Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Back in the 60's (kilograms) and a smartphone reward


The last time I was in the 60's was back in 2001, in February just after my birthday.  That's some time ago.  Five months ago I bought a smartphone which was on special, the Motorola Defy.  I chose that because it was waterproof and also the screen had special glass that wasn't easily scratched.  It's been waiting in its box ever since, I put it out of sight and promised myself that I wouldn't open it until I was "almost there".  I've never had a smartphone before, so I really don't know much about them, apart from the fact that they are 'little computers'.  I won't be using it to make calls, I prefer a smaller phone, rather I'll do it for computing tasks and also an attempt to increase something which is important to me - my intelligence.

Some time ago it was discovered that you could increase a persons intelligence by performing an exercise called dual-n-back.  That's where you listen to numbers being spoken and also look at the words on a screen.  You have to remember what's happening and whether the two are related, and the time difference between the two slowly gets longer and longer.  Someone discovered that it increases your intelligence, although more recent research seems to think that the effect is statistically insignificant.  I'm thinking that it helps for some, and doesn't for others.  There's no harm in trying it to see if it does help.  An increase in intelligence is always helpful for my university studies, as I'm doing mathematics and engineering.  Sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's really hard.  This sort of thing is ideal for using on a smartphone, a really portable computer.  Like exercise it's a case of "use it or lose it", you stop doing the activity and the effect goes away.

I had saved up 3 years of Christmas and 4 years of birthdays gifts from my father, totaling $225.  I just told my father to keep the money and wait until I asked for it.  I'm going to Dunedin next week (for another reward) where I'll collect the money.  The smartphone cost me $299 so that's a real cost to me of only $74.

Just over 3 kilograms to goal.  The funny thing is that I'm actually speeding up in my weight loss.  The reason is that really, I'm tired of it all.  3 years and 25kg so far.  Constantly thinking of weight and energy and protein etc is draining.  Oh by the way, I've been estimating my body fat percentage.  There are lots of methods, but they are all rather inaccurate to some degree, so I thought that I'd try the simplest method: comparing my body with photos of known percentages.  Current estimate is about 17%, which is the heaviest of the 'fitness' range.  I'd guess that will only change a few percentage points as I reach goal weight.  My thighs still rub together (not really a concern) and I've still got a double chin (something I'd like to get rid of).

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Weekly update

70.2kg, a loss of 0.8kg in the last week.

This past week has gone really well.  I've managed to exercise every day, and my eating has been good as well.  I have decided to have reward meals every half kilogram as I head towards goal.  That sounds extravagant but in my experience if you have some type of reward meal, you don't end up eating the same amount of food as you normally would, you eat less after the reward meal.  Once I hit 69.9kg, I'm allowed to open the box that contains my new smartphone that I bought back in March.  Has it been that long?

In other news I'm working out when I will reach goal weight, and what I'll do on Goal Day.  I want to try go karting, plus a few other things.  I'm not sure if I've ever done it, I vaguely recall something happening in the past, but if I did do it, it was 20+ years ago.  There are a few other things I'll do on the day, so I have to plan it so I'm not working that day.  Should be easy enough.

Once I reach goal weight, I'll book tickets for my year overseas.  A long time ago I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't go overseas until I was at goal weight.  Well, that moment is about to arrive.  I'm so nervous!  I've never been out of the country.  Whenever I think about it, I get butterflies in my stomach.  I'll cope, I guess.  Also I told my brother years ago to just give me an IOU for one of my birthday presents, and buy me a passport when I asked for the money.

That's it for me, will check in when I'm in the 60's.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Weigh-in update

71.0kg, 5kg to goal weight.

Just a short update to say how I'm going.  I try as much as possible to give some important story or say something interesting, but I sadly not much is going on in my life at the moment so I'll just give you a weight update.  I'm losing consistently at the moment.  I'm 83% to goal, and I really really want to get there (for a multitude of reasons) so I'm definitely not slacking off or pulling back a bit.

I'm exercising consistently too, but I really find exercise a bit of a burden.  I'm not sure if that's because I'm not fit yet, and whether I'll ever get to enjoy it, time will tell I guess.  When I started running back in 2004 there was this magical period for about 2 weeks when my sleep was perfect.  I've had middle of the night waking for the last 20 years since becoming unwell but when I started running back in 2004 I'd go to bed, fall asleep and wake up what seemed 20 minutes later, in the morning.  Unfortunately it only lasted for a few weeks, I guess my body got used to the level of exercise and the sleep regulation inside my brain decided that it wanted middle of the night breaks again.  Such is life.

Unless I stop eating I'll almost certainly reach goal weight after the third anniversary of starting my weight loss / starting the blog.  It would have been nice to achieve goal weight at the start of September but it ain't gonna happen.  Current estimate of when it'll happen is about mid-September.

One unusual thing I've started doing was using Google Street View to follow my weight loss.  I started when I was 3/4 to goal weight.  I've lived in Christchurch for about 25 years, and have been to Dunedin (where I was born and some of my family live) at least 80 times.  Unless I'm busing (which I prefer not to do since it means no transport while I'm there) I'll drive, which means that I don't get to see a lot of the scenery.  Anyway, I'm taking the last 1/4 of the trip using Street View, and matching the distance with how much I'm losing, and arriving at the family home (now sold) when I reach goal weight.  I find it really relaxing.  It's like watching a film very very slowly.  Usually it's about 10 minutes a day.

That's all for me, I know I have trouble doing so but I'll try and post updates every week.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

August goals

There's something about a new month which means - a chance to start over.  So how am I going?  Not great.  I've sort of stalled in my weight loss.  I haven't back slided - which is a good thing.  Currently I'm just under 72kg.  However I have suffered that annoying high carb glycogen weight gain which takes about 4 days to get rid of.  So I really don't know what my low carb weight is, it'll be 4 days until I know.  It's time to start making some monthly goals.  These goals will be checked at the end of the month to see how I did.  Let's start with the easy ones:


  • Low carb for almost all of the month.  By "almost all" I'll give say 27 days.  That means one day a week maximum that I can go high carb, although I'd really prefer to not have any days.  Sadly, today the 1st is a high carb day which means that the maximum number of days would be 30.

  • Reward meals when they happen.  I have reward meals for losing each kilogram, and a few other things.  That means once a month when I pay my bills I have a reward meal as an example.  I can't have a reward meal in advance, because there is too much risk that I'll end up having it twice.  No reward meals in advance.

  • The return of the eating green/red squares.  This was something that I have used on the blog, it's quite easy to see how I'm eating.  I last used it here on April 2011.  That was a while ago!  It's just a green square when I've eaten properly and a red square when I haven't.

Now, the harder ones, exercise:

  • Become fit.  That means, to me to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping.  I achieved this back in 2004 and I'm hoping that it won't take me more than a month to achieve, like it did last time.

  • I exercise every day, except the first of August.  It's almost midnight now and I'm not in the mood to go for a run.  But starting tomorrow, yes, it's going to happen.  Even if it's for a minute, it's going to count.

So there you have it.  5 goals.  These aren't hard goals, I know that I can do them, it just takes a bit of perseverance to do it as required.