There’s an old saying, “The trend is your friend”. I’m not sure where, when or how this saying originated but it is probably related to Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of physics: “Every object continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless compelled to change that state by external forces acted upon it.”
When applied to weight loss and health enhancement, I find the law to be applicable, because our state is a result of our behavior, and our behavior is largely a result of habits. Until we are compelled to change our habits, our behaviors won’t change and our state (health, weight) won’t change.
We’ve all run into someone we haven’t seen in a while and heard “you haven’t changed a bit”. Sometimes they’re being kind, and sometimes they’re pretty accurate. Because we experience most of the changes in our lives in increments too small to easily observe, we need an objective external measure to provide a true reflection.
One of the measures important to this stage of my journey is my weight. I know, its just a number. An arbitrary number at that, and only one of many that need to be understood in relation to each other in order to have a good picture. But it is a number that is easily obtained and whose history is easy visualized. And, for this stage in my journey, its a pretty good measure of progress. So, I track it.
Since most of us are impatient creatures, it is important to look at the short term. So, I pay attention to today’s weight, and the default view on Lose It! is a week. Over the past week, I’ve done well, as you can see below:
Its also important to look at the long term, in order to understand where we’ve come from, and whether we’re heading in the right direction overall. A one year trend helps with this:
Hmmm, as you can see, I’ve made significant progress over the past year and things appear to have been “stalled” for approximately the past 6 months. With the data, I can look at various ranges to see what was going on with varying levels of detail. For example, look at the past month, which shows a disturbing pattern…
Looking at the past three months exposes an even more disturbing trend:
I’ve got to admit it is awfully tempting to look at those lines and note that low and high weights in the range are separated by less than five pounds. I know I’ve said it before, some days I feel like I pee more than 5 pounds away in one trip to the necessary room. Not a big deal, right?
Well, I need it to be a big deal. If every time I gain a few pounds in some social celebration the new high is a bit higher than the last one, and every interim low between highs is a little bit less low than the last one, the ultimate trend is not in the direction I want it to go. This needs to stop and it needs to stop now. My task this week is to make sure the second half of Newton’s law applies to continue this week’s downward trend. I’m following my program and there’s no social celebrations coming up until 7/4. I need to build the momentum and roll through the 4th without a “social celebration bump”.
Are you with me? Make the trend your friend!