… or as alternate title, another boring weight post. Back on this post I declared my intent to return to my weight control discipline as I was slowly slipping back up again and hit a threshold where I had to return to more aggressive control (with some re-loss).
Well, things didn’t go as planned. For a couple of weeks I managed, at least, to halt my gain but made little progress reversing it. Then I hit the road. First a trip to Boston (with social events involving eating, plus eating out in general). Second an even longer vacation. Unfortunately going to restaurants and enjoying meals is part of what a vacation means to me. So after 12 days after my vacation I’m finally back to some discipline again.
For those of you, Dear Readers, that haven’t followed my posts, here’s my overall history (I’m a graph nut):
This graph is my two-year history. The red line is my weekly weighin (a few points interpolated when I wasn’t near my scale). The steady decline in the first 24 weeks was when I was really really diligent about the loss, then the blip at week 26 shows the effect of my first vacation during this process, fortunately fairly quickly reversed. Then I made it, in the week 40 time period, hit my target. So off the severe loss regimen and onto a maintenance regimen, what I knew would be the hardest part. The green dots actually do a better job of showing my trends; these are a quarterly (13 week) moving average The first real blip up there was another and lengthy vacation (actually two of them), following by a return to discipline. But it was the slow but steady rise in weeks 70-91 was worried me. Even though the rise is only 10lbs, it was steady and represented a worrisome trend for the future. And while I haven’t reversed the trend as per my -2 post I did halt the rise. Then the most recent part of the red line shows my two recent vacations plus my aggressive recovery from them that started two weeks ago. It’s going to take a while to push the red line down, then slowly bending the green line down, but I’m committed to it, back to my 180 target.
The following graph gives an expanded review of my time in “maintenance”.
Again I use the 13 week moving average to smooth out little fluctuations and give a better indication of the trend (btw: to any readers I suggest you consider doing some of this statistical and graphing stuff as individual weights do vary a lot and it takes a lot of data and smoothing to get clear trends, see all my previous posts about scale variability and daily weighin variability). This exaggerated scale makes it look really bad, but bear in mind we’re only talking about a 7% variation of my total weight, enough to be significant, but also small enough to declare I’m not doing that bad on maintenance (and again, almost all scientific articles indicate it’s what happens after initial weight loss that is the hard part). The second cycle of rising weight is more “ragged” (involves many events in my life) than the first one (almost entirely due to a single vacation, up quick and reversed almost as quickly). IOW, the sustained rise during past 25 weeks has been more difficult to control.
This is somewhat due to events (it is hard to maintain when your daily or weekly activity changes) and somewhat due to lack of attention. But the key part is that gathering data like this and then graphing clearly focuses on failure to maintain and what’s needed to get back under control. (In my case, failure to maintain means going back on some meds I don’t like so I have strong incentive to stay on plan, way more so than merely appearance issues). So as of my -2 post I halted gain but didn’t reverse it and now I’ve very slightly begun to reverse.
So far, so good, but some challenges lie ahead. We’re entering the time of year where avoiding excess eating and also maintaining exercise will be a challenge. With upcoming holidays, family get-togethers, and other issues for me, I can’t so single-mindedly just focus on weight (and in last couple of months my daily calorie burn exercising has fallen about 30% as well (time issues) making intake all the more important – you might be able to lapse on one or the other, but definitely not both). And as I recently posted I don’t believe in the gradual approach. I need to do everything I can to get back to the 2.5lb/week loss I managed in my first 24 weeks so I can get the recent blip back under control – no dilly-dallying, DO IT!
And as my final graph, here’s the last year (I roll this graph every week by a week):
Here the blue markers are actual weekly weigh-ins and the red markers are the interpolated points where I was away from scale (given the variability of scales there is no point in getting weights from some other scale). For some people this would be viewed as rather poor maintenance (to some degree, I agree, but I also allow myself to do some of this as I’m not going to obsess about weight all the time + after dropping 65lbs to reach 200lbs, I’m not too unhappy to stay (mostly) below 200lbs for a year). But the trendline (which I believe despite the low r^2) isn’t good: 1) it’s slightly up rather than significantly down, and, 2) its’ about 7lbs over my target (185lbs, the BMI that is my threshold for “overweight”, even though I’ve been below borderline obese for nearly two years).
Now if I duck below the 190 level for next few weeks the trendline will turn down, but that’s deceptive. The real challenge is to get (steadily) back below the 185 threshold which is going to take more discipline than I’ve exercised over past year and then see if I can’t hold that for a while (if I can I’m going to try to go below 180 which I only reached in a few daily weigh-ins).
So we’ll see how well I do and you can hold me to my goals, Dear Reader. Even if I blow it (some, not a lot, I hope) through end of 2014, I’m going to stay on top of this so my 2015 New Year’s resolution will be to not exceed 190 during 2015.
And to anyone reading this who is working on weight control it is persistence and vigilance that really determines success. I have to do this because my aging is making lots of exercise (I averaged over 1000 calories/day during rapid loss) more difficult so upward blips are going to be hard to reverse.
and, btw, stay away from chips and salsa and margaritas as I so much enjoyed while in Santa Fe.