January 3, 2016
I have been on a most extensive vacation – no exercise – but that’s fine. It’s been great. I didn’t want to produce any work during this time because a good vacation is what adds true meaning to my work life. Website visits have suffered some, but that’s ok.
January is typically a month where I set the vision for the rest of the year. Rather than spend 1-2 days at the beginning of the month, I like to spend closer to 30 days. It’s also a great month to focus on Badminton and Squash since most people are still away on holiday… and a great time to stay away from the “weights” part of the gym since many people insist on making January their biggest month of the year (heh…).
Gym / Exercise and Working Out
Most of my posts this month will be focused on planning for the following 11 months. This post will be focusing on stats as they relate to exercise, since that was a large part of 2015.
Exercise plays a large part in all the word I do. It’s not directly related to affiliate marketing or virtual assistant management online, or using Skype in any way. Not directly… but plays a large role in the end product, me, the version of me that you read about online and get to follow along with.
Fortunately I have a lot of exercise and body-related data on me. The year 2015 was a big year for me because right around October I was diagnosed with a very rare cell imbalance. Without going into too many details, the net effect of this condition is that it makes it 2-3x harder for me to loose weight than most men, and I’m 1-2x likelier to get diabetes due to this. Most of this condition is based on my body’s inability to create the hormones necessary to burn fat and build a healthy body.
The discovery of this condition isn’t something new; I’ve had the condition since I was conceived… but I didn’t know about it. Any side-effects or difficulties that have resulted due to this condition I have always had the habit of writing off as “oh well, that’s just the way i am” and not seeking to understand the problem.
I don’t want to make too much mention of this diagnosis as I’m not in the habit of coming up with excuses as to why I can’t provide results. So on with my 2015 stats on exercise.
First, let’s take a look at the frequency:
- January – 8
- February – 7
- March – 9
- April – 11
- May – 14
- June – 17
- July – 17
- August – 17
- September – 13
- October – 10
- November – 13
- December – 9
I love charts! It really gives me a nice visual on things! Here are my frequency of workouts in a bar graph.
All in all, I did 145 exercise workouts in 2015. I also kept meticulous track of my weight using the Fitbit app, except for during two periods of time:
Those two upward slopes are quite interesting… there are no round dots, which means during that period of time where my weight was increasing, I wasn’t measuring my weight. It may have fluctuated, but I wasn’t keeping track of it and so the net effect is that by the time I measured it again I was heaver than I was when I last measured it. Probably because I was just eating pure junk and wasn’t tracking exercise either. Typically when I track one I think of my weight and track it as well. They go together.
So from March 15 – June 1 I did 30 workouts, but that didn’t matter because I was eating junk food. From October 15 – Dec 1 the same thing happened: I did 18 workouts and still gained weight. That’s because…
What is Junk Food?
Junk food is different for everyone. For me, it comes to the following:
- Sweets / Sugars – Chocolate Bars, Cake, Donuts, etc.
- White Stuff – Bananas, Potatoes, Bread, etc.
The more of these things that I can reduce and replace with greens and meats the better off I am. Plain and simple.
Crunching the Data
145 workouts in 2015 is good. That’s an average of 10.3 workouts per month which I think is a good number to maintain with one small caveat:
My greater periods of weight gain were most likely related to carb intake.
During both of the upward swings of weight in March and October I was eating bread and cereal for breakfast. For 2016, if I maintain my present workout frequency but leave sugar behind, I will surely end 2016 in good weight-related health. Things are headed in the right direction:
During the month of December I only ate sugar/carbs twice:
- December 19-20: Last day of work before holiday
- December 24-25: Mom’s tasty cooking
The net result is that my weight has gone from 223 on November 30 down to 211 this morning (Jan 3). I’m betting a perfect month will be even better!
The current setup I have is good. Each month, I play Badminton 2x/week, play squash once per week and that’s that. I definitely need to resume weight lifting as well, which could translate into 1-2 extra gym workouts. I think 200 workouts for the year is a good goal. Badminton stops in the summer so there will be hiccups along the way.
The best times for me to do muscle training is at 6am Mon-Friday. Best time to play squash or badminton is evenings.
One final graph that’s worth showing is my weekly 7-day step average:
End of January 2015 I was able to keep my step average up because I traveled to Honduras to volunteer… no snow, warm weather… makes it easy to keep active. Unfortunately upon my return… sitting at the computer the whole time and staying indoors didn’t help.
After the January 2016 gym rush subsides I’d like to ensure that I keep weekly 7-day step average above 10,000 for February and March. That would definitely even out my year in a good way.
Those two weeks where my 7-day step average was over 15,000/day are worth noting as well:
- End of January: I was staying in Honduras and there was a Badminton court where I lived for 2-weeks. The nets were setup all the time and there were a bunch of Korean men who played Badminton almost every day. It was very easy to stay active.
- April 15: This week I did a step competition using the Fitbit. It was called the “work week hustle” and lasted from Monday – Friday. There were about 10 of us competing and I came 2nd place with just under 100,000 steps.
Anyone doing more than 58,000 in 5 days is already doing really good… but for some reason that wasn’t good enough for me.
I’ll definitely need to do a couple more of those competitions in Jan/Feb/March in order to keep the winter activity up.
Wow that’s it! So to summarize, in terms of exercise goals, in 2016 I want to:
- Workout/Squash/Badminton 200+ times.
- Maintain a 7-day weekly average of 10,000 steps for Winter 2016
- Keep the sugar and carb intake very low so I can maintain a weight below 200 pounds. I think this won’t be as hard as it sounds, much thanks to the Keto community found on reddit.