Who doesn't want to lose weight? Well, I am actually fine with mine, it's just that if I don't keep it in check, it goes on a journey skywards. I used to be very fat, lost the weight, but to this day it is really easy for me to put it back on again. fatmarco.jpg
A diary of weight over time is a good start to keep track of things. You start understanding the interaction between food, exercise and pounds much better when those numbers are written down. You know better how your weight ranges between Christmas and Labor Day (my respective top and bottom).
12/25/2000 184.3
9/9/2001 165.0
Since I had a computer and a little spare time, I took the table I had and made a chart out of it. It looked really very random, and it didn't add much value. Other than giving me a chance to use some nice technology. weight1.png
The breakthrough came as I started wondering what my average curve would look like. It was easy enough to compute and plot, the most interesting task being correctly working around empty spots where I didn't record my weight. The yo-yo effect was clearly visible in a sine curve that moved up and down. Instead of starving myself on one day and overeating the next, I started thinking of my average weight as the metric of relevance. weight2.png
The next major step came much later, when I bought a bodyfat-measuring scale. I am big time into cycling, and I knew that my bodyfat was a major issue on climbs. So I watched the two curves (weight and bodyfat %) very closely. Unfortunately, both curves tended to oscillate widely. weight3.png
I started thinking the scale was not as smart and accurate as it said, since bodyfat and weight were swinging so randomly. Fortunately, I didn't stop thinking there, but put two and two together and looked at how the total amount of fat varied over time. And there I had my Eureka! moment. Total fat was far more stable, and was ultimately the correct indicator of how I was doing. While drinking a gallon of water would have pushed my weight up eight pounds and my bodyfat accordingly down - the total amount of fat would have stayed the same. weight4.png

Of course, all of this wouldn't have been possible without my chart program telling me all these things. So I am grateful for its role, and want to share it with you, so that you can enjoy the pains of weight monitoring with me. :)