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Old 10-31-2013, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default Can you "read" weight charts similar to stock charts?

This is probably somewhat of an esoteric thread. But I am an avid stock chart "reader" and there is something called "technical analysis" in stock chart reading, where you can make predictions of stock movements based simply on past history of the stock price. I have often wondered if that sort of analysis could be applied to weight loss charts too. Interestingly, my 40 year weight chart is so full of yo-yo moves, that it really lends itself to this sort of analysis.

Recently I have had a really hard time getting through the 270 pound barrier, and have been stuck just above that level for about 2 weeks. When I looked back at my old weight chart, I found that 270 was a very critical support/resistance level in my past having bounced off 270 pounds twice before, once in 2006 (on the way up) and once in 2009 (on the way down). Looking at this now, I probably could have predicted my difficulty in getting through 270 again this time, since that 270 pound weight is acting as "resistance" once again for me.

As to why this might happen "physically" speaking, I wonder if the body might have some "memory" of being at that weight and then going through a radical change of direction after reaching that weight, similar to 2 NORTH POLES of a magnet repelling each other.

The good news for me is, if I can punch through this 270 pound resistance level, I don't hit another resistance level until I hit 240 pounds, a good 30 pounds lower.

Not saying any of this is meaningful or significant, but it's kind of an interesting way to look at it. Clearly it's really hard to say what really causes weight loss movements to slow down and then speed up at different times -- but I suppose this might be one theory (for some perhaps).

Just one note that ONLY that last little leg down from 335 to 270 for the past few months is my IP Diet attempt. I actually started IP at 326 pounds. Those first 9 pounds down from 335 to 326, was done simply by reducing carbs, but not doing IP officially.

Clearly I need work on training my body start making long horizontal lines at lower levels as over the past 20 years I have been either in rapid weight loss or weight gain mode.

It's also mind boggling when I add up how much weight I have "lost" over the past 20 years, I think it might be well over 400 pounds. Basically covering the same ground over and over. I do hope this is my last diet and I can get my weight down and keep it down.

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Old 11-01-2013, 12:07 AM   #2
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I love your charts and analysis, and this one is particularly interesting. Keep them coming!
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:07 AM   #3
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I love your charts. I find this very interesting. You have done very well in your journey. Congrats! You will hit that 240 in no time and look back to see how right you were. Just keep pushing forward once you get there. This just great, it all makes sense.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:14 AM   #4
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I was just thinking along similar lines (though not as analytical!) as you regarding my current weight - I'm at a place I stayed for a long time, during a very trying period of my life. I'm hoping I can get past this "critical" point, as it has been a point of contention for me and my weight-loss goals.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:37 AM   #5
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I always had to watch my weight and could never eat as much as other people. My weigth essentially started to creep up as my lifestyle became more sedentary. I did not really overeat that much. Indeed, most of my weight gain happened within weeks and due to medical reasons. Loosing therefore has been hard and slow. I had bursts of weight loss followed by longer plateaus. I found that the last plateau actually reflected the time I needed for my thyroid function to recover. This is probably because I can only loose on a low carb diet, but carbs also affect thyroid hormones. So, at some point, my metabolism simply slowed down to a crawl. I don't think this is a general phenomen, but the calories in mantra does not really work well for me. I can have a calorie deficit for a long time and still stay the same on the scale or even gain. So, maybe stalls reflect a need by your body to rebalance hormones. A 50 lbs loss is quite dramatic and on IP happens fast. It would make sense that hormones get out of whack.

Having said that, I can still loose fat and gain muscle under stall conditions and most gains anyways likely just reflect water retention. I think the scale is probably just not the best instrument for monitoring your progress. If you rely too much on it and it does not move, you eventually get discouraged. Then the pendulum swings into the other direction.

I have no experience with yo-yo dieting and hope it stays that way. Once I figured out why I gained so much, I simply dug in. I also exercised from the beginning and I still can push my body to change positively even when I stall. That allows me to ignore the scale when things don't go the way I want. This was one benefit of being so out of shape as I was. I can still get really excited about biceps and abs and the ability to do push-ups. That makes up for the shoddy numbers on the scale. My advice is don't focus on the scale for a while. Introduce some physical activities that allow you to see some progress. Weight loss will resume at some point. I have also had no problem increasing caloric intake and maintaining, but this is a personal decision as going back to dieting tends to be a bit harder after breaks.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:37 AM   #6
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I really liked reading some of the other stories (above) of "stall weight levels" or "plateaus". It's interesting that I don't seem to be alone in this phenomenon. I think there might be something to this "body memory" theory.

Posted below is a zoom of my weight loss chart just since Sept 1st.
It's telling to look at the number of days that it took to get me though each five pound weight block:

300-295 = 8 days
295-290 = 8 days
290-285 = 8 days
285-280 = 9 days
280-275 = 9 days
275-270 = 18 days (double the number of days of previous blocks!)

It's so funny that my body appears to be almost "repulsing" or "rejecting" my attempts to get it under 270. Like my body is saying to me: "NO, I don't want you under 270 pounds. Go back. It's so much more comfortable higher up. It's scary below 270 because I don't have any recent memory of being down there. What's going to happen to me?"

The good news is this morning I just crept under that 270 pound resistance line with a morning weigh in of 269.75 pounds. Though my weight loss is so jumpy lately, I might be back above 270 tomorrow. So I can't really count my chickens yet. I am sure my body is in full "freak out mode" right now (LOL). Maybe it's appropriate that yesterday was Halloween: "CASPER, IT'S A GHOST!!!!"

It's interesting the demons that we all battle to lose weight: Family and friends, TV food commercials, social events, holidays, and even our own bodies and it's "memory" of comfort- and/or discomfort-levels.

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Old 11-01-2013, 10:03 AM   #7
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Avalon, in the past how long were you at that 270 mark before you decided heck with it? Maybe your body wants to know you are serious this time. I believe that bodies do get comfortable at a certain weight but I also believe we are the boss of said bodies and sometimes it just takes a little determination to let them know we are serious. I know if you keep doing what you are doing, it will let go. Let go of the old reasons why you couldn't crack that number and tell yourself that you will do it this time...because you will. YOU GOT THIS!!
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:52 AM   #8
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I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE your charts!!!! And I agree about body memory. Since you've never done a program like IP before perhaps your body will finally respond to it; despite the length of time between 275 and 270. Then again, you've lost a darn good amount on IP so far without any stalls. Keep plugging away and hopefully you'll have a WHOOSH week and a big number.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airportchick11 View Post
Avalon, in the past how long were you at that 270 mark before you decided heck with it? Maybe your body wants to know you are serious this time. I believe that bodies do get comfortable at a certain weight but I also believe we are the boss of said bodies and sometimes it just takes a little determination to let them know we are serious. I know if you keep doing what you are doing, it will let go. Let go of the old reasons why you couldn't crack that number and tell yourself that you will do it this time...because you will. YOU GOT THIS!!
I do agree with you about being serious and determined. I think that is critical.

I was not plotting my weight carefully in 2006, when I bounced off 270 on the way up. As I recall, I think I was floating around that weight for at least a few weeks before I got my "mojo" back and started seriously dieting again.

However I was plotting my weight carefully in 2009, when I bounced off 270 on the way down (see plot below). It looks like I was around the 270 mark for about 3 weeks, before I lost my "dieting drive" and my weight started to turn upwards in a significant way.



One thing I am doing differently this time around is I no longer feel like a long plateau is a "weight loss failure" (like I used to) ... but instead I am thinking that a plateau is actually a "maintenance victory". I think that being able to maintain a lower weight is even more important than losing. Since it's the maintenance aspect that allows us to hold onto lower healthier weights. An aspect that I clearly struggle with.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:40 AM   #10
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And thanks for all the nice responses and words of encouragement (from all posters)!

They are very much appreciated!
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:08 PM   #11
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I don't have the necessary determination to read my charts in the analytical way that you do. (probably because I can look at it and KNOW why I chose to give up at certain dates, a little too honest and raw for me sometimes) BUT I do have my charts that date back about five years.

I am at a hangup point now - 275-270ish but I am on my way through it. I am approaching my lowest ever recorded adult weight which is 261.2 on 8-20-2011. Everything below that is uncharted territory.

I find the charts useful to see where I am and where I have been but I am finding that the measurements and photos we are taking of my body much more fascinating than the charts. It's encouraging to wonder what else my body can do!
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:15 PM   #12
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I love the way you go about your analysis. It's not just about the bad eating habits, it's understanding yourself and your body.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:55 AM   #13
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This is so interesting Avalon. I am curious to see if this happens to me. I weighed about 174 for 8 years. Maybe up/down a few pounds over that time but hovered there. Not really actively trying to lose weight then, though I was working out regularly and was much younger. My current goal is set below that. Hmmm.

Love your charts!
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