Introducing Vector and Velocity

Motion, or in our case progress, can be measured on two axes; vector and velocity.  A vector is a direction.  Is your body fat percentage (BF%) going up or down?  A velocity is a rate of change along a given vector.  Is your BF% decreasing by an average of 1% every 14 days or is it increasing by about 2% a year?  When our vector is aligned with our intention (losing body fat) and our velocity is high (0.33 LBS / 0.15 KG per day average), we are winning.

Last time we mentioned that you get a pass if you slam an entire cheesecake one day.  I’m not saying you can do this every day, or even once a week, but if a freak series of unfortunate events results in the mysterious disappearance of a delicious baked sundry, guess what? Shit happens.  If I were you, I’d be more focused on why you decided to display your best wood-chipper imitation at the Cheesecake Factory last night.  We’ll talk about stress triggers soon enough, but for now just consider whether you made a conscious choice or fell into a bad old habit.

You do not have the mass of a friggin' neutron star. You don't need that much energy.

Your wanton indiscretion will throw off your moving averages for a few days, maybe a week at worst, but in the scheme of things it will literally be nothing more than an outlier on your graphs.  It will affect neither your vector or velocity in any statistically significant way.   Check out the giant spike in my non-fat mass in late March 2012.  The 5-day period of elevated NFM was virtually meaningless in the scheme of things.  It might have frozen my weight loss for a bit, but to be frank I used my indiscretion one night to excuse my poor eating the next couple days as well.  Regardless, you can see that my 14- and 30-day trend lines didn’t really move at all.  It would have been ideal if the binge had ended that night, but even a 3-day long bender didn’t hurt me since I stopped screwing around and hit it hard as soon as I shit-checked myself and realized what I was doing.

I made a conscious decision to do this, as I was having dinner with a new business partner and wanted to cut loose and have fun*.  I probably covered my ass with another pretty lie to make myself feel good but to be honest I just felt like blowing myself out to have a good time.  I also felt like garbage the next day, which is my body saying “don’t lie to me, you bastard”.  I did it, I owned it, and I moved on. I didn’t excuse away my behaviour, I made conscious choice to break compliance.

If you’re curious, I ate an entire 2-serving portion of BBQ pulled pork, a basket of tortilla chips, a half-pitcher of margaritas, a giant steak and a protein shake  within an 8 hour span.  My scientific method indicated that I consumed approximately five billion calories, enough to power a small neutron star.  Don’t turn into a superdense sphere of celestial mass.  Check out a sample chapter of The Sleek Geek, or just go grab the whole book!

Did I help you today? If so, you can return the favor by tossing something in the tip jar. Pay what you want! You can also buy something from the Sleek Store, like your supplements for example.


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This entry was posted on May 17, 2012 and is filed under Accountability, Data, Geekery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.