Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

A System of Weights and Measures

Posted by Trixter on January 5, 2006


I’ve tried to lose weight in the past, and there were two main obstacles:

  1. It was beyond my willpower to change my habits cold turkey
  2. After a while, the weight loss would stop or reverse, even during periods of regular exercise

The longest stretch I’ve ever been able to go was about 8 weeks, and then one or both of these would boot me off the path to improving my appearance. So I’ve come up with two plans to combat my biggest hurdles:

Don’t measure weight loss to track your progress; instead, measure fat percentage. A “good” problem to have when exercising and losing weight is to hit a plateau, because it means you’re gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat. However, even though I know this, it usually throws me off (“Why did I *gain* weight the last two weeks?”). So we bought a digital scale that also measures fat percentage. This neat trick is performed by having you stand on two metal plates while it zaps you with low-current electricity, then measures your body’s ability to conduct said electricity (which is affected by how fat you are). Your weight may go up and down, but your body fat percentage almost always constantly declines, so that’s what I’m going to pay attention to.

Changing habits cold turkey: Don’t. It’s not possible. Instead, you have to make very small changes, maybe one or two a week, until you don’t notice you’ve changed. Baby steps, my friend. Baby steps.

In future posts, I’ll be documenting the slow and gradual changes I’ve been making. Hopefully, other overweight computer nerds will be able to benefit from anything I discover.

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