Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Livestrong.com

I was searching for the calorie count on various food items today and I came across the LiveStrong.com web site. If you create a profile there, you can track what you eat. So, I figured what the hell... I created an account and started entering what I ate for the day. I don’t know if I’ll do it for the long term, but at the very least it’s making me more aware of what I can eat without overdoing it (not that it’s not sometimes blatantly obvious) ;)

I even passed on having a second Light beer this evening while watching hockey. That’s a first for me, and it wasn’t even going to push me past my calorie intake for the day. :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fitness hell - Week 4 progress

My suspicion from last week was correct. I have to start keeping a close watch on what I eat.

I weighed myself this morning and was disappointed to see that I gained a few pounds back. It's not like I went crazy with eating, but clearly whatever I ate was really bad for me.

Ugh. Too good to be true. :)

And to top it all off, I burned more calories this past week than the 3 weeks prior: just over 1600. I hate to think of how it would be if I hadn't.

On the plus side, it's looking really good for beating my 2000 cal in 14 day goal that I set for myself; 5 days and 274 cal to go!

I'm really enjoying the cardio boxing routines. That's part of the reason for the increase in calorie burns. It makes for a great warm up.

The Your Shape FE web site is still not fully functional, and it's been at least 2 weeks since I've been able to access their support forums. For some reason I get an error when I try to log into them. There are others with the same problem. At first, the reps in their Facebook page seemed concerned and were passing along info to their support people, but now our pleas appear to go ignored... and the problem still exists.

The leaderboard stats are a little f'd up too. For example, it has me listed twice. The "female" one is not the correct one, obviously. :)

That was yesterday, but it's still listing me twice today.

There have also been some questions about when they're going to post "events" on their web site that we can participate in. No replies to those questions either.

It's annoying when a product is released with virtually no support to back it up.

Here's my current rank:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kinect & Your Shape FE - Week 3 progress

Since the last update, I discovered that I had entered my weight incorrectly into Your Shape FE when I did the fitness test. I fixed it, and it didn't seem to change the recommended workouts. However, since my weight was incorrect, it miscalculated the calorie burn. Heavier people burn calories faster. Based on the number of calories burned at my correct weight, I estimate it is around 360-400 calories short. Not a big deal though.

After completing the 12 easyier sessions, I went in search of something different. I learned the the Cardio programs will change daily, which makes it a whole lot more interesting. Plus, they appear to be broken down into two or three routines per session, which lets me decide how many sessions I want to do per day. I upped my workouts to burn around 200 per workout. That lasted until the weekend.

I had a little setback (err... night out) on Saturday. I didn't go crazy, but it definitely wasn't part of my fitness agenda. :) Good food. Cold beer. Fun times.

So, on Sunday I was wiped. Not hungover, just tired. I did try to workout in the evening but after a few routines, I was so winded it scared me a little. I had to call it quits.

At least I tried, so the guilt was minimal.

This evening, I decided to re-do the fitness test with my correct weight set to see if anything would change. It didn't seem to affect the recommendations as far as I can see, but it feels better knowing that it's based on my correct weight.

I redid one of the easy sessions for this evening's workout, which is how I determined how much short the total calorie burn was with the incorrect weight. It went well, but it felt like a bigger workout than it was. I didn't feel as energetic. Either I was still in weekend recovery mode, or missing a workout really messed things up.

On to the weight loss for this week. There was none. In fact, I gained about ½ a pound. Should I be surprised? No. Oddly enough, I weighed myself on Friday and it had me about 3 lbs heavier, so in the end a ½ lb is good enough for me.

We'll see how this week goes, but I suspect I'll have to start taking a serious look at what I eat if I'm going to have any chance of achieving a 10lb per month loss. The Christmas holidays sure aren't going to help with that either.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A message to Sens fans

... in particular, the Heatley-hating fans:

It's cool that you're all excited about the game tonight and being able to boo and trash the much-hated Dany Heatley. It's great that you seem willing to display a little energy and emotion for once because we're certainly not known for being anything but comatose.

But what do you say to sharing some of that energy, emotion, and excitement with the home team for once? How about more than a couple of Go Sens Go! chants that don't die the second the other team touches the puck?

Seriously, how embarassing will it be to hear more Heatley boos and jeers at the game than cheers and rallies for the Ottawa Senators?

Very. And to be honest, not too surprising.

Surprise me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Watt's up?

Not my hydro bill!

Remember my "Killing Watts" post from October 1st? The one where I ranted about our $414.49 hydro bill and our planned efforts to reduce it for the next billing?

That next billing was today and our bill for the last two months is $213.13.

It's kinda hard to believe that changing all of our bulbs to CF bulbs made that much of a difference, so I'd like to think that it was mainly through the efforts of my family being more vigilant about the lights and electronics that they may leave on. Whatever the reasons, they all added up and made a difference.

As I mentioned then, I will be sharing some of the savings with my kids as well.  I decided that they would share in any savings below $250. The point was to make them realize that whenever they leave a light on or the TV on, they'd be cutting into their profits. I'll round it off to an even $20 each. :)

With winter approaching, it'll be interesting to see if we can do it again for the next two months.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Shape

I'm sort of... round. :)

I've never been a big fan of working out. I don't particularly enjoy exercise unless its a byproduct of something fun. Cycling, for example, I do enjoy, although last summer I didn't do very much of that at all and I'm not sure why.

You would think that being on medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol and being about 70lbs overweight would be enough to make me wake up. You would think that years ago when my doctor compared my health situation to a house that would fall apart in 5 or 6 years, it would wake me up.

You would think.

And it did, for about 2 years. My doctor was somewhat of a hard-ass, no bullshit kind of doctor. Some hated him. I hated him, at first, but then realized that he's just telling me like it is. I didn't want to hear the speech every 3 months when I saw him, so I did something about it. I lost 45 pounds back then, down to 240lbs. Then I had to switch doctors, for reasons beyond my control.

I put most of the weight back on.

On the plus side, I did quit smoking almost 2 years ago, but the weight remained between 260 and 270lbs.

This past fall, I had the opportunity to try something very cool: Xbox Kinect.

When the official release date arrived, we picked up a few games for it, one of which was Your Shape Fitness Evolved.

Perhaps my head isn't screwed on the right way, but the thought of earning Xbox achievements in exchange for burning calories appealed to me.

Yeh, you'd think that perhaps living a longer life would be more appealing.

Anyway, for whatever reason, this "game" has woken me up.

The first day I tried it, the "beginner" workout that it created for me after my assessment kicked my ass. I actually pulled my calf muscle. I had to put my workouts on hold for a few days to let my calf heal.

When I resumed, I tried morning workouts on a weekend and found that I didn't have the same energy as I did after work, so after work ended up being my chosen workout time of day. Since then, with the exception of a few days, I've been doing my beginner workout and the odd "gym game" or "cardio boxing" session on a daily basis. I try to burn at least 100 calories each time, which works out to somewhere between a 20 to 30 minute workout. It's not much, but it's 100 calories more than I was burning before, and I'm sure it's building muscle.

It really didn't take long before the workouts didn't make me feel like I was run over by a truck. I seem to be adjusting to them quickly, and that's a major plus for me.

In that time, I also bought a digital scale. Our old one was so inconsistent. I'm not 100% sure of what I weighed at the start, but if I estimate my starting weight at around 267lbs, I have now lost 3.8lbs since. That's 3.8lbs in under a month. And, I haven't made any significant changes to my eating habits -- yet.

I've never been to a health club or anything like that, so I can't really compare them with "Your Shape", but to me it does feel like I'm at one and I have my own virtual trainer who motivates me and tells me where and when I'm not keeping up with them, all in my own living room; and without feeling uncomfortable or awkward.

Another plus is seeing and tracking my progress in the game and on the Your Shape web site. Seeing really is believing. :) As of tonight, I have burned ~1400 calories in total and completed the beginner workout sessions.

This is a great start for me. The more I do it, the more I want to do it.

I highly recommend Kinect. If workouts aren't your thing, there are more game-like games available for it that are a lot of fun to play. My daughter really likes Dance Central, and Kinect Sports is my fav and can also give you quite a workout without even realizing it.

I'll keep posting the occasional update of my progress, so if you're interested keep checking back here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another me

I've been getting emails from a dating web site for the last few weeks. The emails said that people had viewed "my" profile on their web site. It was being flagged as spam by Hotmail. That's nothing new. I deleted them, as I do to all spam.

These seemed a little different.

As I've mentioned before, there are a number of people out on the internet who, for unknown reasons, think that my email address is their email address. It happens for Hotmail and Gmail. I get job offers from HR people, business emails, and forwarded humourous emails that people send to their friends.These aren't spam or phishing scams, these are legit emails. Sometimes I reply to them -- in particular the job offers or business emails -- letting them know they have the wrong person. Sometimes they reply back with apologies.

I began to wonder if these dating web site emails might be legit. Curiosity got the best of me today, and I visited the web site. Throwing caution to the wind, I clicked Forgot Password, entered "my" email address, and clicked Submit.

Minutes later, a message arrived in my Inbox with "my" login and password.

I logged in and there it was. Someone's profile with personal information that they added to the web site.

Now what?

I could have been malicious and changed their info or what they specified as the type of person they're looking for, but as much as it annoys me that people don't take care in entering their email address for things, I couldn't do that. And what would be the point? I'd be the one getting the emails anyway. ;)

Since they had a free account, I a delete account option and killed it. Goodbye me. I hope.

Was I wrong to close their account?