I track my weight loss on a spreadsheet. It’s set up to automatically calculate how much weight I’ve lost since the beginning next to each weight I input. But I realized today, when I was trying to see how long it had been since I lost this much weight, that I didn’t have any weekly subtotals, so I had to calculate each one manually. This was kind of a pain, b/c the spreadsheet is littered with notes and empty days where I didn’t weigh and is just visually a bit cluttered looking, so it took a bit of time to figure it all out.
Spreadsheet queen that I am, this simply couldn’t stand. So I started a clean new sheet to record weekly losses. And when I was done, I thought to myself, “Self, you should make sure your numbers in your blog weigh ins were right. I mean, it shouldn’t have been hard to calculate one week at a time, but this is you – erm, me – we’re talking about.” And I’m so glad I did.
It turns out that nearly half of my numbers were wrong! Even some of the grand totals. WTF? The grand total was already being calculated and was right next to the current day’s weight! How did I mess that up? In at least one case, I am a little grateful for my crappy math skills: if you recall the week I was so distraught and finally decided to see my doctor, it was because I thought I had only lost 0.2 lbs. It turns out that I’d actually gained 0.4 lbs! Imagine the paroxysms of despair that extra 0.6 lbs might’ve caused.
Yes, folks, this is why I studied history. A mathematician I am not.