Excel performs all the calculation and charting automatically. If you aren't using Excel, skip to the next section for the equivalent manual calculations. Load the current year's database, created originally as described on page , into Excel. The file name would be, by default, WEIGHT95.XLS for the year 1995. Scroll to the proper month and enter the data from the ``Weight'' column of the paper log into the corresponding cells of the worksheet. There's a little-known feature in Excel that makes entering tables of numbers like this easy. Select the Weight cell for the first day of the month by moving the mouse there and pushing the button. Then, without releasing the mouse button, drag the selection downward to the Weight cell for the last day of the month and then release the button. Now you can type the weight for each successive day of the month, right from the log sheet, pressing ENTER after each number; Excel automatically advances to the next cell in the column. If the weight is missing for a day, enter an explanatory word in the Weight cell, for example ``Travel'' or ``Forgot.'' Don't leave the Weight cell blank; Excel needs a non-number there to account for the missing weight.
If you've recorded exercise rung numbers in the ``Rung'' column of the log, transcribe them to the Excel worksheet in the same manner, except there's no problem with leaving missing entries in the Rung column, or the entire column, blank. Finally, if you're recording some other event relevant to your weight: participation in some sport or exercise program, days you skipped lunch, or whatever (see page ), for every day you've flagged with a check mark to the right of the Rung column on the logsheet, enter a 1 in the ``Flag'' column of the worksheet; leave flag cells for unchecked days blank. Flag cells you mark with a 1 will display a check-off mark rather than the number 1 to make the function of the field clear.
Once you've transcribed the data from the paper logsheet to the Excel worksheet, save the worksheet to disc with FILE SAVE. Next, print a permanent logsheet containing the calculated trend with FILE PRINT. Enter the number of the month (1 for January, 2 for February, etc.) in both the From and To page boxes in the print dialogue, then click OK. Take the log sheet that emerges from the printer, check it against the original paper log, and if it's OK, three-hole punch the page and file it at the end of the ``Monthly Logs'' section in your logbook. The new sheet becomes part of the permanent record of your weight. Discard the original sheet on which you wrote your daily weight.
Now create the weight chart and analysis for the month by selecting any cell within the month (move the pointer there with the mouse and click), then choosing MONTHLY CHART from the WEIGHT menu. Excel will clank and grind for a few seconds, and render a chart unto you. Print a copy of the chart with FILE PRINT, three-hole punch the page, and file it at the end of the ``Monthly Charts'' section of your logbook. If you have plenty of disc space, you may want to save the chart as an Excel chart file: choose FILE SAVE AS and enter a name like ``JUL90'' to identify the chart file. If you don't wish to keep the chart file, choose FILE CLOSE and answer ``No'' to the ``Save Changes'' query--you can always regenerate the chart for any month by selecting a cell within that month and choosing WEIGHT MONTHLY CHART. The shortcut key CONTROL+m can be used to create a monthly chart instead of the WEIGHT MONTHLY CHART menu item, if you prefer.
Next, add the new month's data to the permanent weight and trend database by choosing UPDATE HISTORY from the WEIGHT menu. The new month is appended to the history worksheet, WEIGHIST.XLS, used for long-term chart generation. You can examine it directly by popping its window to the front with the WINDOW menu. If you forget to update the history database, don't worry; all data added since the last update will be copied into the history the next time you request an update, or automatically before any long term chart is generated.
Finally, save the updated weight worksheet with FILE SAVE and close it with FILE CLOSE. You're done with Excel for the month, and you can leave it if you like. This is an excellent time to make a backup of the files in your WEIGHT directory onto a floppy, label it with the date, and put the backup away in a safe place. Your lifetime weight database is too important to lose in a hard disc crash! Now you're ready to interpret the chart in conjunction with your weight control objectives. Turn to the ``Monthly analysis'' section below.
Excel User Monthly Checklist
By John Walker