The Power of Documentation

July 31, 2008 · 8 comments

As you can easily see by my graphs I was doing well until the beginning of this year at which point I took a bit of a slide until a month ago, when I weighed in at my highest for some time, 279. I’m now a month in and had an unofficial weigh-in today of 274, which means I have dropped 5 pounds in the month since I re-energized my weight lost plans.

The genesis of this post was that I was going to research what I was doing the last time I was at 279 and why the weight came off so easily then, as opposed to now which feels like slow death.

But interestingly enough, what I found was that the last time I clocked in at 279 was at the end of last September, and a month later I weighed in at 274, happy with the result. So while it feels like things are taking longer now the data says otherwise. I need to be more patient!

Since I was looking at the posts anyway, I thought I would highlight the weekly updates for that period of time:

Weekly Update - 10/7/07 - Lost 1 pound, only thing I did well was cardio, but even at that it was not to plan.

Weekly Update - 10/14/2007 - Lost 5 pounds. Woa, where did that come from? Major change was cutting out bread, although I also logged 10+ miles in cardio and stuck to my drinking water plan.

Weekly Update - 10/21/2007 - Gained 2 pounds. Not surprising given the previous weeks results, however I didn’t put in the effort needed to break past that. Small pass given because I was traveling.

Weekly Update - 10/28/2007 - Lost 1 pound. Seemed like a hit and miss week on the goals.

About a month after this I weighed in at 267, well on my way to a low official recording of 263 (I saw a 262 midweek).

Being able to see this is hugely important to keeping me on track and I have moved from being bummed at my new pace to being happy with it.

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Twix July 31, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Being able to look back does help. It’s great that we keep journals so that we can do this. It has allowed me to look back when I haven’t been able before. It’s interesting how the concept of time plays in our minds.

I kept a few of the posts that meant something to me. But I had to ditch the rest. For some reason it seemed to have the effect of lugging around some heavy baggage. Interesting, huh?! It was healthy to look back though and see where I was.

Thanks for pointing this out! :D

Steve v4.7 July 31, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Wasn’t it said by someone that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it? There are a lot of good lessons in your archives. Five pounds! Awesome! Great job on the what’s sure to be your ongoing trend!

David P. Morrow July 31, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Keeping track of weight loss goals with a Journal of some sort has always proven most effective for me.

When you put your goals down on paper, and the means that you are using to get there, helps give direction and insight to the days and weeks ahead.

Like you say - ‘re-energize’. Thats the way to do it!

Annette July 31, 2008 at 4:08 pm

I think the documentation is really helpful in seeing patterns. One day at a time, one pound at at time, you will be even more re-energized!

Metroknow July 31, 2008 at 10:59 pm

Wow that is such a cool realization - I wish that I had a food journal from before I changed my eating habits. I mean I have some idea of what I ate of course, but it sure would be interesting to see how times have changed.

Thanks John - and nice work this month. You really are getting it done.

GeorgieGirl August 1, 2008 at 12:55 am

Five pounds! Awesome!!

Great post! I’m so encouraged to keep an ongoing journal. I’ve been reading through my own blog learning my ups and downs from the past year. I’m finding it to be an essential tool for my ongoing weight loss. Quite awhile back, you posted about the benefits of keeping an up to date weight loss blog. It was another great post… it’s worth revisiting.

Andrew is getting fit August 1, 2008 at 2:02 am

I think we tend to forget our day to day struggles as we progress. I personally find my blog invaluable to remind myself how I’ve progressed.

Sometimes you can also see certain patterns and maybe reinforce them (if they are good) or attempt to eliminate them (those pesky bad ones!).

Alex Costa - August 2, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Hey buddy what’s up?
That’s the hardest thing to face during this process, put up with results that we don’t want to see.
My advice to you is to not be upset with bad results, but you could see as a warning and analyze what could you change to go back in track.
By the way dropping 5 pounds is great, congratulations.

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