So apparently the 10,000-step count was a marketing campaign to promote a particular pedometer. I’m glad to find this out. Not that I’m feeling particularly guilty for not meeting my 10,000-step goal, but I now have sort of official permission to rebel against my pedometer overlords and adjust my goal down. Thanks for that tip, Kerry.

This week I learned that, in order to receive credit for excercise minutes when you engage in an indoor walk, you first have to calibrate your Apple Watch using the Outdoor Walk workout while outside with good GPS reception. I have not done this, so the Apple Watch did not give me credit for the fifteen thousand steps I took on Tuesday, nor the thirty-minute indoor walk I did yesterday. I am participating in three challenges this week, so this matters a great deal. To make up for this, I spent forty-six minutes on the bike yesterday and today. Denise has joined the fray, and now has an Apple Watch, and she is one of my coompetitors this week. I plan to go out at some point to calibrate the watch, but I was still pretty pissed when I realized I wasn’t getting exercise minutes credit. I’ve already done my workout for today, so all I have to do is concentrate on filling up the move ring. Right now though I’m contemplating lunch.

I am participating in two Apple Watch challenges this week and I am determined to win them both. I’ve started spending some time on one of those indoor bikes with the handle bars that move your arms as well as your legs. I started Sunday and if I keep it going until Sunday I’ll have my first perfect exercise week, plus moving and standing perfection. admittedly yesterday was pretty hard, but I got on the bike this morning before work instead of after work, and that seems to have gone much better.

So I got on the scale this morning like I usually do, and found that I’m only 9.9 pounds away from my overall current weight loss goal. Plus, i have a pair of jeans, “college 1.0” jeans, that now fit. College 1.0 jeans! I left college 1.0 in 2002.

These are a pair with nice, deep pockets. Useful pockets. Pockets that would probably fit an iPhone 6S, when I finally decide to bite the bullet and upgrade.

Happy Valentine’s Day to me, from me. I’ll treat myself to a beer later I think.

It is not normal to obsess over the calories you eat and the exercise you do in a day no matter what society tells you. Yes, a balanced diet is important. Yes, getting some exercise is important. No, spending all day on an app that takes over and controls your life and makes you preoccupied with food, exercise and weight is not okay.

Source: MyFitnessPal is Not Your Pal | Mental Illness Talk

This is something to keep in mind as we all start paying more attention to our fitness goals in 2016. Yes, quantifying data using an app and other technologies can be helpful when it comes to reaching our goals, but all of us who rely on these technologies need to remember to keep a balanced view when it comes to quantifying ourselves.

We and our health are more than just data.

I’ve been doing what I like to refer to as the “Badd Weight Watcher thing” for a while now, and have just exited a rather long period of not caring. Well, that’s not exactly true. It’s not that I haven’t cared, (I still went to work out semi-regularly, didn’t take every chance I could to binge on the naughty food, and every now and then my goal would cross my mind). I did, however, not exactly make it a point to jump on the scale weekly like I had been doing for a while.

So when I stepped on the scale Friday, expecting the worst, or at least a few extra pounds, I was pleasantly surprised.

I am now only fifteen pounds away from my goal. Fifteen! It’s taken me a long time to get here, but I’m almost to the point of maintaining instead of losing. This, of course, makes me very happy.

I’m no longer a Weight Watchers member. I couldn’t justify paying $40 or more a month just to weigh in every week. And the Weight Watchers data really isn’t easily comparable with normal data, like calorie intake and calorie burn. I have a fitbit, and I have the Aria scale, so once I got the scale, I canceled my membership.

I briefly wondered if I could keep this thing up without the weekly weigh-ins, but I’ve managed, sort of. I definitely don’t regret the decision. I loved my meeting leader, but not enough to pay that extra monetary cost.

I’m looking forward to continuing the countdown, and being able to write the “ground zero” post.

I weighed in this morning, and learned that I only have twenty-two pounds to go until I reach my goal. Awesome. I won’t reach it by the end of this year, but I don’t have that much further to go, so goal will be a thing by early 2015. This is also awesome.

I’ve gotten back into a workout schedule of sorts, going three times a week for the most part. For right now, since I spent so much time away from the gym, I’m exercising for a half-hour and will gradually lengthen the time starting in January. I don’t want to do it too quickly.

I got myself the Fitbit Aria scale in November. It was a bear to set up but I managed it. So I’m using that scale at home instead of paying Weight Watchers to weigh in every week. I have enough discipline to make sure I exercise and eat reasonably healthy and keep track of my weight, and while Emily, (our favorite Weight Watchers meeting leader) is excellent, her meetings only happen on Saturdays and I wanted to start going to synagogue so a Saturday morning meeting isn’t going to work.

I still need to get myself a mat for the floor so I can exercise at home when I can’t make it to the gym for whatever reason. I like the seven-minute workout. I think it’s great. But concrete is hard. So I think that might be my birthday present to myself for 2015.

Until next time.

I did not make it to the gym today. Still dealing with the crud. Cough, hack, cough, hack. Our bad weather isn’t supposed to get here until after 11 tomorrow morning, so I may get in there tomorrow, but I’ll definitely be coasting. I skipped breakfast, ate some lunch, and had a little dinner. I wasn’t very hungry today. Oh well, here’s to a better tomorrow.

As I mentioned previously in my last Badd Weight Watcher post, I was hoping to lose one pound, which would have ensured that I arrived at my current goal of a ten percent weight loss. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t lose that one pound. I was up 0.8 pounds when I went to last Saturday’s Weight Watchers meeting. But there was an intangible victory to go with it. I have a pair of jeans which, (when I first got them), didn’t fit. Then, as I progressed, they fit, but were tighter than I would have liked. Now, they are still a little tight, but not a problem to wear all day. I didn’t go yesterday because I’ve managed to come down with the crud in the form of a cold, complete with a cough. I’m feeling a little better today, but everything still tastes weird and breathing is difficult. I slept a good chunk of yesterday away, and got up later than I usually do this morning as well. I’m hoping I feel a little better so I can make my workout tomorrow afternoon, because I didn’t get any workout time in last week. The plan for this week is to of course eat reasonably well, and workout Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Since I missed working out last week, I’m not going to try to go whole hog and work out five days this week, and I will probably coast at least tomorrow. But that will depend on how I’m feeling when I get on the machine. If I get on the machine and start going and am feeling like the Zone is a good place to be, then it’s on and no coasting. But I won’t know that until tomorrow. And of course, barring the crud, I’ll be at next week’s Weight Watchers meeting and will hopefully have lost what I need to in order to reach my ten percent goal. Denise will be back, and she’ll have the new puppy with her, and knowing her will probably have lost a ton, which will make me slightly jealous.

Basis released some new sleep metrics this week. Now, not only can we track how much sleep we got, we can also look at how much REM, deep and light sleep we got in a night along with how many tosses and turns there were. I looked at this for the first time yesterday, and was surprised as how bad my sleep Friday night actually looked. Twenty-eight tosses and turns, sixteen percent REM (which is apparently OK), and the rest light sleep. That would probably explain why I slept so much yesterday. I think four hours or so of sleep were recorded for Friday night, then I got up for a while and then went back to sleep. I haven’t looked at today’s data, but I seem to have slept better last night and, although still tired today, I’m feeling more rested. I suppose I’ll see once I run the numbers. I went to bed late last night, so tonight I’ll probably go to bed earlier and try to get myself back to my normal waking time of around 6 in the morning by the end of this week.

I’ll end here for now, and hope that next week’s report will show better results all around. Until next time.

I did my usual thing yesterday and went to Weight Watchers. It was incredibly crowded so I didn’t get to weigh in before the meeting. Denise and I stepped out while everyone else was doing a written exercise about planning times for meals to go weigh in, and I was down two pounds. I only have one more pound to lose in order to make my ten percent weight loss mark. This, I think, is pretty damn awesome. I’ve been keeping on track with things so far this week, (which started Saturday according to the app), so I’m hoping to lose at least that one pound. But I’m also looking out for those intangible victories I spoke about earlier. I think it’s important to keep in mind that even if there’s not a tangible result you can look at, (a number on a scale, for example), you can still win. For me, this has been a very slow process given my health issues. So for a lot of the time I’ve been keeping track of this thing, the intangible victories are what I’ve had to sustain myself, or at least my self-esteem, which is something I’ve also had to watch, especially when depression sets in. But of course, I always shoot for the tangible victories because I like those for the proof I can show to myself that I’m still on track and doing what’s best for me.


As I mentioned above, it was quite crowded yesterday. The crowd was made up, I’m assuming, of those I’m calling the Resolutionaries. Resolutionaries are people who set New Year’s resolutions for themselves, usually involving weight loss and getting fit, and then crowd your local gym or Weight Watchers store in order to carry those out. Most of them usually disappear after about three months at which point everything returns to normal. This group of people presents me with two conflicting emotions. On one hand, I’m glad to see others trying to succeed, and I wish them success. It’s always a good thing to try to improve oneself. But on the other hand, they make my life a little hectic and inconvenient. And when I’m having a less-charitable moment, it’s this, (and the fact that most of them will be gone in three months or less), that takes center stage. I know that this is selfish on my part. After all, there was a time in my life that I was a Resolutionary too, and I was just as bad, if not worse, at keeping up with the goals I set for myself. But now that I’m sort of on the other side, I’m wondering if other regulars at those gyms and stores I mentioned feel the same way I do about the beginning of the year and everything that comes with it. So I’m trying to keep all this in mind when I encounter this group of people, and when I do encounter them, I say a simple prayer that they will have the resolve necessary to achieve their goals, and thereby be successful. I think this attitude is something all of us regulars can benefit from. If you’re not the praying kind, take a moment to think at least one good thought about these people. And while neither the prayers nor the good thoughts in themselves will grant these people success, it will at least put you in a better mood and you can go about the rest of your day not stewing over the Resolutionaries.


a picture of me sitting on my favorite workout machine getting ready to start my workout

We’ve started a new year, and two new months, (January on the Gregorian calendar and Shevat on the Hebrew calendar), and one of the things I gave a lot of thought to during the end of last year was getting back on track. I’ve been working out pretty regularly, but I know that I want to add more of this to my schedule. Also, I’ve been a slacker when it comes to tracking my food. For a while, the Weight Watchers app was pretty much inaccessible, so tracking food became a task that got done in the Livestrong app, workouts were (and are) being timed and logged with RunKeeper, and I’m using my Basis band to track the number of steps I’ve taken, number of calories I’ve burned, and my sleep habbits, among other things. So for me, that one app change kind of screwed the whole thing up. But starting last week, I started tracking my food in Weight Watchers again, since they’ve made a lot of changes to the app and it’s now pretty much accessible.

As far as the Basis is concerned, I love it, but am still disappointed that there’s not a full API (Application Programming Interface for the ess technically-minded), that we can use to manipulate and analyze our own data. There is a JSON feed, from which we can sort of pull data though, and I plan to write a widget that will let me display how many steps I’ve taken and how many calories I’ve burned on my sidebar. It’s just going to take some time because I’m working on other work-related stuff, and so that becomes not a top priority.

One of the things I have on my getting-on-track list is to pay attention to my spiritual life. I’ve slacked on this too, and would like to get that back together, especially prayer. I’m OK with the one-off mitzvot, and those that are sort of one-off, (candle lighting, for instance, happens once a week), but daily prayers have always given me some trouble. I still haven’t figured out how to keep myself from letting that one go yet. But I plan to try to be more regular with that this year.

Now to the writing goal. I’ve started writing on a regular basis, and this year I want to start posting more of that long-form writing. My original goal was two hundred and fifty words per day, and I’ve managed to meet that one regularly, so I’ve upped the goal to five hundred words per day. I’ve started using the wordPress new Quick Draft feature to write down ideas and save them as draft posts, which will make posting on a regular basis a little easier since I’ll already have partially-formed ideas ready. I’ve also pued together some sources with writing prompts for when I get stuck.

I also want to start preparing to give more speeches for Toast Masters. I gave one speech already, and want to start doing more towards the various qualifications. Good thing I can pretty much speak on anything I want. I may also post some of those in modified form as posts, if they’re appropriate to this space.

Finally, I plan to play Beep Baseball again this year, and we’re working on getting our local team, (the Augusta Hammers), off the ground. I had a lot of fun doing that last year, it served as an extra work-out source, and I got to travel, which I love. I want to get a guide dog this year as well, and would hopefuly like to do that in June or so.

given all this, I ought to have a busy year. And it’ll be interesting to look back at this a year from now and see how much of this I’ve accomplished. I may post more on what I’m doing in order to reach my goals at a later point.

Now it’s your turn. What kind of goals do you have for this year? Go ahead and share them in the comments.

Until next time.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

–J. R. R. Tolkien

I’ve been thinking for a long time about adding a sustained series of posts on my health journey:

  • What I’m doing generally to become healthier
  • What I’m doing specifically to become healthier
  • The health goals I would like to reach
  • My thoughts and feelings as I travel through my health journey

This is the official beginning of the series, although I’ve been seriously working at this since August of 2013. I started Weight Watchers in August, and that’s been the main thrust of my journey. But because I want to talk about other things that are tangentially related to this, I’m going to make these posts broader in scope.

Yesterday, we had a Starfleet get-together in Colombia, (South Carolina, not the country), so we dropped by Weight Watchers early to jump on the scale and check our progress for the previous week. Technically, Saturday is the beginning of my Weight Watchers week, but I still think of it as ending the week, since Saturday is the end of the week calendrically on both the Jewish and Gregorian calendars, (at least in the United States). Last week, I lost 2.6 pounds. This week, I stayed the same, neither gaining nor losing. I’m happy with these results for a couple of reasons:

  1. I tracked last week, but not every meal, mainly because I find the iPhone app such a pain to use with Voiceover, and the Weight Watchers site is pretty much unuseable with a screenreader, any screenreader.
  2. I was active this week according to my ActiveLink, and I was active more than the week before, but I still didn’t reach one hundred percent of my activity goals for any says this week.

My activity percentages were higher than the previous week though, and this is a good thing. I’m planning to be more consistently active during this week, to get the percentages higher.

I also had two non-scale victories this week.

  1. I have some dennim skirts that I couldn’t fit into before I started Weight Watchers back in August. As of last week, they were still a little tight, but not tight enough that they couldn’t be worn in public.
  2. I also had a T-shirt that I couldn’t get into back in August, and I can wear that now too.

This week, I’m getting up earlier so I can be up early enough to pray and get started on tasks I need to complete at a reasonable hour. I’m also going to make it a point to put my ActiveLink on earlier so that I can maximize the amount of activity I do in a day. I will also start a section in my journal to keep track of my thoughts, feelings and achievements over the week so that I can compile them into a post next week so I can keep this series going. I haven’t written in my journal in a long time and I think that’s something missing in my life.

I think if I stick to my goals, the week ahead will be a very productive one.

More next week.