Just over a year ago, I had no plans to go on a diet, no urge to work out, but I did plan to start tracking my food consumption. Now, I find myself eating stupid healthy, working out a few days a week, and cycling a bunch, of course. I just reviewed a year-long chart of my progress and I’m quite surprised. It was such a gradual change, I almost didn’t even notice!
Logging and Tracking
On May 2, 2012, I started using MyFitnessPal to see how many calories I was throwing in my body. I learned how much one single portion was with a variety of foods and realized I was definitely over eating. Portion control seemed like the obvious start.
After about a month, I stopped using MyFitnessPal. It’s simple: eat less. But simple isn’t always easy, so drinking lots of water helped curb my appetite, but more importantly I had to stop listening to my body. It always told me I was hungry, so I was always over eating.
Just a few days after I started using MyFitnessPal, I also bought the scale that measures my weight, body fat, muscle mass, body water, and bone density. My only goal was to keep track – I had no weight target, no body fat target, and definitely no muscle mass target. I just wanted to know how food affected my body. Volume affected weight, healthier food affected body fat – so fucking simple, but it’s so damn hard to change.
One tip is to weigh yourself at the same time and state. For me, it was every morning before eating or drinking anything (water or coffee was okay) and after my #1 and #2. I even kept a log in my Moleskin! From there, I would transfer the information to Google Spreadsheet and make charts from the data.
Contessa and Strava
I listened to a really good friend of mine, Shey, bought a bike, and went on my first ride around Central Park on July 22, 2012. As you all know, her name is Contessa. I decided on a fixed gear so I could get a work out and didn’t realize what I got myself into. I’m addicted, and that’s an understatement.
Strava was another helpful app I used on my phone to keep track of my rides. It’s the best way to review and keep track of not only your rides, but also runs! I’ve set goals and challenges, but more importantly it shows my progress and improvements. I recommend this to anyone who rides or runs!
Anthony is my biking buddy here in NYC and we can see our rides on Strava which helps motivate me to ride more!
Nike Training Club and Equipment
Around mid January 2013, I downloaded the Nike Training Club app to find workouts I can do in my apartment. The workouts I did were Fighter Fit, Crunch and Burn, Shawn Johnson – Stretch Guide, and Jeanette Jenkins Ab Blast. The workouts were pretty tough, but that just means I’m out of shape. I also have an exercise mat to help cushion the floor exercises on my body. It only took a month before I stopped doing these and dedicated more time to just biking.
I also bought some weights, but haven’t found a good habit for this yet. I need to take notes of these on a daily basis like my weight and maybe that will encourage progress. I put them next to my desk with hopes that I will do one set every time I pass by them. I really need to get a good rhythm going for it, but I’m not that dedicated to it just yet.
From May 9, 2012 to today, June 19, 2013, my median weight was about 166.8 pounds, so that’s roughly 5.47 pounds of fat off my body replaced by 4.75 pounds of muscle. If that’s not encouraging, I don’t know what is!!! The picture above is an image of one pound of fat. Imagine five of those things shed off my body!
- Lost 12.13 pounds
- Dropped 3.28% body fat
- Gained 2.85% muscle mass
The first chart above shows my daily progress. It doesn’t look like much of a change, right? Slight fluctuations mainly due to my vacations where there was no limit to food consumption. Surprisingly though, I learned what “full” was, despite the fact that I knew I could eat a ton more.
I wasn’t too pleased to see such small progress. It’s actually demotivating, so I averaged each month’s progress and graphed the overall change in the chart above. This is what amazes me! I can clearly see my weight drop, body fat and muscle mass diverging, and that I really don’t care about my total body water or bone density.
This will be saved for the next post, after the triathlon. Yes, I’m doing a triathlon. What have I become?!