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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Net Worth: June 2016

My net worth dropped during June, due mostly to the weakness in the stock market (not helped by the 'Brexit', although that seems to have been a temporary dip so far). The net value of my geared share portfolio was also impacted by pre-payment of interest on the margin loans for the next 12 months (so I can claim a tax deduction for the interest in the 2015/16 tax year).



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Monday, 27 June 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 17

A fairly good week. Despite getting a sore throat on Thursday (which developed into a cold/cough over the weekend) I managed to exceed my 12,000 daily step goal every day but one, and overall my average daily step count was a record high (mostly due to spending all Sunday walking around town with the family as we visited three museums on their annual 'free entry' day - I clocked up just over 20,000 steps that day!). My average daily calorie intake was also OK, largely due to attempting a five-day 'fasting mimicking diet' stint on Wed-Sun. Aside from it being my own gluten-free and modified version of Dr Longo's proprietary FMD 'ProLon' diet (I only try to match the overall carbo/fat/protein/calorie values, not his weird Kale cracker and vegetable soup meal plan), and also not sticking to my diet plan on Friday and Saturday (I had some extra chocolate on those days, as I was finding it hard to stick to the FMD while suffering from a bad cold), the three days of FMD diet helped lower my average cals for the week. By being on the FMD for three days during the week, I suppose the overall effect was a bit like being on Dr Mosley's "5:2" diet.

This week I'll try to stick to my normal healthy eating plan (it's not really a traditional weight-loss "diet" as such, simply what I *should* normally be eating for a healthy CRON-style lifestyle - but due to being overweight and doing lots of walking, it does result in gradual weight loss and improved fitness). I'll also try to do my 5BX exercises every day - last week I managed to do it four times during the week, so it is slowly starting to become part of my daily routine. (Being at level A- on the first page of exercises it is rather easy to do - but it is already improving my core strength (the number of situps/pushups I can manage) and my aerobic fitness (although I am still not very fit)).

Next week I have to drop my car in to the smash repairer on Monday to fix a dinged front bumper bar and broken headlight, so a lot of my daily walking will happen naturally going to work by bus and/or train. I also have to go into hospital on Wednesday for an endoscopy to confirm my Coeliac diagnosis, so I'll have nothing to eat on Wednesday until the evening, and the 'preparation' for the endoscopy will also involve not eating much on Tuesday evening. While the surgery (and 'Picoprep' beforehand) won't be fun, at least it should provide a boost to my weight loss for the week ;)

Overall things are going pretty much according to 'plan' - I should be in good enough shape to enjoy a few days skiing with the family in late July, and then doing (walking) the 14km 'City2Surf' "fun run" with my boys on 14 August. In spring I'll take my kayak out for a few weekend trips, and we'll probably going for a few family hikes in the nearby national parks. I started cleaning our swimming pool last weekend, but it usually isn't warm enough for me to start swimming laps until October/November.

.             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

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Monday, 20 June 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 16

The week was going very well until Friday - sticking to my diet plan, exceeding my daily step count goal, and even doing my 5BX session every evening. Then over the weekend things sort of fell apart. It was rainy weather, so I found it difficult to reach my walking goal, and I also slacked off and ate some confectionery on both Saturday and Sunday evening. I've noticed that it tends to be easier to stick to my diet plan during the weekdays, and then I often overeat during the weekends - either having a large lunch as well as my normal dinner, or snacking during the weekend. I'll have to make sure I stick to my diet plan this week, and pay extra attention to my diet next weekend. Fortunately the occasional 'bad' day won't derail my long term weight loss and fitness program, provided that I make sure I get 'back on track' straight away. Over the years there have been many times when I either loss motivation and simply cease monitoring my diet and stop exercising, or else the occasional 'bad' day keeps recurring and it soon becomes a fortnight or month of 'slacking off' and the weight has started creeping up again. Checking my weight every morning, planning my daily food plan on a slip of paper in the morning, and then writing down any changes during the day helps keep me 'honest'.

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 11       39.2       65.6     18.4    102.9      2,752     95.0      9,196
Week 12       38.6       65.2     17.1    106.5      2,570     94.2     11,751
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 

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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 15

A good week overall. I overate slightly on Friday and Saturday, but stuck to my diet plan for the rest of the week. I also managed to exceed my target 12,000 steps every day, and got over 15,000 steps doen on three days last week - resulting in a record high daily average step count. I also did my '5BX' exercise session twice last week, and the usual weekly hour of hitting a ball around the squash court with my sons on Sunday. My blood pressure readings have been well below 120/80 for the past couple of months, so when I saw the my GP on Saturday we agreed I could halve my daily doe of blood pressure medication. Hopefully by the time I'm down to my 'ideal' weight (~70-75 kg) my blood pressure might be normal without needing to take medication. The weight loss and exercise should also lower my cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL levels, although I'd have to do sessions of vigorous exercise several times a week to see much increase in HDL ('good' cholesterol) levels.

My parents visited us during the long weeked, and we all went for a walk on Monday afternoon. My 81 year old mother has a heart condition, but managed to stroll along with me for an hour (~7,000 steps), but my 84 year old father decided to take a break along the way, and we met him again on our back home. They should go for a gentle daily walk to keep in shape - my great-great-Aunt recently celebrated her 100th birthday, and still goes for a daily walk to her local shops.

My weight is now the lowest its been since March 2006, although my previous 'best' weight since 2000 was 84.1 kg (in May 2005). I'm aiming to be under 90 kg by the time we go skiing in late July, and should be under 88kg when I do the 14km 'City2Surf' fun run (walk) on August 14.

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 11       39.2       65.6     18.4    102.9      2,752     95.0      9,196
Week 12       38.6       65.2     17.1    106.5      2,570     94.2     11,751
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

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Monday, 6 June 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 14

A mixed week. My average caloric intake was improved by my new 'gluten free' dietary requirements precluding most of the confectionery I used to have trouble avoiding, so I only ate slightly more than my diet plan on two days during the past week. However my average daily step count was slightly below target due to torrential rain over the weekend, which limited my walking to doing 'laps' of the local shopping mall. On Sunday afternoon I had a flat tyre and spent and a couple of hours in the rain (trying to change to flat, and then waiting for the NRMA to come and do it for me when I got stuck with the flat off and the spare not fitting on because I had the jack in the wrong spot!) rather than going to play squash. Ah well, at least I got some exercise jacking up the car and manhandling the flat and spare tyres! I also didn't do any 5BX sessions, so my goal this week is to hit my target step count every day, and to start doing my daily 5BX sessions.

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 10       31.3       59.6     24.1     98.4      2,436     94.7     11,811
Week 11       39.2       65.6     18.4    102.9      2,752     95.0      9,196
Week 12       38.6       65.2     17.1    106.5      2,570     94.2     11,751
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 

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Friday, 3 June 2016

How "rich" am I?

This of course is a very subjective question, but one measure of my "richness" that I choose to track is my net worth estimate at the end of each year versus the cut-off net worth required to get onto the Australian 'Rich 200' list. The "BRW rich list" was started by the now-defunct magazine 'Business Review Weekly', but is still published every May (currently by the Australian Financial Review).

I am, of course, no where near wealthy enough to make the "rich list", but I aim to eventually achieve a net worth of 1% of the cut-off figure. When I started tracking this at the start of this century I was initially making good progress every year, and was even thinking about the possibility of  'early retirement' at age 57. Then the GFC struck, and my net worth not only plummeted in absolute terms, it also did very poorly compared to the "rich 200", who are predominantly invested in property, whereas I had a large (geared) exposure to the stock market (and failed to 'roll-over' my index 'put' options at the end of 2007. D'Oh!). And then the EFC put an end to the post-GFC 'bounce' in my stock portfolio, and then it suffered a bit more as the 'mining boom' came to and end...



But at least for the last couple of years it seems to be improving once more versus the "rich 200" cut-off (which currently it stands at 303 million A$).

On the one hand, my target of achieving a net worth of 1% of the "rich 200" cut-off is a fairly challenging one, as the "rich 200" represents an ever-more-exclusive "club" as the population of Australia climbs. On the other hand, the average age of the "rich 200" stays fairly constant (as the old rich die and are eventually replaced by younger "new rich"), and net worth should increase with age (at least until retirement hits) - so my net worth should be gaining on the "rich 200" at this stage of my working life.

On a positive note, the 'net worth' figures I use in this spreadsheet doesn't include the value of the rural property I pre-inherited at the start of 2015. But it will, eventually, reflect any windfall profit we make when (if) our home gets bought by a developer (which could potentially boost my net worth by around 0.25% of the "rich 200" cut-off amount).

Anyhow, with a personal net worth well below 1% of the net worth of the poorest of the "rich 200" Australians, I feel somewhat justified in feeling "comfortably off" rather than "rich"...

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