a year of data collection

Boxing day 2016, I woke up and realised how heavy life was. In terms of life I really mean my weight. I was not the heaviest I had ever been but at my age in life the weight was causing me some issues in terms of simple things such as mobility. This is partly to do with me being super critical of my abilities - I was still active and teaching the physical things that I always had - just not as involved I expected of myself to be. I do not just want to teach but also to train at that level.

Over the last few years I have been aware of how my weight fluctuates and what I need to do to maintain and to loose weight. Believe me the third option of gaining weight is just frankly not a concern for me, it naturally happens with zero effort.

So why if I had been aware for around 4 years about how to loose weight had I not done so? Well I had done so - however the days off diet, even a single day, made it really difficult to get back onto diet. The reciprocal was similar but by no means the same.

When on diet it was easy to stay on diet and if I maintained it for a few days in a row the weight just fell off, however it was also very easy to come off diet. If I came off diet the weight increased in one day more than several days on diet.

As part of becoming a behaviour analyst we are taught to take data on everything - so I took the opportunity to take data on myself. I weighed on the same set of scales on the same surface first thing in the morning for a year. Now those of you who are astute will realise that the data is not every day - this is purely due to travelling for work on certain weeks. So for the most part there are a reasonable amount of data points.

You should be able to notice which days I had off. I actually noted in the data collection when I had an evening off or a day off as it was worth it to see the effects over the longer term.

And so fluctuates my weight - I wanted to get to 108kg by the end of 2017 however I passed that early in the year and reset the goal to be 104kg by the end of the year. This was actually achieved in the middle of the year and I have fluctuated since then. And so I have become a master at seeing the changes in my weight on a day to day basis and knowing exactly what I can do to change it. Yes this is in kilograms.

So data collection is a wonderful motivator, I get to see changes day to day and bar things like xmas I rarely take more than one day off at a time as I can see the alteration a day off diet can make.

The response effort was an issue so I have an icon on home screen of my phone that leads directly to a google form to put the data into an google sheet which generates the graph live. Making sure this was simple to do led me to be meticulous in recording every day that I could. Lowering the response effort is what has made the most difference in this project as this was the big difference from the previous few years.