As someone that has spent over seven years trying to lose between 350 and 400 pounds of fat, I have some experience with the dreaded stall. I’ve also been given hundreds of pieces of advice for breaking through the stall and continuing on with weight loss.
I’ve also been give hundreds of reasons why I experienced them. Now that I’ve lost over 270 pounds, over a period of 7 years, I get asked about stalls all the time. And, while I can give you advice on how to “break through” or “get past” them, I’m going to tell you my top 5 reasons why you should embrace them…like I do.
- Stalls Teach Patience
- Stalls Teach Maintenance
- Stalls Teach Perspective
- Stalls Teach Self Evaluation
- Stalls Teach Endurance
My stalls have lasted anywhere from two weeks to six months, but I’ve learned to develop more patience with each of them. Most overweight people have spent years gaining pounds of fat and losing pounds of fat. In my case, it took me over 25 years to put on all that fat. If we could all drop all that fat overnight, we’d be more likely to gain it all back, as we’d not be able to view or see any of the consequences of having a long-term fat gain.
This is one of my favorite lessons. A stall gives each of us confidence that we well be able to maintain our fat loss for extended periods of time. Each one of us is surrounded by people, and the press, telling us that we’ll never be able to maintain the fat loss, and maintain our newly attained health. And, stalls teach us that they are wrong.
Stalls give us the opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come in our journeys to better health. They give us the opportunity to adjust to the new “us.”
If we all lost easily, and never had to think about it, we’d all feel like we had it mastered. But, the stall gives us the opportunity to reflect on our latest journey. It gives us the opportunity to evaluate things we’ve done correctly, and places where we’ve been sloppy. It’s like a vacation from the stress of change, where we can relax and look at our journeys from another perspective.
We often forget that we must go on, after we’ve lost all the fat. Plateaus give us the opportunity to develop the tools for daily living, they allow us to endure for years to come. After we lose all the fat, we will have to continue our journey of good health, and each stall gives us the opportunity to evaluate our mindset, our toolset, and our commitment for continuing the journey. We all have long journeys, too. And we need time to prepare for the daily trips that make the long journey so memorable and worth it.
So, you can continue to fret and dread and worry about the stalls, as I do from time to time, or you can learn from them.
But, yeah, the learning thing is better.