I'm a data geek. I'm big on trends and charts and graphs. When I started Spark People, I decided to only weigh myself once per week. That lasted for about two weeks then the suspense was killing me. So, I decided to weigh myself daily, and just look at the weight as a data point.
As is my nature, I went off and created a spreadsheet with corresponding long term and short term graphs. Every morning, I weigh myself and then sit down to record my weight.
It's also worth noting that I'm goal oriented. When I started Spark People, I decided to aim for 155 pounds within a year of starting. That's an 82 pound loss- aggressive, as all goals should be, but not impossible. Then I got two weeks in and realized I was dropping weight at a rate close to a half pound PER DAY. Really. It was just falling off. So, I adjusted my goal. 82 pounds by New Year's Day. More aggressive. Still do-able, but definitely a stretch.
I have no real attachment to these goals. There's nothing magical about 155 pounds. I just remember it being a weight I maintained for a long time and felt good at.
There's nothing special happening on New Year's. In fact, I sort of loathe New Year's. My husband and I go for an early dinner on New Year's Eve, and then go home and do a jigsaw puzzle or play a game together. Lame? Maybe. But New Year's is amateur night. Neither of us drink with any gusto or enjoys large crowds in cramped spaces. So, we stay home, do something together, and hang out with the dogs.
But, I digress. There's no miraculous New Year's dress I'm trying to fit into. It's just a date to measure my goal against. With a goal weight and a goal date, I could put a trend line on my graph. Because I'm a geek and trend lines make me happy.
Here's what the first two weeks looked like:
The red line indicates the pace I'd need to hold to hit my goal weight by my goal date. The blue line shows my actual weight. Huzzah! Looks great, right?
Here's the next two weeks:
Now, here's the kicker…
I've stuck with my Spark People plan. Most days, I've eaten at the low end of my calorie range. I've worked out in some form each day. Most days, I've gotten more than five servings of fruits and veggies. I'm watching my salt intake. I drink lots of water. So what gives?
I'm pretty sure the yo-yo affect is caused by stress. The last two weeks have wreaked havoc with my stress levels. I found a new job and quit my safe, comfy job that I've been at for eight years.
This morning, it occurred to me that this is not a linear journey. I'll get to where I need to be. I don't much care what the scale says. I feel great and am happy with my progress. There is an incredible difference in the way my clothes fit and my body moves. I'm more stable on my feet, able to walk longer without pausing, and am down two or three pants sizes (depending on the style of pants).
I'll leave the scale to do its thing. It serves as a data point, one of many. But the graphs are fun.