Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Standing Desk- 5 day report (7 calendar days)

I started using the standing desk last week on Wednesday. I only sat down during lunch and for about an hour on Thursday while working the last five days (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Monday, Today). On Tuesday (today) once 2PM hit my feet were tired and I felt it was time to finally take a break from standing. Just to recap I stood about six hours Wednesday, eight hours Thursday, nine hours Friday. This week I stood all day Monday except for about 15 minutes for lunch and all day until a half hour 1PM meeting where the project manager asked me to sit. I stood for half an hour and then had to sit.

Again, thankfully it only takes me about 2 minutes to convert from a sitting to a standing desk thanks to my cubicles configuration. I’ll post a picture and maybe a video next week.

Overall, so far I am a big fan. I spent a total of about 37 hours standing (6,8,9,8,6) when I normally would have been sitting. I feel pretty could and it has only been my first week. It has also affected my run performance adding about 7-8 minutes to my mile times. Yesterday I also felt my abs were sore during my run.

Since I am traveling tomorrow I plan on walking the two miles to the Train (Go mass transit) to make sure I get some exercise and I will also attempt to stand whenever possible. I am flying so I will have to spend some time sitting and the meeting room will not allow me a standing desk. My plan is to return stronger on Thursday.

So how is your digestion? (Health Feedback)

I went a few years ago to a friend who was attending the Swedish Institute in New York to become an acupuncturist. During the assessment inquiry he asked me “So how is your digestion?” Not having any idea how to judge I said “OK”. Well of course I questioned how to actually judge how your digestion is and it turns out that how your “bathroom performance” is?

To paraphrase Dr. Oz in “You: the owners manual” we are adults and we all do it. It is a great feedback to how your overall health is and I myself ignored it for years. It should be solid single to two pieces that make an S shape just like your intestines. Nothing else in the bowl after you are done and you should not take a long time nor expend a lot of effort.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fat Loss Status Monday May 23th.

I missed updating last week so I will recap quickly. I missed my goal (<248) but went to 249.5- which at least got me below 250, a nice milestone. I also made my performance of >20 miles walking/running for the week. I set a personal 3-mile time of <39 minutes that felt great. I traveled to Las Vegas which was awesome and I gained confidence that this diet can work while traveling.

I lost another 3 pounds this week and I now weight 246 as of this morning. Another big accomplishment since I have now lost 30 lbs total since I started my diet. Yup, I weighted 276 lbs my heaviest ever back in early late March. Part of what I love about blogging is I now have a definite record of my status. My first fat loss blog was on April 5 when I weighed 266 lbs (I had already lost ten pounds at that point). So using that data I lost 20 lbs in 49 days for an averaged weight loss of .4 lbs per day!

I actually did a diet where I lost 1.1 pounds per day over 30 days so I know it is actually possible to lose weight ever faster than I am right now. However, since I gained all the weight back and more I do not recommend that diet. In addition this is a functional diet and also life-long. Once my weight normalizes I must work to always monitor myself and prevent gaining weight back.

What I learned so far: gluten is deadly. I can tell because I feel better and my digestion is better (which is judged by my “bathroom performance”). This was one of things I didn’t realize was a big issue. As stated in “Why we get fat” there is no essential carb and I think a large part of my problem is insulin resistance and gluten. I have stopped eating bread, pasta, and drinking beer. I lose weight and feel a lot better.

It does actually help to weigh yourself everyday to see how much your weight can fluctuate daily. Now that I have made a major milestone

One of the problems is I am doing so many different things it is hard to judge the biggest factors and how much my improvement is because of individual changes. I can only give you my impressions.

I failed this week to make >20 miles so my streak ended at seven weeks. I only got to 16 using endomondo app. I am actually pretty sure I walk an additional 4 miles overall, but my streak was recorded using endomondo so those are the rules.  I am also feeling fatigued from switching to a standing desk so I know that affected my running performance

Current weight: <246
more than 20 miles per week walking/running

Weight loss for the week: 6 pounds

Weekly and midterm Goal for May 30th: 240

Performance Goal: >20 miles running. <36 minutes (updated from previous <40 goal since I beat that a week ago.)

Long term: July 7 (my 37th birthday, ouch)-- <220 lbs, 3 miles <30 minutes , percent body <18%

Comments always welcome.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Standing Desks- other advantages

So I am on my third day with a standing desk. (Actually, it takes me about a minute to convert back so it is actually a standing/sitting dual desk (SSDD- NASA background- can’t resist). I do have a low level of fatigue and my run last night felt like I was dragging a car behind me. Of course, I have stood now about 12 hours in the last two days when I would have sat. There is no question that standing burns more calories or works my leg muscles more. Anyway, I have been thinking about the ancillary advantages to standing desks other than the health benefits. Here are my ideas on how offices may/should change in the future.

Sitting is awkward and not just for people. The design of a sitting desk wastes a lot of space. Convert to a standing desk and there is storage space available under the desk. Eliminate cube walls and most office chairs. Yes, sorry cube wall and office chair industry but you are useless. (Send your robot ninja assassins anytime.) And of course office chairs do have some use- so it should probably just be a smaller industry. That eliminates two hardware costs and frees up floor space.

The main problem is an adjustable desk height (a function now preformed by adjustable chairs). One easy solution for desks along walls is to use adjustable rail shelves. Actually there would be a difference between fixed (static) adjustable and dynamic adjustable, but it certainly is not a difficult design issue.

I was thinking about this overnight and just wanted to put this out there since most of the discussions about standing desks are about the health benefits. So in summary standing desks versus sitting desks:

-Remove cube walls – completely useless other than a place for me to push pin papers too

-remove most office chairs

-increase storage space since your legs are no under the desk

On day three and I am definitely feeling the effects of the extra standing. From what I understand it takes a few weeks to adjust and this is not something I am doing with the expectation of increasing my weight loss. Weight loss is more affected by high intensity cardio and resistance training and mostly by eating the right foods. Please let me know what you think.

I am the talk of the office since I am the only person standing all day. Someone just said I remind them of “Star Trek” where people in the background on the bridge are at the equivalent of standing desks. HahaHA! Excelsior!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Standing Desk

So I have been reading a lot on different blogs about standing desks and then I saw this “sitting is killing you“ that I found on John Durant’s blog hunter-gatherer.com. One of the comments correct stated that link between increased sitting and weight gain is a correlation and not a causation, but I believe it is quite clear that standing has many benefits to sitting, if you are fit enough and physically able to do it. Also, recent studies have shown that diet is more key to weight loss (fat loss) and that exercise is actually more for maintain weight (preventing) gain.

I will repeat the fact that our obesity epidemic here in America (and the world is following us) is a systemic problem. Yes, our food is a factor and our hectic lifestyles. And while we each do have personal responsibility it is still a system problem that has system solutions.

I think that it is obvious that many of our health problems are related to the reduction in physical activity and for complete health we all should get a good amount of regular activity. Something John Durant mentions is being physical not just for good health but also for survival. While we have (opposite of chronic) for chronic health dangers- there may be instantance when we are confronted with an immediate physical danger. Since everyone here in New York is talking about the world ending in a few days who knows what is in store for us.

I have been thinking of switching to a standing desk for the last few weeks and the above link prompted me to take the plunge. It took me about 5 minutes to move my laptop to a shelf at stomach height and figure out how to re-configure Windows to position my laptop and desktop screen. So that was easy. It also helps that I can convert back quickly.

I spent about 6 hours total standing when I would normally be mostly sitting. I felt good and energized. I still made my run that night. I ran two miles instead of my normal three, but it was raining intensely. I had heard at my barefoot meetup.com that running barefoot in the rain might cause blisters, but I didn’t have a problem. I thought it might be too cold as it was in the mid to low sixties, but that was also not a problem.

I am now on my second day and I made it from 6:30am to about 9:30am until I had to sit. The main benefit of my simple conversation is how quickly I can change back and forth as needed. I sat for an hour and then felt the “need” to stand again. I made it until lunch and sat for while eat. I am back standing at my desk and feeling fitter.

I will share about this again next week.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weight (Fat) Loss Status Monday May 9th.

I made my weight goal for this week- losing 3 pounds as of May 8. My diet wasn’t perfect (bread is deadly) and I had to walk/run 9 miles on Sunday to make my goal and continue my streak of 20+ miles per week. I am a little sore (I incorporated a 4 mile walk to the library yesterday to help make my goal). Weather and other obligations made me miss a number of my daily 3 mile runs earlier in the week, but I pulled it off. Not the ideal situation, but I didn’t want to break my streak.

Current weight: <252

Six weeks with more than 20 miles per week walking/running

Neck: 18”

Since I was not ideal on my diet last week (I had starch a few days) and I was still able to make my goal I am setting my goal for this week at -4 pounds. (I am going to Las Vegas this weekend- but I remain optimistic on my ability to have fun and follow my diet while vacationing.)

Weight loss for the week: 4 pounds

Goal for May 16th: 248

Performance Goal: >20 miles running.

Midterm: May 30th, weight: <240, 3 miles <40 minutes

Long term: July 7 (my 37th birthday, ouch)-- <220, 3 miles <30 minutes

I still plan to start High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) when I am <240. I was so excited last week that I thought I could start, but my friend @(phattire) wisely told me to hold steady.

Monday, May 2, 2011

No weight change this week, but feeling fit

No change in my weight this week, but I feel lighter. I am also moving faster and running more consistently. And since I didn’t lose anything two weeks ago before a big seven pound drop I am ok with it. I have run >20 miles each week for the last five weeks. I improved my time every week as well. When I lose more weight I will have to add a hole to my belt! I also will start tracking more- such as my measurements each week.

Current weight: 255

Goal for May 8: 252

Neck: 18”

Performance Goal: >20 miles running.

I am also adjust my midterm and longterm goal and dates:

Midterm: now on May 30th, weight: <240, 3 miles <40 minutes

Long term: July 7 (my 37th birthday, ouch)-- <220, 3 miles <30 minutes (66

days away!)

I will also start High Intensity Interval Training when I am <240. I am starting resistance training this week. I am going to start simple with 4 days – 1 muscle per day (upper body). I already feel fit, which is a great mental state to be in (especially since I still have a long way to go).

Just to reiterate how powerful blogging this effort has been. Aside from the positive re-enforcement everyone gives it really has kept me on track knowing I set public goals. I probably would have quit this diet a few times the last six weeks if I had not posted this publicly. The additional benefit of force me to track my weight and also using endomondo app really helps seeing the progress I have made. I actually cannot even belief I have been running more than 20 miles a week for the past five weeks. My starting weight was 276.

Until next time.