Friday, June 10, 2011

Tracking My Weight Loss Efforts...

Here is the actual chart I stare at each and every Friday morning.  I made it in Excel and it is a graphical representation of my weight loss!  When I started in October 2010, I was at 297.2 pounds, not my heaviest though as I had dropped from 317 pounds during the few weeks it took us to "de-carb" the house.  We didn't wait too long, I decide mid-September that we (my other half didn't actually get a choice) were going to return to the low carb lifestyle, but I did concede to waiting for the 1st of October.  Of course, when that date passed, I jumped on the first Friday of the month and through out all leftover perishable carb stuffs while the other half was at work.  I have an entire workbook in Excel specifically for my weight loss and my goals!  Next to this chart sits a gigantic list of data, this data, of course, turns into the chart.  Also, there is a wealth of other information on my spreadsheet.

Okay, so BMI may or may not be a good thing to track.  With my weight, and the weight of 95% of the population, we measure into the "obese" category anyway (anything at or above 25.0)!  However, it did give me somewhere to start!  My "end goal" may change after the majority of the "icky weight" is gone, but for now, I have my goal set at a "healthy" 145 pounds.  For someone like me, at 5'6" tall, that would put my BMI at a "healthy" 23.4 on the BMI!  Right in the middle of the "healthy" range of 18.5-24.99.  To the right, you can see what my actual numbers are...I discovered a wonderful "snipping tool" on my computer today (thanks to my techie other half) that allows you to "take photos" of anything on your screen!  So, at 297.2 pounds and 5'6" (66 inches) starting BMI was 47.96!  Holy bad numbers Batman!  Today, at 266.0 pounds, I came in at 42.93!  Just over 5 points below where I was in October 2010!  It's the "small" changes that count...even though that "small" number change equates to a huge poundage loss, 31.2 pounds!  Another thing you may notice is the squares highlighted in blue.  I did that too (using Excel features) to automatically mark weights at or near my Mini Goals.  I decided, early on, that even though weight loss is a great reward in itself, that I was going to need motivation along the way.  So, for every 25 pounds I loose, I am rewarding myself with something.  The "somethings" I've chosen are things I/we normally wouldn't spend the money on, or things that we "need" but haven't gotten around to getting just yet.  My 25 pound "reward" was a patio set!  Yep, something we "needed" and have been wanting for a long time but had never decided there was one "worth" our money!  I spent several hours trying to put my reward together yesterday...I still have one ottoman left to put together, but I'm having issues getting everything to line up!  I may have to call the store, I think one of the bolt threads was put in the wrong spot!
I've had good weeks, bad weeks, good months, and bad months when it comes to losing weight.  But, I keep track of everything and just keep plugging away at the low carb way of living.  Right now I am enjoying a "Peanut Butter Cup" flavored coffee, made with Da Vinci's syrup in sugar free Chocolate (just a dash) and sugar free Peanut Butter flavors!  Oh, how I've missed the flavor of Peanut Butter!  I also plan on making another batch of the brownies I made a few weeks ago, but adding the PB flavor to make them PB Brownies, yum!  I've rarely met my "monthly goal" of 4 to 5 pounds, but I'm good with'll just take longer!  This "longer" thing is why my charts all look like they're coming to the end of it...I need to extend dates out a bit still, lol.  These monthly weights are a little "off" though, I made these by taking the first week of the next month and subtracting the first weight of the month labeled (like in April, I started May at 275.0 and started April at it shows a weight gain for April), it isn't perfect, but it let's me see if I'm having any major issues going on weight wise!  And no...I'm not losing 24 pounds each month!  Since I have it set up for an entire year already, the current month shows my current weight ass what I've lost, I cut that part out of the picture.
I mentioned my goals earlier, but I do have a system for tracking those too!  The goal I'm working toward now is "#2", 50 pounds, only 100 to go after that!  My averages here are more accurate.  I do have better weeks and worse weeks, but on average, I'm losing about 1 pound per week, totally healthy if you ask any doctor!  The average loss oer month here is more accurate as well...not quite the 4 pound minimum goal I set for myself, but close!  It's also nice to know where I stand on a given week, that "current total loss" is my "start weight" minus today's weight!  And then there's my mini goal progress!  Only 18.8 pounds to go until I hit -50! 
So, if you haven't figured it out by now...I like numbers and I love Excel!  I took a class (back when MS Office texts were for 2003) and learned a ton of info on "how to" use all the features.  I even have a spreadsheet for my blood sugars...that ones uses a "COUNTIFS" code!  That counts the number of times my readings are within specified numbers, hence the "S".  I have that spreadsheet set up to graph my readings, provide a daily average, and a weekly average.  I'm in the process of "back logging" from my hand written logs so that I can establish monthly and yearly (eventually) averages as well.  On another page of the workbook (every week has it's own page), is all other important information from the doctor's office.  Such as weight information (always different from at home...), blood pressure (always high, has been since I was a little kid), Hb A1C readings (a "snapshot" of what my sugars have been up to over the last 3 months), and noted from the doctor (like lowering my Lantus).  The plan is to have this all printed off and in a binder I can take with me to the next appointment!  I like being well organized and doctor's love charts!  I have been self-graphing my blood sugars since I was 11 years old (off and on), but back then, it was all done on graph paper with colored pencils, now it is much prettier!
This is last week...readings in pink are over 150 mg/dl (the measure for sugars in your bloodstream) and yellow ones are under 95 mg/dl.  The unhighlighted ones are between the two and considered "in range".  To the right of the readings are my insulin requirements (what I took) and continuing right are the daily blood sugar averages.  At the bottom of the far right column is my weekly average.  The line graph goes from 270 down to 40 mg/dl, so extremely high or low readings do go off the chart!  Obviously, even with an A1C reading of 7.1%, I am not in tight control of them all the time!  I like using that particular gradient color scheme in my charts (I used the same color for both weight and sugars), here the color changes based on where my sugars were, blue for higher readings, orange for really low ones.  Visual cues are always useful!

I was obviously struggling with new insulin needs that week!  I have since lowered my Lantus (long acting) and am working on stabilizing everything again.

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