Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trending Weight Loss Numbers

The one thing that I'm doing really differently on this venture is trending my weight loss numbers.  One day I found this online book called The Hacker's Diet, and it really interested me.

I've always been a big fan of keeping journals, tracking numbers and recording data.  This book was written by a computer programmer who lost an extraordinary amount of weight by doing what he does best:  recording data and interpreting the numbers.

If you look through the book you'll find a lot of charts and graphs and even formulas.  Now, I love that kind of stuff but if you're not into it then just skip to the pages that talk about trend tracking.

Trend tracking is basically taking your DAILY weight and accounting for all the "noise" that goes with it.  For example, on any given day we all know that our weight can fluctuate by POUNDS up or down.  And sometimes, we can be ANGELS and still see that scale go strangely upward and it just ruins the day!

So what this guy did was use math (moving averages) to show what was really going on.

This is the example he shows:

November  1990

Date      Day      Weight      Trend       
----      ---      ------      -----       
  1       Thu       172.5      173.5         
  2       Fri       171.5      173.3         
  3       Sat       172        173.2         
  4       Sun       171.5      _____         
  5       ___      ______      _____        
  6       ___      ______      _____       
The Date Column:  Obviously you put whatever the date is
The Day Column:  and the actual Day
Weight Column:  The weight that shows up on the SCALE
The Trend Column:

This is where it gets fun.  The first number on the Trend Column (the one without anything else in the row) is your initial starting weight.  So the first day you decide to start, step on the scale, write this number here.  Then the next day step on the scale again:  In the example above, the guy weighed 172.5 so you write that number under the WEIGHT column.

Then you do a little math.  All you do is subtract that day's weight from the previous day's trend number.

So take day 1's weight and subtract it from the Trend number above it:



Then you take the -1.1 and shift the decimal point over one place to the LEFT = -.11 and then round up.  (EXAMPLE:  if you had gotten -1.7 you would shift the number to -.17 and round to -.2)

I know it sounds complicated but hang in there.

Then you take that tiny number and subtract it from the previous day's trend:

-     .1

Oh wow.  I don't know if this makes any sense.  Then you continue from there.  Take the next day's ACTUAL scale reading (in the chart that would be 171.5) and then subtract it from previous trend number (173.5) and so on and so forth.

And I found that doing this helped with one huge thing.  I didn't freak out about those crazy numbers on the scale anymore.  If you look at the chart above at the Weight Column - you'll see those numbers just go back and forth back and forth.  But the Trend Column is just steadily decreasing. 

See, it takes out the noise.

And as long as you're doing what you're supposed to (ie:  eating right, exercising) that Trend column will just continue to decrease - even if one day you weigh more unexpectedly.  And if that Trend column starts increasing - then you know you're doing something wrong and it's time to reel it in.

I'll post a chunk of mine when I finish out the month so you can see what mine looks like.

I thought it was something worth sharing.  I started mine mid December and it takes 2 seconds to do and it COMPLETELY helps with those days when the scale just isn't showing what it should.

Because lets face it, we ALL need help on those days :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mondays: Not Always Bad

The weather outside is absolutely miserable today.  Rainy, cloudy, chillingly cold, but I was oblivious to all of that.

I weighed in today and I was down .4 lbs for the week.  And that was enough to cast sunshine and rainbows all around me.

Isn't it amazing?  One small, tiny, minute measurement had the all encompassing ability to make me insanely happy.

Well, it made me happy for the first hour of my morning.  I mean, come on!  It's rainy and it's a Monday.  A deadly combination indeed.

And if you will indulge me for a moment, I'd like to praise myself for a couple of things over the last week:

1.  I exercised 5 out of 7 days
2.  I ate out TWICE and still managed to come in under budget for each day.

Pretty good huh?

So, I am 4.6 pounds down total and I am counting the moments til I hit my first 10.

Today's eatin's:

B: breakfast calzone

Oh yes, lets talk about this for a moment.  I was coming up w/ easy, portable breakfast ideas for this week because I always eat breakfast at work.  And honestly, I was sick of eggs and the normal breakfast fare so I decided to make calzones.

Yup, regular old calzones.  I made my own whole wheat dough, my favorite pomodoro sauce and then used rotisserie chicken, cottage cheese and lowfat mozzarella to round it out.

It was my first foray into the wild world of calzone making and it was pretty successful.  I ate my first calzone this morning and it was pretty tasty.  Don't get me wrong, it was whole wheat dough so it wasn't like eating at a pizzeria but still - not bad.

S: protein bar
L: tomato soup, salad, 2 pretzels

exercise:  2+ mile run

Not bad ... for a Monday ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We're Gonna Score Tonight!

I went bowling last night and for some reason I keep thinking about Grease 2 and the bowling scene and the song they sing.

So anyway, I went bowling last night and it was exactly like Grease 2. Without warning, everyone in the room broke into a perfectly synchronized dance and started singing. It was beautiful.

Wouldn't life be a little more grand if things like that actually happened?

Ok, so it didn't happen but it WAS cosmic bowling. Does that count? You know, lights off, glow in the dark pins, disco ball.

No singing though.

Bowling is fun, but it also leads to bowling alley food and drinks.

And that's all I'm going to say about my evening ;) I started the day off well but lets just say my dinner did not consist of the Chicken Piccata I so lovingly prepared that was both tasty AND healthy.

C'est la vie.

Today's menu:

B: egg + cheese sandwich on ww bread + coffee
S: PR bar (low glycemic delicious thing i eat before i run)
L: clam chowder, cottage cheese, 1/2 grapefruit
D: i'm not sure yet - the world is my oyster

Today's exercise:
run - did I mention that I'm training for a 10k? A co-worker asked me to run one with him and while it's not a hard commitment yet I figure - why not? I trained for one ........ thinking .... thinking .... oh wow 2 years ago. And 2 months before the race I injured myself. I believe there's a post somewhere in here about that. It was my toe :( Anyway, I remember the training being hard, sweaty, intensive, hard, time consuming BUT very worthwhile. So, I'm going to try again. I have a good base - I can do a 5k so why not double it? right?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Exciting Times!

I logged into my email this morning and I received my usual weekly email from sitemeter who monitors this blog.

I usually don't even look at it because I know I've not been blogging so why would anyone be reading?!

Anyway, I did click on it and it told me that I had 11,000 visitors to my blog.


I thought it was a mistake. Nope. It wasn't. Someone found my jar of rocks entry and put it on pinterest and next thing I know -- BOOM - I've got a lot of people looking at my blog.

It made me laugh :)

Also, it reminded me I needed an update.

I'm doing extremely well. Almost scarily so. I say scarily because I'm starting week 6 and my focus is still there. I know, I know, my focus should ALWAYS be there but I tend to find that after week 4 I kind of get lazy.

Last week, I ate at maintenance all week. Not on purpose but because I think my body needed a break. It's just kind of how the numbers averaged out so that's kind of cool. But Monday was back to the grind and hopefully I will have a loss this week.

Just some numbers for you:
Since December 12, 2011, I have lost, on average, 1 pound a week.


I don't have an official WI for this week yet but I'm about 5-ish down and I'm hoping to keep w/ that one pound/week loss and hit 6 at my next WI. But really, I'm super excited for any number, even if it's .2 pounds.

(That's the lowest increment on my scale)

And finally ...

Today's Menu:

B: bacon, egg white, LF cheese sandwich on whole wheat - w/ coffee
S: LF cottage cheese and 1/2 grapefruit
L: clam chowder (made my me!), side salad, crispbread
D: (most likely) chicken piccata (me also), brussel sprouts, whole wheat pasta
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30 Days to ... by JH is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.