Sprint 22 Review – Avoiding the Derailers

Sprint Review

  • May 26th through June 1st, 2019
  • Weight: 345.8 lbs. (+5.5 (sprint) / +1.4 (release) / -13.6 (total)) – note: weight taken on 6/2

Retrospective

Well, this was, as expected, not a good week. It involved quite a bit of stress, a trip to Florida to lay my parents to rest, much drinking, some crying, etc.

I want to say this about Mom… She was cool. She was a licensed pilot in the 1950s – this was so unusual that the letter saying she’d passed her flight training was addressed to Rosalie, but said “Dear Mr. Moseley.” My dad was a bit of a square, a South Carolina conservative, and she was from California. She was just cool.

The hardest thing for me to internalize is that I have no… more… training… wheels. Up until 5/12/2019, I could ask a parent for advice. Now, I can’t. I’m 57 years old, and yet that keeps hitting me.

Funny how disquieting that is.

Anyway, I was flying on Saturday, so my weight is of Sunday morning. There were some late nights drinking, laughing, crying, talking, and healing. I wouldn’t change it.

For me, the best thing is that the only stories I missed had to do with late calorie consumption and getting 7 hours sleep. I still got my exercise in, and did good portion control. I expect that much of the gain is fluid, which should go away quickly.

Changes

None. I’m not changing anything until the next release.

Stories

User Stories: As someone trying to lose weight as part of a healthy lifestyle transformation

  1. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to be at a healthy weight, so…
    1. I stop consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
    2. I don’t have second helpings at meals, because this adds significant calories without exploring new tastes. Even bottomless french fries (sigh).
  2. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to be fit, so…
    1. I want to burn an extra 1,200 calories each weekend day, as measured by the watch’s “Move” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise and pushing myself more on weekends. 
    2. I want to burn an extra 1,000 calories each weekday, as measured by the watch’s “Move” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
    1. I book at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, as measured by my watch’s “Exercise” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise.
  3. Epic – as part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to avoid unneeded chemicals, especially in my drinks, so…
    1. I don’t drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
    2. I do not drink alcohol at home, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body. For social occasions out, I give myself license.
  4. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to keep myself rested and learn to handle stress, so…
    1. I get to bed in time to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest

Sprint 21 Review – Goodbye Mom

Sprint Review

  • May 19th through May 25th, 2019
  • Weight: 340.3 lbs. (-2 (sprint) / -4.1 (release) / -19.1 (total)) – note: weight taken on 5/26

Retrospective

My mother passed on Tuesday. This has been a very emotional week, as you might expect, bit quite a bit of turbulence. I still managed to lose some weight, although my discipline on some factors was off.

Changes

None. I’m not changing anything until this upheaval is done.

Stories

User Stories: As someone trying to lose weight as part of a healthy lifestyle transformation

  1. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to be at a healthy weight, so…
    1. I stop consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
    2. I don’t have second helpings at meals, because this adds significant calories without exploring new tastes. Even bottomless french fries (sigh).
  2. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to be fit, so…
    1. I want to burn an extra 1,200 calories each weekend day, as measured by the watch’s “Move” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise and pushing myself more on weekends. 
    2. I want to burn an extra 1,000 calories each weekday, as measured by the watch’s “Move” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
    1. I book at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, as measured by my watch’s “Exercise” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise.
  3. Epic – as part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to avoid unneeded chemicals, especially in my drinks, so…
    1. I don’t drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
    2. I do not drink alcohol at home, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body. For social occasions out, I give myself license.
  4. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to keep myself rested and learn to handle stress, so…
    1. I get to bed in time to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest

Sprint 20 Review – Storm Clouds

Sprint Review

  • May 11th through May 18th, 2019
  • Weight: 342.1 lbs. (+0.2 (sprint) / -2.3 (release) / -17.3 (total))

Retrospective

Up a very little bit (0.2 lbs), but this was a tough week personally – My mother’s in the hospital, and my entire schedule has been thrown off. I’ve still managed to hit all of my stories except for when I eat. In fact, I had dinner late last night, which may be why this is a little high.

Changes

None.

Stories

User Stories: As someone trying to lose weight as part of a healthy lifestyle transformation

  1. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to be at a healthy weight, so…
    1. I stop consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
    2. I don’t have second helpings at meals, because this adds significant calories without exploring new tastes. Even bottomless french fries (sigh).
  2. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to be fit, so…
    1. I want to burn an extra 1,200 calories each weekend day, as measured by the watch’s “Move” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise and pushing myself more on weekends. 
    2. I want to burn an extra 1,000 calories each weekday, as measured by the watch’s “Move” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
    1. I book at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, as measured by my watch’s “Exercise” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise.
  3. Epic – as part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to avoid unneeded chemicals, especially in my drinks, so…
    1. I don’t drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
    2. I do not drink alcohol at home, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body. For social occasions out, I give myself license.
  4. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to keep myself rested and learn to handle stress, so…
    1. I get to bed in time to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest

Sprint 19 Review – Day to Day

Sprint Review

  • May 5th through May 11th, 2019
  • Weight: 341.9 lbs. (-2.5 (sprint) / -2.5 (release) / -17.5 (total))

Retrospective

So, down 2.5. There have been some personal issues (family health), which would normally have thrown me off my game, but I managed to avoid them.

I did this by breaking my longer sprint into… days. In a mantra not unlike the followers of a 12-step program, on my hard days I just had to tell myself – I have to move 1000 calories today. No diet sodas… today. And it worked. The exception was on Sunday, Mother’s Day, as I was on the road all day, and only did 1000 calories of moving.

There were a few occasions when being home to eat before 8 was impossible, but this is imperfect – I had to make a choice between less-healthy food or eating slightly after 8. I chose to eat a little later.

This also changed my workout schedule and regimen, so I walked more the past week. Changing this has me with more sore muscles, especially in my lower legs

So basically I expected a little slower, and am pleased at 2.5 lost.

Changes

None – I think I’m going to slow down changes to each release, so I have time to see how changes affect progress, unless something big happens.

Stories

User Stories: As someone trying to lose weight as part of a healthy lifestyle transformation

  1. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to be at a healthy weight, so…
    1. I stop consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
    2. I don’t have second helpings at meals, because this adds significant calories without exploring new tastes. Even bottomless french fries (sigh).
  2. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to be fit, so…
    1. I want to burn an extra 1,200 calories each weekend day, as measured by the watch’s “Move” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise and pushing myself more on weekends. 
    2. I want to burn an extra 1,000 calories each weekday, as measured by the watch’s “Move” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
    1. I book at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, as measured by my watch’s “Exercise” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise.
  3. Epic – as part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to avoid unneeded chemicals, especially in my drinks, so…
    1. I don’t drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
    2. I do not drink alcohol at home, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body. For social occasions out, I give myself license.
  4. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to keep myself rested and learn to handle stress, so…
    1. I get to bed in time to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest

Release Seven – Organizing my Effort

Welcome to Release Seven

Release Six is in the books. You can read the Sprint reports in the links below. The Release’s target weight loss was 10 pounds, and the loss over four sprints was 15 pounds!

As mentioned in Release Two – The Scope of the Problem, weight is a trailing indicator of my progress in this, but it shows some good stuff…

Weight Loss Over Release Six

What this shows me is a steady and gradual loss up until a week ago, and then a sudden loss of six pounds. Did I really lose six pounds in a week? The numbers show that, but weight is a tricky thing. Before my seven-mile hike last Sunday my weight was 350.4, but it was about four pounds less right afterwards. Did I “lose weight?” According to the scale, yes. But after I re-hydrated myself, my weight went back up – it was all water.

It’s frustrating.

So, regardless of what the scale shows at any particular time of day, my weight first thing on Saturday morning is what I use to determine my progress. It’s imperfect, but I’m imperfect and this is an imperfect effort.

Third Time’s a Charm

This is really the third iteration in my effort to become healthy…

First Iteration

In the mid-2000s, I was very unhealthy, weighing in at close to 400 lbs. I wore size 60 pants, 5XL shirts, and was just in horrible shape. I had tried many approaches to losing weight, and in 2008 I just started walking, then running.

As I mentioned in Release Two – The Scope of the Problem, I lost weight, mainly because I was fixated on walking and then running as a way to lose weight. My internal goal wasn’t to lose weight, it was to run marathons. When that was accomplished, the iteration was over. I just didn’t get slapped with that fat until I’d gained weight and put on more weight, which led to my injuries.

If I were to write stories for this iteration, there would have been one…

Story – As someone who wants to run marathons, I run.

Second Iteration

The second iteration began in 2017, with Release One – On Your Mark.

For this iteration, I had a much better basis to work, and I believe this would have been successful if not for the disasters of my heart issues (outlined in Release Four – Coronary Bypass Edition).

Losing The Bubble – An Uncontrolled Descent

There’s a navigation term – “Losing the bubble.” Losing the bubble is a navigation term from the days when navigation was done with devices that used a bubble, like that in a level, to determine a craft’s heading. When you lose the bubble you lose your bearings or attitude and can’t figure out how to find your path.

After the bypass and my father’s passing, I lost the bubble. I tried a “fake it till you make it” approach in Release Five – Three Months Later, but my heart wasn’t in it (pun intended).

If you look at my weight for this period, you will see the exact point where I lost the bubble – I couldn’t find the way to continue. I headed down, and my weight headed back up.


Losing the Bubble

It took me 21 months to find the bubble again.

I’ve thought about erasing Releases Four and Five, as they were written as I tried to find the bubble and are personal and a little embarrassing, but I made a promise to myself to be completely transparent. They’re still in place, and will remain so.

Third Iteration

This is now. Spiritually, this iteration is picking up where Release Three – Dealing With Change ended. It’s NOT that June/July of 2018 didn’t happen, but I’ve found the bubble again. I started this Release when I did because it was almost exactly two years from the start of the Second Iteration, and I needed to get back on the path.

A Change to Organization

If you’ve been following my writing, You’ll notice I’ve been organizing my weight loss in what I called “Epics,” each covering about 10 pounds of weight loss. I used the concept of User Stories to outline what I’d be doing in any sprint.

It occurred to me that this is wrong. In Agile, Epics are mega-stories, large backlog items that are themselves decomposed to stories at the “last responsible moment.” My usage of the metaphor “Epic” is inaccurate.

The principles behind the Agile Manifesto speak to the delivery of valuable software. This software is delivered in units called Releases. While I’m not delivering software, I am delivering value – an agile lifestyle transformation.

And so, Epics become Releases. I’ve changed the past Epics to Releases. , and so you may not have noticed, but this is just noted in favor of transparency.

It’s Epic!

As I said, an Epic is a mega-story, usually used to organize stories, and so I’ll use them to organize stories.

In Release Two – The Scope of the Problem, I identified a goal – As a healthy person, I live a healthy lifestyle. If I define healthy strictly in terms of weight, fine, but there’s more to healthy than that.

I can obviously be of a healthy weight. Currently, at my height that’s about 190 pounds, which I don’t think I’ve been at since high school.

Weight isn’t the only aspect of a healthy lifestyle, though – thin alone does not equate to healthy. I can also be physically healthy, in terms of exercise, body composition, and the capacity of my body to do work.

I like to consume fluids – I’ve never had a problem with the rule of thumb to drink 64 ounces of water a day. In fact, I drink fluids all the time. Up until recently, this has included diet sodas and alcohol. Neither of these provide my body with value (though I do enjoy a drink with friends).

Finally (for now) there is the concept of positively handling stress and being restful – I would strongly argue that my inability to handle stress led to the end of Iteration Two.

Now that I see things this way, there are more that I’ll be adding.

So let me put these in place..

  1. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to be at a healthy weight, so…
    1. I stop consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
    2. I don’t have second helpings at meals, because this adds significant calories without exploring new tastes. Even bottomless french fries (sigh).
  2. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to be fit, so…
    1. I want to burn an extra 1,200 calories each weekend day, as measured by the watch’s “Move” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise and pushing myself more on weekends.
    2. I want to burn an extra 1,000 calories each weekday, as measured by the watch’s “Move” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
    3. I book at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, as measured by my watch’s “Exercise” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise.
  3. Epic – as part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to avoid unneeded chemicals, especially in my drinks, so…
    1. I don’t drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
    2. I do not drink alcohol at home, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body. For social occasions out, I give myself license.
  4. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to keep myself rested and learn to handle stress, so…
    1. I get to bed in time to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest.

So, this organization works for me. I like that this lets me group stories by Epic, and may lead to more Epics or stories. I’ll give it a try. If it fails, then it fails, but this isn’t perfect, is it?

A Recap of Release Six

At this point, my weight loss is 15 pounds, or 3.75 pounds per week. This is not unexpected, especially because I’ve been exercising more.

Release Six

And so Release Seven is set to begin. Off we go!

  • Date: 5/5/2019
  • Weight: 344.4 lbs. (-15 lbs. total)
  • Release Definition of Done: 334 lbs.

User Stories: As someone trying to lose weight as part of a healthy lifestyle transformation

  1. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to be at a healthy weight, so…
    1. I stop consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
    2. I don’t have second helpings at meals, because this adds significant calories without exploring new tastes. Even bottomless french fries (sigh).
  2. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to be fit, so…
    1. I want to burn an extra 1,200 calories each weekend day, as measured by the watch’s “Move” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise and pushing myself more on weekends.
    2. I want to burn an extra 1,000 calories each weekday, as measured by the watch’s “Move” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
    3. I book at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, as measured by my watch’s “Exercise” activity, to ensure that I am getting exercise.
  3. Epic – as part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to avoid unneeded chemicals, especially in my drinks, so…
    1. I don’t drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
    2. I do not drink alcohol at home, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body. For social occasions out, I give myself license. NOTE: For this story, I’m giving myself an exception for Sunday – Cinco de Mayo, as it’s a social occasion with us hosting a party.
  4. Epic – As part of a healthy lifestyle, I need to keep myself rested and learn to handle stress, so…
    1. I get to bed in time to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest

Sprint Results

Release List

Sprint 18 Review – That’s the Way You Do It

Sprint Review

  • April 28th through May 4th, 2019
  • Weight: 344.4 lbs. (-6 (sprint) / -15 (release) / -15 (total))

Retrospective

Well, this was entirely awesome! Five pounds. It was an excellent week for stories, and an excellent week for weight loss. Additionally, I completed this Release!

Let’s talk stories. Nothing presented any trouble. But… my Move story – I rocked it with an average of 1,550 move calories per day. I completed over 30 minutes of exercise per day. I feel great! I’ve also started doing stretches ( from the appropriately named book Stretches.

  1. Stop consuming calories at 8PM – Good
  2. Burn over 1000 “Move calories” – Great – weekly average 1,550, up 120 from last week.
  3. 7 hours of sleep per night – Good – averaged 7.0 hours.
  4. No diet sodas – Good – No diet sodas, and my water consumption is way up.
  5. Don’t drink Alcohol at home – Good.
  6. No second helpings – Good.

Changes

Will be discussed in Release 7 post.

Speaking of which… On to Release 7!

Sprint 17 Review – Taking a Hike

Sprint Review

  • April 21st through April 27th, 2017
  • Weight: 350.4 lbs. (-2.6 (sprint) / -9 (release) / -9 (total))

Retrospective

Down another 2.6 pounds, 1 short of the epic goal. I was clearly over-confident about finishing the epic today but, hey, it’s an imperfect process.

So, this week was an excellent one as far as my stories go.

First off, not only did I complete all of my move stories (800 move calories), but with the exception of one day, I moved over 1,200 calories. That one day was only short by 8 calories.

Second off, each day I completed over 30 minutes of working out, either by walking/hiking, or riding a stationary bicycle.

Finally, I hiked both Saturday and Sunday. Sunday’s hike was just short of 7 miles. I weighed myself after this hike, and weighed in at 347.2, below the Epic target, but I started this weighing myself first thing in the morning, not after walking for close to three hours.

The first time I did this, though, I lost faster, but I wasn’t working out, so what’s the story? I wanted to find out, so I looked at some data. I have a body composition scale, and what it showed me is interesting. From the day I started 3 weeks ago until today, I’ve lost 9.5 pounds, but I’ve GAINED 13 pounds of muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat.

At this point, I’m going to slow down on pushing myself to go farther and longer, because… Well, because I push myself to injury (like the blisters I’m currently nursing. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, but I’ll not be going for a longer hike next week. I’ll keep them less than 5, I think. I don’t want to hurt myself and have to stop.

  1. Stop consuming calories at 8PM – Good
  2. Burn over 800 “Move calories” – Great – weekly average 1,470, up 430 from last week. I’m going to increase this to 1,000 now.
  3. 7 hours of sleep per night – Good – averaged 7.0 hours.
  4. No diet sodas – Good – No diet sodas, and my water consumption is way up.
  5. Don’t drink Alcohol at home – Good.
  6. No second helpings – Good.

Changes

I’m going to up the Move story to 1,000.

Stories

As someone using agility to enable a healthy lifestyle transformation:

  1. I stop consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
  2. I want to burn an extra 1,000 calories each day, as measured by the Watch’s “Move” measure, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
  3. I want to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest.
  4. I don’t drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
  5. I do not drink alcohol at home, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body. For social occasions out, I give myself license.
  6. I don’t have second helpings at meals, because this adds significant calories without exploring new tastes. Even bottomless french fries (sigh).