Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Photo tracking

Since I have found a big help by tracking my progress I now will include facial profile pictures in my weekly blog updates.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Type of Bias to keep in mind when discussing data

In all the conference rooms at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) they have a poster listing common types of Bias:

Wishful thinking

- “hope is not a management tool”

Group think
- “I hate conflict”

Status Quo Bias
- Ever heard “we’ve not had a problem before”

Overconfidence Bias
- “We’ve always been successful in the past”

Currency Bias
- “We remember recent events and forget history”

Confirming Evidence Bias
- “I’ve read smoking doesn’t cause cancer”

Anchoring Bias
- The first information we receive gets more weight

Sunk Cost Bias
- “But look at the money we’ve already spent”

Just something to keep in mind.

Success this week

I was in NOLA for a wedding and set a conservative goal for this week.  Somehow I dropped seven pounds! That was a big boost since last week I lost nothing. Of course, it is very humid in New Orleans and the wedding had a "second line", which is incredibly- A first for me.  After the wedding a band lead us through the streets playing music while the whole wedding party dances.  Amazing experience which I highly recommend for everyone at some point.

Weight today: 255

Goal for week: - 4 lbs

Weight goal, Sunday May 1st: <251

Mid range goal: May 22nd: 230 lbs

Long range goal: July 7th, 210 lbs. (haven't been this weight this millennium).

Ideal weight: 200lbs. (haven't weighed this since college)
I can't wait to run later!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I have failed (this week)

Weight on Sunday, April 17th: <262

I failed this week, I ate chinese on Friday and wasn't as strict the rest of the weekend.  But I am still down a belt loop so I will stay the course and focus to maintaining a good diet even through weekends.
I have a wedding on Saturday so I will relax my goal for this week.  I must say publishing the blog does keep me in line.  I haven't posted this week's goals on Sunday like I wanted so subconiously I may have been avoiding admitting failure.

Goal for week: -2 lbs

Weight goal, Monday April 25th: <260

Mid range goal: May 22nd: 230 lbs

Long range goal: July 7th, 210 lbs. (haven't been this weight this millennium).

Ideal weight: 200lbs. (haven't weighed this since college)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Common Sense is the new buzz word

I am at Barnes & Nobles (RIP Borders) looking for a book in the economics section (How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business) (I got to meet the author last year at PSAM 10 and read his book The Failure of Risk Management: Why It's Broken and How to Fix It and loved it, so I have been meaning to pick up his other ones.)

Note: Looking up a book on the B&N it should be easy to locate what section it is in-- it isn't-- I am looking all over the book page and for the love of god I can't find where to look in the store for it.  It must be in the business section, but there are freaking six separate business sections I saw when I stopped counting. This is definitly something I found to be easier in Borders, respect. I found an ehow article that is no help at all since I should be able to find the specific section a book is in easily on B&
All the advice involve speaking to an associate or using an in-store computer.  And all of which are fine, but it should be such an issue to find the damn section the book is in easily.  Ok, rant over.

All I actually wanted to say was I saw the term "common sense" repeatedly used all over the business section.  And what worries me is how obvious it seems that the financial meltdown was after the fact and my conclusion THAT WE HAVE NOT CHANGED A GODDAMN THING AND IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN MUCH WORSE THAN BEFORE!!!  DOES NO ONE ELSE SEE THIS!!!

Please discuss.  (And ignore the fact that I spend a lot more time complaining about off-topic than what this entry is actually about.  or don't.)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekly goals- Mid April

I made my goal for the week

Weight on Sunday, April 7rd: <262
Goal for week: -4 lbs
Weight goal, April 10th: <258

Mid range goal: May 22nd: 230 lbs

Long range goal: July 7th, 210 lbs. (haven't been this weight this millennium).

Ideal weight: 200lbs. (haven't weighed this since college)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Book Review: My exercise experiment

This book was an easy read; I finished it in about 4 hours. The author tries a bunch of different exercise programs for a month of the time. I really enjoyed the section on Jillian Michaels (of biggest loser). And I laughed out loud when reading in the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) section about her and her friends experience with something called Zooming, Hilarious. (I chuckled again just typing that.) I was particular interested because her followed (tried to) a Paleo diet (primal living)but it stopped after two weeks. It was also interesting in the first chapter to find that her experience was in line with much of the current theory on over-training. She attempted a protocol involving double cardio and gained weight while losing muscle.

Overall an easy enjoyable read and the author’s candor came through.

Friday, April 8, 2011

My fat loss plan

I have being battling my weight most of my adult life now. When I was growing up I was always skinny kid. I started getting fat after college. I am 36 years old and it is only getting harder. It is a typical story; this is a fight that started when I was out of college working my first professional job. As the first few years went by my diet got worse and my exercise effort trailed off. Before working, I was actually in very good shape. In college I help organize a weight lifting club and maintain our small weight room. We would hold monthly presentations on different workouts and diet information. I have a huge library of diet and exercise books. Most of them I read but never implemented, at least long term. (The term analysis paralysis comes to mind)

You can look at the reference list of books I am taking from to see an example. These are books that I have taken some bit of knowledge from. I am not following any single book in its entirety. They all have parts that I like and don’t like. Some of them are not diet or exercise books and merely provide some useful insight.

Now I am ready and determined to get this right. My weight on my 6’ frame has peaked at 276 lbs. I have been following this morphed diet well for the 10 days. I am down 12 pounds. As I mentioned earlier, my goal for Sunday is 262, 2 pounds and 3 days to go.

Since a whole part of this is a learning experience and I am including facets from multiple sources, I figure I better get the details documented.

Problem statement: Obesity is a systematic problem (watchman’s rattle- this is an obvious point, but it needs to be repeated) and it is part of our nature and culture that is exacerbating the problem.

Principle Solution: The human body will adept to its environment and both diet and exercise are integral to healthly function. The goal is not simply weight loss, but a healthly lifestyle includes exercise, both cardio and resistance exercise, and a healthy whole food diet ( see references below).

Supplements: I am currently taking a high quality multivitamin and omega fat once a day in the morning with breakfast.

Diet principles:

1) no sugar

2) easy to prepare, repeatable meals

3) Lots of greens

4) High quality lean protein (mostly grilled chicken)

5) Plan your meals and have food ready

6) Avoid Dairy, Alcohol, Diet Soda

7) Cheat meal once per week where you eat what ever you want. (It makes following the meal plan easier the rest of the week- and better than a whole day)

8) Drink plenty of water- I shoot for four liters a day—usually don’t drink quite that much. But that is my goal.

I have seen this rule: W = M/2 + 2a + 5b where M is your weight in lbs, a is ounces of soda, diet soda, tea, alcohol and b are ounces of coffee which gives you ounces per day. I think this is way too much and you certainly should waste that much effort. Actually, the new evolution diet had the point it should be that much effort to drink adequate water- especially if it reduces your exercise ability. Avoid soda and beer and drink water.

Exercise: At the beginning I am doing whatever I can. I’ve gotten addicted to barefoot running so my exercise focus has been on running whenever I can. There is a lot of information out there that supports short variable workouts versus sustained repetitive training, but for right now I try to get out 3 miles four or more times a week.

Final principles: Set goals, short term, mid term and long term.

Leverage social support by doing something like blogging about them. Surround yourself with other people with similar goals and healthy habits. Focus not on weight, but fat loss and muscle and performance. Track your progress with measurable quantities (weight, percent body fat, 1-mile time, heart rate, etc.)

I am also using an app for my phone ( that using GPS to track my running performance in concert with a Bluetooth heart rate monitor.

Cold helps with weight loss. Right now in NY it is sufficient to be outside without a shirt. Not sure how I will continue with this as the weather gets warming.


The Spark (The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life

Why we get fat (Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It)

The 4 hour body (The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman)

The new evolution diet (The New Evolution Diet: What Our Paleolithic Ancestors Can Teach Us about Weight Loss, Fitness, and Aging)

In defense of food(In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto)

The omnivores’ dilemma (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals_

The Paleo solution (The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet)

Born to run(Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (Vintage))

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

NASA and acronyms

At work this morning, the day began with a discussion about acronyms and how confusing they get.  I actually relayed a story I remember about how Bill Clinton got so fed up with the numerous acronyms used by the Pentagon that he actually wrote an excutive order for the military to reduce acronym usage.  Of course, the Pentagon quickly reduced the title to an acronym.  I did some quick research and I could not find a reference to the actual executive order- so I chaulk it up to a joke.  I wish I could find the original joke.  If anyone can please let me know.

What I did find an Clinton executive order calling for plain language in Government Writing.

Acronyms run along the fence between improving and blocking communication.  The more specalized the group the more specialize the acronyms, but the less general the acronyms are usable by an audience.  However, some terms just jumble in the mouth and acronyms become optimal to use.

This is one of my pet peeves.  I do my best to always define an acronym the first time I use it in any writing (including email).  I will also be sure to ask the question if I am in a meeting or viewing a presentation. 

Book Review: The Watchman's Rattle: Thinking our way out of Extinction

So I was browsing through Borders a week ago during their going out of business sale picking up books to add to my collection when I luckily found "The watchman's Rattle" in the science section.  I am about half way through and this book is fantastic.  I am probably baised since I agree with most of the stuff Rebecca D. Costa is saying.  This book is so good and so timely that I strongly recommend you to read it.  In addition, I will be posting again about as I organize my thoughts.  I don't want to delay getting the word out about, so I am posting this incomplete review. 

More to follow.

I am fat, but losing fast

In my continuing battle of the bulge, I am going to start blogging my goals and status.  So here it goes.

Weight on Sunday, April 3rd: 266
Goal for week: -4 lbs
Weight goal, April 10th: 262

Mid range goal: May 22nd: 230 lbs

Long range goal: July 7th, 210 lbs. (haven't been this weight this millennium).

Ideal weight: 200lbs. (haven't weighed this since college)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Doug Wood 5k trail run

Too follow in the foot steps of my friend blogger, I am letting the web know that I will be running the Doug Wood 5k this Saturday.

I just started running regular again and using the commitment of having to a race to keep me on track. 

Wish me luck.