Thursday, February 24, 2011


I am sad to report that my weight loss has hit a serious roadblock.  On February 9, I weighed in for my support group at 187 pounds.  I was doing great on my goal of weighing 185 by March 10.  The following weekend, we took a family trip and I ate heartily throughout the weekend, but I still maintained some sense of decorum.  I had a few salads with my meals and I did full workouts on Friday and Saturday.  When we returned, I knew I had a lot of work to do to catch up, and I did; I weighed in at 187 on February 16.  I was happy with the result, but I got right back to work.  All week long, I maintained my diet, even controlling myself when we went out to eat with friends over the weekend and substituting replacement shakes for a couple of lunches.  I ran 5 miles on Thursday, lifted weights, did my ab workout and walked 2 miles on Friday, ran 7 miles on Saturday, swam 0.6 miles on Sunday, lifted/abs/walk on Monday, and ran another 5 miles on Tuesday.  I thought for sure I would have a good 1 or 2 pound loss.  NOPE!  I weighed in at 187 again on February 23.  I was pissed!  Then yesterday, I lifted weights, did my ab workout, and walked 2 miles on my lunch break.  I ate 3 sensible meals and 2 nutritious snacks.  I did not have a brownie after the kids went to bed, and when I got on the scale this morning I weighed 189 pounds, up 2 pounds from the day before!  What the hell!  That would mean that I consumed 7000 calories more than I burned.  I haven't eaten more than 2000 calories in a day for more than 3 months.

I usually splurge a little over the weekend, and we have a neighborhood get-together on Friday, but I am freaking out about eating anything right now.  I was so desparate that I actually researched some diet pills yesterday.  Don't worry, I am not going to actually take any; that would not be healthy and those things are freaking expensive.

I have flirted with the excuse that I am building muscle, which weighs more than fat.  And I know that my weight training is certainly working to improve my body composition, but I remember watching an episode of the Biggest Loser where somebody tried to use that excuse.  The trainers about lost their minds yelling at the contestant.  They said that there is no way a person can gain muscle that quickly; that it takes months to build a pound of muscle.  So what am I supposed to think?  I know the scale does not lie, and that the only way to lose wieght is to burn more calories than you take in.  But I swear on my life that I have not been cheating on my diet, and I am working my butt of with my fitness, so I am certainly at a loss for a solution and/or reason.

I want to weigh 185 by March 10 and I want to weigh 175 by June 25.  Before I can meet these goals I have got to figure out how to keep losing weight.  I hope that all of this is simply some sort of metabolic plateau that I can break through this week.

I did manage to achieve a huge milestone for myself.  I have logged more than 100 miles running since January 2 of this year.  Meaning, in 2 months, I have acheived 20% of my goal of running 500 miles in 2011. Yippee!


  1. lots of thoughts here, and support flowing through the keyboard. Anyone on a weight loss journey has been through this, and it's times like these I wish we could sit down and have a chat.
    1. Biggest Loser is an entertainment show. They lose weight way too rapidly and rarely keep it all off, unless they continue to burn 6000 calories per day on 1200 calories of food.
    2. You may not be eating enough. If you aren't fueling your body for exercise then your body will burn your muscle for fuel. So, it looks like you're losing weight on the scale, but it is lean mass that you're losing. You hit a plateau and even gain weight, because lean mass burns calories 24 hours a day. The less you have of it, the less you are able to burn when you're not working out.
    3. Have you tried a website that supports this? Take a look at, where there's a network of people just like you (and me), it will account for extra calories that you need when you workout. Check it out.
    In the meantime, don't get discouraged. You're doing an amazing job, and you're in the best physical shape ever. don't forget that.

  2. I should eat more food?! Please tell me more!!!
    Seriously. I am going to call you tonight.

  3. Also, I would recommend measuring things other than your weight at this point. You've lost a lot of weight and while I don't remember exactly how tall you are (taller than me, I think) you seem to be at a fairly healthy weight. You may be at (or close to) the point where you just want to tweak your body comp.

    Measure your body fat and track that along with your weight. That will give you a better idea of how fit you are. I measure both. I'm the heaviest I've ever been in my life right now (182) but I'm close to where I want to be body fat wise (14%, ideally I'd like to be at 11 or 12%).

  4. How do you measure your body fat? I used a BMI calculator online and it said that i was a 26.2 BMI. Good, but i needed to weigh about 175 to be in the healthy range. I question how accurate this is since I thought that you had to have physical measurements to calculate your BMI. Obviously, my education on these health items is lacking.

  5. Brian,

    i am not a fan of measuring BMI. it is the easiest and quickest to measure but i believe it is very "old-fashioned". many athletes are put in the obese category and thats just ridiculous!
    you can get your body fat tested at any gym. most likely they will use a caliper (pinch test) to measure your body fat in 3 or 7 spots on your body. the most accurate way of measuring your body fat is underwater weighing, but this is very pricey.

    i second what mira and jeff have said. I also wanted you to think about some other factors:
    1. are you allowing yourself to recover? make sure you are not working out everyday and you are not killing yourself everyday.
    2. are you doing the same activities? it looks like you are cross-training which is good but after a few months your body will get used to that activity and you could hit a plateau. do something totally different. your body reacts best to change.
    3. are you changing the intensity of your workouts? again, your body reacts best to change so everytime you bike make sure its not always long duration low intensity. one day try a short ride high intensity.
    4. now that you have lost weight and most likely changed your body comp, your metabolism has changed so you should not be eating the same amount of calories you did at your previous weights. this is hard to calculate accurately. some gyms offer metabolism tests that require you to pay an extra fee and fast before the test. it can be worth it to know exactly what your body needs.
    5. what are you eating? not only should you count calories, but how much carbs, protein and fats you are consuming. if you are not getting enough protein (0.4-0.8grams of protein per lb. of body weight. 0.6g is ideal) your body will not support the muscle you are trying to build.

    i know this is a lot, so please email me or call me if you want to talk more about it. don't get frustrated. you will figure it out! i am very proud of how far you've come!

  6. BMI is "old-fashioned"?!!! I am getting old; I feel like I just heard about last week! Thank you so much for the advice. I feel like I have a lot to learn. I do pretty well with what I eat. If anything, I probably eat too much protein, but I try to be really good with eating fiber-rich carbs and 5-7 colorful fruits and veggies every day. I need to work harder on how much I eat. Exercising more frequently worked so well to lose this most recent weight, that taking any time off to recover concerns me a lot. And I fret about changing my workout activities, because I have based them on race goals as well as weight loss goals. I feel like if I changed my workouts to shock my body, I might lose some performance when it comes to racing. I am sure that these are irrational fears. Nonetheless, they are still fears that I have. Give me some time and I am sure that I will begin to incorpprate much of the advice you all have given me.