Jason’s Year In Review

This week marked our 1 year anniversary with Weight Watchers. *pause for applause*

We ended this first year on a good note, with both of us scoring losses on the scale last night:

Jenny: -0.8
Jason: -1.4

Bringing our totals to:

Jenny: -61
Jason: -48.4
Combined: -109.4

We haven’t purchased our food for the donation I mentioned last week, so we’re going to add this week’s loss to the total and donate 109 lbs of food instead.

A Year In Review

As the realization of this week being 1 year hit me I had some mixed feelings about my progress this time around. I am proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together, and I’m somewhat amazed that it’s been a year and we’re both still committed to doing it. Like most things in life, once you reach a milestone it’s kind of hard to believe that it’s really been that long.

But as the realization of one full year really started to set in it took me back to the previous time that we had done Weight Watchers. It was right before we had moved from Arizona to Texas and a short time after. We were members for three months before we quit due to conflicts with my work schedule, and in those three months I had lost just over 30 pounds, and Jenny had lost 17.

Being the math nerd that I am, it took me about half a second to do some calculations that left me rather frustrated:

First Time: -30 lbs in 3 months (Average 10/month)
Second Time: -48 lbs in 12 months (Average 4/month)

I don’t like that second set of numbers.

I don’t like those numbers one. stinking. bit.

I’ve had a couple of genuine setbacks this time around, but when you get right down to it the majority of those weeks/months that I didn’t really lose anything all comes down to worthless excuses. And that’s just plain disappointing.

This morning I wanted to do some different math to take another look at this year and see if I could find a little less disappointment. This time I went back to the first week and calculated my total loss. Not the difference between my starting weight and my current weight, but how many pounds have I actually lost from the time I started. If I lost 2 pounds one week, gained 2 the next, and then lost 3 the week after that, then my total loss (for this calculation) is 5 pounds (-2 + -3) even though the net difference is only 3 pounds (-2+2-3).

So, taking a look at it from this perspective:

First Time: -30 lbs in 3 months (Average 10/month)
Second Time: -65.8 lbs in 12 months (Average 5.4/month)

Those numbers are better, but I still don’t like them. I’m barely doing half as good this time as I was before and even then only if I fudge the numbers with some half-true math.

Then vs. Now
So what’s different between the two? What caused me to do so much better the first time around (at a lighter weight) than the second?

Location: Arizona vs. Texas
Ok, maybe the location had some impact on it. Maybe the heat of AZ helped me sweat off some extra pounds? I don’t think the heat makes up for anywhere close to this difference in weight loss. Overall, I don’t think this had any real impact on the results, so I’m going to dismiss this.

Age: ~6 years difference
It is a difference between the two, but I don’t think such a relatively small number of years makes that much difference considering I’m still in my 20’s. Six years is six years, so there’s definitely been enough time for my body to change, I just don’t think it would be by this much in that amount of time.

Employment: Security vs Computer Programming
I couldn’t find a computer related job in AZ to save my life back then, so I worked in security. Every night when I went to work I had to patrol three separate building structures. I had to walk the internal and external perimeter of each and I had to do a full internal patrol of all three floors of two of them, and I had to do that same patrol at least four times every night. These days I sit behind a computer desk for eight hours a day.

The difference here is pretty plain – I went from 3-5 miles worth of walking five nights a week to virtually no exercise at all. I’d say this is pretty high on the list of possible reasons.

Plan: Flex Plan vs Points/PointsPlus
The first time we were on Weight Watchers there were two plans to choose from, Core and Flex. They were simple and effective plans, and we chose Flex because it gave us more variety in what we ate. This time around, for most of it at least, we’ve been on the PointsPlus plan, which is a bit more complex in comparison to Core/Flex, but for the most part it’s basically the same as Flex with the math behind it being a little bit different.

I’ve had good success with both Flex and PointsPlus. There are things that I like about both plans, and things that I don’t particularly love but nothing about either one of them was really bad. The Flex plan was a bit better for me because points were a simple calculation I could do in my head where the new plan I have no idea other than what my calculator tells me. That did make it easier to track in my head with the Flex plan, so maybe it was easier for me to “track without tracking”, which means that now I’m just slacking.

So, after one year I’ve come to realize this: I’m still a slacker.

The last few days I’ve tried working just a small bit of exercise into my day. When I’m at work and I’m testing some code, waiting for an email, or listening to hold music on the phone I’ve started doing some exercises that I can do easily in my office. It’s a little bit embarrassing since I’m doing it in an office with walls that are basically giant glass windows and coworkers walking by all the time, but what are they going to say? “Stop it, you’re going to make yourself healthy doing that!”

There are two specific things that we’ve found have direct results on our weight loss – tracking our points, and exercising.

Tracking is hard for me, and there’s not a good reason why. It’s just a habit that I’m having a hard time picking up and holding onto. I might track everything for a good 3-4 weeks and then a single day of not tracking blows the whole thing for me and I stop for days or weeks before I pick it back up again. It shouldn’t be this hard, and my only excuse is that I’m a slacker. I don’t want to be a slacker by choice, so I’m going to do my best to get that habit established and keep it.

Exercise I’m working on. Hopefully I can keep up what I’m doing right now and expand it. We’ve got equipment and videos at home that I can use to help me out, and we’ve got two dogs that would absolutely love to go for more walks. I have no excuse not to exercise, and plenty of excuses too exercise.

So my new weight loss year’s resolution – stop being a slacker!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Jenny’s Year in Review « The Chubby Couple
  2. Elizabeth McLatchy
    Sep 30, 2011 @ 22:21:01

    We’re proud of you, Jason. You’ve made progress, plain and simple. And you continue to progress. So…? Give yourself a well deserved pat on the back and keep it up. Looking up helps us move upward. So eyes on the target and consistency, rather than speed will win the race.


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