Tag Archives: Beeminder

#WeighInWed, with some #Juneathon too

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[EDIT: this is a very long post, in the interests of your #Juneathon reading time the TLDR version is like this;Ate too much while the Queen had a party, joined Slimkicker, did some excersises at home, went for a short run ’cause its #Juneathon]

Was it just me or did the 4 days of the Jubilee mean an extra few pounds (LBS & £££)  of bad food choices every day? God Bless the Queen & all that jazz, but please can we celebrate the 65th by having salad & fruit? (Fruit in Pimms may count & celery & tomato juice in Bloody Marys could coun twice) That way I won’t think that

Tough Mudder logo

Tough Mudder logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the Jubilee is a justified reason to buy a bag of haribo every day, eat a giant bag of Revels in one night, and consume vast amounts of BBQ’d meat and croissants for breakfast.

So is it any wonder that I had to unfreeze my BeeMinder Graph this morning?! and I’m just writing off all of May, and counting the 23 weeks till Tough Mudder and checking the calendar for any other Event Excuses to stop me getting in shape & getting less fat.

I’ve also found a app/site that fuels my need for points/gold stars/level ups that’s also a diet/nutrition tracker. (Good grief there’s an awe full lot of slashes in that sentence!) It’s called Slimkicker, and I think it’s still in Beta stages, there’s no where for me to find out how many people are using the site, but I think it’s around a thousand or so. It’s a little clunky on the app, and adding food is not as quick & easy as on other apps (like with MFP for example) but it does have two mechanics that make me think it should be a little more motivating.

Firstly, it’s like Fitocracy but for food!

Everything you log into your tracker gets you points, good things, like servings of fruit or healthy fats, get more points than others, I don’t think there’s a food that won’t give you any points. The points all add up & eventually you level up, and if the glow you get when you move from level one up to level two isn’t enough, you can also set rewards. When I reach Level Five I will reward myself with a trip to the Urban Decay counter, but I’m still only level Three, so I have a few weeks to go.

Secondly, there are challenges.

Yes, yes, this also sounds like Fitocracy too, but there are slight differences. You have to join the challenges, Slimkicker isn’t going to automatically give you the points if you log things, so there’s no accidently scoring points for something you aim to do, and the challenges aren’t all about food. They’re split into 4 categories;

  • willpower – e.g “No Snacks After 3pm”
  • fitness –  e.g “20 Push Ups a Day”
  • emotional – e.g  “Daily Gratitude Prayer”
  • nutrition – e.g “A Salad A Day”

These are just one of the challenges in each area, and if you can’t find one that grabs you, there’s the option to create your own. I’m currently in 5 challenges;

  1. Loose 10lbs in 30 days
  2. 10 Push Ups a Day (for 7 days)
  3. 10 Wall Squats a Day (for 7 days)
  4. 10 Normal Squats a Day (for 7 days)
  5. 10 Lunges a Day (for 7 days) – this is one I created, if I’m squatting I might as well do some lunges too.

So you check in everyday, and get a little bonus boost to your points, keeping you focused on the tasks in hand & keeping you accountable, but if you fail or fall off the wagon, then there’s also a restart option, requiring you to stay honest with yourself. I restarted the “No snacking after 7pm” challenge several times, this weekend, and now I’ve given up on that, as it currently seems impossible.

The downside of it all is the current size & it’s American base, I find myself having to create a lot of foods, compared with the more established trackers out there, it’s a little tedious to do. The app isn’t as nice as the website, but it seems that the developers are listening & they seem to pay attention to the post put on the forums, so suggestions go a long way.

Anyway… #Juneathon!

Aside from the parkrun I did at the weekend I haven’t honestly done much excersise or running for Juneathon, but today I will commit & start doing something everyday & writing shorter blogs about it too! What did I do today;

  1. Planks (20sec, 25 sec
  2. Wall Push Ups ( 2 sets of 10 reps)
  3. Body Weight Squats (2 sets of 10 reps)
  4. Body Weight Lunges (2 sets of 5 reps)
  5. Wall Squats (2 sets of 5, holding for 5 secs each)
  6. Leg Lifts (2 sets of 10)
  7. Running 7.18km (58 min)

#WeighInWed – Battle of Scales

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Last week I was feeling awesome. I was half way to my goal & feeling invincible, and 100% focused on getting to my goal before Tough Mudder in November.

This week, I’m a little behind schedule, but  honestly this wasn’t because I’ve just sat about eating cakes.

In order to keep me focused on Beeminder I bought some of my own bathroom scales. I’ve been using the ones at the local gym and didn’t want to use that as an excuses for not updating the graph. (You did see that I’m a little bit of a geek & obsessed by this graph didn’t you?)

I spent much more than I ever thought I’d spend on bathroom scales, especially at one point in my life I distinctly remember swearing that I’d never buy a set of bathroom scales. Dashed home and obviously stepped on asap.

I was 9lbs heavier than at the gym that morning. To say I was devastated is the obvious understatement. I know scales are all different, slightly, and that your weight fluctuates throughout the day, and that’s why you’re supposed to use the same scales & check at the same time of day. But 9lbs in a few hours?

This prompted a trip to the local Boots, whee they have a digital scales thing that also does the whole BMI & body fat thing too. This was 8lbs heavier than the gym, suggesting that I’d lost a pound through swearing & having a tantrum.

So I calmed down & zipped up the (wo)man suit, and realized that the gym scaled had probably been lying to me, a fact confirmed by an inside source.

In reality it means I have to loose an extra 0.2 lbs on top of the 1.4lbs per week to get to goal before Tough Mudder, which isn’t that much, it will just mean I have to be well behaved & not eat 3 Krispy Kreme like I did yesterday.

A Little Distracted – a late #WeighInWed post

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Being a little bit of a geek has it’s downfalls, mostly the terrible tendency to get distracted.

See, I’ve been logging my weigh ins in Many Many places, and the data goes all the way back to 2010, to my 1st dreaded step on the scales at Weight Watchers. I have MyFitnessPall, iLoseWeight & a spreadsheet that all have the info in, plus a little pen & paper thermometer that I colour in as I go along!

So is it any wonder that this week I have been slightly distracted by 2 more ways to track my weight with.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Beeminder, it’s obviously quite cool, and allows you to update your data via email, or for the peeps in the USA it’s also possible to send it via SMS, but I’m in the UK, so I haven’t tried that.

But that’s not the cool / motivational bit. The best bit is that it will give you a yellow brick road to follow along & if you should manage to stray too far from the path then there’s a forfeit, it’s not a giant forfeit, more of an annoyance & you don’t get your graph back until you cough up . It’s best if you go over there & have a good poke around.

It’s also ran by some guys who are really active with their site & go out their way to be helpful, I uploaded my data & they helped tweak it so that it was a more motivational Yellow Road. I didn’t have to ask this, they just got involved.

Plus with the added hindrance to not owning a  scale, I’m going to have to go to the Gym frequently enough to stay on the right side of the path!

Exhibit B

Well I can’t actually get this one to show up, but I’ve been using Google Docs to set up some forms, mainly to track some bad habits and moods, by setting up some custom forms & using them through my phone.

They aren’t very long forms, at most 5 questions, and I’ve tried to make them with as little need for writing as possible, I’m more likely to use them if i just need to click 4 options than write an essay.

I’ll admit, it’s quite enlightening looking at things like this in a data kind of way. Everything has a time stamp & I’ve made sure that the questions include who’s with me & where am I, so it’s quite easy to sit back & look out for relations ships, and patterns.

The hardest part will be trying to come up with a fix, for the things that are bad. My first task is to stop stealing bits of the kids tea / leaftovers. I’ve got myself some sugar free gum, the idea being that if i chew gum whilst making tea, I won’t be able to eat the “extra bits!”

Now what?

Well, I’ve been plugging through some at home workouts or getting to the gym everyday this week.

My daughter even got the yoga mat out yesterday so that we could both do some push ups together, although her form was terrible, and I still can’t do more than one push up without collapsing!

What about my weight?

Well, after I stood on the scales I’m officially halfway down towards my goal! Goodness knows it’s taken me long enough! Hopefully I can ditch the next 35lbs before Tough Mudder!

(P.S Good Luck to my friend Robin, who running Tough Mudder tomorrow! He needs it, he’s had an injured ankle for the past few weeks & he’s supposed to be running The Manchester 10k with me on 20th May!)