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Pragmatic Laziness Week 6 – Adjusting Expectations (#GetHawt 004)

February 6, 2012

The TL;DR – What’s not working? Unreasonable expectations that dishearten me. (This is for GetHawt #004.)

Week before last I got frustrated. Last week I got disheartened. Things just don’t seem to be working… the chart, the diet changes, the weekly excercise. It’s very disturbing to see the weight line on my graph go boing-boing-boing between 160 and 165, and it doesn’t seem like I’m making any progress.

Then I added a trend line* to my graph. (It’s a bit hard to see, but it’s the light gray, gently sloping line.)

I am making progress.  It’s a lot more gradual than I’d like, but then again, I’m not going balls-to-the-wall with the diet or the workouts. The title of the damn POST is “Pragmatic Laziness”.

So what’s not working for me? It’s not the charts, the diet, or the workouts…it’s my expectations. Way back in December when I wrote my Prequel to an Effort, I analyzed the problem, my strengths, and how to apply the latter to the former. Six weeks later I’ve nearly forgotten. Time for a self-pep talk:

Jen, you track obsessively, and you rebalance based off of that. That’s good!  You’ve been focused so much on the day-to-day weight that you forgot something important: Meanings hide, even in the hard numbers.  Keep on obsessively tracking and rebalancing, keep on trying things, but keep an eye on reality. You’re trending downward, and that’s good. Now, go adjust your expectations, and keep on doing what you’re doing.

So there it is. I need to change the chart to have a more gradual weight loss line. To put it in perspective, I’d originally graphed a 3 month weight loss from 165 to 137#. 28 pounds in 3 months, over 2# a week. Um, yeah, perhaps I’ve set the bar a tad frakking high for myself, considering the moderate effort.  From my Prequel blog:

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’m resetting the chart** so that the daily weight loss percentage is 0.10%…that’s still a bit aggressive, but it puts me at a goal of 151# (no more than 157#) by March 18. The chart, adjusted:


Here’s what I did last week (including 200 Situps program and 100 pushups program week 2):

DAY Walking/Other Crunches Pushups (knee/”girly” pushups)
Monday 2.29 miles (47min)
Tuesday 1 mile 75 28
Thursday 81 30
Sunday 24 minutes of P90x cardio (before untimely kidmergency***) 91 30

A final, quick note on things that still are working:

  • Planning out what to eat for the day. See this Health article – “I plan most of my meals in advance to make the healthiest choices possible.”
  • Eggs, soup, coffee and tea. Lots of all of those.
  • Teaming up with Sarah S. We’re still nudging each other every day, commiserating about various things, offering advice. On more than one occasion I went and did my workouts because I didn’t want to have to report back that I’d done nothing.

Thanks for coming with me on this….comments and critiques welcome.


* If you’re using my graph and want to add a trend line, in Excel right-click your weight line (the purple one) and select “Add Trendline”. From there you can pick the line color…leave the selection at “Linear”.
** I reset the chart by playing with the target weight (cel B4, “Goal weight in 3 months”) until the Daily Weight Loss % (cel B10) read 0.10%.
**I hereby declare that I coined the term kidmergency. (I refuse to Google the term. I’ll ignore you if you do.) It’s not a real emergency, but it is to the kid…

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2012 5:57 pm

    I can commiserate, and I also think you’re absolutely right, Jen. It’s important to focus on the downward trend, and to have realistic expectations. Slow but steady wins the race. Heard that somewhere, and have some personal experience to back it up! Hang in there!

    • February 6, 2012 6:54 pm

      Thanks. That actually didn’t hit me until I started writing this blog post – it looks like I’m going nowhere, but it’s actually just a gradual downward trend. And I HEAR that’s what diets are supposed to be like – life changes, gradual change.

      Thanks Stacia!

  2. February 7, 2012 12:38 pm

    I’ve read in several places that a healthy rate of loss is 1-2 pounds per week – any faster and you’re inviting other health problems. I’ve also read that weighing yourself weekly is the best way to do, because your weight can naturally fluctuate from one day to the next. Weighing daily will show you those variations, but weekly is going to show you the general trend, much like you’ve done with your graph.

    Slow and steady, permanent gradual changes, it will all add up in the end…

    • February 7, 2012 3:42 pm

      Agreed. But then, I HAD planned on 2# per week. Since I’m taking the Pragmatically Lazy approach, 1/2-1# per week is probably more realistic.



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