Saturday, August 12, 2017

Lost over 10 kilos!

This is not the most active blog, but I hope to improve on that in the future.

Since I wrote list, I am happy to report that I have managed to loose about 10 kilos of weight! I feel very proud over this achievement and I also feel a lot healthier. Most of my clothes now fit better and some do not fit at all, as they are now a bit too large. This might of course necessitate an investment in the near future. On the other hand, clothes I could wear before, are now possible to put on again.

So, how did I achieve this? I am sorry to say, but there is no magical trick. I have done a few lifestyle changes in order to make this more sustainable. In short:

1) Not driving to/from work.
Most often I use public transport. Only doing this requires a few thousand steps (to walk to/from bus stop etc.). A few times I have even jogged home from work (around 6 kilometres).

2) Eating healthier
Often I have brought my lunch and snacks to work instead of going out to eat. Not only is this healthier (of course depending on what you bring), but also cheaper.

3) Exercising more
I have found my way back to regular exercise. I again do some regular rowing, running (well, let's be honest and call it jogging) and walking. This has also turned out to be a good way to handle relatively high level of stress at work.

All in all, no enormous changes and I feel healthier, happier and have been able to save some money!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Sadly I have to report that, while I am making progress on my own burped challenge, the weight curve is going the wrong direction. I had to note down an all time high of 107.6 kg the other day!

Since I am convinced that "running" (more like elephant jogging) anything over 3 km would ruin my knees at this weight, I did some mountainbiking this weekend, burning almost 2000 kcal over two sessions. The key to weight reduction is not exercise, but rather changing the food intake and there I still have plenty of room for improvement. I just like to eat. A lot.

The exercise does however reduce work related stress levels and also makes me feel more fit than I otherwise would, so I will not be giving up on this. I should get back on the rowing machine, as this is also suitable when overweight and provides both aerobic and muscular training for the whole body. For some reason I am hesitating to get back on the machine, as I know it will be painful to realize how unfit I am when comparing to my previous times, but one has to (re)start from somewhere.

This week I will therefore commit to doing at least two 30 minute sessions on the rowing machine.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Index investing should be the basis of your equity investment

Via an article in The Economist (link) we are once again reminded of some old truths when it comes to investing and funds. That the mutual fund industry continues to provide funds with relatively high expense ratios (in my anything over 1% is excessively high) means that there is a demand for them.

Of course I am not suggesting we should forbid them, but for the average rookie investor (like myself) it can be valuable to be reminded of a few "truths":

- then bank is seldom your advisor and more often interested in selling something to you

- running a fund handling 10 million or 1000 million does not generate a lot of additional cost for the bank, so the more people they can convince to invest in their "unique" (read high cost) funds, the more profit they will make at a diminishing cost-effort

- the basis of all investment portfolios (at least if you have decided to go into equities) should be low cost (less than 0.2% annual fee) index funds

- it is impossible to determine which funds will over time outperform index - even for those who have done so in the past

- time in the market is more important than exactly which funds you choose

- what seems like a small difference in fees, will over time make a large difference in what you end up with

So, if you are into investing, think for yourself, take advice from people who do not have a vested interest. There are plenty of bloggers out there and also many good forums, e.g. the Bogleheads forum.

While I do own some stocks and mutual funds, I generally avoid high cost funds and instead opt for the cheaper index like ones as basis of my investments.

How do you invest?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Burpee challenge

In my attempt to get fitter I have set myself a new target: Be able to do 50 6-stroke burps by Christmas (yes, 2016, of course).

As of today I managed to do 14 in one setting. This is not very impressive in my own opinion and I have let myself sink into too bad shape.

I believe this is a great exercise and done right has very low potential for injury. Please see video below for how to do this exercise correctly. Please note the low impact in all the movements and that the hands actually come down on the ground quite close to each other to avoid shock to shoulders etc.

I am for now skipping the jump (as I am too heavy), but hope to add that in the future.

The plan until Christmas is to do burpees in one or more sessions for three days, allow one day of rest  (from burpees) and gradually increase the amount I can do.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Time to shape up!

I got a wake up call when I stepped on the scale this morning: 106.3 kg!

I have many things to blame for this, not least bad discipline when it comes to eating properly and exercising regularly. It is time for this to change and it starts today with at least some moderate physical activity in form of an hour or two of gardening, a 3 km walk with the dog and a few kilometers on the rowing machine planned.

I am quite large by nature (and lot of proper training in my youth), but should not be this heavy, since I do not aim to build a lot of muscle. First target is to get out of the deciton club (i.e. the the club for those who weigh more than 100 kg). If I could get down to 96 kg I would be very happy, so that would be my stretch (or rather "lean") target.

As I have a sporting background with a lot of training, I do see the risk of the strong will taking over and getting me into a tough training regime immediately, resulting in injuries. For example: If I would today go for 10 km run (in reality it would be a jog), I am sure I could do it, but my knees would pay a heavy price over the next few days, resulting in less training over time.

I will keep you posted on what will hopefully be a successful journey to lower weight levels.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fitness challenge while travelling and running performance level

I have recently been on an overseas business trip, including a rather long flight and time zone change. I was away long enough to just adjust to the destination timezone at which point I returned home.

This time I actually managed to squeeze in a few training sessions (20 minutes running on treadmill plus a "Seven" session), but despite this, the long hours in the office combined with not so healthy eating added onto my weight.

Luckily for me, I do not have any similar travels planned for the next few months and as soon as I have adjusted back into my normal timezone, I hope the weightcurve will change for the better again.

Despite being relatively tired, I did manage to do a 6 km run yesterday, which was heavy, but felt good.

By accident I noticed that my running performance level changed to 45. Apparently this is a combined metric of my physical fitness and my running efficiency, so to see this going up is good. (See more detailed explanation here.)

I am happy (and surprised) to see that my performance level qualifies as "Good" according to below table:

Now the challenge is to get this to "Very good", which I think will also help with my rowing in which I have felt that I am by far not up to my old standards.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Weight tracking

For me it is very easy to gain weight. In very young years I was not the fittest, but in my mid/late teens I started exercising a lot, got fit and also enjoyed eating a lot - which I needed due to all the training. We are talking about 6-10 sessions of at least one hour each every week, so it was intense. During that time I weighed about 85 kg.

During my years at university I gained weight, but the last year was very intense in school, I lived quite an ascetic life and ensured I went to the gym a few times plus did some running. I started working being the fittest I have ever been and weighed in on 88 lean kilos.

Working meant a lot of sitting still on the butt as well as starting eating lunches at restaurants, both of which I was not used to. I relatively quickly gained 20 kilos! I felt heavy. When bending down to tie my shoe lasers I got out of breath. I quickly realized something had to be done and by changing some eating habits relatively quickly lost a few kilos and felt a bit better.

Since then I have been around 100 kg, but a few years back I carved out most carbohydrates from my diet and went down to 96 kg, felt - and looked - much better!

This was unfortunately not sustainable and I slowly gained weight again.

Lately I broke my all time high and weighed in on 107.8 kg!!

I believe the gain had been more gradual this time, so did not feel as heavy or tired compared to last time. I still feel that I could row decently on the rowing machine, but of course not as well as back in the days. In any case, the surprising breaking of my all time high has now made me determined to loose weight again and I am on my way, with some setbacks last two weeks, as can be seen in the graph below.

I strongly believe for this to work in a more sustainable matter this time around I need to change some habits, but also keep some in order to not make the change too drastic and thus not sustainable. So, in short:

- no sweets during the work week
- no more french fries during 2016
- weigh myself and keep track of that at least once per week
- exercise more

Regarding the exercise I will only do limited running until under 100 kg again in order not to ruin my knees, but biking, rowing, walking and the odd tennis game is on the agenda. I will keep track of calories burnt via exercise via the Suunto watch described in earlier post (I am not sponsored by Suunto, I just happen to like their product; you might have your own similar device).

I will also make my fight against being unfit semi-public by making posts here on the blog.