Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mario Lopez Eating Weeks 4 and 5

I'll share some happy news first.

Somehow, despite many and significant slip-ups in the last two weeks (described below), I weighed in this morning on three different scales as NOT SO MUCH WORSE than the last time I weighed in two weeks ago.

Home scale=128.4 (post-run, pre-breakfast) and 21.8% body fat (the body fat was actually down)
Gym scale=129.8 (post-breakfast); no BF measure, but Chris, my trainer, is going to do it again next week
Special weigh-in for our "Maintain, Don't Gain, Over the Holidays" team at work=129.6

I have this man to thank (or at least his ghost-writers and personal chefs) for the Extra Lean Family eating plan:

So now for the bad and the ugly.....

Here's what happened in Weeks 4 and 5 that caused a bit of a breakdown in the good habits:
  • We got (oh, the horror) invited out to eat a couple of times by friends. Yeah, I know...first-world problem. But I've come to believe that restaurant food--more than any single food group, even sugar--is the devil when it comes to getting and staying lean. I do believe at some point that I will get better at not inhaling my entire plate of tasty tempting restaurant fare (in these cases, it was a brew pub twice and an organic grocery deli once)--but I am not there yet. So it's best for me just to avoid restaurants altogether. When someone invites your whole family out, though, what are you gonna do? Say no and look like a food prude? Fortunately, this doesn't happen very often.
  • Halloween. Peanut butter cups.The work candy trough. And cold weather. Hot chocolate cravings. 'Nuff said.
  • Insomnia. Yes, it's really true. The carb cravings came back after last Tuesday's bad night.
  • Portion distortion. All the other stuff aside, I found myself going back for seconds more than I was in the first three weeks. Gotta stop that. I just like to eat. What can I say? I wish it weren't so fun for me.
Fortunately, much of this is over for a couple of weeks (until the temptations of Thanksgiving week and a couple of family birthdays arrive). And returning to good news, we have stuck by the basic tenets of the Mario plan (meals planned in advance, most of the shopping done in one fell swoop on the weekend) even amid all the slip-ups.

There's still something that's a mystery to me, but it probably always will be. Why do plateaus happen where they do? My weight history since my kids were conceived looks something like this:

April 2006: twins conceived; weight 125
June 2006: height of morning sickness; weight 125
August 2006: morning sickness a distant memory; appetite HUGE; weight 145
November 2006: appetite waning, but weight gain continuing; weight 170
Dec. 8, 2006: twins born; weight before C-section--175; weight after C-section--150
Dec. 8, 2007: twins one; weight around 145; yeah, that baby weight didn't come off despite a year of breastfeeding/pumping
Dec. 8, 2008: twins two; weight about 137; I started running again for real that year and did a half in the fall
Dec. 8, 2009: twins three; weight back above 140; less running, more eating; blame potty-training and bed-wetting? or my own lack of willpower?
Dec. 8, 2010: twins four; weight between 137 and 145; the plateau getting old; I had started running again and started my Boston quest
June 2011: weight 134; some pounds finally came off as I ramped up for another half
September 2011: weight 128; more pounds came off post-Top of Utah Marathon
Right now, Nov 1, 2011 (twins almost 5): weight 129; thanks Mario Lopez!

So it took me almost five years to get back to the vicinity of my pre-pregnancy weight. Much of that time was sitting in a huge plateau in the five-pound range between 137 and 142. Now I think I might be sitting in another plateau at around 129-ish.

Why do these plateaus occur where they do? Why was it so hard to break through 137, and yet when I did I lost nearly 10 pounds? What will it take to break through this one?

Don't get me wrong. I could be happy and healthy for the rest of my days at 128 or 129 pounds. But I feel that 120 would be better for my running. We'll have to see what happens with some returned fidelity to the Mario plan. Because of course we're going to stick with it. I like the results. My husband likes that it's actually inspiring me to cook. :^)


  1. Around these parts (I think it is a county defined law) restaurants that have 3 or more establishments are required to put their calorie counts on the menu. Oh my goodness -- that is so eye opening. Stuff you think is low fat (salads) are not. But it does make choosing what to eat a bit easier as it because it is right there in the menu.

    Not so sure about the plateaus and what causes them at all. However, for me, aging changed the game as well -- I did a bit of a jump weight wise in mid 30's then again at early 40's and now in late 40's I carry weight so different than I used to -- weird. And to stay at a weight I like, I have to just watch what I eat and that just plain sucks. Thank goodness I found running when I did -- it really helps.

  2. I have terrible portion distortion. On a good note, I'm an incredibly slow eater, so that helps. But portions? FAIL!

  3. I have portion distortion and I eat FAST! Not helpful at all so that by the time my brain is telling me I am full, I am really stuffed. I try to eat slower, but years of training to eat fast are hard to undo!

  4. I totally hear you on the eating out thing. When I am really focusing on eating out (like now) I just hate when we get invited out. But in the end you just have to do the best you can and make the best possible choice. That's one thing I love about Weight Watchers, many of the "points" are available on line so if it is on line I can plan in advance what I'm going to eat and what's going to fit into my plan. Congrats on the successful weight loss!!

  5. You've done amazingly well!!! GOOD JOB!!!!! I had to laugh- your 125 is, well, totally unreachable for me!!! I am lucky to reach 145 (true, I am 5'9.5'' but still it seems like a lot of weight). You've achieved a lot since your little ones were born!! I have gained and lost 100 lbs with EACH of my kids (yeah, that's 300 lbs. gained and lost in 8 years). Nice.

  6. I absolutely could live off of peanut butter cups. Seriously.

    You have done such a great job! You are very conscious of what you eat and it shows, good for you.

    I agree, eating out can be the kiss of death. You just don't know what you are eating or how many calories you are intaking or how much hidden fat (a.k.a butter and other additives) you are ingesting. I am with you on avoiding it, but yes, it is hard to say no to a family outing...ugh. Plus you have to treat yourself once in a while.

  7. I believe I probably ate more candy then I handed out yesterday....not good. I have managed not to eat any today.

    Your doing great!

  8. I have hit a plateau with my weight, too, and it's about 20 lbs over where you are and it's driving me mental!! I love to eat, too, and throw in a little insomnia and I'm tired all day and I end up eating all day to help me stay awake. I know my pitfalls, being tired is at the top of the list....it is so frustrating. I truly think our bodies like to be a certain weights and getting it to budge is so difficult!

    I have gotten a little happy with my latest Cooking Light magazine the past week and a half. My twins told me tonight when I got home and had pre-made some sloppy Joes, "Can you make normal food again?" Bahahaha. Um, no!

    I love to go out to dinner, especially Mexican. Wanna go out to eat next week!!! ;)

  9. sooooo a long time ago, I wanted to post about fueling for long runs and I couldn't due to a blogger error!
    Anyways, I totally think there's some value to not constantly eating Gus during slow long runs and teaching your body to run on lower fuel. Plus...sometimes gu isn't that tasty :).

  10. Yep, it's all about set point and I think its so hard to reset in that respect. You're doing awesome though, covering all your bases. I agree, restaurants are the devil. Thankfully I don't get out much.
    Have to admit Mario looks pretty darn good!

  11. The tricky part of weight loss is your body's set point, as an above poster mentioned. It's so, so, so hard to reset that. You're doing ALL the right things right now, so try to (1) get rest, (2) watch the food intake (I'm so guilty of Halloween candy consumption right now), and (3) keep running.

    And I heart Mario Lopez.

    That is all.

  12. You are inspiring me to go get this cook book. I hate, yes hate, to cook. So maybe this will help?! Plus LOVE Mario - he's running the NYC Marathon on Sunday! Hope I get a glimpse of him :)

  13. I can't say no to peanut butter cups either!! I hate plateaus and I feel like I keep hitting them while trying to lose weight. I think our bodies have weights that they like to be and mostly it isn't where we want to be. So very frustrating especially when you are working so hard. I have found that no matter how much I exercise my weight seems to be controlled by what I eat. This is unfortunate because I love to exercise but I also love to eat. I just want to be able to exercise hard and not worry about what I eat, but alas that is not how my body works! I think it is great you are back to pre-pregnancy weight!

  14. You are doing so great! It's weird...when I'm training at shorter distances, the weight seems to fly off. Now that I'm working for a longer distance, my body seems to be retaining EVERYTHING that goes into it, no matter how many miles I run (it doesn't help that I'm hungry all the time). It can be very frustrating.

  15. I am totally digging this post today, as I am still in a candy stupor. I honed in on the nursing part for some reason...I BFd my three kids too, and never lost all the weight until I was done with that. Cracked up over your cooking inspiration! :)

  16. I read a scientific study on the plateau phenomenon...but it was during pregnancy and I've already forgotten what it said. I'm going to go look for it and try to get back to you. Meanwhile, his mullet scares me off of eating (JK, Slater I <3 you!). You sound like you are in great health, so good job! Also, thanks for your comment earlier, it helped.

  17. I have issues with eating out but for different reasons, usually I cannot find anything that I can have without getting sick so I now bring food with me in my purse in ziploc bags and I order a plain salad and dump everything in it
    that way my family gets to still have a "normal" life and eat out once in a while!