The Paper Towel Analogy
This is a post from Alwyn Cosgrove’s blog that I thought was a really good analogy for the rate of progress and being patient.
Let’s assume you go out and buy two rolls of paper towels, each with 112 paper towels on it. You put one aside, and keep it for future reference (your “before” picture). The other one represents you (I’ll call your paper towel “Ed”). The core represents the lean Ed. The towels represent the fat that is covering the lean Ed.
For sake of argument, let’s say that Ed wants to lose 28 pounds of fat, so (112/28) each sheet represents a quarter-pound of fat lost.
Let’s also assume that Ed loses his fat equally during each day of the program.
Each day during the first week, you tear a sheet off of Ed, representing the fat he has lost for the day. Next, you put Ed next to the full roll (“Big Ed”) for comparison.
No noticeable difference! Even at the end of the week!
“This can’t be working for me! This program sucks! ”
But, you continue to follow your fat loss program. At the end of weeks two and three, you continue to compare Ed to Big Ed, and still notice very little difference.
But Ed is determined! He continues to work hard!
Three more weeks go by, the sheets peeling off day after day, before Ed gets up the courage to stand next to Big Ed again.
Now there’s a big difference!
By the end of the program (112 days), Ed is down to his lean dream, or somewhere near it. Big Ed is still – well, big.
The lesson to be learned is that fat, like paper towels, comes off in sheets. When you are heavy, you are big around. And when you are big around, that fat is spread over a MUCH larger area – just like that outside towel sheet. The closer you get to the lean you, the more each lost pound of fat shows, because it is spread over a smaller area.
While the outside sheet may only cover one layer of the roll, the inside sheet may go around 4 times. That last sheet looks like it gives you four times the results of the first sheet, but in reality, the results are the same – your perception is just different! And you’ll never see the inside, if you aren’t patient while the outside is coming off!