I could leave it at that, but there is far more to the story and this is a perfect time to explain why I use a Ten Day Average when tracking my weight rather than just hopping on the scale on Weigh-In Day and using whatever number appears. Last time on Weigh-In Day my actual weight that day was 229.0 pounds, while my Ten Day Average was 226.15 pounds. Today my actual weight was 220.0 pounds and my Ten Day Average was 224.8 pounds. I could point out that even though my Ten Day Average reflected only 1.35 pounds loss, my actual weigh-in day weight reflects a whopping 9 pounds difference. That'd make me feel a bit better about the past two weeks, wouldn't you think?
But if I left it at that we still wouldn't be getting the whole picture of what's transpired over the past two weeks! To get that picture we need to look at the chart below:
The four lines in this graph are:
- Red: 30 Day Average
- Green: 20 Day Average
- Blue: 10 Day Average
- Purple: Actual Daily Weight
What happened? No, I did not go berzerk and eat large quantities of meat, dairy, fast food, junk food, pies, pastries, etc... In fact, I did not eat ANYTHING that I didn't intend to eat. I did eat more than I planned, and the special holiday foods included a lot more breads, flour products, processed foods, and salt than I normally consume. Even so, I doubt any of the weight I put on was fat. It was all water retention from the increased salt, increased bulk in my digestion from less fiber to push it all through, and increased stores of glycogen as I had an increase of calories and a decrease of exercise due to recent painful back issues. As the chart indicates, once the holidays were over and I resumed my normal eating patterns and (as best I could) exercise patterns, the lines started to correct themselves and at some point in the near future will resume the pattern we see at the left of the graph.
The Ten Day Average really smoothed out the issues with my daily weight, yet showed obvious signs that something out of the normal was going on. The Twenty Day Average also started to show a bit of a plateau, while the Thirty Day Average barely registered the anomaly, showing that the long term trend is doing just fine.
Lessons that have been reinforced over the past few weeks include the fact that you can eat only foods that are "on plan" yet still gain weight. I didn't eat anything that I'd consider taboo, I just ate more of those items that I'd normally limit, and ate them in larger proportions to my overall diet than usual. When I think of people who struggle with this way of eating who eat totally "on plan" yet aren't losing weight, I suspect it's because they're eating too many of the things they should be limiting and not enough of things they should be eating more of. Another lesson reinforced over the past weeks is the effect excess salt and processed foods have on me personally.
Forward and onward! I lost a total of 150 pounds in 2012 and expect to reach my target goal in 2013. With my target in reach I felt it an appropriate time to adjust my target weight. When I picked a number out of the sky almost 2 years ago as my goal weight I looked at a BMI chart and it said that for my height I would no longer be overweight if I got down to 183 pounds. So that was my first target goal. When I started this blog and named it Three Hundred Pounds Of Joy I adjusted my target weight from 183 to 186, as that'd be exactly 300 pounds. But now I am modifying my target once again. I recently realized that I am no longer 6 feet tall. Age and years of abuse to my body have caused me to lose 2 inches of height and am now only 5 foot 10 inches. So now to get under the "overweight" status I need to get down to 173 pounds. I know, I know, the BMI charts aren't written in stone and aren't absolute. But I doubt anyone could convince me that 173 is too light to be healthy and I have good reasons to want to be as light as possible, so I'm running with it!
That is all for now!
-Norm aka John Smith