Monday, 28 November 2011

Another week, another loss

78.1kg today, a loss of 400 grams from a week ago.

Week twelve of losing weight. That's good. What is not so good is the lack of exercise. That's bad. I'm planning to start today, and go all-out. My reason at this stage is a 'secret' but I'm bound to tell you in the next couple of months. I may be going overseas sooner than expected (maybe), and I want to reach goal weight before I do. Then again, maybe I won't go overseas early.

I know I have said this before, and nothing has happened. This time I'm a bit more serious than before.

I want to start exercising today, and continue for each day, until I'm at goal. I have a games console (Xbox 360) hooked up to my large LCD television. I have a Microsoft Kinect (which I'd planned to sell, because I never thought I'd use it) which is a 3 dimensional infrared detection system for the Xbox 360. I have an exercise game (Your shape, fitness evolved). What that all means is that I can move and the camera sees where my body and arms and legs are, and tells me how I'm exercising. The only downside is that I have to move the couch each time I have to do it.

Because I have that setup, I can exercise on days that I go to work, and the gym is closed. That means that I have no excuses. Maybe if I have a cold, I can take a day off. Who knows.

Now, it's time for an analysis of the 49 weight loss bloggers who I have been keeping track of, when they posted their weights on their blogs. First, a bit of background. I knew that most weight loss bloggers didn't achieve their weight loss goals, but I wanted to see exactly how they didn't achieve things, and see exactly what was happening to bloggers as an average, and also what maybe the top 25% achieved.

In January this year, I made a list of about 200 bloggers, and in February I took note of posted weights by the first 100 who said how much they weighed. I've been tracking these 100 bloggers since. When they update their weight, I enter it into my spreadsheet. 21 have abandoned or removed their blogs so far. I wanted to see how they were going after 6 months, however only 36 posted their weight in August. That number went up to 49 if I recorded their weight in the 6th, 7th or 8th month.

The good news is that the bloggers are actually losing weight. Maybe. The average weight for the 100 in February was 95.5kg. For November the average is 93.3kg, a loss of 2.2kg over 9 months. That's about 54 grams loss each week. The problem is that I don't know about the bloggers who don't post their weight. 28 posted their weight in October, a lot less than the 100 in February or 54 in March. I guess I should have found 100 bloggers who posted their weights in both February and March, maybe I would get more data. Maybe the people who don't post their weights are gaining. I get the feeling that if they were losing, we'd know about it.

I thought that I'd have a question/answer way to describe the data. First question:

Does having a weight loss blog help you to lose weight?

I don't know. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. I know that for me, the answer is yes, but I don't know what proportion of bloggers are like me, who wanted to document their weight loss methods. To prove that it could be done.

What is the average loss for the people who posted their weight in the 6th, 7th or 8th month?

The 49 bloggers lost a total of 76.8kg, over an average of about 7 months. However one person contributed 31.3kg of that, the second best lost 20.0kg and the third best lost 19.6kg. This means that a lot of people gained. The average loss works out to be 1.6kg per person. But because some people were a lot heavier than others in this survey, as a percentage of starting body weight, the average loss is 0.46%. That means a 100kg person would lose 0.46kg after 7 months. In case you were wondering, median losses are 0kg and 0% of body weight. That means that 24 people gained, and 24 lost, with one person being the same as they were in February.

Okay, half lose and half gain. Let's talk about the people who lost. What was their average?

When you start to lose weight, you never know for sure whether you'll be successful. But if you were successful, you'd lose an average of 7.84kg or 7.14 percent of your body weight.

There have to be some people who are pretty good at losing weight, say the best one quarter of the 49 who posted their weight. How did they go?

The top twelve people lost an average of 11.5 percent of their initial body weight. The lightest of these people weighed 75kg at the start, which means that you didn't have to be heavy to be pretty good at losing weight.

It's almost December. How many lost for each of the nine months?

Just one. I'd post a link to her blog, but I don't want to unintentionally derail her progress by putting pressure on her.

So there you have it. Roughly half of all bloggers lose weight. I'll update the stats after 12 months, and see what's changed, and how many have reached goal weight.

PS apologies if there are any typos in this post, I've got allergies today and I'm having difficulty with my vision.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Weekly update

78.5kg, a loss of 400 grams from last Monday

Well, another week, another loss. I seem to have the diet under control, but the exercise - it just isn't happening. I'm busy at the moment, going to see my father briefly in Dunedin, then back home again. The leaking hot water cylinder is being replaced on Wednesday, I need to do some things on Thursday - then on Friday - guess what?

I plan to restart exercise. Friday. The Give Yourself The Best Gift challenge issues that I stated last week are exactly the same. I'm eating a bit better, but losing weight is not on my consciousness as much as it should be. I'm hoping to change that by some method, starting Friday.

I know that I promised the results of my analysis of how 100 weight loss bloggers I've been tracking since February are going. Sorry, but I'm just too busy at the moment, so that will come next week.

However, here is a bit of a teaser, something to consider. It's a graph of those who have posted their weights, after 6, 7 or 8 months of me tracking them. The vertical axis shows how much that they have lost or gained. If they have gained, their dot is above the horizontal axis. The horizontal axis is their initial weight. All values are in kilograms. A very simple method to convert kilograms to pounds is to just double the number. That is accurate to within 10 percent.

There are 49 people on this graph (known as a scatter graph). 24 people have lost, 24 have gained, and 1 has neither lost nor gained.

Monday, 14 November 2011

10th consecutive weekly loss

Weight: 78.9kg, a loss of 700 grams from last week.

Ten weekly losses in a row. That's not bad. I've got a good feeling about what I've achieved in the last 10 weeks, and fingers crossed, I won't have any gains. Things are looking good.

However, on the exercise front, things aren't looking good. I still haven't restarted it. It's been about 3 weeks since I've been to the gym. A service that I'm paying for, whether I use it or not. Bad weight loser.

Getting onto the subject of the Giving Yourself The Best Gift challenge, a challenge that I seem to be on but not putting much effort into, apart from posting updates once a week. We're on week 8 at the moment. Here are the action points that I'm not doing:

  • At the start of each day, plan my day with losing weight to be one of the most important things to achieve for that day

  • Write down what I eat if it is not on my 'list', writing that on my blog

  • Exercise as often as time and energy permits

  • Get quality sleep. That means going to bed at the usual time, rather than staying up late

  • Ensure that I have at least one full day of food at home, so I don't run out of anything

I've not achieved any of these, which is worrying. Yet I still continue to lose weight. I think that this creates unrealistic expectations of how much I can lose, and when the planets go out of alignment those losses don't occur any more. The other two action points I don't need to worry about at the moment, since I'm still losing. If I lose my weight loss "mojo", I plan to head over to watch the weight loss videos at made by Antishay at Youtube. They are quite helpful for motivation. Not so much as being inspiring, but there are hundreds of them there, and I would expect to watch 3 or 4 a day to help restart my mojo.

I've been reading weight loss blogs regularly now for about 6-7 years now. They fascinate me. Every weight loss blog goes through a cycle. First, it is created, but usually you don't read it when it's that young because there aren't any links to it. It's more likely to be deleted/go idle at this stage than any other. As time goes on, more people link to it on their blogrolls, and you start to read it, and when you see the name on some blogroll, you recognise it.

There is always one blog that gets linked to the most, one that I consider to be the centre of the weight loss blog universe. When I started reading weight loss blogs, Renee Gets Fit was probably the centre then. It's still being hosted, although hasn't been updated in over 4 years. I guess Renee is still paying for the hosting for sentimental reasons. Who knows. Now, it seems that Jack Sh*t, Getting Fit and Bitch Cakes are at the centre. I don't know which has more links to it, they probably share the top position.

There are about 2000 active independent weight loss blogs out there, as an estimate, based on blog rolls. An independent blog is my name for one that lets the owner link to sites not in the same domain name. The alternative would be a website such as Extrapounds, which is more of a community of people who are commenting on blogs within the same domain name. The average lifetime of a weight loss blog is about 2-3 years, from start to end.

I wanted to know more about the whole weight loss blog thing back at the start of the year, so I made a list of about 200 active blogs. 100 posted their weight in February, and I started tracking these, recording each month how much the owner weighed, if they posted a number. I'll do the analysis next week.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Another loss this week

Weight: 79.6kg

In terms of weight loss, things are going okay. Not great, not awful, but okay. I'm losing. I'm eating sort of alright, but I'm not exercising. I guess I go through these stages of exercising well, then not exercising, and wasting the gym membership. I think that I'm going through a stage of loneliness caused by the breakup 3 months ago. I guess my social life is pretty much non-existent, and I don't seem to be bothered working on that, because I'll be travelling overseas in about 8 months. So things aren't great. I do have a cat to keep me company, and that helps a lot, but it's not ideal.

Moving on from that, here's a graph of my weekly loss for the last 9 weeks, in grams. There does seem to be a general reduction in how much I'm losing each week.

A loss is a loss, but I want to speed things up at least just a little bit. I've got a cold at the moment, but when sneezing drops a few notches, I'm going back into the exercise.