2010/12/12

2010 Odyssey in Weight Loss - Prelude

2010 will have been a great year for my weight, as the data you will be presented with will attest. During the next few weeks you will be presented with 4 quarterly graphs showing my progress, each of which will be accompanied by a blog post like the one you're reading now.

Before I get started, a quick note on the process. I used to enter my weight everyday in an openoffice calc spreadsheet, and have it calculate my trend and so on. A very clunky process. In April I got the "libra" app for Android. More on it later, but it's absolutely awesome.

I cannot stress this enough: For me at least, having as much metric as possible is essential for many reasons. The more obvious one is to know where I am and where I'm going, but it's also awesome to link cause and effect. Again, more on that later.

Let's start with a quick recap of 2009:
Note that the red line represents the calculated trend, the white lines with red dots at the end represents the actual weight of the day. Anything in green was added later, and is referenced in the blog post.

2009 saw huge variations in my weight, mostly on the wrong side. The green line is an estimate based on the times I weighted myself during that period. I do remember starting 2009 in a downward trend. That wasn't the result of any effort on my part, as much as the result of a rather difficult breakup. The following climb also entered into that. First I lost my appetite, then I overcompensated. Wish I knew how I should've dealt with this better, but I consider it the same as getting into a tailspin: you do your best, but you accept you'll lose a lot of altitude.

Point A marks the beginning of a six-months off work sabbatical. Those weren't vacations by any means, but were really meant for me to finish this huge video game project I had been working on for 3 years. Considering I would be off work, I also assumed I would have plenty of time to exercise and so I bought a Dance Dance Revolution hard mat to help me out. Needless to say, that didn't do much.

One thing I will say about weight loss is that it's all in your head. But I don't mean it in a holistic bullshitty sort of way. I mean it in the sense that if you don't really absolutely commit to it, you'll fail. The "B" circle is a prime example of that. Notice how every time I get above the 290 pounds mark, I immediately take a downward turn, but as soon as I'm comfortably below, I climb back up?

This ping pong effect is the result of a great and absolute commitment that has always been with me. It simply is: I will never go over 300lbs. As soon as the threat looms, I adjust my behaviour, I change what I eat, and what I do, and I get results. As soon as the threat is gone, then eating right and exercising play second fiddle to working on my game project. If my brain could rework my behaviour around that commitment, then changing the nature of the commitment would be what's needed to get my weight lower.

Point C marks my return to my job after that sabbatical. I think the fact that I had utterly failed to achieve my project objectives did put things into perspective. I realized that had I focused on weight loss as a primary, and the project as a secondary, instead of the other way around, I still would have failed the project, but maybe I would have succeeded with weight loss.

So I went with the clich├ęd new year resolution. In 2010 I would take the necessary measures to drop the weight. Starting with buying equipment. Considering the space I had to deal with, I went with a stationary bike. And considering my weight, I went with a rather expensive one. Those kinds of decisions are always hard, because we all know where home exercise equipment usually end up, and that bike was more than a thousand bucks. How would that work out for me? More to come in the first entry of 2010: Enters the Bike.

1 comment:

Francis K. Lalumiere said...

Well, it's not like I don't already know how things went down, but I'm looking forward to the next entry anyway. :)