No, literally… move. This past weekend, Brooks and I moved from our apartment near Boston College to a new (and nicer!) place across the river. Because the process of packing and moving stretched over several days, I didn’t have time to log a proper running or elliptical workout. I didn’t want to let the 2FNS team down for the current challenge, so I decided to enter three of the most strenuous moving days into the system as “house cleaning” workouts.

I logged about ten and a half hours of pretty strenuous activity, which netted me an outrageous 221 AFP.

“Seriously?” I thought, “that couldn’t be right, could it?” Earning more than 200 AFP would be the metabolic equivalent of running more than three 10K road races back to back to back. I actually felt guilty enough for having racked up so many AFP so quickly through good, honest physical activity that I went back and edited my entries to lower the intensity, thereby lowering my total AFP earned for the week. I didn’t want to break the system with my overpowered “house cleaning” activity, right?

Then I talked to Jono, at first to let him know that house cleaning, gardening, and other similar activities — non-traditional “exercise” that can be done continuously over durations of multiple hours — might be weighted a little bit too heavily in his tracking system. The more we talked about it, though, I began to realize that I really had exerted myself quite a bit over a long period of time — in reality, it was an exhausting three or four days — and that this level of activity went far and above my normal routine of sitting in a chair at work for eight hours, then going home and sitting some more, punctuated only with a few short bursts (maybe an hour of exercise three times a week, if I’m lucky) of physical activity. To the extent that AFP expresses your level of effort above and beyond the metabolism required for a sedentary lifestyle, Jon and I eventually both came to the conclusion that the tracking system and its AFP rewards are “working as intended.”

But beyond just the moving, which had me up and about a lot more than my typical week, what else was going on over the past few days that allowed me to drop almost ten pounds? I have a couple of theories for other factors:

  • On Sunday, Brooks and I started our month-long gluten free diet. That means no bread and almost no processed carbs at all (and not much of any processed food, for that matter). So far, my diet has switched over to mostly fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, and alternative carbohydrate sources like rice and corn. And in general, because I’ve had to be a lot more mindful of what I’m eating, I’ve been eating slightly less than usual. Technically though, I was only eating this way for the second half of the weigh-in period, so this by itself can’t account for such a dramatic fluctuation.
  • Another thing that might have had something to do with it is that it’s been really friggin’ hot outside. The temperature in Boston was well above 90 degrees for each day of the packing and moving process, which I assume compounded any weight loss benefit from all of that exercise. I certainly kept up by drinking water and even Gatorade (which I normally avoid, since it’s basically straight sugar), but none of that liquid poundage was retained by the time Wednesday morning rolled around.
  • I don’t know what else it could have been… more exercise, the “crash” beginning of a new diet, the heat… maybe some additional stress? Or the opposite — I’ve taken this week off from work so that I can focus on getting the new apartment set up, so maybe I can attribute it to less work stress? Your guess is as good as mine.

So, there you have it, folks… if you want to lose 8 to 10 pounds in a week, move boxes and junk around for three days in 90 degree heat, stop eating wheat and wheat-derived foods immediately, and maybe take a vacation.

What about everyone else? Have you noticed anything interesting about the AFP system now that it’s been working for a few weeks? Any thoughts on the whole “anything is better than sitting around” idea? Other ideas for spontaneous weight loss factors?