Good evening, afternoon, morning or whatever it is where you are when you are read this!
The last week since my previous blog post has been interesting! Lots of good insights and data collected. And I managed to get a real feel for the LoseIt! app to figure out if it would suit my purposes well enough to keep using it.
So, I'm gonna start off with a little progress update.
As you can see from the above image, I successfully tracked my eating habits from Mon-Thursday. Friday I didn't... which sucks. But that's still a pretty high success rate, and the user friendliness of the LoseIt! app has definitely contributed to that high rate of success. I am also in a pretty good state of mind, but the app itself has definitely had an impact as well.
It might seem like I was unable to track my exercise with Yur from the screenshot above, but unfortunately I'm afraid the reality is even more disappointing, I didn't do a lot of exercise this week. I was surprised when I viewed this data as I remembered exercising at least 2 times, but it turns out I only really did it properly on one day! These are valuable insights. However, considering I only exercised properly on Tuesday, you can see from the YUR screenshot that I did manage to also consistently record my calorie expenditure via VR exercise, which is great!
The thing with YUR, is it's so well integrated (with a few flaws, but still) that tracking the calories actually requires near zero effort. I just need to make sure I put on and connect my heart rate monitor, but in the future that might not even be needed as I have been following their algorithm development efforts and it seems that they are getting very close to being able to provide as-accurate results without a heart rate monitor - but I will still continue using it for now, especially as I am gratefully part of their beta program and I am sharing my data with them to help them improve the algorithms.
Obviously, the goal here is to consistently record the data as accurately as possible, and record so much of it that any small inconsistencies that arise along the way won't muddy the results of the data too much. So, I think it's a good start. I'm going to try to make the entire process even easier in the following weeks, so that I can increase the chances of recording the data, even when I may be in a state of mind that is less inclined to do such acts.
I have a few ideas on how to improve this, unfortunately as LoseIt! is not open source or extensible via addons (Well, I think there might be an API, so might be able to do something here later on, but right now gonna focus other improvements) I am going to have to turn my attention to things that I can do within the boundaries of the closed source LoseIt! application and other separate actions, especially those within the physical reality of my life.
There's still a ton of different areas for improvement in this process but in the next week I am going to be focusing on one particular element - and that is the planning, creation and consumption of food.
I have had experiences with meal planning before - and I have to say that have all meet rather sad ends with little progress being made. However, that which happens in the past, is in the past. And as we approach the same problem in the present or future, we are armed with a variety of different factors, whether they be learned experiences, environmental factors or any numbers of additional factors that may help us achieve a goal this time around.
Armed with this new set of variables, I am going to attempt things once more, this time, slightly different.
One important factor that has changed is that now more than ever, I have my business life under reasonable control. In the past, it indeed has been an issue where my business life would take away all my discipline and enthusiasm, leaving me with little for sometimes challenging tasks like this. This is not the case anymore - I may not be a billionaire but things are going fairly good and I have what I would call a healthy relationship with my work.
With this new variable and many others, some of which I am conscious of and some I am not, I will be aiming to implement the first, rough version of the process which I believe will help me and my family more easily eat better, cheaper and healthier.
It is not in anyway going to be perfect the first time around, or probably even the hundredth, but perfection is a great thing to aspire to, but only because it never comes and keeps us going. The journey to perfection is a worth while one, but beware of signs that you have reached or will reach it soon. It is a destination with no solid co-ordinates, simultaneously existing and not existing in many different forms. The Schrodinger's cat of goals, except perhaps even more confuzzling to what the mind often perceives as reality.
The initial process for ensuring it is easy and convenient to record the data about my exercise and calorie consumption is going to be based around meal planning.
I do not want to over-complicate every element of the eating times of the day, so I will just be focusing on the dinner. I tend to mainly eat dinner anyways and when I have food outside of dinner, it's usually something easily tracked via bar-code scanning etc rather than with a dinner, it often has a mix of ingredients which all need to be measured and portioned for accurate tracking.
So I will be planning out dinner for the entire working week (Mon-Fri). There's a few challenges / factors to consider with this:
With that being said, today and tomorrow I will be doing the meal planning and sorting things into their containers. I'll try to do a blog post tomorrow to show what we put together, but it might not happen if I don't have time (I aim for 1 blog post a week right now, so 2 would be a bit cheeky, but I will try). If not tomorrow, I will update everything at the beginning of next weeks post.
I'd love to hear all and any suggestions, comments or critiques on what I am doing in the comments below :D