Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Week #6

Posted by Trixter on February 5, 2006

Pleasant surprise today:

  • 221.5 pounds
  • 30% body fat
  • Blood pressure 135/79

Lost pounds, body fat percentage, and blood pressure. Looks like there’s still life in the program I’m following (which has no formal definition, just “eat less, eat healthier, eat more often”).

7 Responses to “Week #6”

  1. jim said

    You’d probably get more robust results if you weighed yourself every day and took a weighted average over time. You mentioned reading The Hacker’s Diet, didn’t you? The “Signal and Noise” chapter covers the hows and whys of it.

  2. Trixter said

    Weighing every day most certainly provides a better average, but the last time I did that I couldn’t get over the paranoia (“Why have I gained for three days straight?!”) and ended up dropping the program.

  3. Fredrik said

    Basically you need to address this from a technology standpoint. Find a scale with an appropriate interface, hook it up to a system capable of capturing the information. Based on elapsed time i.e. one week, the system reports the average weight and maximum variation (to find true inaccuracies) througout the week. It goes without saying that the system/scale should NOT give you the weight each day as that would defeat the purpose of mitigating your paranoia.
    I do realize the temptation to review the values ahead of the weekly average, but if you succeed in managing yourself you will in the end have a very accurate tracking of your weight-loss without the paranoia.
    My 2c

  4. Rimbo said

    So I mentioned to you over email that I lost roughly 25 pounds (and more coming off) since my son was born.

    The only way I know of to successfully change your health is to change your lifestyle.

    There are a few things that changed since my son was born:

    1. We can’t leave the baby to eat out, so my wife cooks. She’s Chinese, so I get home-cooked Chinese fast food almost every night. Fewer burgers, fewer pizza pies.

    2. We had to hire a nanny, so we have to trim costs, so lunch is now leftover Chinese dinner every day. Fewer burgers, fewer burritos.

    3. Every evening, the kid wants to spend time with me. This involves lifting a 26-pound youngster onto my back and running around the condo while making noises like a Tasmanian Devil for an hour or so. Then there’s bath time… There’s my daily exercise.

    There’s also a few lifestyle elements that were already in place:

    1. No TV. I don’t have cable, I don’t have DSS. Since I sit on my ass all day at work, I have to get off it to enjoy my time at home.

    2. The wife and I enjoy sports. So it’s something we can do together. “Sport” is like exercise, only fun. And no matter the weather or how klutzy and uncoordinated you are, there’s a sport out there you can enjoy, and it’s always more enjoyable with the one you love. The wife and I have taken to swimming once a week together at her employer’s pool. Not only do I get to see her during the workday, I get to see her in a swimsuit. I don’t even like swimming all that much (and I suck at it), but that makes me want to go. :)

  5. Trixter said

    Fredrik: As previously mentioned, measuring every day and taking a weighted average drove me so nuts that I went *off* the plan in 2004. So by weighing once a week, I get a trend instead of a weighted average, which plays nice with my psyche.

    Rimbo: 8 years later, you’re me. I can only hope your new habits are still in place :-)

  6. Mark J said

    Hey – just stumbled across your blog. Didn’t realize you were working at the weight loss thing. Great joerb dude and keep up the good work. Get back to running so we can hit the trails when it warms up this summer.

    A couple hints on monitoring your weight. I have the opposite problem as you but maintaining or achieving a weight level is the same principle regardless of which direction you’re approaching it from.

    1) Absolutely do not weight yourself every day. Once a week is fine, however, whenever you weigh yourself always do it at the same time, place, level of rest and hydration.
    2) Don’t “diet.” Literally every living thing is on a diet, and anything other than sensible eating is likely a fad. Understand what you’re eating and how it affects your goal whatever that may be. I would highly recommend Chris Carmichael’s “Food for Fitness” which discusses everything from the necessity of fat in your diet (“fat should not be feared”) to the role of micronutrients like Zinc and Copper.
    3) Eat consciously. Many studies have shown that nearly everyone significantly underestimates their caloric intake because of the four or five chips here or the handful of M&Ms there.

    I have found the last item to be absolutely critical in maintaining a proper level of fitness depending on which training season I’m in. I use a wonderful, free site called http://www.fitday.com which lets me enter everything I eat. It has the USDA nutritional database uploaded so most anything you eat is already entered and you just have to select the portion size. Nothing goes in my mouth unless it goes in that log first. (http://www.fitday.com/WebFit/PublicJournals.html?Owner=mopower70)

    I have a very nice and cheap Polder portable digital scale that I weigh everything with, I use Gourmet Sleuth to convert ounces into cups, (http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/gram_calc.htm). I measure everything. My kids think I’m a freak and my co-workers don’t know what to think, but I can adjust my weight up or down with an amazing level of accuracy in just a matter of weeks by modifying my intake or exercise. I’m not saying you have to be as obsessive as I am, but writing down what you’re eating before you put it in your mouth forces you to be absolutely conscious about what you’re eating. And on a good day – forces you to think twice about actually wanting to write down *2* Krispy Kreme donuts instead of 1.

  7. Trixter said

    Hey Mark, long time no see ;-)

    Great advice, and you’ll be happy to know I jive with you on most of it. I only weight once a week and at the same time so that’s covered. I am not particularly good with logging food; what I do instead is just keep a running calorie total in my head. If I get above 1200, I just think very seriously about what I want to achieve. I’m not dieting, I know that’s what it sounds like — I’m just trying to get down to a weight where I can run without my knees hurting.

    As for the trails, I’ll have to get in REALLY good shape for that — Not sure I could run and talk at the same time right now :-) I also tend to run at variable speeds; if I’m pushing too hard and my back starts to hurt, I slow down until it stops… that kind of thing. But if you’re willing to slow down to my level then I’d love to :-)

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