i want a donut

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Let’s get one thing straight here: I’m not looking at weight loss forums or anything like that. I’m not saying I never have (there was a period of time in college when I was actually pretty overweight to the point of it being kind of depressing, so yeah, I might have dabbled then), but I’m not now. I’m doing this the good ol’ fashioned way: on my own, with no help whatsoever, all while bottling up my emotions and stress-eating carrot sticks in the dark of night. But I digress. From my brief foray into forums, a plateau, as I understand it, is when the success rate in terms of weight loss/general visible results kind of drops off for no particular reason other than that your body is catching up and getting used to all of the work that you’ve been doing. Well, y’all, I think I’m there.

(Related: Why It’s Okay to Struggle With ‘Grandma Syndrome’ When You’re in Your 20s)

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know if it’s a plateau brought on by lack of variety in my process or the fact that in the past week, I ate my weight in fried food at the North Carolina State Fair and definitely snarfed down my fair share of stuffed cheesy bread while marathoning Halloween Baking Championship on Food Network, all while not being able to go to the gym due to general exhaustion and work commitments, but I think it’s the former. I haven’t really noticed any significant changes in the past few weeks—everything, while certainly better than before, pretty much looks and feels exactly the same. And honestly, it’s insanely frustrating.

I should be used to this by now; as you all know, I’ve been through this kind of weight-loss/health-related experience before in college, and I went through the same experience of having my progress kind of drop off after a little while. I somehow found it less discouraging then—perhaps it had something to do with my mom’s kind of hands-on involvement or the fact that I knew that I would always have time to go to the gym once classes let out by 2:45.

But now, something feels different. I’m more upset with myself that things aren’t moving as quickly, and I’m frustrated that I can’t do anything about the fact that there aren’t more than 24 hours in a day and that I need to spend at least eight of those hours sleeping if I even have a prayer of being a functional human the next day. I know I won’t push myself to any extremes in terms of diet or exercise, but the continued lack of progress is really taking an emotional toll.

andy

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I guess this week’s column is more of a diary than anything else, because quite frankly, I don’t feel as though I can offer advice on a subject that I’m dealing with (probably poorly) on my own, so I guess this is where I should thank you all for dealing with my emotional dump. And normally, I hate the whole “talking through my feelings” deal, but staring longingly at other people’s pizza hasn’t really been working for me.

Interestingly enough, I don’t think the plateau thing really bothered me until last night, when I started trying on outfits in preparation for my comic book character costume for Halloween. It’s not that I didn’t like the way I looked in the outfits I tried on—in fact, for the first time, I felt like I could actually pull off a crop top. Rather, I almost felt like, despite the fact that I was generally pretty pleased, that I could’ve done more in preparation, if only my body hadn’t decided to start fighting back against my efforts to look and feel the way I want. Perhaps that has more to do with the societal pressure that all women feel to be ~*s3xy*~ for Halloween, but I can’t always separate what’s my fault and what just is when it comes to the way I look. I’ve had too many body image issues in the past for that to really be possible.

So this is where you come in. Have any of you dealt with a weight-loss plateau before? If so, what did you do to push through it? Is there anything in particular that you found worked best, either physically or emotionally? Seriously, any and all advice is welcome. Leave your best notes in the comments!