Tracking & measuring

I’ve talked before about getting fit, getting healthy and measuring weight. As it’s been a while since I’ve updated, here’s a quick look at things. Thankfully everything is going nicely to plan, but I decided to put in a few tips one what I found worked for me.

After reading the 4-hour work week book, I was surprised that Tim Ferris had so much personal data about his workouts, and other body measurements. Perhaps it’s the Hawthorne effect in action here, that the very fact that you are measuring something leads to you somehow improving it. For Christmas Judy got me a Nike Fuel band, which tracks your daily activity, to encourage you to be more active, more consistently.
The fuel-band is a great conscious reminder of how lazy you can be, especially if you are like me and work on a computer for 8+ hours a day.

Eating & Training

Despite going to the gym a lot last year, 5-6 times a week most weeks, my weight & body wasn’t changing as fast I would have liked. I suspect that they issue was that I was still consuming too many calories per day, even with the exercise. Going to the gym to loose weight alone doesn’t seem to be the best method for shedding a few pounds. A smarter diet and regular training seems quite logical to me now, and once started doing it this year the stats seemed more dramatic (see charts below).

Now I don’t recommend going on a Soylent Diet, but measuring and controlling what you eat will certainly help weight loss. I’ve tweaked my breakfast plan a little, trying to get more into me in the morning, with the addition of breakfast burritos.

The fact that I was training often did lead me to be generally quite fit. This is when I started to get the idea of doing my first 10km.


Last year I had planned to do a race in June, but due to a silly accident 2 weeks before with a door saddle and flip-flops, I wasn’t able to partake. 10km is a great distance I find

  • it’s not too long, time wise, that my sports ADHD kicks in
  • you don’t have to do long training runs
  • recover time and it’s toll on the body
  • but still long enough that, with a bit of training, you can do a great time.

Running is also a a great way of doing some exercise when travelling, as you don’t need so much gear.

me-endLast weekend I finally did my first 10km, and came in with a time of 47:11. I’m planning on doing at least two more this year, so maybe I’ve been bitten by the bug.

Training wise I did a lot of 5 / 6km runs in the gym, and started to increase this to 7/8/9km runs about a month before the race. Then finally I did 1 x 10km the week before the race, and went back to 5/6km runs but at a faster pace. As these 5/6km runs were around 30 minutes on the treadmill it’s not too long to be bored I find.

Weight Stats

Looking at last year it seemed that in the summer I tend to get lazy about maintaining weight levels. This is probably due to the number of times I hit beer garden or on holidays :(. I have recorded a similar trend for 2011 as well. Once challenge will be to see if the same thing happens this year.
This year I had about 2kgs less at the start of the year than last year. And progress wise I didn’t go under 76kgs until the end of April 2011, compared with getting there mid March this year.

Since I’ve started measuring my weight in 2011 I’ve lost over 8kgs or 18lbs. But still the elusive recommended weight for my height of around 74kgs is a bit off.

What next ?

The next steps are to see about getting my body fat under 12%. This seems like a little harder to do, as it’s not always so clear that doing X will result in Y% change in fat. I think I need to do a bit more reading on this. At the start of the year I was at over 20%, and currently it’s at 16.9% so there is still a bit to go.