Monday, January 28, 2013 ~ Comments Off
Partly due to circumstance, partly by choice, I tend to let January just ‘happen’ and avoid any specific resolutions if I can. Admittedly, this month I’ve been getting my head into my new job, handing over previous responsibilities and as I spent last week in Sunnyvale working I’ve not had a routine around which to structure anything that requires my resolve.
February rolls around and it’s now that I’m looking at what I will be aiming for this year and, as this year I turn 40, I’m determined to continue the slow progress of last year and continue my weight loss. Hopefully I can get back into jogging, even if my knees complain it’ll give me the push to get them sorted properly, and the bike will make more of an appearance for sure.
I didn’t think I was that bothered about my age but now that it’s approaching, the number 40 is looming large. Add in my new role, which will have me working harder, and getting fit is a must. No more excuses.
I’ve started today if I’m honest, a light lunch and some fruit, and I’ll have some rice and vegetables for dinner, but that’s mostly to counteract last week! I’ve yet to step on the scales this year and I’m preparing for the worst, but I know I can do this, if I can just get into a routine.
Why Fitbit is winning
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 ~ 6 comments so far
My main aim for this year was to lose weight. Actually that’s not true. My main aim for this year was to be happy which involves changing my lifestyle and habits, mostly focussed around my fitness and weight.
Data helps me with this, tracking my weight loss lets me look back and see how I’ve been doing. To that end I invested in a set of Withings scales. They’ve been great and have really helped me keep focus, and given me that little spur I needed from time to time to get back on my bike, or go for a walk, anything to be a little more active. Aside from my happiness, losing weight is also something I must do as I’d really like to NOT be taking maximum dosage pills for my high blood pressure for the rest of my life. With that in mind I also invested in the Withings blood pressure cuff to let me do accurate readings at home.
Looking to accumulate all my ‘fitness’ related data I looked for ways to track my activities and, as I used it last year when I got my bike I re-installed CycleMeter to track that and looked into Fitocracy as a way to pull it all together.
It was about then I realised my system was a little flawed. CycleMeter only shares data with a single tracking service (Dailymile) which I don’t use… I remembered back to my running days (knee still gubbed so they remain in the past for now) and looked into RunKeeper. Built around an activity tracking service, it also has a GPS app for tracking runs and cycles… not as full featured as CycleMeter but all I really want is time and distance (and a map, that’s nice too).
I’ve spent a few weeks manually updating Runkeeper with the data captured by Cyclemeter (which I then need to manually pull into Fitocracy) and I’m a bit bored of it already. So it’s bye bye CycleMeter and Fitocracy, and hello Runkeeper.
It’s here I should also mention that I purchased a Fitbit a few weeks ago. It was more curiosity than anything but as a way to track, fairly accurately, who active you are throughout the day it’s been far more useful than I first thought. It also syncs with Withings (for my weigh-ins) and Runkeeper (for my activities). It’s also fair to say that it’s got the nicest interface/dashboard of any of the services I use. Withings is shockingly bad and slow to render, Runkeeper is somewhat dated already and really needs a UI designer overall.
So, Fitbit has fast become my hub, the central place where I track personal fitness data because it does what I need it to do and does a lot of that in the background with very little interaction from me.
The last piece falls into place as, thanks to the fact that Fitbit will sync data with MyFitnessPal which I’ve used in the past for logging what I eat and I have a good balance of automated data collection, all pulled together into one useful Dashboard.
It’s taken me a while to get to this point, not least because every single app or service I’ve tried has been good in some ways but bad in others. I prefer using CycleMeter but will put up with the deficiencies of Runkeeper to get the data sync’d automatically. I prefer interacting with Fitocracy than Runkeeper but it’s not quite there yet in terms of automated services (and is heavily geared towards weight pumping gym bunnies). Fitbit hits the sweet spot for me and given that I’ve dropped over two stones since January, it seems to be working!
Back on the bike
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 ~ Comments Off
How does this happen?!
Anyway, life continues apace (it seems). Holidays are being booked, cars being pondered, and still in the background a website remains unfinished. Must. Get. It. Done.
Weight continues to fluctuate, the last two weeks I’ve been ill (again) and as the course of antibiotics finishes I’m getting back on track, and back on my bike. Need to get rid of 5kg ASAP!
I know I work best when I have a goal so my first is a 50-mile pootle along the Forth & Clyde canal on the 20th May. Plan is to cycle to work a few times, and hopefully fit in a couple of weekend cycles from Glasgow to Balloch as well to get my legs moving. Add in a few games of basketball, the occasional game of badminton and I should be back on track in no time.