked so lovely on her, and it was a big effort ‘cause I’m kind of shy believe it or not, but I went up to her, I said, “I’m going to do this”, I went up to her and I said, “You know what? I just wanted to let you know that that color looks so beautiful on you. I’ve been sitting here admiring it and noticing how nice it looks on you.” And she looked at me and she smiled and she said, “Wow, you’ve just made my day.” Now that was so simple and easy to do. Didn’t cost me a thing. And yet what a difference it made. So I resolve for today that that’s what I’m going to do, my intention is to do that kind of thing, to be the hand that reaches out to people who are in the state that I was in on the drive this morning, and thank God I had a safe drive and got my kids to school safely, but the person who reaches out a hand and offers, may not always be accepted, but I want to be the one out there offering my hand to you wherever you are, so that you can turn around your day, so that you can let the light in, so that you can go on that walk and listen to this show and do whatever it is that’s going to put you in the circumstances for turn around. So what’s your intent for this episode? Go ahead and set it now. You know mine. To end the weight struggle and replace it with peace, freedom, joy and fun. So lets turn our attention back on to plateaus. But first, it’s time for us to take a break to support our sponsors. This is Renee Stephens and you’re listening to Inside Out Weight Loss on Personal Life Media.

Renee Stephens: We’re back now. It’s time to talk more about plateaus. We’ve been on a roll the last few episodes discussing the once dreaded, now appreciated plateau. I wonder, will today be the day that you graduate to gratitude for plateaus? Remember that plateaus. Remember plateaus are maintaining a weight that’s lower than it has been recently. If you’re at a plateau it means you’ve lost weight. Or as one clever member of the Yahoo group said, “You’ve found thin”. I know what you’re thinking, it’s not thin enough because rather than comparing yourself to how you used to be in the recent past, you’re comparing yourself to how you want to be in perhaps the near or perhaps the distant future. You’re comparing yourself to some sort of ideal, some sort of you who you may not have ever actually been. That’s an excellent technique for feeling miserable. Now lets make a distinction here. You can use your wonderful self, not your perfect self, important difference here, but your wonderful self, your evolving self who has somehow already solved the issue at hand for you, who has somehow already figured out how to be easily and naturally slender, you can use that as a resource, as someone to guide you. But in terms of comparing ourselves, if we must compare ourselves, and I know we must, we just can’t help ourselves but find somebody or someone to compare ourselves to, do what the Dalai Lama says. What the Dalai Lama says in his book on happiness is make sure you compare yourself to the people against whom you’re going to compare yourself and feel good. It’s very simple. The reality is that in this world there is always somebody better, thinner, richer, more attractive, stronger, yada, yada, yada. There’s always somebody above us and always a lot of people below us. So we get a choice. And if you want to motivate yourself, which is in theory often the intent or the idea behind comparing ourselves to other people who are more successful, if you want to motivate yourself to be better, just notice how it works out for you when you compare yourself to someone or an ideal, a perfect ideal that’s unachievable. Or maybe one of those magazine people who have the, for men it’s the washboard abs, or for women, they’re just super skinny with the bone structure of something created by Michelangelo. This is not real. If you were to talk to the people who do those photographs you’d find out that an awful lot of editing goes on in those photos, at the computer before they ever hit the magazine cover. They’re not real people. So, if you want to make yourself feel good…And why would you want to make yourself feel good? Well number one because, well heck, it feels good. And number two, because it attracts more good things into your life and will even motivate you to do more things that make you feel good. So if you want to make yourself feel good, appreciate how far you’ve come. Appreciate the fact when you reach that plateau that you are in fact thinner, slimmer, healthier than you were just a recent time ago. And this good feeling guaranteed, this good feeling will propel you forward. So a plateau means that you have found thinner. Beautiful. We’ve also discussed in the last couple of episodes two plateau antidotes. Celebrating our success and finding out what there is to learn in this place. Last episode we began to discuss the siclicle nature of change, that change happens in ways. In fact, everything in nature grows in ways. Think of the rings on a tree. The rings on a tree exist because trees grow in the spring and summer, and in the fall and the winter they consolidate. And so, growth happens in spurts. Have you ever watched someone grow? Perhaps you remember your own growth, that you would have growth spurts followed by a long time of being the same and then all of a sudden you’d shoot up. It’s the same in nature. And it’s the same with evolutionary progress, it’s the same with weight loss. It happens in spurts. Remember that wavy line pattern, the wave pattern that we talked about last episode, where the troughs are critical to your success. In fact, even though we like to think that we can get to where we’re going in a straight line as the crow flies, the truth is that the only way, yes the only way to the next crest, the only way that the tree becomes taller and stronger, the only way to the next breakthrough is through the trough. The only way to the next spring is through the fall and winter, the trough, the place between the waves makes the next wave possible, just as there would be no spring without winter. Here are some ways to look at plateaus: they’re reminders to enjoy the present. They’re practice for having a stable weight. They’re a reminder to focus on behaving in a naturally slender way for the sake of it. This is important. Behaving in a naturally slender way for the sake of it, because simply why, it creates more good feelings more of the time. That’s it. I was having a conversation with one of my clients recently over email and she was saying, “You know, I just, I want to have my treats and I’m so concerned that I’ll never be able to have treats again.” And I said, “No, no, no.” This method, this plan, the Inside Out Weight Loss plan, is not about never having a treat again. It’s about eating in such a way that you create more good feelings more of the time, that you set yourself up to feel better longer. That’s it. And so your food choices, whatever the heck they are, are designed to do that. Now you may find, as many of my clients have and as I have, that in fact healthy food really does that. It does that a lot better than unhealthy food because unhealthy food tends to give you a burst, a spike for at least 60 seconds, while the foods in your mouth, maybe a little longer if there’s sugar or caffeine or artificial something-something involved, right? But then it gives you a crash. Everything that it gives you in that spike it takes away two, three X in the coming hours and in the coming weeks and months and years while you’re carrying it around for you. Did you know that if you’re overweight you’re carrying around the excess junk food that you ate a year ago? Yuck! So what we want is to eat foods that make us feel the best over time. Now you may decide to have something that is sweet or not especially healthy, I do that from time to time. But you’re probably over time going to want to balance that out by choosing foods that make you feel better over time. A client I walked through the naturally slender eating strategy yesterday, a new client at an intake session, she went through it and she was astounded to discover that the first item that popped in her mind when she thought about food all of the sudden turned into things like salad, things like a snack of a hard boiled egg and a banana instead of cheese and crackers which she used to like. What’s that about? And it turns out after walking through the strategies, that she thought, “You know, I’d rather have the snack of the egg and the banana in the afternoon when I’m hungry because that’s going to just put me in the exact right hungry spot so I can really enjoy my dinner with my family.” That’s taking a view of maximizing the pleasure, the most pleasure, over the most time.  So remember, plateaus are your body getting ready to drop more weight. They’re your body practicing a stable weight. They’re your body getting ready to go to the next level. Give it a chance. Take advantage of the situation to learn what there is to learn here. This is a rich and full experience for you. That brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present. Here at Personal Life Media we want to know who you are so we can make sure this programming is right for you. Please go to the blog at, and click on the link to take the listeners survey to tell us about yourself. It’ll allow us to track the sponsors who are critical to the availability of this show. Give us five minutes of your time and get back your investment many, many times over with Inside Out Weight Loss and the positive ripple effects in your life. On another note, for iTunes subscribers it’s important to know that iTunes will periodically unsubscribe you to this podcast. 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