Tracking My Weight

Aug 13, 2010

I've been slightly overweight for quite a long time. Two months ago, I decided I would start tracking my weight daily, in an effort to try and motivate myself to shed a few pounds. Desiring a tool to make this easy, I immediately searched the Android marketplace and found Libra. This incredibly handy tool uses a weight trend line as described in the excellent book The Hacker's Diet.

Allow me to quickly talk about The Hacker's Diet. Written by John Walker, founder of AutoDesk, this book tackles weight loss as an engineering problem. The author is funny, to the point, and provides a careful analysis of how weight loss works. The briefest summary: you will only lose weight by eating fewer calories than you need. Exercise won't do it (though it helps), and weird diets (Atkins, South Beach, et al.) won't do it either. Read the book for further discussion and analysis of this viewpoint. The author presents a pretty solid case that's hard to argue against. Best of all, the book is available for free as a PDF!

The trend line in a weight chart tells you where you're headed: am I gaining weight (line going up), maintaining it (horizontal), or losing it (line going down)? With this simple tool, I was able to see in no time at all that my weight was going upwards at an alarming rate. After waking up to my weight gain, I set a modest goal of losing 9 pounds (I was 9 pounds above the "overweight" line for someone my height).

After reading The Hacker's Diet, I made one simple change to my lifestyle: I altered how much I eat at each meal. I didn't change what I eat; only how much. And wow what a difference that has made! Today, I weighed in at my goal weight for the very first time! Here's the proof:

As you can see from the chart, I started heading up, turned the corner, and have been headed down ever since. My trend line hasn't yet hit my target weight (as of today's measurement, it's scheduled to hit the target on August 21), but at least it's heading in the right direction. It was a great feeling to hit my target this morning. I'm looking forward to shedding a few more pounds and maintaining a healthier weight.

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