I can’t begin to tell you how many of you I’ve had in my office literally sobbing your eyes out because you’re doing everything right and you were losing weight, but weight loss stopped. It’s a horrible feeling to feel like you’re “failing” at weight loss. Things were going great – the pounds were steadily coming off and then all of a sudden everything stopped moving. A few weeks went by and things kept not moving. Eek! This is when people freak out.
I want you to take a deep breath, and relax. You are doing awesome. AWESOME. This is totally normal. It’s just that your plan for how things are going to go and your body’s plan for how things are going to go are two really different things, and they have to be because your body’s number one priority is keeping you alive. Believe me, that’s a really good thing.
Losing weight is not just a matter of digesting a few fat cells for your body. It’s a big deal! Say you lose 15 pounds. For the “average” person (arbitrarily picking 150 lbs as average) that’s 10% of their body weight.
Weight Loss Stopped – What Is Really Happening?
Take a look around your living room or your office or wherever you happen to be sitting right now and picture taking 1/10th (that’s 10%) of the stuff out. So if there are 10 pictures on the wall, take out one. If there are 10 pieces of furniture, take one out. For every 10 books, decorative items, pillows, etc… take out one. So, for everything in the room, for every 10 pieces of everything, one piece has to go. Seriously. Once you’ve done that take a look around. If your house is anything like mine, taking out 10% of everything makes it look like a gap-toothed jack-o-lantern.
After I take 10% of everything out of the room, then I have to take some time to re-organize. I’ve got to move stuff around and sort through what’s left to make the room work again. Your body has to do the exact same thing with weight loss – it’s got to re-organize. So if weight loss stopped it’s probably because your body has a bigger priority at this moment. Did you know every pound of extra fat has about a mile of extra blood vessels supplying it? Eek! Your body has to do something with all of that too, because frankly in the grand scheme of things it’s more important to circulate your blood effectively than it is to meet your weight loss goals.
Losing weight isn’t a quick and easy process for your body – it’s actually tremendously hard work and takes a lot of shifting of hormones, blood vessels, musculoskeletal support, inflammatory levels and toxins. Weight loss in real-life is different from what you see on TV and if you don’t remember about that then read through this to remind yourself. If you’re hitting a plateau in your weight loss, and weight loss stopped suddenly, that is completely okay. In fact, it’s great! It means that you have lost enough that your body needs to move stuff around so just let it happen and keep doing what you’re supposed to be doing. The weight loss will start again – your body just needs to take a minute to collect itself.
So, It’s Normal That Weight Loss Stopped – How Long Until It’s A Problem?
If after 6 weeks you’re still stalled out, then talk to your practitioner or whoever you are working with to lose the weight. In that case there may be something blocking you like a hormone issue, a detox issue or a food sensitivity – if you aren’t familiar with weight loss blockers take a look at this. But seriously let your body have six weeks before you freak out and every day keep reminding yourself that your body is a beautiful thing that is doing it’s best every day to keep you alive. Your body wants you to be happy and healthy and whole. It’s changing everything in the background so that you can be healthy and wonderful and then move on to the next phase of weight loss.
The bottom line is: go easy on your body. Go easy on yourself. Breathe and let this whole process unfold the way it’s going to – it doesn’t have to look exactly like you thought it would for it to be going exactly right. Sure, weight loss stopped – now thank your body for it because it’s busy keeping you alive. Your body is making sure your heart, lungs, hormones, neurotransmitters and everything else are keeping up with the process. Your body is taking care of a whole lot of stuff that keeps you moving on a daily basis and it’s really important to honor that process and allow your body a little room when it needs to reorganize the furniture.