Week 1.4 – Wednesday
07 Jan

Week 1.4 – Wednesday

I have said before I want to start writing longer and more in depth articles this year, with the goal of one a month, now I’m almost ten days into January and I’m not sure what I want this month’s focus to be. I have a lot of ideas, but just too many to tie myself down to one.

After Christmas I have another spare raspberry pi just waiting for a job, so I think that will be my focus in January. I’ve always wanted to setup my own OpenVPN.

Week 1.1 – Monday
05 Jan

Week 1.1 – Monday

It’s come again, a new year brings with it a flood of new year resolutions. It’s far from original but in 2015 I’m jumping back on the treadmill and MyFitnessPal.

I’ve been paying no attention to what I eat or do since getting back from last year’s skiing holiday, so with another skiing holiday fast approaching it’s time to decide what I want from this attempt at fitness and health.

I’ve no illusions about what state in starting in and no intentions on becoming the owner of a six pack, but I do want to be fitter, eat better and exercise more.

Since last year failed to make a long term change in breaking this into smaller ‘bite size chunks’ over the next month my goal is to move more. I want to see my beloved Fitbit reading 10,000 steps every day. Since I average around 5,000 a day this should be a challenge.

I know I don’t have allot of weight to lose but it still feels like a big change to make. It’s easy to eat right and exercise more over a short time like a week or months then once you reach your targets you soon slip back into old habits. With on a year your back where you started and on January 1st 2016 you’ll be rewriting your resolution post for another year. Enter the world of the yo-yo diet.

I did it in 2013, 2014 and here I am in 2015 doing it again. I want more this time. I am looking for a long-term change in my lifestyle and those are hard to make.

18 Jun

Day 24 – Wake Up Call

No matter how hard I try today I can’t seem to stop snaking. Everyday this week I’ve been wasting 500 calories on snacks. I just wish I had any idea how to stop it since will power alone is getting me no where.

I also have to think about how I’m going to increase my activity levels. I’m in day two of my twelve week Fitbit programme and I’m hitting the targets but only just, so if I don’t change something soon I’m never going to reach my goals next week.

I know this is a long term goal and there are no quick fixes, but sometimes it’s just hard to see how I’m ever going to get there. I was doing really well last year and after only a few weeks of giving up on now in a worse starting point than I was last year.

16 Jun

Day 22 – What a week

Well I’ve not been doing to well of late. The last two weeks have seen me spend more time in front of one computer or another than is healthy. From turning Excel into a poor mans relational database, to doing some long over due homework and finally rebuilding my primary server after a failed Ubuntu 14.04 upgrade. The down side to all this had been snaking, and very little exercise. Now it’s time for change.

I spent the weekend updating my Drupal [Fitbit]( plugin and adding more graphs and more importantly bringing the information I want most to the front page. So now for the hard part, filling up the progress bars.

I’ve started another Fitbit twelve well improvement plan, hopefully I will see myself increasing my admittedly terrible activity levels from abysmal to moderate – I am, if nothing else, realistic.

28 May

Day 3 – Another Shocker

Another shocker today, I’m over my budget but only by 301 calories. The surprise is I slipped badly at work and snacked my way thru another late night. If you take the 885 calorie snacks out of my day I could have ended with 584 calories.

People may be wondering why I’m focusing on the numbers so much. This week is about logging and nothing else. I’m trying to make the healthy choice but I’m also trying to be honest about what I’m actually eating. Its in this honestly I’m able to look back and with hindsight see the healthy choice I could have made. For example today I should have stayed away from the Boost bar and Rice Crackers!

27 May

Day 2 – The Saga Continues

Another full day under my belt and for reasons I may never understand I am under my calorie budget. Breakfast I can say was a good day but after that things went a little off the rails.

Lunch was delicious, but it was still a sausage roll and beans. Dinner fared no better. In fact I had two of them. What started as peanut butter sandwiches turned into lamb stew and bread, as well!

My weight and Body Fat trends are still on the rise but they are levelling out a bit. This is only day two and these things take time, the fact that breakfast was healthy is a big step for me. With one day down another day will start soon, just need to wait and see how that one goes.

26 May

Day 1 – My Silent Return

According to MyFitnessPal I was only a couple of weeks away from my first years, the problem was since I stopped logging I was only signing in to check other people status updates and reaching a year like that seemed to much like cheating so instead I decided to reset my counter. My new count starts from today.

My friend’s and family will know or have noticed I burnt out after my skiing trip this year, it’s hard to explain why but the best I can put it was coming home to find after a week of daily and intense exercise to find I weighed the same as when I started all this last may was possibly to much for what was a tired and possibly jet lagged mind. So I stopped trying. Of course after that it quickly became a self perpetuating cycle. Couple that with completing work on my Fitbit plug-in meant my drive and enthusiasm slipped away.

According to MyFitnessPal I was only a couple of weeks away from my first years, the problem was since I stopped logging I was only signing in to check other people status updates and reaching a year like that seemed to much like cheating so instead I decided to reset my counter. My new count starts from today.

The first thing to do is stop looking at my weight. For me it’s like clock watching between half five. The more you look the worse it becomes. I know I want to track my weight and I know to see progress, but I don’t want to be in the situation where a small hiccup spoils weeks of work. So how do I do it? Since my Fitbit scale syncs with their site I don’t need to see it each day, if I really want to know I can check on the site. If I use my own site or TrendWeight I’ll always see the bigger picture.

The blog has to start again. I used to post daily and at some point decided it was a ‘good idea’ to step down the frequency of posts, but it was a bad idea. I became complacent on days I didn’t post and on the days I supposed to post I skipped the bad days.

At this point I’m not sure of all the details and cant even admit to having a proper plan, just the intention of a plan

Friday – Week 17 Day 5
21 Feb

Friday – Week 17 Day 5

Tomorrow I start my skiing holiday in France and by this time I’d hoped I would be better prepared, but I’m not. My last week dash to get ready was not enough time to make a difference.

Well I was able to make some difference. In the last week I was able to improve my diet but didn’t increase my activity level the way I wanted. Never mind. For the next week I will probably not be online the way I have before but we’ll see what happens over the next few days.

I will be around as much as I can, but it may be on and off

15 Feb

The Return – Week 16 Day 6

I’ve been away some time now. Not recording my meals and not really paying the attention I should and taking almost no exercise. In the last few days I’ve started coming around. I can see what is happening and what has happened.

I’ve no idea why this has happened. I know better than most what my mood swings can be like, if I could plot them out they’d look like a strange Sign graph, this week I hit the lower end and am now starting to climb up the other side. I think I’m somewhere here…

Today marks seven days before I go to France for a week skiing. I had hoped I would be allot fitter by now but I’m not and there is little point in dwelling on that. I still have seven days and that is enough to make a difference. If I really put in the effort I want to I can improve myself before I go, so while I’d wanted to have done more by now least I’m coming out the dip while there is still a week ahead.

When I stepped on the scales this morning I was 78.9 kg and had 22.5 % body fat. I would like to get both of these down, but not having done a full week routine I can’t say how much by. I will obviously be on the scales again before I leave so we will see what progress is made.

Shall we just say this, week 17, will be a better week than the weeks it precedes

05 Feb

Wednesday – Week 15 Day 3

Sadly I have very little report tonight. I still haven’t managed to recover from my day of last week, which has just gone to show my desire to be fit and healthy still hasn’t sunk to the level of routine but I still have faith. I was out on Monday so forgot to blog, and that bothered me more than I’d have expected, and in all honesty tonight blog is nothing to write home about ether.

The only upside is I have gone back to my diet and am eating sensibly again so my main focus now must be exercise, its always been my weakest point and so must be where I put the most attention.

I have a couple of days off work this week, so I am hoping to make up for some lost time then if I don’t before hand. I will keep my eye on this more closely than before.

Wednesday – Week 14 Day 3
29 Jan

Wednesday – Week 14 Day 3

This is a logging day but I am really struggling to put on together. Since getting back from work I’ve been working on a side project to put some heart rate data onto Fitbit from my Polar H7 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor which has kind of distracted me from blogging the way I wanted too.

However, I’ve had a good couple of days. Both this morning and yesterday I hit the treadmill and did some weights as well as other body weight exercises all in I’ve been spending at least an hour working out both mornings. My diet however isn’t working as well. I’ve been slipping at work but I’ve traced this down to my work load. My day job is a call centre and when no one is calling I started to nibble, eventually this just builds up so I’m not ending my days as much under budget as I would like. I am however pleased with what I’ve been eating, on the whole anyway.

Unfortunately my new found exercise hasn’t found its way to the scales yet. My weight is steadily climbing which is easy to put down to muscle gain but I’m sceptical this would happen so quickly when I still have weight to lose. For now my focus is completely on my body fat % which is decreasing, but looking at the graph this morning saw a huge plum-it and I really don’t believe that is here to stay. I really wary of any of these miraculous overnight changes, I am expecting these everything to be more gradual progressions and that is what I’m looking for, but I want object too much if the miracle sticks around.

Tomorrow is my day off, so no food logging only water. I’ll decide when I wake up if this is exclude a work out but part of me hopes it want. I still haven’t come up with a reward system to use though, and really feel I need one! What do you use?

Monday – Week 14 Day 1
27 Jan

Monday – Week 14 Day 1

It has gone well past the time I started paying more attention to my weight loss journey.

As you can see from the pictures I’ve uploaded I’ve really not been doing well since Christmas. I started a Fitbit twelve week plan and for the last five weeks I’ve not been hitting my goals and the only excuse I have is simple distraction and lack of focus. So how am I going to change things and get out of the rut I’m in? By shaking things up a bit.

First step is accountability and tracking. Until yesterday I had no idea how much I’d fallen, so once again the Blog will come back into play. In a previous post I said that perhaps a nightly Blog was no longer required, and its not, but structure is required. So I will post a blog three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Since Thursday is now my day off each week this schedule will give me two days to blog about instead of trying to find content in just the one. While I might still blog thru the other days these are the days I am setting aside to always blog.

Second is harder to label. I am project driven and the problem with weight loss a fitness is they are long term at best. An even better description would be lifestyle changes. So I need to make it a project as well. I already have the Blog and I publish my Fitbit reports each week, the next step is recipes, which I am going to start added as well. I have no illusion this site will become the goto for anyone but it will become the first reference for me. A recipe will look like this Greek Style Salad demo and contains everything needed to replicate the meal.

Final step is reward. I’ve been looking for one that is free and does not include food, having a Mars bar to reward you for exercising isn’t of much use. Problem is now I am still stuck on this one. I really have no idea what reward system to use, although I know I need one.

Wednesday – Week 13 Day 3
22 Jan

Wednesday – Week 13 Day 3

Since I stated using my new scales yesterday I thought I would go the full hog and weigh anything that fit on them. This morning I started with breakfast.

Now I’ll be honest, I’ve always just scanned the barcode on food packages and left it as that. This morning proved that might be my problem. I’ve attached two cereal photos today, the first shows a suggested serving of 30 grams (how you’re expected to have 125mls of milk to that is a mastery to me) the second what I would normally eat. What surprised me most is I’m eating twice the suggested serving. Spread that over a 7 day week and it’s scary. The one up side is I don’t actually use 125mls of milk, I actually use barley 25mls.

The rest of my meals haven’t been bad for the first time in ages I avoided a pie and beans for lunch, but couldn’t skip the snacks. I’ll keep working on it although I think the only practical solution will be buying lots of grapes and carrots to eat at my desk but I keep forgetting to get supplies in. Dinner was home made macaroni cheese extremely good and all ingredients were properly weighed and measured so I’m happy.

Now pact. This was suggested to me yesterday so I thought I would give it a try. The basic premise is you set yourself a goal, mine is to log 4 meals a week in MFP. If I do that I’ll get $0.80, great, but for each of the four I don’t log it’ll cost me $5! At present I’m playing with the starter amount, so I want actually be allowed to withdraw anything unless I sign up to actually pledge my own money. I’ll probably give it a try, 2014 is my year of trying new things after all.

Today’s weigh in reported a 0.8 kg loss on yesterday, I’m not sure how excited I want to get about this yet till I see if it’s going back on tomorrow so I’ll hold back judgement.

Tuesday – Week 13 Day 2
21 Jan

Tuesday – Week 13 Day 2

It’s been far too long since my last post and in that time nothing good seems to have happened. I haven’t so much back slid as stalled altogether. Over the weekend I lost 0.8 kg’s and by the next day I’d put most of it back on.

The truth is I knew/know that weighing my self daily produces these kind of results and for the most part its only water, which is why I also use TrendWeight to give me a clear picture of my long term historical information and a forecast of what will happen next, assuming nothing changes. As you can see from the screenshot and or site my last four weeks hasn’t seen much change. So what I am taking out of this is that what I’m doing now isn’t enough to get me reaching my goals.

I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about this directly. The obvious answer is “move more, eat less” but that been the solution from the start, so I need to change something to get me back to this place.

I bought myself some new kitchen scales after Christmas so this will become heavily used. Logging the weights of everything I’ve eaten will not only give me a more accurate logged amount but it will force me to pay attention to ingredients, not just throw stuff at the cooking and see what sticks. I also plan to photograph my meals, I know allot of people have reported success with this so I’m going to give it a try as well.

Before the end of last year I was blogging every night and it helped allot. Such a simple thing forced me to pay attention to what was happening during the day. Logging in MFP is a great tool, but its not enough for me to pay attention to what went in the diary, this blog helped me better understand all aspects of diet, and in most cases the reason for my laps. I’m not sure a nightly blog will be required, but that’s what I will aim to start with.

06 Jan

Monday – Week 11 Day 1

With out noticing it I’m now at the start of week 11 and now the holiday season is over its time to get back to normality. I’ve not had a good few weeks, but that’s to be expected and in all fairness I’ve not had a bad two weeks ether.

As a friend wrote “Every day begins as a ‘good day’. Overeating makes a good day bad and exercise makes a good day better” this couldn’t be closer to the truth. Another quote I seen this morning on G+ which touched a nerve was “Diets aren’t sustainable. Make small healthy changes daily, weekly, monthly that add up over time to give you a healthy life. – Sarah Stanley”

Since this is just day one I don’t have allot to report on a diet or activity front. I logged everything today and have finished the day with 640 calories remaining so I’m happy enough.

But I have been busy. Having the extra time off work I was able to make some much needed improvements to this site. I’ve dramatically improved performance, getting initial page load times down from nine seconds to under two. I have also, finally, finished the backend requirements to add a mailing list to this site. You can see the subscribe box in the right sidebar. The mailing list will only send out once a week and details all the content I’ve posted since the last issue. Since from time to time new content can be erratic this seems like the best way to offer my content without you needing to check everyday “just encase”

I’ve also put some work into my /picks page. As always nothing appears there that I don’t specifically pick and its only there because I like and recommend it. Advertising has also found its way to the site. There are overheads with any website and this is my small attempt to contribute back to them. Just like my pics however nothing is every advertised here that I would recommend. I do not use blanket ad services like Google Adsence. All these ads are selected specifically by me.

28 Dec

Saturday – Week 9 Day 6

Welcome back. The festivities are all over and I’ve spent the day cleaning the house, like most have I expect after week of Christmas parties – and will again next week.

This morning was my first official weight in since Tuesday and over the last three days I’ve 1kg exactly. How I did that I’m not sure, but I’ll take it. As for diet… Well I’m still in holiday mode, and probably will be till 6th of January when everything goes back to normal. I still expect to be blogging, but things might slide from day to day. Today for example has been a afternoon of coffee and a doughnut, least I’m saving my self for my dinner…at the Meat House. You can understand why I’m not expecting allot for the next few days.

Last Sunday I set my self some goals which sadly was not my best idea. Christmas week is not the week to start tightening up on what you eat, but we live and learn so next year I will not make the same mistake. This means that all those targets will follow me still I am archiving them with enough consistency to make adaptions.

Wednesday – Week 9 Day 3
25 Dec

Wednesday – Week 9 Day 3

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you have all enjoyed your Christmas dinner and over indulged they way we all should do. I have been quite good so far this year, I really enjoyed my Christmas dinner and I’m pleased to say didn’t over indulge but I am over my budget for the day. This is mostly because I have been very inactive today hardly hitting any of my activity targets.

Since yesterday I have been feeling under the weather. I’m not sure if its a flu or not but what every it is, I have had back pain, a head ache and generally felt run down all day. This has sadly stopped me making full use of my time the way I wanted too. Still it is passing so I am hoping it will move on before the end of the week.

Santa how ever was very good for to me and I got a set of dumbbells. Here is to a new addition to my fitness scheme.

Monday – Week 9 Day 1
23 Dec

Monday – Week 9 Day 1

Right so day one of week 9 and how did I do? Well, not good. In fact today was a really bad day. Turns out when there’s little work to do I snack allot. In fact almost a 1/4 of all the calories I eat today where in snacks. I’ve also barely hit any of my activity targets. It is a miracle but I did achieve 1,071 activity calories which is at least within target, but nothing else was.

So, a quick round up. Based on this weeks goals, how did I do?

One: Failed
Two: Success
Three: Failed
Four: Failed
Five: Unattempted

Sunday – Week 8 Day 7
22 Dec

Sunday – Week 8 Day 7

I’ve been trying to come up with some thing new for week nine. I know full well Christmas week isn’t going to be good and chances are I’ll take two or three days off, but that’s no reason to give up completely.

I’ve been looking at some of the information available on Fitbit and MyFitnessPal and want to use some of that to drive next week. According to Fitbit my dinners take up 46% of my daily calories, but for weight loss this should be around 30% with the majority being breakfast and lunch. I’ve started a 12 week Fitbit plan to try increasing my activity levels, the last two weeks I’ve been doing quite well and next week my target is 1,022 activity calories burnt, so this too is another target.

MyFitnessPal says daily intake should be 1,390 calories and I don’t tend to go over that anymore. However any additional exercise tends to get added on. I would like to see myself ending each day with at least 700 ‘spare’ calories. I’m not planning to starve myself to get there, I want to earn them.

So, what are the targets?
One: Lower dinner calorie intake to around 30%
Two: Burn 1,022 activity calories
Three: End each day with at least 700 calories remaining
Four: Maintain my current Fitbit targets of 5,549 steps and 16 floors
Five: Travel 36 km on the treadmill by the end of the week, that’s three 12km sessions

Saturday – Week 8 Day 6
21 Dec

Saturday – Week 8 Day 6

Today I tried something new, after the donuts. Seeing as I knew what was for dinner I logged it in early. Strange affect this. I’ve been over budget for most of the day but the gap has been getting small all day which is actually quite a positive influence, and a welcome side affect.

I did make the time for the treadmill and made up what I was missing during the week, so tomorrow might just add icing to the cake, but well see.

Additional: The treadmill work out better than I could have hoped for. In just over 2 hours I did 12km. Averaging out a pace of 6kph isn’t bad, some bits were faster some where slower but I’m very pleased keeping up 6kph for that long. According to the treadmills computer I burnt over 1,000 so perhaps my donuts haven’t turned out so bad after all

Friday – Week 8 Day 5
20 Dec

Friday – Week 8 Day 5

I hit my targets today, but I didn’t log my meals so I really have no idea how I did overall. My instinct says I did not do that well because I ended up with a chocolate craving just before lunch, which I subsequently satisfied.

Tomorrow is the weekend and I will make time for my workouts. I’m also off into town, some last second shopping, which will help me reach my normal targets as well.

I am still expecting my weight to increase sooner rather than later, it just hasn’t happened yet. Thanks to this blog thought I can admit to my self it will happen, the only question is when.

Monday – Week 8 Day 1
16 Dec

Monday – Week 8 Day 1

There were good and bad elements in today. I did hit my goals, but I also slipped.

Everything was going fine up till lunch, then I seen the left overs! After the buffet on Friday there was a great deal of food left over and it was just sitting there waiting to be eaten, so I did.

That aside, dinner wasn’t something I’m too ashamed of and I did my work out this morning. Like most summaries it has its good points and its bad, the trick is seeing both for what they are and focusing on the good ones.

Sunday – Week 7 Day 7
15 Dec

Sunday – Week 7 Day 7

Week 7 comes to close and its been a good one so far. This time last night I thought reaching my 112 floors was going to be the hardest things to reach, but I beat it and all my other goals.

I also made it thru my full 2 hour work out. Not as intense as some others but its good that I’m putting the time aside to do it more often then not

Diet wise its been a good day mostly eating healthy. Lots of veg and fibber. A little brie but allot less than I’d normally have had.

Looking ahead. Next week I will be keeping the same targets, but I don’t want to simply rely on the weekend to reach them. This week I plan to hit each of my daily targets. Then I can use the weekend to add more. I also want to work on my plank and wall sits times, along with general Runtastic Squats and Sit ups. I am aiming to follow the training plans in each app to build on what I’m able to do. I’ve also ordered a pull up bar so I will be adding that to my workouts, assuming it arrives this week.

Weight goals: 78.6kg Failed
Steps: 39,651 Passed
Floors: 129 Passed
Distance: 26.18 Passed
Friday – Week 7 Day 5
13 Dec

Friday – Week 7 Day 5

Really not allot to report for my day off. I was well behaved, although I probably over eat at the buffet. I like to think I made up for it at the cinema by completely avoiding the snack bar and hitting all my targets.

As for my weekly goal, I am still on target to reach it although I need to work on the floors a little as I am almost a day behind so now have to climb 47 flights before Monday. Still I am plan to hit the weekend running and am already thinking up a new target to add to the mix next week.

Wednesday – Week 7 Day 4
11 Dec

Wednesday – Week 7 Day 4

Another week another report is in. I think I am finally getting away from the idea that Sunday is my worst day. After all there is no reason for it, I have a full day away from work at a desk so I should be using the time. At least the last few weeks I have been.

There isn’t allot more good news to talk about tonight. I did come under my budget, but I feel live been under logging the last few days so it might not be as true an indication as it should be.

Once again on the way to bed I realised how close to target I was and decided to hit them all but there wasn’t as much effort as there could have been.

Monday – Week 6 Day 1
09 Dec

Monday – Week 6 Day 1

First day of another week, but not allot of stuff to report. I haven’t hit my targets as of writing so if I have by the time you read this it’ll be a feat.

Tomorrow is my late night so I am planning to get on the treadmill before work so I hope to be making up for any laps today and building up a surplus for the rest of the week.

I’ve stopped picking my days off in advance and more just taking them when it seems like the right day. However this week I’m taking Friday off. We’re having a buffet