Prequel to an effort (#GetHawt)
Weightwise, 2011 was a year of trying and failing. Or to be specific, starting and stopping. I read Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Body, and started the program. We held something like 17 Get Hawt roundups from April through August, through which I went from 150# to 144#.
The last 2-3 weeks I’ve been hanging out at 160#, with a spike to 164#. FRAK-DAMMIT.
So what do you do when things aren’t working? You do some analysis. Take it away, Me.
What’s the actual problem? I can’t stick to anything. At least, I can’t stick to strict plans, whether diet or exercise. I like to eat, I like to be lazy, I’m unpredictable. Last night’s dinner was surprise Five Guys.
Is there an analagous situation that you are reasonably good at? Well, I do meet certain goals in my own life. I balance work-life pretty well, and I continue to study SQL and create new training materials, though not strictly or on a schedule. I tend to overbalance one way and adjust, rinse, repeat.
How do you do this? For life and career, I understand that there is no syllabus or schedule. There’s just one day, and then the next, and upcoming projects or vacations…it’s not pass/fail, it’s more like staying within operational parameters. For example, if I notice that we’ve been doing nothing but watching TV each evening the last four days, I’ll make sure to get us out for a walk, or have chase- or tickle-play time or something else that’s kinetic or (nonscreen) family oriented.
Can you apply that to the weight and fitness goals? Sure…it makes far more sense (for me) to strive for balance daily and weekly, instead of trying to wrench my behavior around unnaturally. To do this, I’m going to try something straight out of Four Hour Body, from the section titled “Pragmatic Laziness”.
From Four Hour Body:
…Phil Libin decided to experiment with laziness.
He wanted to lose weight. This is common. As is also common, he wasn’t particularly keen on diet or exercise … He began to suspect there might be an easier way: doing nothing.
Phil had a simple method in mind: “I wanted to see what effect being precisely aware of my weight would have on my weight.”
This is where we depart from the common. Phil lost 28 pounds in six months without making the slightest attempt to change his behavior.
The guy just made a line graph in Excel (downloadable here), with a gradual decrease in weight. He put one line above that target line, and one below: the maximum and minimum allowable weight for each day. And then he charted his weight each day, making sure to stay between the upper and lower lines. That’s it.
Update: I like my own personal graph so well, I’ve cleaned it up and hereby present it for your downloading and usage.
I like it. It makes sense…slow, gradual weight loss by staying within allowable parameters. So, I’m going to post an updated version of this chart each week:
I was a little bit more aggresive with my chart than Phil was. Instead of a daily .1% daily decrease, I used .2%. In my case, that works out to about 0.3 #/day (~2#/week).
I can’t commit to diets or exercise regimens, but maybe I can track my weight and apply rebalancing to my health and weight goals. (I’m already tracking my weight more or less daily with LoseIt.com.) Welp…let’s try it for a couple of months, see how I do.
Note: While I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone else that they must follow this same strategy, I’d be very interested in partnering up with those who wish to. Committment, parterning, all that jazz. Also, in January Sarah (Dancem0m) and I will be restarting GetHawt.
Edit: My employer just emailed the office to tell us they’re sponsoring anyone who wants to participate in a January 14 5k/10k. I figure I’d better go ahead and do it…even if I walk it. My friend @SQLRunr advises me to walk/run 4-5 days/week (IRL, not on a treadmill). He recommends MapMyRun.com. @YanniRobel recommends the Couch to 5k program. Whooo…..suddenly nervous….