Chad has been doing so well on his 40 X 40 effort that I rarely have had to write about his difficulties. When they do happen, Chad sees his tough times right away, and often before I can offer any support or advice, he has dissected his feelings and his data and has come to a rational, optimistic conclusion. This has happened when the holidays and deer season rolled around, and also during vacations and in times of stress at work.
We are pretty confident that he will meet his goal–He has lost almost 70# in seven months and has less than 10# to lose in 5 months! (We are both eagerly awaiting warmer, snow- and ice-free weather, when more of our workouts can take place outside and have a greater variety.)
But after 31 weeks of collecting data: calories burned, calories eaten and weight, we are starting to see some changing trends. Looking at Chad’s total weight loss, its obviously impressive. But if you look closer, you can see that the slope of the line changes around Thanksgiving. His weight loss continues, but its not as steep of a loss as before.
As the rule of calories goes, now that Chad weighs less, he needs fewer calories to sustain his weight, along with the fact he still wants to lose more weight. Chad started with 2400 calories as his “primary goal,” and is down to 2010 calories per day as a goal (plus more calories which he earns from exercise, which is usually well over 600, and sometimes over 1000, depending on the workout.) As anyone who has tried to lose weight over time knows, you can workout and eat the same, and eventually your weight loss will slow. It seems unfair that this gets harder over time, but we knew this going in, so expected it. I also think both Chad and I were glad of the constant success early in the project, because we knew the weight would come off slower later in the year.
And as Chad wrote about in his last entry, we have a pattern developing. He seems to have a slow week of almost no loss, but then has a week where he makes up for that with a 3-5# loss, which you can see in this “close-up” of his most recent weeks:
As he also mentioned, we have had an atypical week, which always causes a bit of weight gain or less of a loss. And coming up this weigh-in, we had another curling banquet and tournament this past weekend, which involves some extra curling (which does burn quite a few calories,) but also eating and drinking.
So the “Plateau Effect” that people talk about is shown in Chad’s experience, and perhaps even clearer than for others, who don’t keep track of their numbers as vigilantly or as long as Chad has. Also, because his numbers are not fluctuating too much, such as a loss of 5# followed by a gain of 5#, I am happy with this pattern, especially because Chad has accepted that this pattern may continue.
With where we stand; the impending (hopefully!) spring, Chad’s satisfaction with his allotted calories, his current weight loss trends, his constantly high level of motivation and focus, and the time and pounds left in 40 X 40, I feel confident that Chad will keep succeeding.
What is not able to be graphed, however, is Chad’s better moods, increased energy, the constant need to buy new clothes, and the wonderful comments he has gotten from friends, family and students. I continue to be impressed with Chad, as well as hopeful that others can and will do this with the right focus and commitment to making their health a priority.