Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The "Free Lunch" Weight Loss Plan v.014

I continue to climb at least 20 extra flights of stairs each day. I've been tending to do the stairs 5 flights at a time using the stairway in my front hallway. It takes me well less than a minute to do each set. I just run them. This makes them perfect for commercial breaks on the television. Two birds, one stone. It also gets my heart rate up significantly at least 4 times per day. Three birds?

Click to enlarge.

It's been a good month. I wouldn't read too much into these last two days. I was not making a huge push to improve the charts (nor would I consciously). In sharp contrast, I ate something that didn't agree with me and paid the price. What can I say? Life happens.

Click to enlarge.

I originally estimated that I was gaining about 3 pounds per year. I figured that if I burned an extra 10 pounds per year then it would take me 3-4 years to get back down to a healthy weight. Although the data is very noisy, I appear to be on track.

I am 8 pounds lighter than I was one year ago today. Is it the pure math of the extra calories I'm expending? Is it being conscious of my weight each and every day? Is it posting these charts for others to see (subconscious peer pressure)? Do I really care? It's working and there has been absolutely no hunger involved. That's all that matters. A trivial change in my behavior is apparently all it takes over the long-term.

Click to enlarge.

As seen in the chart above, I definitely seem to be swayed by the sun. It's not a perfect match. One reason for the discrepancy may be that the month of maximum daylight is not the month of maximum heat. There's a lag. There's also probably a lag between my mood and the seasons. Fall may be my favorite season. Halloween is a fun holiday. Knowing that yard work season is finally over can't hurt either.

Unfortunately, the end of yard work means that I don't burn as many calories doing yard work (or hiking or doing a variety of other outdoor activities). Combine that with leftover Halloween candy and what do you have? The chart! If it happens again, then I'll make it up next year. No big deal. This is a long-term plan. That said, there's a chance the effect won't be as big this year. Will my behavior subconsciously change now that I've seen the effect? Who knows!

Perhaps I'll alter my plan in the future (once I am in the blue zone in the first two charts) to adjust for these seasonal effects. More stairs in the winter and less in the summer? I'm in no hurry though. It is such a low priority to me. First things first.

And lastly, the weather is not the only thing that affects my mood and/or stress level. I'm not a moody person, but I am easily stressed. That's especially true when I think about our country's long-term economic future. I'm doing that each and every day too. Sigh.

See Also:
The "Free Lunch" Weight Loss Plan v.000

Source Data:
SunriseSunset: Sunrise Sunset Calendar


Stagflationary Mark said...

As a side note, my original ballpark estimate on how long it might take me did not factor in that the first pounds lost would be the easiest pounds to lose.

I clearly cannot lose 8 pounds every year or I will weigh nothing in 26 years. Not going to happen! ;)

Stagflationary Mark said...

One more thought.

The blue trend line was pulled down a bit since last month.

Assuming these trends continue, I still can't make much more than a ballpark estimate on when I will be in the blue zone. The data is still too noisy.

In any event, I have no complaints so far.

Troy said...

>In any event, I have no complaints so far.

plus I imagine you're a stair-climbing demon now, having exercised overweight is like having worn weights . . . (about a gallon of water in each hand).

Picking up 6 gallons of water here, it's hard to believe I've lost that much weight. Since I haven't exercised so much, I don't feel quite as springy as I did last time.

Over here, was plateaued for most of the month . . .


but my only loss goal now is the ~4" of belly fat by Spring (in time for a trip to Japan), so slow is OK.

Mr Slippery said...

Your progress looks great. You have an amazing ability to stick to long term plans. Contrast that with my high intensity, burn out, behavior. I'd rather have your slow burn willpower for exercise and investing.

Stagflationary Mark said...


First of all, your chart looks awesome. Congrats!

As for the stair-climbing demon, I can honestly say that I enjoy it. 20 flights are the minimum. Every now and then I'll watch a long movie and do 5 flights of stairs during each commercial break. It seems they like fitting movies into 3 hours more and more these days. That's a great workout. Can't say it does much for the advertisers though, lol.

I walked down to the river today. It's been a while since I last did that. There's a path near my house. I figure it's about 200' of vertical (or more). The return trip was awesome. I fast-walked it. I was really out of breath at the top (as was my dog), but I didn't need to stop along the way.

Still doing the extra 20 flights though. That trip didn't count. It has to be in addition to what I would normally do.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Mr Slippery,

One person's patience is just another person's laziness.

I think this plan demonstrates it. I was looking to do the absolute minimum to get to a healthy weight (and stay there), lol.

I think my investment style is similar. I am a VERY inactive trader.

My next 5 trades are already planned.

Jan 2013: I-Bonds
Jan 2014: I-Bonds
Jan 2015: I-Bonds
Jan 2016: I-Bonds
Apr 2016: 5-Year TIPS

That's all I'm planning to do. Hopefully the 5-Year TIPS rate will be higher by then. I have a 2% 10-year TIPS maturing in Jan 2016 and need to reinvest some of the proceeds.

Unlike my weight loss plan (in theory), this investment/savings plan is subject to change of course.

Stagflationary Mark said...

I should add that EE Savings Bonds still interest me if the government doesn't change the maturity this fall. I don't plan on that though.

What are the odds they'll give us 3.53% for 20 years (if held to maturity they are guaranteed to double) when the 20-year treasury only yields 2.21%?

I suppose it could happen. I hope it does.

AllanF said...

One person's patience is just another person's laziness.

Too funny. Looking at the chart, my thought was he's giving himself 3 yrs to lose 10lbs!?!

Though if you figure you'd otherwise have gained 12lbs in 3 yrs, you've doubled your alpha. ;-)

remy said...

Stag, just wanted to say that this is awesome! Keep it up.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Hey, deep down I'm a lazy person. I own it. :)

I've doubled my alpha? Too funny!!!

By the way, it wouldn't have worked out that way. The previous time I approached 230 pounds I opted for a self-imposed intervention with figurative flailing arms and fasting. ;)

I'm over that part of my life though. I just want something that will work permanently. No more yo-yoing between weight panic and weight complacency.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Thanks! This plan is somewhat inspired by Bill Murray.