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It seems that at least 50% of the posts on BariatriPal are bemoaning a stall. Daily, and sometimes hourly, I am reading about how someone ONLY lost x number of pounds and now the scale hasn't moved in ___ [fill in the blank] days/months, etc. Oh no, they write, I am a failure/unique/my surgery didn't work/life is not fair, ... Why am I in a stall?

I know I am exaggerating but I think you get the idea.

Guess what? STALLS are a NORMAL part of the PROCESS of losing weight. If you want to lose weight, you will stall. Not just once, but over and over. And, guess what? A stall is where your body actually does the hard work of becoming smaller. It takes a lot of work and energy to dismantle a structure that has been holding up, in some cases, hundreds of pounds.

For those who think they have to DO something to somehow "break a stall" (in my opinion, you do not break a stall, you just ride them out), here is my response:

What can you do to "break" a stall?

1) STAY OFF THE SCALE

Relax and stay off the scale if it bothers you so much. Weigh no more than once a week, or even less often. Weighing only at your doctor's appointments early in the process is a good strategy if your mood and self-worth are dictated by the numbers on the scale.

2) PICK UP A TAPE MEASURE

In addition to using the numbers on the scale to measure your progress, take your measurements. Inches lost are also a great way to see physical progress when the scale isn't moving. Most people see the biggest physical changes in their body when the scale seems stuck.

3) TRACK YOUR Protein AND Water AND MEET OR EXCEED YOUR PROTEIN AND WATER GOAL EVERY DAY

As long as you are getting in all your protein and water and following your NUT and surgeon's instructions, you are doing what you are supposed to do.

If you aren't getting in all your protein and water, then increasing your protein and water is something you can do (and should be doing anyway whether or not you are in a stall).

4) EXERCISE

If you aren't exercising, then you can exercise (and should be whether or not you are in a stall). You can start slowly by walking or even moving more around the house. Exercising will help you feel better, tone your skin and build fat-burning muscle.

5) MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR NUT

If you are unsure or unclear about what you are supposed to be, or should not be eating, then make an appointment with your NUT (which you should be doing whether or not you are in a stall).

6) REASSESS AND REEVALUATE

About the only good result I see that comes from complaining about a stall is when you take an honest look at what you are doing and realign with the program recommended by your NUT and surgeon. Have you started eating more outside of your plan? Are you restricting calories? Are you eating enough carbs and protein for your exercise? Are you taking your Vitamins? Are you eating often enough? Are you eating slowly with protein first? Sometimes, all you need to DO is go back to basics.

7) JOURNAL

One of the biggest things I have noticed from the various posts is how anxious and out-of-control some people feel when they notice a stall. Journaling can help you gain some perspective and deal with some of the emotional turmoil.

-- Write about how you are feeling about the stall and your weight loss, and surgery in general.

-- Write about why you had the surgery in the first place.

-- Write about what life was like before surgery.

-- Write about what you hope and dream about accomplishing in the future.

-- Write about your fears.

-- Write about your NSVs.

-- Make a gratitude list.

-- Make a bucket list.

-- Write a letter to your old self; write a letter to your new self.

Just write.

8) SEEK HELP

Stalls are when too many people seem to revert to old, counterproductive dieting behaviors (restricting calories, over exercising, bingeing, etc.). If this is you, then another thing you can DO is to talk to a counselor or therapist or consider joining a bariatric support group or a twelve-step group like Overeater's Anonymous.

The discomfort of being in a stall can also drive people to develop new, unhealthy coping habits or even transfer addictions. This is where you want to marshall all the resources you have available to you and use them.

The last, and most important thing you can DO is:

9) EMBRACE THE STALL

Stalls are a normal and natural part of the process.

Our bodies are complex systems and not simple machines.

Stalls go hand-in-hand with weight loss.

If you had Weight Loss Surgery, then you probably want to lose a significant amount of weight. So, get ready to embrace the many stalls you will experience as your body is transformed. It will be worth it.

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You are SOOOO right, as usual! My last "stall" lasted a couple of months, broken today. I think it is most of those who have just recently had their surgery, who talk about the stalls so much. Like you said, it is part of the whole thing. And lest we forget, it is not unusual to "regain" a few pounds here and there on our path. Just the body shifting around, getting used to the new program. It's best to take things one day at a time, and as we follow our individual programs, it is important to remember that everyone is different, and we each, independently, will lose in our own way, at our own time. Your wisdom, Inner Surfer Girl, is spot on!!!! Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Thank you for that post.

One thing I would add is if your weight loss has slowed down, but you're still losing, it's not a stall...

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I'm not bemoaning the stall; I know it's part of the journey. HOWEVER, I would like to know from others at what point they stalled and how long their stalls lasted. And yes, I'm aware that everyone is different, but it's helpful to me to hear about the experiences of others.

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Great post! I have discovered that I have a cycle of losing really well for around 2 weeks and then 2 weeks or so of no weight loss. I have had to remind myself a few times to take a deep breath and just keep doing what I'm doing and not go crazy and try something radical to get the weight loss going again. It all evens out.

And I'd rather have a stall than a gain any day. :-)

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EXCELLENT post! Spot on!

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Excellent post! I think the hardest part about a stall, if you've been doing everything right, is accepting that it's out of your control and letting go.

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I'm not bemoaning the stall; I know it's part of the journey. HOWEVER, I would like to know from others at what point they stalled and how long their stalls lasted. And yes, I'm aware that everyone is different, but it's helpful to me to hear about the experiences of others.

I understand the desire to know about other people's experiences, but I think one of the dangers of this is the assumption that we can somehow control results.

I have come to understand that the only thing I can control are the inputs. And even then, trying to manipulate the inputs (by restricting calories, over exercising, etc.) can do more harm than good.

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Excellent post! I think the hardest part about a stall, if you've been doing everything right, is accepting that it's out of your control and letting go.

I agree. I think learning to let go has been the biggest struggle and one of the main lessons of my first 50 years.

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Great advice. Sometimes we want all the weight off so bad, that we don't acknowledge and appreciate the weight that has come off.

I am thankful to be down 74 pounds. And I am earning to change how I communicate that. Over the weekend my cousin asked how much I had lost? My response was I have lost about 70 pounds but I still have 100 more to lose!

I will stop discounting my sucess today. The next time someone asks my answer will be "I have lost over 70 pounds and I look and feel great!" Period. Because that is the truth.

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Great advice. Sometimes we want all the weight off so bad, that we don't acknowledge and appreciate the weight that has come off.

I am thankful to be down 74 pounds. And I am earning to change how I communicate that. Over the weekend my cousin asked how much I had lost? My response was I have lost about 70 pounds but I still have 100 more to lose!

I will stop discounting my sucess today. The next time someone asks my answer will be "I have lost over 70 pounds and I look and feel great!" Period. Because that is the truth.

I made a decision at my first post-op follow-up appointment not to share numbers with people. I told my family that I wouldn't be sharing that information so they now know not to even ask that question.

They can see my progress and I am pretty open and frank about every thing else. The number on the scale is no one else's business, and really isn't even mine.

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Excellent post! Thank you for the reminders and encouragement!!!

My current stall has lasted about 4 months so I'm just riding the wave and doing what I know I should be doing.

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I think one of the hardest things about a stall, as I'm in one right now, is before my sleeve, this is typically when I would have thrown my hands up, and gone back to my old habits. If I'm not seeing progress, what's the point? I know that things have changed for me and I have to continue following the plan in order for the sleeve to work, but it is still frustrating, especially when the number on the scale increases.

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