Week 3 Update

Total loss since 18 March is 2.7kg (5.9lb)
Week 3: 148.2kg, up 2.4kg (5.3lb)
Week 2: 145.8kg, down 1.5kg (3.3lb)
Week 1: 147.3kg, down 3.6kg (7.9lb)
Starting weight was 150.9kg.

I can’t have been the only one facing the Easter Egg challenge this week?  Quite a lesson in managing temptation, I have to say.  Generally once I started I found myself struggling to stop, although I was usually fine up until that stage, not particularly feeling hungry or craving.  So, sugar seems to be fatal for a diet for more reasons than just the calories… at least in my case.  I should mention, I don’t get the same issue to nearly this extent with dark chocolate, especially the 85% stuff, which is why I’m blaming the sugar and not the chocolate.  By the end of the week, I was more than ready to be done with it for another year.  Although I couldn’t quite bring myself to throw out the eggs that were left (legacy of how I was raised) I was relieved to see the last of them.  Even if it wasn’t til the END of the week, after they’d blown out my calories just about every day.

I also got my Bodymedia Link delivered part way through the week, which is the point where my exercise count skyrocketed.  Leaving it on all day means I don’t have to work out what parts of my ‘incidental’ exercise should go on over and above the normal metabolic rate.  Since the program also tracks my step count and time doing both moderate and vigorous exercise, I can count those.  Interestingly to me, even pushing on my bike routine at the maximum rate I still didn’t tip it over to the ‘vigorous’ – the only thing that counted was when I was racing for the bus after sleeping in!  Anyway, that’s where the measures change and the new rows went in.  Oh yes, and the ‘medium’ armband it shipped with was a bit like a tourniquet, considering the size of my arms, so I managed to get a new ‘large’ band sent out and it arrived within 2 days so I was good for the weekend.  If you’re like me, and thinking of getting one of these, make sure you get yourself the large size armband at the same time.

Day Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Target
Sleep score 73 62 60 73 90 16 85 >70
Calories 2340 2282 2951 1719 3375 1880 2237 1920
Exercise 0 570 256 3069* 3212* 2969* 2914* >1
Net 2340 1712 2695 -1350* +159* -1090* -680* <1920/-750*
Moderate Activity 42m 40m 13m 10m 30m
Steps 6508 5117 2292 2873 8000

Having the food prepped definitely helps.  Monday being a day off for Easter, the meals were great (although the sugar problems blew things out).  The melon mono meal I had scheduled for Tuesday morning didn’t get pulled out until after 9am, although I made sure I had a protein shake before I left to go back to work after my lovely long weekend.  I also chose to sleep in a bit, and catch the later bus at 6am.  Unfortunately, not so for the rest of the week, and I discovered that the boss is off again for 2 weeks from next week, so it’s another run of early starts for me… while we’re heading into winter.  Then as we moved into the downhill part of the week, I realised the Easter timing had been really bad for more than one reason.  I started ‘retaining fluid’ and on day 1 jumped straight up to 150.2kg again.  The day after I was still 150.1.  So, early starts, Easter leftovers, cramps etc meant I ended up racing off in the morning without prepped meals a couple of days, which also didn’t help.

Despite all that, I managed to get it back to 148.2kg in time for the week’s weigh in.  I’m keeping fingers crossed that I’ll see the usual afterwards drop next week, but with chocolate having featured as it did this week, I’m not holding my breath for it.


Week 2 Tracking Results

Total loss since 18 March is 5.1kg (11.2lb)

Week 2: 145.8kg, down 1.5kg (3.3lb)
Week 1: 147.3kg, down 3.6kg (7.9lb)
Starting weight was 150.9kg.

Last week’s bug had me laying low for most of the start of the week, and I even rebounded upwards a bit, but by the end of the week I was up and about again.  Still, I didn’t do nearly so much exercise this week, and you can see the result.  Because of that, I’m spending the next week on raw, 100% if possible, and today I’m doing a green smoothie detox day to kick start my loss again.

Day Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Target
Sleep score 54 75 61 51 94 77 79 >70
Calories 1897 2083 1499 2916 1481 1810 1664 1920
Exercise 0 236 0 0 0 238 0 >1
Net 1897 1847 1499 2916 1481 1572 1664 <1920

Once again, the day I didn’t sleep well I struggled.  The evening was my problem, of course.  This time, I made the fatal mistake of dropping off to the shops on my way home – ie before I ate.  How could I have been so silly!?!  It was my first day back at work, I was still feeling sick, and on the way home I realised I needed some stuff for my planned dinner.  Plus during the day there was some easter stuff passed around at work (I was mostly good, but that probably didn’t help in terms of feeling shorted while everyone else ate).  I did claw it back the next day, fortunately, and hopefully I’ll learn from it.

This week, as I mentioned, I’m doing raw to get myself better, and to get things moving again.  This morning I loaded up the Vitamix (with inspiration from a smoothie they did on the shopping network, where they’re selling the things now.)  The jug got filled with green grapes, a green apple, a banana, an orange, a cup of baby spinach, some basil, parsley, and mint (a fair bit of the mint), 1 1/2 cucumbers, a kiwi fruit, a tub of blueberries, and then because it went a ‘not green’ (nicest way I can say it) colour, threw in my superfood mix, some coconut oil, spirulina, chlorella and green tea.  Spirulina will turn anything a nice bright emerald green.  I’m still working my way through it, and it should easily keep me til lunch.  214 cal per serve, over 4 serves.

I also spent yesterday ‘prepping’.  All my greens are washed and packaged up into single serves, ready to grab to create an instant salad, or smoothie, with.  The melon I have for my breakfast tomorrow is sliced (love my food processor) ready to take with me tomorrow morning when I head back to work.  The remainder which I have later in the week is in the freezer, again pre-sliced.  Pre-preparation is one of the best things I learnt out of The 4-Hour Chef, and makes staying raw so much easier.

In the interests of making life easier on raw, I’ve also taken to using the Google Now app on my phone to pre-set reminders for when I need to put nuts or seeds on to soak for a recipe the next day. I do love that application, but I must have an accent or something.  Or maybe I can blame the flu.  Usually it’s fine, but in this case, when I told it to remind me on Friday at 7pm to soak nuts for the next day, it didn’t quite understand me right.  It created a reminder that included the word “suck”.  The bf would have found it hilarious.  I just scrambled for the keyboard! (Hasn’t stopped me using it though)

Today I make up a tomato sauce that I adore (Fred Patenaude recipe, from  his free newsletter subscriber bonus.  Click here to check out his new book, Raw Freedom, and sign up to his newsletter in the popup after a minute or so to get it free), plus I’m going to make a pate or two for when I need to snack – making these from pumpkin seeds helps with the protein.  Then I do up some celery and carrot sticks and I’m right to go – the fridge will be filled with ready to eat food and I’ll have no excuses.  Except maybe if the easter eggs I got look like they might be about to go off 😆   The more raw I have, though, the more room I’ll leave in my calorie allowance for the occasional nibble, and the one thing I know I DON’T want to do is make myself feel deprived.  That’s a guaranteed recipe for a major splurge.  Just look at last Thursday.

The BodyMedia Link Armband I’ve ordered is in transit, and supposed to arrive by the 5th of April.  Ironically, considering it’s a tracking device for my body, I’m almost obsessively tracking the progress of it.   There’s something that really tickles my fancy about that.  In any case, this coming week should be the last one when I’ll have a zero balance on my exercise – I won’t need to enter it all, it’ll be linked from the device to my app, myfitnesspal (freebie).  There were so many times this week when I wished I had it already – carrying ten tons of fruit and veggie shopping up the stairs to home being one of them.  Just try finding an entry in your fitness app for that!!

In any case, I’m now close to half way towards my first goal, when I can get myself the Nexus 10 I’m drooling over.  All things considered, I can’t complain about that – in only 2 weeks, and with nearly a week of lurgie in there.  Anyone else out there using myfitnesspal can link up with me and see the daily updates – my username is crystalsquest.  Otherwise, see you next week!


10kg for a Nexus 10

Week 1, and I managed to struggle my way through 5 days of the bike routine, and even stretched it out to 17m.  I’m REALLY proud of that, since most of those sessions were at 4am, and dearly bought with less time to get ready for work (or sleep).  They’re noticeably getting easier, and I’ve got from pushing myself to just under 21kph at the most intense level of the routine when I started, and getting a max heart rate of 170, to now being able to do that routine with a max of 146, or get up to about 24kph with a top of 167.  Both of those I’m recovering a LOT faster.

I’ve put together a quick table of my zeo sleep score (apparently the average for my age & gender is around 76), calories and exercise.  The initial target calories the app gave me was 2158 calories, and the body composition scale had me burning around 2183 a day, so anything under that should, theoretically, have resulted in weight loss.  One other thing to note, I ended up going home on Thursday, sick with a rather nasty virus, and was off Friday as well.  It didn’t surprise me, because I’d been pushing myself so hard for so long that I knew at some stage it was going to catch up with me.  It finally did, and that was part of what kept me up over the weekend too.

Day Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Sleep score 86 67 45 57 117 68 54
Calories 983 1555 1355 3380 3179 1840 2243
Exercise 238 610 255 246 0 268 0
Net 745 945 1100 3134 3179 1572 2243

End result?  Starting weight was 150.9kg, as at 18 March.
Week 1, I weighed 147.3kg, as at 25 March.

That’s a loss of 3.6kg (7.9lb).  Yay!

With the bf eyeing off ten inch tablets, and my sister now having a Nexus phone, I’m really wanting to get myself one of the Nexus tablets.  Well, I am a geek after all.  So, I’ve decided that when I’ve dropped my first 10kg – actually a bit more, once I’m under 140kg –  I’ll reward myself with a Nexus 10.  Now I’m MOTIVATED.  I’ve revised my target calories downward, and this week I’m aiming to keep under 1920 calories a day.

As for lessons learnt: well, you can very clearly see what happened on the days I really didn’t get enough sleep.  The calorie target just sailed right out the window, and I didn’t even particularly feel like I’d been eating much.  Wow, was that an eye opener!  I still managed to keep my weekly average below target and come in 522 calories below the goal.  Having those splurge days may even have helped – a lot of weight loss programs now include an occasional binge day to stop your metabolism slowing down, but it’s not something I’m going to plan on doing – and I’m going to try for at least one week where I come in under goal without a single day going over.  That should prove if that’s the case, or if I just got lucky this week.

Bringing food with me to work also definitely made a difference, as did having higher protein than I normally would – as per this exercise book and The 4-Hour Body I tried to make sure I got a protein breakfast within a half hour of waking, or at least an hour.  Means I’ve got to get into some better habits about taking responsibility for my own food preparation.

Finally, the days where I fell down my downfall inevitably came in the evening.  I’m thinking maybe I should brainstorm some things I can put in place to make sure I don’t have anything on hand, firstly, and secondly have alternatives on hand to counteract that reflex.  Ideally I’d be able to channel that craving into doing an extra exercise session or something, but I’m not sure I know how to do that, so I’ll settle for finding something that’ll keep my hands busy enough that they’re not free to sabotage my efforts!


An Embarrassing Confession

My Wii Fit has taken revenge on me.  After letting it gather dust while I got caught up working long hours for the last few months, I’ve had to put up with the ultimate payback.  It told me I was over the weight limit. (Translation: get off me!!)

When you’re reduced to putting down the controller in the hope it will squeeze you back under the weight limit, and then even that starts to fail you, there’s no way you can deny the fact that you’ve porked up a bit.  Ironically, in my case, on a vegetarian diet.

In my defense, chocolate is vegetarian too.

So, I’ve had my wake up call. I have to put my health first, and DO something about this.

I’m on a learning curve.  I’ve learnt some of the things that help me lose weight over the years I’ve struggled with it, but not yet worked out how to make shifts that are sustainable long term.  Now, I’m going to have to.  I could do another 30 days raw and drop maybe 10kg, but that wouldn’t fix the problem.  While I love raw food, the weather’s turning cold and this is the time of year it gets hardest to follow.  There’s a lot of really nice cooked food that I’d still love to be able to try and, possibly more importantly, share with my partner – who has absolutely no interest in going raw.  So, while raw is going to be part of my strategy, I’m more interested in just increasing it than targeting some magical percentage number.  That might come in later, but right now it’s about making sure I can keep going along the road back to health.

After a bit of a knee jerk response to that hideous moment when the scales refused to work anymore, I’ve successfully got myself down to just under the limit (149.8kg – and I had to put the controller down to do it).  I’ve bought a year long “Personal Training and Workout Diary” and taken my measurements.  Not being attached to any gym I haven’t filled out the initial Fitness test, although I did delay starting to use it for a few weeks while I tried to arrange that. Unsuccessfully, of course.  Then I discovered my bathroom scales that were also supposed to cut off at 150kg were now showing 150.9kg, and I decided there’d been enough procrastination… it was time to get started.  It also didn’t hurt that when I downloaded an app to my smartphone to track all this on the go, called myfitnessbuddy, I discovered that it still had records of the last time I’d used the site, either on the web or in a PDA version, I don’t remember.  It was 2006, back when all the workplace bullying issues started.  I thought I had problems then, but now I wish I was only 127kg!  That’s now one of my goals, but for the moment I’m targeting getting nicely under that “too heavy” level so I can use the fit board again and add more exercises back in.

Diet alone, of course, won’t get me there.  Exercise is going to be part of this process too, hence the diary (which records both).  I recently bought an ebook from a guy I have a lot of respect for, about a beginner fitness routine that involves 30m of walking daily, but gives great results.  I don’t have a treadmill to follow it, but after reading through it seems to be similar to several interval training programs I’ve done, so I’ve converted the treadmill program to my exercise bike to give it an initial go.  I would do the walking, but leaving at 5am and getting home late I really don’t have a convenient time I can do it.   Yet.  I’m still trying for a local job.

In the interests of full disclosure, though, there is ONE place in Sydney I’m still applying to, despite the fact it would involve even more travelling.  Every time I’ve had anything to do with the people there, I’ve ended up pumped and wanting more, and everything I’ve heard just makes me keener to get in.  The applications I put in for local jobs are based on working closer to home and having more time to chase my dreams.  The applications I put in for this place are because working there would BE realising a dream.

So, the plan of action is to try to do my beginner exercise routine at least 4 or 5 days this week.  It starts out with 15m, then grows as you get fitter.  I’m being brutally honest in the fitnessbuddy app with the food diary, and of course I have the zeo I treated myself to last time it went on sale, to manage the sleep side of things.  This year is going to be the one where I finally achieve my own transformation, a la ‘Extreme Makeover’ (I love that show).  Wish me luck?


Review: 4 hour chef by Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss has added a new string to his bow with The 4-Hour Chef.  
In fact, that bow must be starting to look a bit like a 12 string guitar by now.  If you followed ‘The 4-Hour Body‘, you’ll be pleased to know that ordering this book will give you an alternative to kettlebells.  Just pick all 671 pages of it up!!! (yes those links send you to Amazon. Not that I’ve ever earnt anything from them, but I can live in hope. Especially since I KNOW they have the cheapest price on this one – they published it!)

As an Aussie, usually when I order a book I have a few weeks wait for it to arrive from the States.  So I placed my order, then went ahead and bought the ebook as well, so I could get a start on it.  I got no further than page 8, which I’ve nicknamed “The Cricket Cycle” than I had to: a) put the book down and grab for a tissue with the tears rolling down my face, I was laughing that hard, followed shortly thereafter by b) calling all my friends and family and read it out to them, to share it.  This despite being a life-long vegetarian!

The content was gripping enough that I was over page 100 in no time, and fascinated – regardless of being in the middle of a full on week.  You know I love learning.  Well, this book is this learning addict’s new addiction.

Then yesterday afternoon the hardcopy arrived, only a week after I ordered it.  (Of course it could just be a strategic benefit of ordering close to christmas, when the poor posties are working from 5am til 10pm every day to keep up)

After the size of the thing, which is even bigger than ‘The 4-Hour Body‘, the first thing that strikes you is the amount of colour.  The sides are colour tabbed to find what you’re looking for FAST – and those tabs are labelled as well, to make it even easier.  Let it fall open and you’re almost guaranteed to see pictures, and lots of them, in full, glossy, amazing colour.  Seriously, if you can find a way to fluff up and avoid actually learning from this book, you’ve probably had to work really hard to do it!

Disclosure time: I’m not all the way through.  Not even close.  In fact I’ve just made the first recipe (second actually, because as a vegetarian recipe 1 was out for me) for my lunch.  Yum.  More than learning recipes, though, the absolute brilliance of this book is that it teaches you to think like a chef.  You don’t ‘cook’.  You prepare, ahead of time.  Then, when you’re ready to eat, you do the final few steps for ‘pickup’.   This is a major lightbulb moment for me.  I don’t have to pre-do a whole heap of cooking on the weekend, and cram it all into the freezer, to be able to eat well during the week, and I’m not limited to eating 3 days of the same dish before it goes off anymore.  I can plan, prep, and then when I get home at night I’m facing, at most, 15 minutes of putting together a fantastic meal, instead of a half hour plus of ‘traditional’ cooking (or raw-ing, as the case may be).  This mindshift is probably going to help me eat more high-raw as well, despite the fact that the book is full of mostly slow carb compliant meat recipes – although there are enough veggie ones I’ll be trying out to make it worthwhile on that account too.

On the learning front, even more value.  The info on Meta Learning has me fascinated, so I’m in the middle of now trying to put together my ‘cheat sheets’ and meta-learning material for playing the flute, which I’ve felt stalled on for a while.  With the information on outliers, though, all of a sudden I have a new direction and I’m working to uncover ‘tricks’ that are helping me to make major progress.  I’m thrilled and excited (yes, obviously I’m still on the first section of the diagram) and it’ll be really interesting to see if I can achieve the level I want in less than a year.

Seriously, though, Tim.  I know J K Rowling did it, but can your books GET any bigger???  Or is it a secret conspiracy to force us all to buy the ebook version just so we can carry it with us!?!

PS If it is, then at least offer us a discount package for buying both together!!!! Please?

PPS Still working on the consolidated site, guys, but if you want to see some of it, still in very rough form, you can check it out at http://www.3rdmillenniummindset.com.  Thanks 🙂


The Krypton Chip – your data, forever?

It’s not just Star Trek that paved the way for new technology.  Remember Superman?
And the message from his father that was ‘read’ by plugging in a quartz crystal?  Guess what…

Hitachi have made it real.  Quartz with layers of dots, meaning that aside from shattering (which it’s resistant to), your data could survive thousands of years, come through earthquakes and tsunamis, and, so long as your device can read binary code, be pretty much future-proof.  Not like cassette tapes/LP albums/CDs/DVDs/MP3s/Blu-Rays, which have meant your music collection would last, at most, a decade and a bit before you’d have to get it all in a new format.

You can read more here

What does this mean?  Well, aside from the obvious possibilities for data storage – and if they can get a whole CD’s worth of data onto that glass square with the prototype, imagine what capacities they’ll be looking at in another year or two – there are loads of other potential applications that a quick brainstorm brings to light.  For example, with the work they’re doing on HUDs (Heads Up Displays) these days, think of the possibility of sim cards for your PC glasses – you could slide in a glass chip with a collection of your favourite movies.  Or develop the visual equivalent of ‘sleep-learning’ (and finally make subliminal technology useful).  Your glasses could display flash cards, and, with headphones attached, play the accompanying words, to help you learn a language while you’re doing other things.   Or data storage could merge with art, and embed data into all kinds of fantastic, wonderful and decorative works that you can proudly display on your sideboard, as they conveniently also preserve all your photographic memories or scans of important documents.

PS If I recall correctly, Superman wasn’t the only film that had quartz or glass data storage.  Star Trek did too, and I think 2001. I know lots of books that had it, but can you remember what other movies featured it?


Evolving Individuality and the Power of Creation

iStock_000006559274XSmall This week on the train I read a printout of an ebook from the ‘Super Mind Evolution’ System.  It was on Mental Influence, but the ideas I got out of it were mind-blowing, even before getting to any of that.

I’ve been focusing on the idea of Self Mastery this month, and I was especially interested to read the author’s ideas on power.  He claimed it was linked directly to intensity of directed focus, or will, and I have to admit it made a lot of sense.  There’s a reason the word “will-power” links the two concepts.

In talking about how a powerful person differed from the average man (it was written in the days before political correctness), I found it fascinating that he spoke of the development of focused intense concentration – individual will – as one of the pre-requisites of power.  Even more so, in a precursor to ‘The Secret’, he spoke of how developing this focus gave strength to the thought-frequencies that an individual sent out, such that they were less likely to be cancelled out by the general mess of random thoughts and opposing desires that come from everyone around you.

It got me thinking how our world is changing.

Most people don’t realise that the concept of the individual is relatively new.  For most of history, people identified themselves as members of some larger group, rather than as a single, unitary person.  You were a member of your tribe first, then in pre-industrial society, your class or occupation (landed gentry, peasant farmer, tradesman etc).  If you were in one of the luckier classes, you were also a member of your family group (with the land holdings or business associated with it), and expected to follow in your parents footsteps and step up to your part in the dynasty.  For the most part, people did.  Not many bucked the trend, because it’s never been easy to go against the flow of expectations.

Through most of that history, the majority have been content to be followers of the few who stood forth as leaders.  Those leaders were either raised to it (it was part of their heritage/expectations) or fought to attain it against the majority voice.  That voice always gave the message that it was better for you to fit in and drop your sights back to what everybody else lived with.  Not just peer pressure, but social and societal pressure.

But that majority voice is getting weaker.  Now we’ve developed a technology, the internet, that encourages individual voices.  Not only is it giving rise to more of them than ever before, (see any article on the rise of blogging) but at the same time providing the medium for them to connect and build a stronger influence on the world, as well as spread their own message to as many as possible.  With such a reach, some of these ‘follower-types’ are taking these messages on board and becoming leaders in themselves.

The majority voice that tells us to settle for doing what everybody else does, is getting fainter.  The cry to take up life and shape it to your own will is getting stronger.  The focused individual – the leader of the past – is not such a rarity anymore, and the people who in old days would have ‘settled’ and listened to that majority voice, are becoming empowered individuals with their own voices.  It’s an exciting thought.

Where will this evolution take us?

Maybe this is what the world-change predicted for the end of 2012 is about: the tipping point where humanity takes conscious control of shaping our lives, and our world.  We’ve already learnt that our thoughts shape our reality.  I’m convinced that the recent increase in natural disasters can’t be unrelated to decades of Hollywood disaster movies growing in reach and popularity.  Even the uncanny way that fictional gadgets in TV series like Star-Trek are rapidly becoming reality supports the power of thoughts – especially shared ones – to shape our world.  There’s an article here that shows some of the things that are being, or have been ‘invented’ for real – and even more have come out since then.

There’s a danger here that everyone’s ignoring, so I’m going to out the elephant in the room.  If humanity evolves to the point that our thoughts create our world, shouldn’t we also learn how to create, shape and control our thoughts?  Otherwise … well, Red Dwarf did an episode on that …