My weight graph looks kind of like a mountain range. Today's weight marks the lowest point in at least a month. The weight itself is not what feels like progress to me, it's that tracking my food and keeping my calories within my goal range seems to have become easier. There are a lot of possible reasons. One is the DietBet, but I don't think it's that. I started noticing that I was hitting my calorie goals more easily a couple of weeks ago, before I joined the game. It could also be that school has started and I'm busier. I have done a better job of keeping the junk out of the house. I have gotten better about planning meals. Sometimes I worry that the reason is because I haven't been swimming for the last couple of weeks, and maybe the cold water made me hungier. I will be starting up again with swimming soon so I hope that's not it.
I suspect that it's probably a lot of little things. I teach the book Good to Great in one of my classes, and the author, Jim Collins, talks about the Flywheel Effect, the idea that continually and consistently working in the right direction builds momentum slowly and imperceptibly over time. I think that could definitely be what is happening, since I have worked on gradually changing my habits rather than trying to do anything drastic.
I also give some of the credit to getting more sleep. Since we got our Jawbone UP bands, I get a picture each morning of how much sleep I got and how the quality of it was. It helps me to make getting to bed on time more of a priority, because I can see how the sleep is impacting the way I feel. If I'm tempted to surf mindlessly on the internet or watch a third episode of "Breaking Bad," I think about what I want my sleep graph to look like the next morning. Sleeping well makes me feel better so I'm not tempted to look to food for energy, and I'm more energetic and feel more eager to work out. My step count is positive motivation too -- so much so that on Monday, when I left my wristband on the counter when I drove to the park for my run, I almost turned around to get it. I knew that without those workout steps I wouldn't make my step goal for the day, at least as far as the app was concerned. Never underestimate the power of goofy graphs and charts to motivate a geek, I guess...
I'm happy that I had a good weigh-in, but looking at the first chart above reminds me that I have to keep working my plan, or I'll be back on top of another peak instead of down here in the valley where I want to be. I want to start making it a steady downhill slope instead of this up-and-down trend. If I shoot for just one pound a week from here on out, I can win my DietBet and also be at my lowest weight in months by October 6. I'd like to beat that by a little and get under 175.