4 Mental Shifts To Make When You're Struggling To Lose Weight

Midway through my weight loss journey, I became too tethered to the number on the scale. Of course it was rewarding to see my progress week by week, but when I hit a plateau and the scale wasn't budging, I freaked out. After a few stressful weeks of doing the same things over and over, I tried some more creative and solutions that eventually helped my break through that wall. I hope these four non-traditional tips can help you overcome a weight loss plateau.

1. Look the part.

One way I got off the maddening plateau was to shop. Before you discount this as a shallow, aesthetic answer, know that I wasn't doing this to impress anyone. Rather, it was proof to myself that I was worthy of feeling good about my body.

I invested in high-quality running leggings, sneakers and bright, fun workout tops. Each item I purchased became symbolic: the fancy fabric of the running pants made my legs feel capable for the first time. I chose my new shoes knowing each step would move me closer to my goal. Suddenly, getting dressed for a workout took on a much deeper and fuller meaning. I found myself more motivated to get to the gym because I felt like an athlete.

2. Let your friends and family challenge you.

You can create a simple but powerful system of accountability at any time. My sister and I were feeling out of our fitness elements at the same time, so to hold each other accountable, we created our own 21 day "get moving" challenge. The only requirement was to move our body for 10 minutes daily, take a picture doing it and send it to the other person.

The accountability worked from day one. The moment I saw a photo message from my sister of her sweating it out, I was immediately filled with a healthy but fierce sense of competition ... I didn't miss one day of the 21 day commitment. Create your own easy, inclusive challenge with friends or family, and the plateau will start to break.

3. Lower the intensity.

Though it may sound counterintuitive, lowering the intensity of your workout can move the scales in a big way.

When I hit my weight loss plateau, I took minute to think back to the times in my life when I was my fittest and happiest self. What I remember was that it had been during a time I was workout out with my mom at an all-women's gym designed for middle aged females and I have to tell you, it was so much fun. Not only did it shake up my routine of fancy cardio classes, it helped my accept the varying beauty and shape of all women's bodies, especially mine.

I ended up enrolling in a similar type of gym again, and had the same positive, fun experience of empowerment and acceptance. In no time, by body began to respond to this positivity.

4. Be a dreamer.

I realized that my recent laser focus on weight loss and numbers was debilitating to my attitude and mindset, making me sluggish and nervous all the time. So instead of dwelling on the numbers, I instead I let my mind wander. In the process, I remembered exactly why I had decided to embark on this journey, feeling the rush of what it would be like to have an active weekend, to walk around the city with friends, to hit an outdoor yoga class with ease.

When I brought my thoughts back to where the journey had started, the reasons I was doing this, I was flooded with relief, motivation and plateau-busting mojo. Allow yourself to move away from obsession around numbers and calories to a healthy obsession over your vision.

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