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. :^)