Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Proof that my motivation system is working

Everyone who starts a new diet wonders whether they'll reach goal. I am sure that there have been people who have lost 50kg, been 1kg away from goal, then put it all on and more. How do I know that my new idea is going to work? I don't. But I can make a reasonable conclusion. Since starting the weight loss, today I have lost the greatest amount of weight continuously in the last 9 years. Today I have lost 7kg continuously (my definition: I gain 1kg or more, and reach a recent maximum. I start to lose weight, with occasional increases here and there. I reach a recent minimum, and put on 1kg or more. The continuous loss is the difference between the recent maximum and minimum), my previous best was just under 7kg, in the first half of 2005. Before that, in 2000 I lost 11.7kg continuously, so I'll break that in about 2 months.

Yesterday I posted about how I was going to use running as a motivation, and how I was going to use it. I could not have been more wrong about that idea. I considered deleting it, but decided to leave it in because I want people to see my motivation mistakes and how I figure out how to correct them.

First, I was going to use 30 days as a length of time: if I am further away from the horizontal axis of the last graph in the posting 30 days later, I start running. This goes against my statement in the first posting of the blog: Most people can lose weight for something 4 days into the future. So why am I using 30 days? It's far too long. Second, running is not a good disincentive to lose weight, simply because it's too easy to ignore. Things that are easy to ignore should be used as incentives, rather than disincentives. I can choose to ignore buying coffee at the supermarket, or ignore going to see a film. These are much better disincentives because they are passive.

A much better solution is to use the normal three motivations stated at the start of the blog (coffee, films, swimming) with the graph. Am I further away from the horizontal axis than the last time I (bought coffee, saw a film, went swimming)? If yes, I can't do any of them.

I guess I am caught between two issues - I want to not take years to finish the weight loss. If the longest I can go without a haircut is probably 4 months, then the haircuts at specific weights (90, 85, 80, 75, 70, 66 kilograms) which means that losing weight could take 24 months. That's far too long for me. On the other hand, I know from experience that telling myself that I have to lose at a specific rate will result in me 'rebelling' and giving up. I don't really know if 100g a day loss is achievable long term, if I find myself struggling I can drop it back to 90 or 80 grams pretty easily.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Lowest weight in over a year

Yes, it's been a while. I should have been posting every week, but I haven't posted in over six weeks, so my apologies for that. It's just me being disorganised, for some reason I don't always do what I had planned to do, I can put off things and then the weeks turn into over a month.

I've been losing weight, as the graph above shows, but not nearly as much as I should have, as the graph below shows. Anyway, today I was lowest weight in over a year, something to be pleased with. It's taken so long! Nearly 4 months.

The graph below shows the point where I should be (green line) and the red line shows where I should be running. I've only done about 6 minutes of running, where I should have been running for 30 minutes each day I'm above the red line. The reason of course is that I dislike running, at least initially, and it was unrealistic to expect that I just started at 30 minutes. Also, I'm really hoping that I can do this whole weight loss thing without exercise, to prove that it really isn't necessary. I'm trying to show that what motivates people is far, far more important than exercise or even what you eat.

However, I really have to do something to motivate me, because I've just been spending the last month just cruising along, and hardly losing any weight. The shirt motivation isn't working particularly well at the moment, because I need to throw away two more shirts. I suspect that it's just me deciding that I need to reduce the number of shirts I own, and just taking that way.

On a plus side, I've been having 100g of protein for about 10 days, I started on the 18th of December. I've pretty much decided that my holiday at Piha will have to wait until summer, it won't be warm enough 90 days from now to go camping, or rather I'd prefer it to be warmer. I'll just go about a year from now. All I have to do is eat protein consistently.

I still want to use running as a motivation, but I'll use the graph below, which is the difference between daily measurements and the green line in the graph above. So long as I move towards the green line, however slowly, that's fine. But if I'm further away from the green line than I was a month previous, I'll need to start running, starting off one minute at a time, rather than large amounts that I can't do. I'll figure out the exact method of punishment.

The whole blog thing (where I try to find people who are consistent losers) is interesting. Initially, I found 270 weight loss blogs. Of those exactly 100 posted their weight in November (weight tickers don't count, because I don't know when it was updated), and it's now almost the end of December. Quite a few have gained in December, so I'll let you know next time I do a weigh in (Monday) how many have lost in December.

I'm relieved that I've achieved this lowest weight in over a year. I'm almost 1/4 through the loss, so I've got a lot to go still. I have a feeling that I'm going to make it. I just don't want it to take ages.