Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Double-Edged Swords

So, my birthday has come and gone this year, and one of the presents I asked for, and received, was a new Tanita scale. It is nice and shiny, has a solid feel to it (read: it's heavy), and is nice and accurate. The biggest variance I've seen in two consecutive readings was 0.2 lbs, and that was only one. Compare this with my last scale, which has been observed with almost 30lbs of variation between two readings, and once told me I gained about 45lbs from a reading before bed to one right after getting up the next morning. My impassioned arguments regarding the impossibility of such a sudden weight gain had little effect on the scale.

So, this is all really nice, except that my nice, shiny, accurate, new scale also tells me I don't weigh 277lbs any more, but actually something more like 310lbs. I've been posting my progress over at PhysicsDiet.com, and had actually started getting excited because I was only a pound or two away from making the biggest losers chart. For someone who has never had any success losing weight in the past, I was getting positively giddy. However, the addition of the new, correct, but higher weights basically shows up as a huge weight gain. I was tempted to try adjusting all my old readings upwards by the approximate difference between the scales, but that would destroy any accuracy left in the data. I was also thinking about just wiping out my old data and starting fresh, but that isn't any better. At least by leaving the old data alone, I can still see the weight loss trends, and look at the rate of change. Because even though the readings may have been off, they were still coming down consistently, and there is definitely some physical differences in my body to support that downward trend.

So, I didn't suddenly gain 30lbs, I just got a new scale. And discovered that I have a bit further to go before reaching my goal than I anticipated. However, I will reach it, and I will continue onward, one day at a time.


  1. Ouch! 30 pounds. That hurts.

    You have the right attitude though. The new information doesn't change the fact that you've already accomplished something that a lot of people consider impossible. In the long-term this setback will not matter. You will still reach your goal, but now you have a great story to tell about how you got there ;-)

    Matt Griffith

  2. Yowser! I thought something was wrong when you showed up with a 4,500 calorie *per day* excess! Now that's falling off the wagon! :-)

    Good to know that you're not just shooting up lard straight into your veins.

    It'll only be a short time until your weekly figures start making sense again. Keep up the great work!


  3. Wow, that's pretty rough. You're right though, at least with the old data you know you were losing weight, you just don't know the exact values. Good luck, I know you'll be seeing those numbers on your scale again soon.

    BTW, what model Tanita did you end up going with?

  4. Actually it was kind of funny to watch the chart goes crazy after the switch. At least my change was not as drastic as yours. But thats ok. It doesn't take away from the fact that we are still losing weight.

  5. Congratulations on staying upbeat and determined about the whole thing. Before you know it that old data will be off the chart and you won't have to look at it all the time. And you'll know for sure going forward that the numbers you are reading are reality. What a load off your shoulders.

    Keep up the good work.