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Saturday, 24 December 2016

Air Pistol Training: Dec 2016

My daily air pistol training sessions (~1hr every evening using the SCATT for 'dry fire' practice) seems to be slowly improving my results. I've been tracking the summary results from my SCATT sessions and my weekend shoots at the local air pistol club, and there seems to be a trend towards better scores. Aside from strengthening the specific muscle groups used to raise and hold a pistol steady during an hour, I presume the result is mostly due to improved hold (a somewhat smaller arc of movement, as shown by the SCATT 'trace length' graph) and more consistent trigger release (few 'wild' shots resulting in 8s or 7s due to trigger 'jerk', and hence more 10-shot 'cards' that end up with scores in the low 90s, rather than in the 80s).

The plots below (on the left) show histograms of 'card' totals for the first, second and third sets of 20 practice and club match shoots. They show that when I first started shooting regularly a couple of months ago I was often having a 'card' with a score in the low 80s. By the second set of twenty sessions I had reduced the number of 'bad' cards considerably, and was mostly shooting in the low-mid 90s, with a handful of cards in the 95-97 range. The third set of twenty sessions (which is still in progress) shows that although I am still having the occasional bad card (below 90) on an 'off' day, I have increased the percentage of cards in the 95-97 range to the extent that it is almost the same as the percentage of cards falling into the 89-91 range. My end goal would be to shoot nearly all cards in the 92-94 and 95-97 range, and occasionally get a card of 98-100.

At the national championship level, shooting all 95-97 or better per 'card' is required. And at world championship level nearly every series of ten shots would have to be 97 or above to even make it into the finals!


A review of some SCATT traces from last night's practice session shows where I still need to improve my shot consistency. The first plot  below shows what a typical  'good' (for me) shot looks like - with a small AM (the 'hold' area in green) settling well within the 9-ring, and the final second (yellow trace) lying mostly within the 10-ring, and then the trigger release (blue line) being smooth and not displacing the point of aim. Ideally the follow through' (red) trace would show that I maintained my hold until after the shot away.

The second trace shows a more typical shot, with a larger AM (more wobble in my hold), possibly due to slight changes in stance, grip, breathing etc. resulting in a '9'.

The third trace shows the problem of occasional trigger 'jerk' that I need to eliminate - while the AM was OK, I must have consciously tried to 'pull' the trigger at the instant the sight picture was 'perfect', and as a result the more abrupt trigger motion upset my sight alignment and threw the shot into the 8-ring. To win competitions I'll need to work on my trigger release and completely eliminate such 'wild' shots. And of course it is a lot more difficult to achieve this during the stress of a competition than while calmly practicing at home!

At least my regular practice is slowly improving my AM and hence my scores - as shown in plots of SCATT trace length (a measure of how much 'wobble' is in my hold), and SCATT average shot score.

So far I've been doing some SCATT training most days, but I haven't yet got back into the habit of doing daily 5BX exercise sessions, or started doing any isometric or weight training. To maximize my performance I'll need to work on this during 2017. I also need to work on my mental state during competitions - too often I find myself thinking about previous bad shots, or worrying about how my score is progressing during competition, rather than calmly executing each shot in the same manner I do during practice sessions.

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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Free and Easy way to support the World Food Programme

If you click on this this cute, animated cartoon [1:42] that is Mastercard Season's Greetings 2016 - MasterCard will donate one euro to the World Food Programme to support the school meal programme.

disclosure: #MasterCardEmployee

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Friday, 2 December 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Weeks 38 & 39

Well, I haven't been doing too well with my diet and exercise since the last post. While I managed to cut back slightly on my consumption of confectionery, I haven't yet managed to eliminate it completely and stick to my daily diet plan, so my weight has been creeping up again. I usually start out well enough each day, sticking with my planned breakfast and lunch items, but I'll then have a 'snack' while shopping or preparing dinner, and then also browse on confectionery after dinner while watching TV. My 'plan' is always to only have some fruit after dinner as dessert, and then to avoid snacking until bed time. The trick is to work out how to stick to my plan! Since it is too hot and humid to go for a long walk at lunchtime, I need to start going for an evening walk after dinner. While I've been doing an hour or so of air pistol 'dry fire' training using my SCATT most evenings, I haven't started doing daily 5BX.

To make my SCATT training sessions more productive, I decided to try the 'kindergarten' training method outlined by Anatoliy Piddubnyy. I wrote out a 'script' for a single 1-minute 'shot' sequence, and dubbed the narration on top of a free classical track (Handel's 'Andante' from the 'Water Music'). Initially I was going to record the narration myself, but after getting poor recordings using a cheap USB microphone I decided to use a free online text-to-speech app to simply create a suitable MP3 file. Loading the two MP3 files into audacity was very simple, and it only took a few moments to edit out some unwanted parts of the narration and replicate it 10-times to create a recording for a 10-minute, 10-shot 'card', followed by a 3-minute rest, all accompanied by a loop of  3-minutes of Handel. I was initially going to create a 90-minute track for an entire 60-shot 'match' training session, but after trying out the 10-shot 'card' track I decided it was better to simply re-play that track for every 10-shot 'card'. That way it is a lot easier to take a break between 'cards', and to have amply time to get back into position and check my natural aim before starting each 10-shot sequence.

The first evening I tried using the 'kindergarten' method with my home-made sound track it seemed to work quite well - I got  nearly all 9s and 10s, and only had one 'wild' shot (an 8) out of my 40-shot training session. However, the second night I tried training with this track I tried being a bit 'flexible' about adhering to the exact timing of the commands, and ended up holding my aim too long and getting five bad shots out of 40 (4x8s and a 7). So, I'll probably have to create a modified version, as the timing of some parts of each shot isn't quite right. Once I get the sound track exactly the way I want it, I'll use it for daily SCATT training sessions for a couple of months and see if I can consistently shoot 95+ on every 'card'. Currently I'm shooting between 89-96 for each 'card' of ten shots while SCATT training at home, although I tend to not shoot as well at the club on Saturday's, or when at a competition. Hopefully with enough training my shot timing will become 'second nature' and I'll be able to consistently shoot as well at competitions as I do in training.

At the moment the SCATT traces are showing my natural AM (arc of movement) when I initially 'take aim' is a 'random walk' lying mostly within the '9-ring', and then tightens up as I commence my trigger release ('squeeze'). Using the sound track for training helps my shoot within 5-10 seconds of 'taking aim', rather than holding way too long waiting for my aim to be 'perfect'. Currently the SCATT results show that around 35%-40% of the final second of the trace before my shot fires is falling within the 10-ring, which matches with my result of getting slightly less than a 50:50 mix of 10s and 9s. I still need to avoid holding too long and trying to 'force' a bulls-eye - which sometimes works, but is almost as likely to result in a 'wild' shot of an 8 or a 7.

My initial training goals are:
1. Habituate a natural 'rhythm' for taking aim and releasing a 'surprise' shot within 5-10 seconds of taking aim. This should help eliminate any shots that are worse than a '9', and, based on my current AM, should result in a score of around 550-570 for a 60-shot match (averaging around 92-95 per card, and eliminate any 'card' scores below 90).
2. Add daily 5BX and light weight training (and loose more weight!) to improve my overall fitness, muscle tone and core strength. This should (hopefully) improve my natural AM ('arc of movement') over the next couple of months - ideally my SCATT traces should end up mostly lying with the 9.5 region. And should (theoretically) improve my 'card' average to around 94-97, and result in 'match' score of around 565-575. My SCATT traces should improve to around 50%-60% of the final second falling with the 10-ring.
3. Use mental rehersal and regular training to develop 'muscle memory' and make the shot timing 'second nature'. This should  enable me to reproduce my training session performance during club shoots and local competitions, and get my 'live fire' match scores up around 550-560. My last two weekend club shoots were both in the mid 530s, so I still have a way to go to translate my SCATT results into live scores of 540-550+.

Depending on how much I can improve my shooting through regular training and improved fitness, I'm hopeful that I *might* be able to get a competition score in the 'top ten' during 2017. To achieve that goal I'd need to shoot around 565-575 in a 'sanctioned' (nationally recognized) match, based on previous national 'top ten' scores:

Range of 'Top Ten' score in Mens 10m Air Pistol in recent years:
2016: 568 - 579
2015: 568 - 578
2014: 569 - 577

It is somewhat depressing to realize that these national 'top ten' scores generally would not even be good enough to make the final of an ISSF 'world cup' in Air Pistol! I guess that explains why Australian's only came 36th and 44th in Men's Air Pistol at the 2016 Rio Olympics (the cut-off to even make the final eight was 580). The targets of the best qualifier at the Rio Olympics are very impressive.

Anyhow, my 'dream' goals in shooting for 2017 are somewhat more modest (although probably still not realistic):
1. Shoot an 'A grade' score at a sanctioned competition (in Air Pistol, 'A grade' is 560+, and 'Masters grade' is 575+. I'm an 'A grade' shooter on the basis of having shot 560+ in a competition .... a *long* time ago). [If I achieve this goal I may 'reward' myself with a new Air Pistol, as my trusty old FWB model 100 is looking a bit anachronistic when I go to sanctioned competitions... the Steyr evo 10 looks nice]
2. Shoot a 'top ten' score at a sanctioned competition (Ie. around 569+)
3. Shoot a 'Masters' grade score at a competition (575+). [If I achieve this goal I'll definitely get a new pistol!]

If I'm serious about these goals I'll probably have to also radically cut back on the amount of 'diet coke' that I consume each day (~4+L/day!), as that amount of caffeine can't be doing my AM any good.

Anyhow, here is how my 'diet' has been going recently. Not looking too good ;(

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 34       50.9       63.7     21.4    115.6      3,353     94.2      9,071
Week 35       33.3       63.0     22.2    118.9      3,434     94.6      9,149
Week 36       36.7       60.2     24.3    129.9      3,578     95.2      9,592
Week 37       43.2       60.5     22.9    127.7      3,208     95.6      6,560
Week 38       36.1       59.4     25.7    118.8      3,187     95.8      6,602
Week 39       44.3       64.5     20.9    111.3      3,253     96.2      4,972

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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Net Worth: November 2016

The 'Trump bounce' (apparently every random movement in the stock market has to have a root cause attributed, and a catchy name assigned by the financial media) during November saw the value of my geared stock portfolio and retirement savings each increase by around $20K. Sydney house prices continued to rise, pushing up the estimated valuation for my half of our house by around $24K. The mortgage balance was unchanged as last month we did a 'redraw' of the small extra amount we had paid off the interest only, fixed rate home loan (DW needed some extra spending money for a short holiday to China).

The long-awaited 'Hospital Precinct Plan (draft)' came out yesterday - it looks like the council is only planning to rezone the four properties at the end of our street (adjacent to what is being transformed into a main road past the hospital) as 'high density', and not the bulk of the area falling within the 'hospital precinct' (at least not yet). That will probably mean we won't make any 'windfall' profit selling to a developer in the short term (2-5 years), and will stay put until we've retired and DS2 has moved out (since he's only starting Yr 5 OC next year, and will probably live at home while attending uni for at least his undergraduate studies, we might 'stay put' for another 12+ years!). Looks like I'll have to think about budgeting for some home maintenance costs after all.

Overall, my net worth hit a new 'all time high' of A$1.974m, and I *might* just scrap into the 'multimillionare' club before the New Year.



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Monday, 14 November 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Weeks 36 & 37

Another couple of weeks where I didn't manage to stick to my diet plan (too many after dinner snacks) or reach my exercise goals (too little walking at lunch time to reach my daily step count target). On a positive note I did manage to reduce the amount of snack food I ate last week, and seem to finally getting back into my diet routine. I've been doing some regular air pistol training with my SCATT apparatus, but although I can shoot well when using SCATT at home it hasn't yet resulted in any improvement in my scores when shooting at the club or at competitions. Hopefully that will come when I get conditioned by doing daily practice (and if I start doing daily 5BX aerobic fitness exercises).

The swimming pool had started to turn green once the weather warmed up in October (the pool pump had stopped running a few months ago), so I spend some time getting the pump working again and cleaning the salt chlorinator (so it doesn't keep triggering the 'no flow' warming and stopping the pump every 5 minutes!). After scooping out a whole lot of leaves and palm fronds from the bottom of the pool and 'super-chlorinating' it a week ago, the pool is now looking OK for swimming (DS2 had a quick dip yesterday), and I'll vacuum it and backwash the sand filter tonight. Now that the weather has warmed up and daylight savings time is in effect, I'll be able to start swimming some laps every day when I get home from work. A combination of walking 12,000 steps, swimming 50x8m laps, and doing 5BX and some weight and SCATT training every day should get me quite a bit fitter over the summer months, and help me shed some more kilos (if I can cut out the junk snack food!).


.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 32       35.8       58.5     27.1     96.3      3,223     93.2      7,746
Week 33       51.1       60.9     25.6    120.2      3,747     93.9      8,214
Week 34       50.9       63.7     21.4    115.6      3,353     94.2      9,071
Week 35       33.3       63.0     22.2    118.9      3,434     94.6      9,149
Week 36       36.7       60.2     24.3    129.9      3,578     95.2      9,592
Week 37       43.2       60.5     22.9    127.7      3,208     95.6      6,560

My main goals for this week are to stick to my diet plan, walk at least 10,000 steps/day, and start doing some daily swimming and 5BX. I should also keep up my daily SCATT training, and do some preparation work for resuming my Msc/PhD enrolment in the new year... lots to do!

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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Net Worth: October 2016

The weakness in the stock market during the past month adversely affected my retirement savings and geared stock portfolio. This was somewhat offset by the increase in valuation of our home. As usual I used the purchase/transfer value for my hobby farm, rather than attempting to calculate a current 'market value'. I also haven't included the 'stock units' recently allocated to me by my employer, as they don't 'vest' for three years. When the time comes I'll start including the current market valuation of any 'vested' stock units. The annual amount isn't material to my overall NW, as the stock allocation is based on 5% of current salary, but may accumulate to a nice little 'nest egg' if I stay with my current employer until retirement.



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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Weeks 34 & 35

I came down with the 'flu a couple of weeks ago, and I'm still getting over a persistent cough. So my daily step count was below my target for the past couple of weeks, and I also didn't go to the Thursday evening 'social' squash comp (the hour of squash with the family on Sunday was hard enough while having the 'flu). I also still haven't managed to completely eliminate 'junk' food from my diet, or avoid buying confectionery when I go grocery shopping. So not too much progress on the 'diet' side of things.

I've started going again to target shooting (air pistol) at my local club again on Saturday mornings (I hadn't been since the beginning of the year), and I entered a couple of local competitions during the past month. I scored around 515-520 at the club shoots and the state championship, so my initial goal is to get back to my old 'A grade' standard (of 20+ years ago) and I aim to be shooting around 540-560 by the end of this year.

I set up my old SCATT training system (fortunately I still have a desktop computer that has a serial port, and could install a more recent version of the SCATT software that still supports the old SCATT hardware) so I can do some regular 'dry fire' practice in the evenings. I will also need to start doing some conditioning training (5BX every evening would be a good start), and do some regular weight training with light weights and high reps to improve my AM (arc of movement). If I improve enough to be regularly shooting 550+ again at competitions (which would be good enough to get me into the 'finals' of most events), I'll think seriously about upgrading my air pistol next year. I'm currently still using the old Feinwerkbau model 100 that I bought in the early 1980s, so upgrading to a new Stery EVO 10 would make sense (and look less ridiculous at competitions) once my scores are back to 'A grade' standard. While the cost of a new target air pistol is fairly modest (~A$3400), it will be a hassle to get the required paperwork from the state firearms registry, and to fabricate a part to mount the SCATT sensor onto the new pistol. I also no idea how I will manage to find the time to resume working on my part-time PhD in 2017 and fit in daily target practice - but not watching any more TV in the evenings will be a good start!

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 30       39.2       53.2     31.7    119.6      3,499     91.6      9,685
Week 31       38.8       55.2     30.5    126.6      3,820     92.3      7,111
Week 32       35.8       58.5     27.1     96.3      3,223     93.2      7,746
Week 33       51.1       60.9     25.6    120.2      3,747     93.9      8,214
Week 34       50.9       63.7     21.4    115.6      3,353     94.2      9,071
Week 35       33.3       63.0     22.2    118.9      3,434     94.6      9,149

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Monday, 17 October 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 33

Another unsatisfactory week overall. I did manage to play a game of 'social' squash comp on Thursday night, as well as the usual hour of squash practice with my kids on Sunday afternoon, but I still haven't started doing 5BX as I'd planned, and I also didn't reach my daily step count goal (or even the recommended minimum of 10,000 steps/day). My weight has continued to creep back up, so I *really* need to get back into the habit of only eating per my diet plan, and not having any extra 'snack' foods in the house. Playing a 'hard' game of squash on Thursday left me with sore heels (plantar fasciatis?) for a couple of days, but the easier session of squash on Sunday didn't make it any worse.

I had an appointment with my allergy specialist last week. My IgA levels are almost down to 'normal', so my gluten-free diet seems to be working in terms of my Coeliac disease. Unfortunately it hasn't done anything to improve my eczema (and my IgE levels are still ridiculously high). The blood tests I got prior to the doctor's appointment also showed my cholesterol are within the 'normal' range, and my triglyceride levels have gone back down into the top of the 'normal' range (and should improve further with diet and exercise). My blood sugar levels are still fine, so I'm fortunate that being overweight for decades hasn't led to diabetes (yet!). The sooner I get down into the 'ideal' BMI range the better.

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 27       39.0       55.7     26.7    132.4      3,024     91.6     12,653
Week 28       38.7       52.0     32.4    109.5      3,281     91.9     10,911
Week 29       33.3       53.6     28.9    120.3      3,469     91.5     11,568
Week 30       39.2       53.2     31.7    119.6      3,499     91.6      9,685
Week 31       38.8       55.2     30.5    126.6      3,820     92.3      7,111
Week 32       35.8       58.5     27.1     96.3      3,223     93.2      7,746
Week 33       51.1       60.9     25.6    120.2      3,747     93.9      8,214

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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 32

I didn't stick to my FMD plan over the weekend, but at least my average daily kcals for the past week weren't quite as excessive as the previous week. But I still gained some weight during the week, and I am still struggling to cut out confectionery entirely, especially in the evenings.

The weather is starting to warm up, so I need to service our pool pump and get the pool ready for the swimming season, so I can do some laps every day when I get home from work. The gym where I play squash with the kids on Sunday afternoons is starting a casual squash comp on Thursday evenings this month, so I might drop in while DS2 is at Cub Scouts and see if I can fit in a quick game every Thursday evening. I'll try it out this week and see how casual/competitive the squash is - I want to get a bit fitter, but not get an injury or have a heart attack!

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 25       41.2       64.8     21.7    120.2      3,555     91.9     12,955
Week 26       33.1       65.9     19.3    115.1      3,388     91.3     12,424
Week 27       39.0       55.7     26.7    132.4      3,024     91.6     12,653
Week 28       38.7       52.0     32.4    109.5      3,281     91.9     10,911
Week 29       33.3       53.6     28.9    120.3      3,469     91.5     11,568
Week 30       39.2       53.2     31.7    119.6      3,499     91.6      9,685
Week 31       38.8       55.2     30.5    126.6      3,820     92.3      7,111

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Monday, 10 October 2016

DS2 OC result

The results of DS2's OC (opportunity class) test were emailed out on Saturday - he got a score of 236.37 and an offer of a place at his 'first choice' school - Artarmon. I'm very happy that he 'got in', as I enjoyed attending 'OC' school for years 5-6, and he should have a fun time going there. I phoned the school to check on the enrollment process, and there will be an information pack sent out once all the 'acceptances' have been processed. There will be an orientation day for incoming OC students in November, which will also be an opportunity for DS2 to look around the school and for DW to buy the required school uniform items.

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Friday, 7 October 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 31

Yet another week where I over-ate and under-exercised ;( I caught the last ten minutes of Dr Mosley's "Eat, Fast and Live Longer" doco being repeated on TV last night, so I've decided to salvage this week (and hopefully kick-start adopting a 5:2 diet lifestyle indefinitely) by doing a basic 'fasting mimicking diet' plan this weekend (loosely based on the carb:fat:protein mix reported for Dr Longo's FMD plan). My diet plan for this coming Saturday and Sunday is:

Brunch: 1 egg (fried with 1 tspn olive oil), 1 slice Gluten free white bread, 1 tspn 'proactive' margarine
Afternoon Snack: 50g of 'Authentic' French Fries (pkt crisps)
Dinner: La Zuppa Gluten free minestrone soup, 100g mixed frozen vegetables
Dessert: 1 apple, 1 Bulla split ice cream

Dr Longo's research used a dietary protocol that provided 34%-54% of normal caloric intake, with an overall composition of 9%-10% protein, 34%-47% carbohydrates and 44%-56% fat. From my previous experiments with the normal five day FMD program, it seems that it is the relatively high fat content of this composition that helps prevent any serious 'hunger pains'. For my two-day version of FMD, my overall dietary composition will be  11.9% protein, 53.6% carbs and 34.5% fat, and the 1019 kcals is roughly 40% of my 'maintenance' caloric requirement.

I tend to not be hungry in the morning, so this plan should be fairly easy to stick to. I'm doing target shooting on Saturday and Sunday morning, so not cooking my usual porridge for breakfast will save a bit of time. In any case, I have to get a 'fasting' blood test done on Saturday morning anyhow, so it's a good time to implement this weekend plan.

For the rest of the week I'll stick to my 'standard' meal plan (but hopefully cut out any extra snacks!).

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
Week 25       41.2       64.8     21.7    120.2      3,555     91.9     12,955
Week 26       33.1       65.9     19.3    115.1      3,388     91.3     12,424
Week 27       39.0       55.7     26.7    132.4      3,024     91.6     12,653
Week 28       38.7       52.0     32.4    109.5      3,281     91.9     10,911
Week 29       33.3       53.6     28.9    120.3      3,469     91.5     11,568
Week 30       39.2       53.2     31.7    119.6      3,499     91.6      9,685
Week 31       38.8       55.2     30.5    126.6      3,820     92.3      7,111

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Net Worth: September 2016

Very little change in my net worth during the past month. The estimated value of our home was unchanged, due to no change in the average sales price for houses in our suburb. Our mortgage also stayed the same, as it is 'interest only' and we haven't made any additional payments. A slight decrease in the value of my superannuation savings was offset by a slight rise in the value of my geared share portfolios.

As usual I left the value of my 'hobby farm' unchanged, as it was a gift from my parents and will be left to my kids, so any change in its estimated current value isn't really relevant to my personal net worth position. If I was reporting our family net worth I would of course be including it, as well as the share portfolios and retirement savings accounts of my sons, and my wife's personal net worth.

I've just transferred $5875 from our SMSF to pay this year's PAYG tax bill, so that will impact the value of our SMSF in next month's report.



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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 30

Another mediocre week of overeating and under-exercising. My average daily step-count didn't even reach my minimum goal of 10,000 steps/day, mostly due to skipping my usual lunchtime walk on several days due to rainy weather. So far this week has been even worse, so I need to take a deep breath and re-boot my diet and exercise plan.

I spent a bit of time over the past week doing several edX online courses in data science and Python programming, but still haven't started much serious work getting back 'up to speed' with my MSc/PhD tasks prior to recommencing my uni enrollment next month. Overall I'm not achieving any of my goals at the moment ;(

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
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
Week 26       33.1       65.9     19.3    115.1      3,388     91.3     12,424
Week 27       39.0       55.7     26.7    132.4      3,024     91.6     12,653
Week 28       38.7       52.0     32.4    109.5      3,281     91.9     10,911
Week 29       33.3       53.6     28.9    120.3      3,469     91.5     11,568
Week 30       39.2       53.2     31.7    119.6      3,499     91.6       9,685

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 29

I was going reasonably well last week, until the weekend - when I ate too much and did too little study. Overall it was another week of too many kcals, no 5BX sessions, and no serious effort to prepare for recommencing my postgrad enrolment next month... So far this week I've had a bit more success eliminating junk food, and although I haven't crossed anything off my 'to do' list for my postgrad studies, I did spend some time working on a couple of EdX courses in data science.

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
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
Week 26       33.1       65.9     19.3    115.1      3,388     91.3     12,424
Week 27       39.0       55.7     26.7    132.4      3,024     91.6     12,653
Week 28       38.7       52.0     32.4    109.5      3,281     91.9     10,911
Week 29       33.3       53.6     28.9    120.3      3,469     91.5     11,568

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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 28

I'm still struggling to eliminate junk food from my diet, but at least I've stopped putting on weight over the past month. One 'positive' thing is that the gluten-free bread and biscuits I've tried have generally been rather revolting, so I'm not particularly tempted to buy any more GF biscuits. My fat consumption for the past few weeks has been much higher than my normal 15-25% of total cals, due to buying some chocolate as snack food since I found out that most of the jelly-type sweets I normally buy contain gluten/wheat. So I have to stop buying any chocolate when I go grocery shopping.

My average daily step-count last week was lower than normal, because I didn't go much over my 12,000 daily target on the weekdays, and I also didn't go for a long walk after playing squash on Sunday. I haven't restarted doing regular 5BX exercise sessions either, so I'm not having much success with any of my short term goals at the moment.

I'm due to apply to recommence my enrollment as a part-time post-grad research student from 1 October, so I have to stop wasting time in the evenings 'relaxing' in front of the TV after dinner. That should make it easier to go for evenings walks and do my 5BX exercise sessions, as I'm more inclined to 'take a break' from processing data or reading research literature than I am from watching movie re-runs on TV.

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Avg Wt   Steps
              g/dy       %        %       g/dy       /dy       kg       /dy
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
Week 26       33.1       65.9     19.3    115.1      3,388     91.3     12,424
Week 27       39.0       55.7     26.7    132.4      3,024     91.6     12,653
Week 28       38.7       52.0     32.4    109.5      3,281     91.9     10,911

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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 27

I'm still stuggling to get 'back on the wagon' and eliminate junk food, especially in the evenings when I tend to snack after dinner. The best I can say about last week is that although I didn't do any 5BX, I did reach my daily stepcount goals and played an hour squash on Sunday.

When I recently double-checked the ingedients on some of the confectionery I've been eating, I noticed that they have recently changed the listing - and it now shows that it includes some wheat-derived ingredients. I doubt that they have changed the actual composition, so it must just be a change in the labelling laws. At least that gives me another reason to not buy confectionery! So far this week I've still been eating too much junk food - so I'll have to make an extra effort to stick to my diet plan from now on.

.             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
Week 26       33.1       65.9     19.3    115.1      3,388     91.3     12,424
Week 27       39.0       55.7     26.7    132.4      3,024     91.6     12,653

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Monday, 5 September 2016

Uni choices

The past two Saturdays I've gone to uni open days with DS1, to help him decide which university/degree choices he may put (and in what order) on his UAC (Universities Admissions Centre) next year. These days most information is available online, so we thought it best to spend time attending open days this year, rather than next year when DS1 will be busy studying for his HSC exams. Next year he will have to choose up to nine courses (in preference order) for his UAC application. The UAC application currently costs $41 for Year 12 students, as long as application is made within the initial period (this year it is 3 Aug - 30 Sep). Late applications cost more (eg. $166 for applications made between 1 Oct -  31 Oct), As you can alter your preferences as many times as you like, it is best to apply before the initial 30 Sep deadline.

DS1 is mostly interested in Computer Science and Economics, so he is looking at doing a double degree in Commerce/Economics and Computer Science at either Sydney University or The University of New South Wales. At the moment he is leaning towards making UNSW his first choice, as he is familiar with the campus and already knows some of the faculty in computer science (having attended several courses there). He would also get credit for the first year programming course he did there last year, which he thinks would free up some time to concentrate on the compulsory math courses in year 1 (he is finding some of the subjects in Math Ext 1 a bit difficult, and has already decided he won't attempt doing Ext 2 Math for his HSC).

Another reason to preference UNSW over USyd is that their double degree in Commerce(Financial Economics)/Science(Computer Science) would only take four years (at ~$10,500 pa HELP fees), whereas the similar double degree course at Sydney Uni is a five year course. My view is that it would be better to do the double degree in four years and put the extra year/cost towards then doing a 1.5 year long Master of Economic Analysis post-grad course at Sydney University (if he wants to). UNSW also seems to have a more structured process for integrating overseas study at a one of 200 'partner institutions' in 39 countries as part of their undergraduate programs.

The ATAR cut-off for a double degree in Commerce/Computer Science at USyd is around 95.00, whereas 'on paper' the UNSW cut-off is slightly higher (96.50). However, Sydney University doesn't offer 'flexible entry' for the Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science course, where UNSW offers up to 10 'bonus points' - he could get 2 'HSC Plus bonus points for getting a band 5/6 result in Advanced English, and another 2 'HSC Plus" bonus points for getting a band 5/6 result in Mathematics, Also, if he finishes off the requirements for his Gold Duke of Edinburgh award to be finalised/approved by around this time next year, he would also get an additional 2 'EAP' (Elite Athletes and Performers) bonus points. So, the 'real' ATAR required for entry into the UNSW Commerce/Science double degree could be as low as 90.50.

As a fall-back position he will probably put Science/Computer Science at UNSW and Computer Science and Technology at USyd as his third and fourth choices, as the ATAR cut-offs for those courses is considerably lower (92.00 and 81.30 respectively), and he can always apply to transfer to the commerce/computer science double degree at the end of his first year (if his results are good enough).

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Thursday, 1 September 2016

Net Worth: August 2016

A mediocre month with my geared stock portfolio down a bit (-$35,025), our home valuation down slightly (-$5,183) and my retirement savings up fractionally (+$1,887). DW needed to redraw $1,000 from our home loan account to fund her payment of stamp duty on an apartment she bought 'off the plan' last year, so the same amount was redrawn and sent to my savings account (as we split all transactions on our home loan 50:50 as our house is in joint name - the home valuation I list is only for my half).

Next month we'll be signing an MOU agreeing to sell our house as part of the consortium of local home owners that have banded together to market a contiguous block of ~60 properties to developers that are interested in building apartment blocks on the combined site (due to its proximity to the new hospital being built nearby). It's hard to guesstimate what the final sale price might be, as the local council still hasn't brought out the draft 'Precinct Structure Plan' regarding future development of the land lying within the 'special area' around the hospital site. My current home valuation is based on current 'normal' house sales data for our suburb. If a developer buys the property it *could* be worth 2-3x that amount,  but...

The hospital precinct structure plan was originally supposed to be released in late 2015, then delayed until March 2016, then May/June, and currently the report isn't due to be reported to council until later this month... and it then has to be released for public feedback, revised, and finally adopted. So any possible rezoning to allow height/density increases won't happen for quite a while yet... initially agents spruiking their services to our consortium were saying that the marketing campaign wouldn't need to wait for rezoning to occur, and that developers would be interested in buying the properties anyhow, Now that we've appointed a real estate agency group and have a lawyer ready to draw up the 'MOU', they seem to have changed their tune, and any sale might be a 'put/call' option to buy the properties if/when a favourable rezoning takes place.


The chart is quite misleading, as it appears as if I've recovered all the losses that occurred during the GFC/EFC. In reality the large jump in 2014 was when my parents gave me their hobby farm, so I still haven't recovered the stock losses crystalized during depths of the GFC.

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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Diet & Exercise update - Week 26

I managed to cut back on snack/junk food last week, but not eliminate it entirely. When I went to the Sydney Uni Open Day with DS1 on Saturday I took along a couple of ham sandwiches I made using Buergen Gluten Free bread with Sunflower Seeds and Chia (I got a free sample loaf from Coles), which was actually quite nice but quite high calorie. On Sunday I took DS2 to Camden aerodrome for his Cubs excursion to the Scout Flying Activity centre where they had a 25-minute joy flight in a Cesna-172, learned a bit of aviation theory and built a balsa rubber-band powered model plane. I was doing quite well diet-wise until we stopped on the way home for some McDonalds fries and some snack food.

At least I've stopped gaining weight, and so far this week I've been doing a bit better at sticking to my diet plan (more or less). I'm due to recommence my postgraduate MSc(Research) enrolment at Sydney Uni from 1 Oct, so I've started spending time in the evenings getting my computer system setup for my astrophysics research rather than watching TV. It's a lot easier to avoid eating junk food when I'm not sitting in front of the TV and playing games on my tablet... I still haven't resumed doing my regular '5BX' sessions.

.             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
Week 26       33.1       65.9     19.3    115.1      3,388     91.3     12,424

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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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