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Health Kick: Month Two

A second full month is complete.  My introductory thoughts and first month is here. I’m pleased with results. Weight went from 241.x to 228.x, and body fat per my Fitbit Aria 72.7 to 63.8. The daily fluctuations on body mass are worrying me less – consistently 165 give or take 1.5 lbs.

Dec 31 to Jan 30 Fitbit


The Fitbit Zip continues to be a coach pushing me on ever so slightly to get the extra steps to get past 10k a day. It’s Pavlovian, but I want those damn badges. The zip is also a gremlin, difficult to find in the morning. I think I set it down in the bathroom changing out of clothes nightly but I wonder if the location is a victim of a curious cat or child. Maybe I’m just too tired to remember where I put it.

It would nice to have a capability to get it to beep remotely. Losing these things may be a feature of the business model not a bug. I am hooked though. The heart rate monitoring wristbands they just issued are appealing but I found the Jawbone Up so intrusive I may just buy another Zip. I will weep if I can’t add my 20k steps from Jan 30.

January 2015 steps

Steps are harder to get now that workweeks are back to normal.  I probably could build this into my schedule in the morning and redouble efforts of walking to BART as well as the occasional walk back.

Sleep is pretty good. I’m often taking 2mg of melatonin and some Gaba, and getting to bed at reasonable hours nightly. The absence of alcohol is probably helping the depth of my sleep.  I’ve gone much lighter on vitamins though still having ALA and occasional Garlic extract and Vitamin C.

Food intake is still untracked. I had some greek yogurt a few times to shake up the rotation and probably had too many Muscle Milk, Vitamin Waters or Zevia instead of real food and for that matter pure water, or tea.  Not enough Spinach.  Skipping meals or going extremely light on intake does seem to slow down the metabolism. I do seem to lose weight the day after a “protein style” Double Double (extra mustard & pickles. Tomatoes, Onions. No ketchup and of course no buns) at In N Out. I am increasingly craving bread and beer but the temptations are manageable and not acted upon. The only exception was the unintentional consumption of a half a tonic water that I thought would be sugar free. Started to wonder why it was tasting soooo refreshing and the label disabused my hopes. Less sausage in the morning, and slightly more All Brain with Almond Milk to go along with the egg rotation.  Super Bowl Sunday is tomorrow and with it the conclusion of the feasts from Thanksgiving, Birthday, Christmas, New Year’s, SuperBowl and so social temptations should abate going forward.

The exercise highlight was a sixteen mile run last Saturday. My legs have felt somewhat tight and haven’t had a good run really since. This could also be from shoes wearing out and so bought new running shoes today. I definitely didn’t stretch down enough, and probably aggravated myself by not having enough water before or during. I think the LA Marathon is very doable still if I can keep up the rate of weight loss. I was 231 when I did this run. I’d like to be as low as 215 by the race on March 15; losing 15+ pounds would make a huge difference.  Every week without a major injury I feel I’m speeding up a win-win flywheel – stronger legs & heart and less weight to carry.

16mile run jan 24

Compliments are starting to come in from people that haven’t seen me in a while. This is encouraging but probably does lighten the pressure on the psychological gas pedal.  I am in shooting distance of my weight with a trainer.  Breaking the goals into increments, specifically trying to concentrate now in increments of “lose 6 pounds of fat a month” is useful. I made this chart on 1/24 and plan to update every 12th and 24th of the month.  It is the Windows background to my desktop machine at home. (Fitbit does not make it easy to let you track just fat loss but you can export the raw data to a .csv file.)

Route66 Jan 24


Two other inspirations to mention this month: A venture capitalist I know, Phil Sanderson, did a TED talk on doing an ultramarathon which led me to this video after he completed it; in his case 100 miles. Another, Brad Feld, lists all of his marathons (& ultras) he has done. I don’t see either of these posts as bragging but rather a form of public accountability. I am talking with two other friends about whether we should train for a triathalon together this summer.  The amount of time is pretty daunting for an ultra or a tri though perhaps the forced wandering of the mind during such things has its own benefits. I am looking forward to focusing more on weight lifting. Tim Ferris’ podcast with Pavel Tsatsouline was good. This Men’s Health article will also be revisited.

But that’s down the road. Right now I’m going to concentrate on just February and to lose another six pounds of fat, maintain lean muscle mass, and keep building the dietary habit.

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