Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Plateau

Drive for any distance in Wyoming and you will encounter some of the most beautiful geographical structures ever seen called plateaus.  A rolling high flat table like structure, these formations have been created by ages of wind and rain and snow erosion.   They make up the vistas of the west, breathtaking in their breadth and glorious in their beauty.  My personal favorite of these structures sits about 20 miles from my hometown.  Its is called the Bigelow Bench a ridge that runs right over the top of the Continental Divide.  From the top you can see for 40 miles in any direction...in the distance vista you can see both the snow capped Uinta Mountains and the magnificent Wind River Range.  

There are plateaus and there are plateaus.  From the magnificent to the frustrating.  Yep you've guessed it, I've hit the dreaded weight plateau and that is a plateau I could live without.  

After 2 months of quick 40 pound weight loss I'm a little stuck.  I'm making the same food choices, exercising as much, if not a little bit more, but each pound is painstakingly slow to come off now.  It's at this point when the bounce in your step and the glitter in your eye from your huge successes begin to fade a little. When the process becomes egregious and more like work.  If you're not very careful and understand this part of the process it can really set you back. 

I've had to remind myself more than once this week that this is not an overnight process.  That I'm not just losing weight, I'm trying to change my lifestyle, to be healthier and to live a better quality life.   We live in an instant gratification society and I'm as guilty as the next person of wanting what I want now, not tomorrow, not 2 months from now.  It's hard to not resort to throwing myself on the floor in a tantrum of impatience and scream and kick my feet. 

When the plateau occurs there are a number of ways that I can deal with it.  I can give up and say fuck it, I'm not working my ass off to see no results.  I can decrease my food intake.  I can exercise more.  Or, I can follow the long term investment plan. 

All of these choices come with consequences.  If I give up of course I will fail and the ultimate goal that I am trying to achieve will go unmet.   I've lost a few pounds and then I'll put it right back on with a little more to spare.  If I eat less I step onto a slippery slope of starvation diet.  That's right, I eat less and less until I'm not eating at all.  That's another kind of eating disorder that would take me from the frying pan into the fire.  I could exercise more, but I'm not sure when I could possibly do that.  I work out for an hour and a half in the morning and take at least a hour hike at night.  Not only do I not have the time but I don't want to trade one addiction for another.  There is a healthy level of exercise and then there is compunction, obsession, addiction.  That leaves the long term investment plan.  It's how I keep my financial health, so why is it not good enough to keep my physical health?  I'm not investing in tomorrow, I'm investing in the next 30 years.  My portfolio will grow over time at a nice rate of about .05% per month.  Not even Suze Orman would scoff at that.

So I'll keep driving along this plateau until eventually  I either climb into the mountains or roll down into a picturesque valley.  It won't be effortless, or fun, but it's worth it. 

In Wyoming if you drive far enough the gorgeous plateau ends.  Nothing good lasts forever, but then nothing bad does either.

If any of you are interested in may these kind of life changes I highly recommend you go to www.cathyisin.com.  This lady is great at giving you the tools necessary to make some serious progress.  

1 comment:

  1. That was a great analogy. Our society tends to make us live in the moment rather than thinking about the next five years (or 30, yikes!). Long term investments seem like an endless hike of plateaus...