Thursday, 25 August 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 25

I didn't have much success eliminating junk food and snacks from my diet last week, although I've made some slight progress so far this week (I'm still not completely back on track, but my weight has stopped increasing). Next weekend I'll be busy on Saturday taking DS1 to a university open day, and then on Sunday taking DS2 on a Cub Scouts excursion to an airport to have a 'joy flight', take a tour of the maintenance facility, and build a model glider for his 'flight' badge. Hopefully I'll be too busy to buy any junk food while I'm out and about. Instead I'll prepare some apples and carrot sticks to take along as my 'snack food'. One of the downsides of Coeliac disease is that I can't pack traditional ham sandwiches for lunch (I've tried the gluten-free versions of 'bread', and I find them very dry and unappetizing). Instead I'll make 'sandwiches' using rice/corn thins, which taste quite nice but tend to fall to bits as you eat them.

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 21       36.5       62.0     24.0    113.2      3,408     90.3     11,695
Week 22       34.8       66.0     19.7    112.0      3,425     90.1     11,545
Week 23       43.2       62.8     21.9    139.7      3,835     90.6     14,421
Week 24       42.4       63.7     21.5    118.0      3,376     91.5     17,417
Week 25       41.2       64.8     21.7    120.2      3,555     91.9     12,955

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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 24

The boys and I completed the 14km 'City2Surf' event last Sunday without any problems, and we even went for our usual one hour squash session that same afternoon. We walked the course in 2 hrs 34 min ~48 sec. The winner ran the course in about 42 minutes! I "placed" 56,214th out of the 67,634 people who finished the race (there were 80,023 entrants, so about 15% of entrants didn't turn up or complete the race). And in the male 50-55 age group I placed 3,251st out of 3,754. So there is considerable room for improvement ;) If we enter again next year we'll try to improve our time by jogging on the downhill portions of the course.

Aside from successfully completing the City2Surf, last week was a bit of a diet disaster. I still didn't stop buying and eating junk food, so my average daily kcals were still way to high, resulting in a not-so-slow weight gain. I'm still meeting my daily goal of walking at least 12,000 steps/day, but haven't started to do 5BX sessions again as yet.

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 17       42.5       60.3     26.5     78.0      2,418     90.3     15,421
Week 18       44.4       59.6     21.7    114.2      2,721     89.6     13,569
Week 19       36.2       70.0     16.7     99.0      3,075     88.7     14,720
Week 20       35.3       66.9     18.8    104.5      3,181     89.4     16,644
Week 21       36.5       62.0     24.0    113.2      3,408     90.3     11,695
Week 22       34.8       66.0     19.7    112.0      3,425     90.1     11,545
Week 23       43.2       62.8     21.9    139.7      3,835     90.6     14,421
Week 24       42.4       63.7     21.5    118.0      3,376     91.5     17,417

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Monday, 8 August 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 23

Yet another week has passed and I still haven't got 'back on track'. Although I exceeded my daily walking target on all but two days last week, I continued to buy junk food while shopping (and then eating it). I also haven't resumed doing '5BX' exercise sessions as yet, so the only aerobic exercise I did during the past week was a bit of squash with the kids on Sunday afternoon. Next Sunday is the City2Surf 14km walk, so I really need to resume doing my 5BX sessions asap, and also continue my daily walking routine (I'll take it easy the day before the race). My weight has been creeping back up during the past month, so I guess the answer is to completely eliminate the junk food once and for all...

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 17       42.5       60.3     26.5     78.0      2,418     90.3     15,421
Week 18       44.4       59.6     21.7    114.2      2,721     89.6     13,569
Week 19       36.2       70.0     16.7     99.0      3,075     88.7     14,720
Week 20       35.3       66.9     18.8    104.5      3,181     89.4     16,644
Week 21       36.5       62.0     24.0    113.2      3,408     90.3     11,695
Week 22       34.8       66.0     19.7    112.0      3,425     90.1     11,545
Week 23       43.2       62.8     21.9    139.7      3,835     90.6     14,421


I had an appointment with my dermatologist last Friday, and he reviewed the upper GI biopsy results that had confirmed his Coeliac disease diagnosis. The latest blood test results (taken the previous week) were already showing some improvement since I eliminated wheat from my diet about six weeks ago. He expects I should see some significant improvement after being 'wheat free' for four months or so. One 'side effect' might be an increase in cholesterol levels as my upper GI absorption improves - my triglyceride levels are already higher than they should be, so that is another reason to ensure I get down to my 'ideal weight' range asap.

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Monday, 1 August 2016

Net Worth: July 2016

July turned out to be a good month, despite some pundits fearing the brexit vote was going to decimate global sharemarkets. By the end of the month my geared share portfolio was up $40,712 (30.45%), and the strength of the share market had also boosted my retirement savings by $31,901 (4.30%). The estimated value of our home continued to rise (up $10,365 or 1.44% in July) despite many pundits calling the end of the Sydney property boom (some recent estimates had projected that sort of rise for the whole of 2016).



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Diet & Exercise update - Week 22

Another week of over-eating and under-exercising ;(.

I couldn't seem to get back into the 'routine' of healthy eating, instead I continued to buy snack/junk food when I went shopping. I also only managed to reach my daily 12,000 step target on two days last week, and haven't done a 5BX session since coming back from our ski trip. Basically I need to do all the good things this week that I resolved to start doing last week...

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 17       42.5       60.3     26.5     78.0      2,418     90.3     15,421
Week 18       44.4       59.6     21.7    114.2      2,721     89.6     13,569
Week 19       36.2       70.0     16.7     99.0      3,075     88.7     14,720
Week 20       35.3       66.9     18.8    104.5      3,181     89.4     16,644
Week 21       36.5       62.0     24.0    113.2      3,408     90.3     11,695
Week 22       34.8       66.0     19.7    112.0      3,425     90.1     11,545

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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 21

A pretty bad week overall. All of Wednesday was spent driving 6.5 hrs (~500km) down to Jindabyne via Canberra, and then although Thursday morning was OK for our skiing lessons, it started raining in the afternoon (so DW and the boys retreated to the Skitube terminal cafeteria, while I tried one run down 'Pleasant Valley' in the rain before deciding to call it quits for the day). We were hoping that conditions would be better on Friday, but it was raining heavily at Blue Cow in the morning and none of the chair lifts were operating due to high winds. We collected our skis and took the skitube train down to Perisher, where the 11am lessons were being held. As we left the Perisher terminal DS2 was almost blown off his feet, so we decided it wouldn't be much point having a two-hour lesson in the rain if DW and the boys were probably going to get blown over all the time. After a detour back up to Blue Cow to return DS2's rental helmet even I decided not to bother getting wet trying to ski in the rain and wind (I'd have given it a go if we were staying that night, but having to drive back to Sydney in wet clothes didn't appeal). We therefore left the snowfields mid-afternoon and stopped in Canberra on the way home for a quick visit to the Mint and the National Museum. So, overall I didn't get much exercise skiing and spent two days sitting in the car and not getting much walking done.

On the weekend I ate several bars of chocolate, so I managed to compound a lack of exercise with a weekend of overeating ;( I also had a 'gluten free' pizza for dinner on Wednesday night. The end result was for my average weight last week to be back to where I was a month ago.

This week I'm trying to get back 'on the wagon' - sticking to my diet plan and resuming my daily walks. I also need to start doing 5BX sessions. Only a couple of weeks left until the 14km City2Surf 'fun run' with the boys (we'll be walking). An article in today's SMH was interesting - it reports medical research (on large sample of >1m adults) has found that sedentary lifestyles were as bad for public health outcomes as smoking, and were causing more deaths than obesity. So, my current routine of doing some stairs and a 10 minute walk every hour or so while in the office, in addition to my lunchtime and evening walks, seems to be a fairly good plan. Apparently sitting for eight hours a day in an office job could otherwise increase the risk of premature death by up to 60 per cent. An hour of brisk walking spread throughout the day seems to be sufficient to offset the danger of sitting for eight hours in the office. Currently around half of women and one-third of men fail to even get the 30-min/day exercise usually recommended.

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 17       42.5       60.3     26.5     78.0      2,418     90.3     15,421
Week 18       44.4       59.6     21.7    114.2      2,721     89.6     13,569
Week 19       36.2       70.0     16.7     99.0      3,075     88.7     14,720
Week 20       35.3       66.9     18.8    104.5      3,181     89.4     16,644
Week 21       36.5       62.0     24.0    113.2      3,408     90.3     11,695

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Monday, 18 July 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 20

Another week of mixed results. I overate (my basic diet was correct, but I ate and consumed several packets of sweets over the weekend) resulting in a slight increase in my average daily weight for the week, despite doing lots of walking - I exceeded 16,000 steps/day on four days last week). The extra walking was mostly due to my car still being repaired, so the kids and I did quite a lot of extra walking on the weekend to get to their Judo lessons on Saturday and to our squash session on Sunday. We also did a bit of extra walking around on the weekend trying to play Pokemon Go on my tablet using only WiFi. Aside from catching the odd Pokemon at home, and very occasionally being able to access the PokeStop near our house when the GPS location wandered just within range, we spent a couple of hours using the free WiFi at the shopping centre to visit PokeStops within the centre and to catch some Pokemon. Overall, it is a very frustrating experience trying to play Pokemon Go on a tablet that only has WiFi and no 3G ;)

This week I'm taking the family down to the snow fields on Wednesday for a couple of days skiing, so my step count will probably be fairly low despite getting exercise skiing. If I can avoid eating any sweets during the 7-hour drive to and from the Snowy Mountains, and while skiing, I should be able to lose a bit of weight this week.

There's now only four weeks until the 14km 'City2Surf' event is on, and I'd really like to be under 88 kg by 'race day' (although we will be walking the 14km, and not jogging/running). There is a special offer of two weeks free use of AnytimeFitness gym for City2Surf entrants, so DS2 and myself might visit the local AnytimeFitness gym to do some weight training (fortunately this gym permits 16-17yo teens to also use the gym).

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 15       43.1       60.6     21.0    113.1      2,571     91.9     14,633
Week 16       40.0       64.8     19.3     98.5      2,765     91.4     13,900
Week 17       42.5       60.3     26.5     78.0      2,418     90.3     15,421
Week 18       44.4       59.6     21.7    114.2      2,721     89.6     13,569
Week 19       36.2       70.0     16.7     99.0      3,075     88.7     14,720
Week 20       35.3       66.9     18.8    104.5      3,181     89.4     16,644

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Monday, 11 July 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 19

A very variable week. I started out sticking with my diet plan on Monday, then fasting for my hospital treatment on Tuesday and Wednesday. But I then overate on Thursday, and I went a bit beserk over the weekend eating a considerable amount of confectionery on both Saturday and Sunday. Overall my average daily calories for the past week were well above 'maintenance' level, and although it doesn't yet show up in my average weight for the week, I had started to see my weight increasing in the past couple of days - so it's time to get a grip and cut out ANY snack food. I just can't seem to buy confectionery and then eat it in moderation. So I'll just have to avoid buying it in the first place.

At least I maintained my daily walking exercise, exceeding my 12,000 step/day target every day except the day I had surgery and the following day (but I still managed to do over 10,000 steps on those days). So my average daily step count for the week was my second best ever. Only five weeks to go until the boys and I are walking the 14km 'City2Surf' race (I won't be running as I still get some plantar fasciitis pain if I jog or run for more than a few minutes).

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 15       43.1       60.6     21.0    113.1      2,571     91.9     14,633
Week 16       40.0       64.8     19.3     98.5      2,765     91.4     13,900
Week 17       42.5       60.3     26.5     78.0      2,418     90.3     15,421
Week 18       44.4       59.6     21.7    114.2      2,721     89.6     13,569
Week 19       36.2       70.0     16.7     99.0      3,075     88.7     14,720

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Friday, 8 July 2016

Meal planning and tracking diet progress

I case anyone is interested, here are some details about the spreadsheet I use to plan my daily meals. I basically add a new row whenever I use new ingredients, try a new packaged food, or a different take-away item. The basic values (kcals per 100g or per 'serve', g fibre, carbs, fat, protein, and mg of Potassium and Sodium) are listed on packaged items, and for raw ingredients there are plenty of websites that provide nutritional information. These values are stored in 'hidden' columns C-I and used with the Qty value I enter to calculate the contribution to the daily totals.

Fortunately I tend to stick with a small selection of favourite food stuffs, so I rarely have to enter new items. So entering my meal plan takes a minute or two in the morning. I then write my meal plan on a piece of paper to 'tick off' or note changes during the day. The following morning I record my weight and sleep time, then update the previous day's plan with any changes and copy the actual daily totals to the log sheet that records each days totals. Weekly running averages for caloric intake and weight loss are used in the plot (which also shows daily weight and caloric intake values), so I can easily see my rate of progress and see if I have been having too many days of overeating and need to get back on track.

Tab of summary daily data (taken from the meal plan tab)

 Tab of daily meal plan. Gets updated to actual values before adding to the daily log. Currently has 713 rows that have built up over several years.
Tab with graph of daily caloric intake and 7-day average, and daily morning weight and 7-day average. The graph shows that I'm not very strict about adhering to my meal plan every day - the main thing is to ensure that my weekly average caloric intake isn't too high.

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Monday, 4 July 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 18

I managed to stick to my standard meal plan most days last week, only overeating on Tuesday and Wednesday. On the other days I actually found it quite easy to stick to my 'standard diet' and avoid any junk food, so I seem to be slowly developing the desired 'good habits'. I also managed to exceed my 12,000 step/day goal on most days last week (the only exception being Wednesday), and I compensated for that by doing an extra evening walk on Thursday (getting just over 20,000 steps that day). On Sunday I took my youngest son to a sports center that offers 'Family Sunday' discount rates ($25 per family), and he got to try out some indoor rock climbing. We also did half an hour of trying to 'shoot hoops' at basketball (we each only managed to get the ball in once or twice - his excuse is that he's only ten years old, my excuse...), and then we did half an hour hitting a ball around the squash court. And in the afternoon I had my usual weekly hour of squash with my eldest son, and went for an evening walk. I managed to do '5BX' session most days last week, and am now easily doing the A+ routine at the top of page 1. I'll stick at that level for a week or so, and then start at the bottom of the 'page 2' 5BX schedule. For my age the suggested goal is to get to the C+ level on page 2, but I should be able to handle the A+ level on page 2 (which is the goal for 45-49 year olds), as the exercises aren't very difficult once you get 'into shape'.

I'm having an endoscopy/biopsy done on Wednesday to confirm the Coeliac diagnosis (so far the diagnosis is based on fairly conclusive blood test results), and the required 'preparation' on Tuesday afternoon and fasting during most of Wednesday should help with my diet ;) As my private health insurance cover (through my employer) only started last December, I've had to submit a health report and documentation to show that the Coeliac disease wasn't a 'preexisting condition' (ie. symptoms were already apparent) - otherwise I won't be covered for most of the private hospital bills (I could have had the procedure done via Medicare at the public hospital, but the waiting list is usually 6-12 months, rather than less than two months required to schedule 'elective' surgery at the private hospital). The health fund was still chasing up additional information today for their 'assessment', so I'll probably have to initially pay the hospital bill myself and then claim from GUHealth and Medicare afterwards. Hopefully the various refunds will get processed before the charges come due on my credit card.

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 13       35.6       64.5     18.8    102.5      2,789     93.9     12,589
Week 14       40.8       61.8     22.3     90.6      2,514     92.4      9,721 
Week 15       43.1       60.6     21.0    113.1      2,571     91.9     14,633
Week 16       40.0       64.8     19.3     98.5      2,765     91.4     13,900
Week 17       42.5       60.3     26.5     78.0      2,418     90.3     15,421
Week 18       44.4       59.6     21.7    114.2      2,721     89.6     13,569

A plot of my weight since 2000 (yes, I've tried to 'lose weight' many times, so I often kept track of my weight) shows that my current 'diet' attempt is going quite well so far - hopefully it will be a permanent lifestyle change this time around (ie.  a gluten-free, CRON-style diet, and increased level of daily activity). I'm 'on track' to get close to my 'high school' weight (78kg) by the end of this year, and my goal for next year will then be to maintain my fitness (daily 5BX and walking, and regular gym and squash sessions) and to stabilize my weight in the 'ideal' range (65-75 kg).


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