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It's The Trend!

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

I track my weight and analyse the data generated by my weigh-ins. Here's my most recent 30-day report. Each of the blue dots is a weigh-in, and the blue line is the trend line which smooths out the wobbles on the scale and indicates the direction my weight is going.

Notice how sometimes my weight went up, occasionally quite a bit above the trend line. Other times, the scale's input was below the trend line. It can be easy on any given day to get upset by a higher-than-hoped-for weigh-in result. It's also easy to expect further plummeting weights after a really good weigh-in.

But our bodies are not machines to be calibrated with mechanical tweaks. Sometimes we don't see the results we think we've "earned" with our careful attention to nutrition and activity. We can become mystified by the opaque process by which the body holds onto or releases weight in its own time.

Part of keeping a positive and self-nurturing attitude is to avoid getting too hung up on the swings revealed by the scale. The trend line is what really matters. That's where we can see those results we've worked for. We can see if our average weight is going down or up or if we've actually hit a plateau (shudder). One or two measurements on the scale don't give us much information. But an established trend line really shows what's happening.

If you don't use an app that calculates a trend line, you can figure out a trend line from any line graph that shows several of your weigh-ins. Your trend line summarizes the data from your weigh-ins, so you'll want this line to be in the middle of all your weigh-in points. Find a line that splits your data approximately in half. Ideally, half of your points will be above your trend line and the other half will be below your trend line. Once you've located the line that cuts roughly through the middle of your data, draw it over your graph. Using a ruler may help.

Keep an eye on your trend line, not your individual weigh-in results and stay positive!
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