This blog is no longer being updated. I have MOVED to my new home.

It was nice here, while it lasted, but hopefully a fresh start will make life more interesting elsewhere!
15th November 2006

Diet news

It’s a long time since I’ve blogged here. I have a lot going on in my life at the moment and a fair bit of it I am not ready to talk about. Hence the silence.

But, something I do want to share is my latest (and greatest) attempt to get fit.

About 10 years ago, I lost about 7 stone to get down from a 44” waist trouser to a 32” inch trouser. I kept the weight off for some time, until I started working away from home a lot, staying in a hotel and then it climbed fast.

I made a few half-hearted efforts to lose that weight over the last couple of years with the Atkins diet and “I can make you thin”. These sort of worked, for a short time, and then when I got bored doing them the weight crept back – a little higher than the time before.

A couple of months ago I decided it was time to repeat the diet of 10 years ago. That time I used the Hacker Diet and joined a gym. I had a regular routine covering almost every day of swimming, weights and karate.

So, I searched for a program that could monitor my diet, the main requirements were that it smoothed daily weight readings, predicted the weight loss trend, recorded the daily intake and exercise and computed the overall effectiveness of the diet.

I found DietPower, an aged but very neat program. The best bit is the food input which uses a smart search function. This approach means that it takes only seconds to record your daily intake.

Also, I joined a gym. Now, I had tried this too a couple of years ago. I went to the local LA Fitness, and it was a disaster – after only a few sessions I stopped. I pushed myself too hard and made myself feel ill, and just stopped going. The gym didn’t offer any real guidance or motivation beyond the initial consultation and it was very expensive.

The gym that I joined is a much less glossy place, more down to earth and much more friendly than the faceless machine of the chain-gym. If you live in Colchester and want a practical gym that helps you meet your goals then Hamiltons Fitness is worth looking at.

LINK REMOVED – See Here to see why

Anyway, 7 weeks later of calorie counting, swimming and gym workouts I am 14lb lighter and have lost 6” off my waist. By involving body fat percentages the news is even better, I have lost 22lb of fat and gained 8lb of lean (possibly muscle). My one mile swim time has also improved from about 40 minutes to about 33 minutes.

My goal is to lose at least another 33lb, but my trainer says that I might have to reconsider my plans if I keep building muscle. It is not unreasonable with the work that I’m doing to be the same weight in 3 months time and yet have a body fat percentage of 17.5% and a waist of 34”.

tags: Fitness gym weight loss |

6th June 2006

Congratulations Alison on your Race for Life

Congratulations Alison on completing your Race for Life in 29 minutes and raising about £400 for cancer research.

It was a massive achievement for you to start running again after a hiatus of over 15 years and get up to this level with only a couple of months training.

Well done.

tags: Fitness home |

31st January 2006

Swimming and avoiding scales

An update of this years health kick is well overdue, so here is a very quick one.

I have built up the swimming again to the whole mile and I have managed to cut out any rest breaks. I am constantly amazed at how the body adapts so quickly to a regular exercise regime. It only taken 3 weeks of going 3 times a week to build up from about 40 lengths to 64 lengths and resting every 16 lengths to not needing a rest at all.

I am still following Paul McKennas “I can make you thin”. On the whole, it is proving to be quite easy to follow again. I am eating far less and exercising. My face is looking a bit thinner in the mirror and my clothes feel a little looser. My actual weight change is unknown since I am avoiding the scales.

tags: Fitness paul mckenna swimming weight loss | 4 comments

17th January 2006

New weight loss start

How am I doing? Mediocre. I am following rules 1, 2 and partially 3. Rule 4 is proving to be more difficult this time. Extra effort will commence soon.

Breakfasts are much lighter, sometimes just a yogurt. Lunches are about 50% of the calorific content I was having, but the main meal of the day is still being consumed with much gusto.

I have watched episode 2 of PMcK’s ICMYT on Sky One tonight and am very sceptical on the TFT idea. Perhaps I should sit in my open plan office tapping various parts of my body tomorrow, hmmmm.

Oh, did 1250 metres of front crawl on Sunday. Nice. Our Sales Director is challenging our major supplier to the Swimathon in March, so I must keep up the training.

tags: Fitness paul mckenna sky one weight loss | 5 comments

3rd January 2006

New diet

This weekend will see a restart in my attempts to control my weight.

I found Paul McKenna “I Can Make You Thin” very easy to follow last year, and I still don’t really know why I fell off the wagon. So, I will be restarting it, hopefully inspired and motivated by the new TV series on Sky One, imaginatively called “Paul McKenna Can Make You Thin”!!

Also, I will be restarting a more serious drive toward physical fitness by increasing my swimming sessions back to three times a week ready for this years Swimathon.

tags: Fitness paul mckenna swimming weight loss | 4 comments

21st December 2005

GKR Karate Christmas Party

We had a great time on Saturday down at the Brampston Sports Centre in Witham, where GKR held their Christmas Party this year.

It was brilliant!

The session was in three parts; a kata seminar, a kumite seminar and a fun session with party food and demonstrations of various martial arts extras.

As per the grading, there were plenty of senseis around to guide and advise, and the massive group of a couple of hundred students were split up by grade and given very focused attention on fine tuning their techniques. I particularly enjoyed the kata session and learned a few pointers to help me progress. The kumite training was limited by our lack of mits and pads.

The highlight, of course, were the demonstrations where we saw classic displays of tile breaking with the fist, bunkai, staffs, and other demonstrations of conditioning. The eye-watering conditioning demonstrations were the ones that had the biggest audience attention, particularly where one chap invited another to kick him in the groin area as hard as he could! My favorite was the demonstrations of using the staff ( bo? ).

We will be definitely be going to other special events. Great fun.

tags: Fitness home |

1st December 2005

Sleep patterns

Life without an alarm is working out just fine. Not as radical as polyphasic sleep, but an interesting lifestyle alteration nonetheless. I have operated without an alarm clock for just over a month and not overslept even once. In the first couple of weeks, I tended to wake quite early and on occassion very early, but now I am waking within 10 minutes of my target time.

The only time I set an alarm is if I need to get up early to go to a customer meeting, such as 5:30am this Monday past for a trip to Scotland. But even then, I woke up a few minutes before the alarm was due to sound.

So, how does it benefit me? Well, I think I am more rested by waking up naturally rather than to a loud and shocking noise. I am not getting as tired in the evening as I was, and I am waking up ready to go with no stuffy head or glued together eyes!

Polyphasic sleep sounds very interesting, and I can well believe that it could work well. Unfortunately, the regular world of office work doesn’t look easy to fit around the need to have regular naps with a fairly strict regime. Also, the transition period seems a bit on the rough side, which again sounds like it should be done during a period when your restricted capabilities wouldn’t matter.

tags: Fitness home |

15th November 2005

Sleep patterns

I am still using the “no alarm clock” approach to sleep management, without disaster (yet). For the first 7 days I was waking up within half an hour of my normal time, but always on the early side. I think part of myself is worried about not waking up in time. Now, as I get into the groove and am starting to relax the waking time is getting closer and closer to my normal time – will I oversleep soon?

I am not totally convinced that it is helping, because if I wake up at say 6:30am, I am not going to try and go back to sleep, at all – I’ll be up early. So, am I more rested by having half an hour less sleep, but waking naturally? Am I waking in a relaxed manner, or is part of me panicing about not getting up on time? Only time will tell.

tags: Fitness home |

26th October 2005

Sleep experiment

After reading up on various lifehack articles about sleep, such as cutting sleep down to only a couple of hours per night using polyphasic sleep patterns, etc. I thought I would try not using an alram clock. Shortly after I started, this article “Alarm Clocks Are Bad“ came along! Instead, though, I trust my instincts – and don’t have an alarm, at all. I mean, they tell you alarm clocks are bad, and then advise that you have two! One for light quiet music to cue you to wake up and another in case you don’t. Chickens.

For the past week I haven’t used an alarm clock at all, and woken within 15 minutes of my normal wake up time. I am waking up less drowsy, and more ready to go.

I will be wimping out tomorrow though, I’ve got to get up at 5am to get to Leeds for a 10:30am meeting and I think I’ll use the alarm.

tags: Fitness home | 2 comments

21st June 2005

Swimming training

Someone I work with, Frank is quite into fitness training. He is so keen that he is aiming to do a half Ironman in the near future! Anyhow, I asked if he would give me some advice on my swimming stroke, as I see this as the next logical step in improving my performance.

He was so nice about it. After telling me that my front crawl was quite good, he totally deconstructed it and advised me to change practically every aspect of it! Lengthening my reach, changing my arm position out of the water, changing the arm position under the water, changing the kick, changing how my arm enters the water and changing the way I move my body! I thought the breathing might be OK then, but Frank was kind enough to tell me that he would leave that until next time!

On the more positive side, my breast stroke was far better with only a couple of subtle, but very effective changes recommended.

I used what I learned on the next swimming session at the main pool, and it was very effective. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep it up for the full mile since I was putting so much into everyting that I had learned. Even so, it felt good.

I am looking forward to my next training session, thanks Frank.

tags: Fitness |


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