Friday, March 02, 2007

wwol: week one report

Weight Watchers has used the slogan "Give us a week, we'll take off the weight." As a methodological matter, when you compare a single measure taken right before an intervention with one intervention afterwards, the estimated effect of the intervention will tend to be overstated, at least if there is any way the high earlier measure was part of what prompted the intervention in the first place. So a year with an unusually high number of drunk-driving deaths prompts a state to pass a stricter drunk driving law, which then looks like it has a larger effect than it 'really' does because part of what had led to the spike in deaths the previous year was unusually bad luck. With weight, you have day-to-day fluctuation around one's 'real' weight, and so you might expect that people start diets after weigh-ins that are bad partly due to bad random fluctuation. This would then lead to the expectation of an unusually good first weigh-in followed by tapering off, although only for those people whose diets were prompted by a dismaying turn on the scale.

Anyway, I have committed to staying on this diet for ten reasonably good weeks, which I hope and plan will be consistent with ten consecutive weeks, but if not I'm not letting myself off the hook. This week features extensive use of what I call my orange gambit, based on my observation that you rarely see a fat person who eats a pound of carrots a day. So I had a pound of carrots six of the first seven days, not even getting into the crazy consumption of rice cakes and Lean Cuisine meals. Here is my WWOL points tracker for the first week:

wwol weekly food tracker 3/2/07

I don't always enter the time of the meal in the right place, so it's not like there are days when I really blew all my points in the morning. Also, if you look at the activity column, you'll notice I worked out fine the first four days and then stopped -- this corresponds to my portable DVD player breaking and thus rendering my elliptical trainer too tedious (a replacement part is on order, although I could also download an audiobook and listen to it on my iPod).

My first weigh-in was today and, consistent with the expectations above, went well:

wwol weight tracker 3/2/07

Anyway, one week down, nine to go. I appreciate all who said they were rooting for me. The guy who commented and said he wasn't rooting for me is appreciated in his own, different, way.

21 comments:

Hazy Dave said...

Good work. Meanwhile, the Girl Scout cookies have been delivered to the office this morning. Maybe I'll buy some carrots and rice cakes after I dispose of these.

Anonymous said...

Is "activity swapping" where you get to say to your buddy, "OK, how about you go exercise for me today, and I'll just sit here on your couch and eat all your coco-pebbles for you?"

shakha said...

Woohoo!!! Congrats. My week one is tomorrow. Still on the wagon... Except for the department party tomorrow, where I will be notably off it.

jess said...

Congratulations, Jeremy!

My week one ends Monday, but it's already looking good (although not as good as your own). Hopefully I won't blow it this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Remembering a NYer article from some time ago about the strange case of the orange-colored lady: You'd BETTER lose weight eating all those carrots. Lady's MDs found out she'd been consuming mucho carrot juice.
Think! No weight loss, you might end up resembling a giant orange (from outerspace?)!

A+ said...

Wow, women sure get the short end when it comes to points.

Tina said...

Congratulations, Jeremy. I am currently carb-loading for my Big Finish with my writing project. I am off to the office supply store for just the right paper on which to print my manuscript, which I will be sending to the publisher today. Then, big weekend of debauchery, and my diet starts Monday.

Brad Wright said...

Congrats on your time at WW. I went for awhile and found it very helpful, as long as I kept going.

The meeting were also interesting... who attended, how people framed their own experiences, etc....

Looking forward to reading more.

Anonymous said...

I need to contextualize that number. How tall are you?

Lucy said...

Excellent start! You rock.
Can you watch DVDs on your laptop?

jeremy said...

Anon 12:35: I'm not sure I'm interested in strangers contextualizing my weight.

jeremy said...

A+: I was surprised to get 30 points. I was going to look online for their algorithm for how starting point levels were determined, but haven't yet.

Kieran said...

Sorry, the contextualizer was me. I withdraw my question. Let me restate the issue as, "these data suggest I probably should be on a similar program." :)

jess said...

Kieran, granted I haven't seen you since last summer, but I'm thinking that you don't need to join the Weight Watcher challenge. Certainly feel free to cheer the rest of us on, though!

Anonymous said...

FYI if this is about your health, rice cakes are about #1 on the glycemic index, and therefore not healthy if you have worries about your blood sugar.

Jay Livingston said...

Carrots. Jerry Rubin (a name many may recall dimly as being from the early pliestocene era) wrote that he went on some diet which had him eating tons of carrots. After a while, his skin turned orange. It wasn't the carrots themselves but the high levels of beta carotene (or something like that).

Anonymous said...

Awesome, Jeremy. As always, I followed your WW lead and I posted a 3.5 lb drop this week. Pants are more comfortable already...
Nan the Fan

jeremy said...

Kieran: This is a pre-emptive diet based more on the direction my weight was moving and past experience being heavier than the above-listed weight.

Jay: I have no idea who Jerry Rubin is, and I used to read a lot about the Pleistocene.

Nan: Congratulations! See what a great pleasure more comfortable fitting pants are. (Especially when one achieves it without having, you know, to buy new and larger pants.)

jeremy said...

Anon: I didn't know about the glycemic index issue. I think I would worry if I had a longer trajectory of rice cakes addiction.

TheInternetDog said...

How do you get 30 points per day? You don't look nearly big enough to be getting that many.

jess said...

How do you eat a pound of carrots everyday? I brought in two cups or something today, maybe a half a pound, and I'm so tired of them that my body's actually not registering them as food anymore.