Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Weight Loss Juggernaught

UPDATE: 21 March 2016

As the work turns I have had a relapse. Not quite to my highest point ever, but only 10 pounds off. Lots of reasons, lots of stress, all the usual excuses. So what to do? Well, I finally got it together on 14 March and went back to basically the same system as documented here. My first week has been a raging success using the same site and the same measuring techniques. I've been getting outside again after working between 110 and 120 hours over 110 days ending Wednesday last week, and this is helping me again. All in all, I am satisfied so far.

latest attempt, week 1 result

Original Article Unchanged


So as I have written before, I got inspired about 14 months ago to try to fix my long term weight issue. And by this I mean to address my lifestyle and try to form habits that I could live with forever. I’ve updated the story along the way and today I reached a milestone that makes it worth speaking again on the issue.

Basically, my style is simple – count calories. For that I use the web site but you can use any web site you like that supports the method. The key point is to keep track. And while you are keeping track, I recommend you use their weight tracking mechanism too, as it helps you see the trends. I do this pretty formally with my own spread sheets but then I am a computer scientist, so what do you expect :-)

The caloriecount version of that graph looks like this:


What this shows is that I have finally arrived back at my lowest point, which came in early October. I got into a relationship that lasted until mid-January and you can see its effect on my discipline. I had none :-)

But you can also note a couple of other things that are actually well known. First, you get about one year of grace when you start losing weight where it is pretty easy. If you stick with the program, the weight just comes off. This is a known issue with weight loss surgery (WLS) people, as WLS is a tool that can help accelerate your loss through restriction of amounts and / or mal-absorption of nutrients. But the interesting thing is that the grace period works for them too. It is as easy to eventually defeat WLS as it is to defeat your own brain (as I clearly did.)

Which means that either way, you need to realize that this is a lifetime behavior, not a momentary lapse of reason. (Sorry, PF.)

You can see that my do-over, starting mid-January, has been much rockier than the first time. But nevertheless, I have again knocked off about 17 pounds in a matter of 3 months, and I am very satisfied with that progress. I have had to be more patient this time, as I have been a little too free with the “diet days off” if you will. But that’s ok … because I know now that the technique works for me, and some variation of this method can work for anyone.

The old adage – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – applies here. I am able to lose weight with this method, so I will not change the basic method. Count your calories and graph your weight and be patient. Success will come.

And no, I am still not going to the gym. Don’t wait for the day when you feel like hitting the gym 3 times a week to start measuring. That is a separate issue (very useful for your health, but not the key component in weight loss.)

When you measure, cheating shows up right away, so if you simply admit you screwed up on the bad day it is as easy as pie to get back in the saddle again. The graph does not lie. Once you have had success, you know how to do it.

Rickum rackum rockum ruckum, take that ball and really fight! (Sorry, RW.)

Enough platitudes? I could go on forever Smile