I've had a major breakthrough in my weight loss today. I've posted several threads over the course of this year lamenting my lack of progress this year compared to the previous two, when I averaged a loss of 3 pounds a week for long periods of time. I slipped and gained 40 pounds over winter, and when I began cycling again and watched my diet more closely as the spring and summer months wound up, I've not noticed a significant change in my weight.
Well this morning I hit a yearly low of 386 pounds and was pleased with myself after having started at 400 again, but became slightly disappointed shortly after when I realised the year is nearly 2/3rds over already. So, I decided to do some numerical analysis of my recorded weights, and ended up with this graph:
I only started weighing myself in April again, after having ceased in December. At first the numbers seem mostly random, they seem to be mostly due to water weight fluctuations. I take my weight at the same time every morning before eating so that I have as close to a scientifically-controlled process as possible. So I decided to apply a 14-day moving average to the weights to smooth it out. Suddenly I noticed that there's a mountain-shaped form in the graph. My weight was slowly rising, and then it turned around and started lowering again.
So what the heck happened at the beginning of June? I wasn't entirely sure, but I had a suspicion of what it was. When I had my first epiphany and decided to lose weight I started buying fresh vegetables and fruit, but I could never get them to stay fresh for an entire week. So I adopted a 2-day-a-week shopping plan, on Mondays and Fridays. Sometime this year I decided to try out switching back down to 1-day-a-week shopping, but I couldn't remember exactly when that was. So I whipped out my credit card statements and saw... lo and behold...
June 1st. On Friday, June 1st, I transitioned to 1-day-a-week shopping. My jaw dropped. Here it is, incontrovertible evidence that I was actually eating too much. I signed up for tons of calorie-counting sites and every single one told me that I wasn't eating enough, that I should be eating 5,500-6,000 calories a day. On the surface I thought that was utterly mad, but I had a raging internal debate with myself, wondering if I was actually starving myself to death. I kept saying "Go ahead, try out 3,000 maybe even 4,000 calories. You're probably not eating enough and your body refuses to burn fat because it's starving!". I certainly felt starving, but I am so glad that I decided to go the other way and cut more calories.
So then I took the graph from June 1st and extrapolate linearly:
It appears I'm averaging a loss of 0.1418 pounds a day since June, or 1 pound a week, 4 pounds a month, and 50 pounds a year. Not the best results in the world, but not too shabby either. So what this means now is that I'm going to begin looking for other things to cut out of my diet, now that I've proven that I was eating too much. It's going to be hard, but I can taste the victory in my mouth this time, and that's a far sweeter taste than any food can deliver.
I suppose the scariest part of this discovery is the fact that I was steadily gaining weight from April to June. I was exercising a lot during that period and thought my weight was under control but the same linear extrapolation shows a gain of 0.1573 pounds a day, even more than I'm losing now. When factoring in that January through April I was eating a lot more and cut down on the exercising to 4 hours a week, it's finally very easy to understand how I gained 40 pounds in that timeframe. Kind of an incredible discovery, which shows that exercising a lot is nowhere near to being sufficient for proper weight loss. Diet is definitely a far greater overall influence.