I fail (for the moment) at gyminee.

Remember those New Year’s resolutions of a month ago? I don’t – I really didn’t have any. Still, I find it interesting that in the month of December, when I was traveling for almost half the month, I made it to the gym at least once a week. This month? A grand total of one time.

Sure, a large part of that can be attributed to illness – both mine and my gym partners – and a general start-of-the-year blah. But it goes deeper than that. Take, for instance, the gyminee program and graphs I wrote about earlier. I was all excited to get going and track my progress! And I thought that I might even be able to determine a few things about the way my body works in terms of food, exercise, and a general feeling of health. So far, that has not been the case.

Every morning I wake up and scale myself, marking down the ups and downs of my weight, body fat, and water levels. On the exercise side things have pretty much been flatline. As for food, I just haven’t been able to track it accurately. Not because I haven’t been trying – and I do have gyminee to thank for providing that tracking model. But it’s jsut too hard to tally effectively. If you go out to tapas for your friend’s birthday, even if you can find nutrition information for the restaurant later, how can you possibly guage how much of each dish you had? What about if you’re just hanging out with friends or at a party and have some snacks?

In addition, the nutrition information on the back of a product is not that specific anyway. They don’t measure the fat and sugar content of each individual Twinkee. It’s an average, an amount within a certain tolerance. And while I don’t know what that tolerance is, it doesn’t comfort me to note that even my most diligently tracked numbers might be incorrect.

Still, I will try my best for you and hopefully have some results (however arbitrary) for you in another month.

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Gyminee for me.

So, in my renewed commitment to being healthier this year, I have been to a yoga class at my gym class once so far this week. That’s probably not very good exercise-wise, since it’s the only time I’ve been to the gym, but it’s definitely a more complete stretching of muscles than I normally accomplish on my own. Witness: my rib-muscles (wherever the ones directly over your ribs are called) are still hurting.

Be that as it may, I did accomplish one other thing, which is to regularly start tracking my daily ‘health vitals’ – my weight, body fat, exercise, and food/beverage intake. It’ll be interesting to see if I can watch any trends between these things. Of course, most of them are not indicators of health per se – I would like to also be able to track my heart rate or some other vital signs, but this will do for a start.

As a part of this process, Mike and I signed up for this little online service called ‘Gyminee‘. It’s not a bad little service, for what it is. Granted, we only signed up for the free part, but that still lets you track a fair amount of nutrition information. Individuals enter specific product information which is available to all participants, so you can usually find an entry comparable to what you’re eating by searching. And it will chart your intake over the period of time that you regularly enter information, as well as other statistics – resting hear rate, weight, and various body size measurements (waist, arm, etc.). The downside is that it doesn’t really allow you to track your exercise without signing up for their special services, which is how they make their money. Also, the charts leave a little to be desired, as they only track one thing at a time. So I can see that my weight went up-down-up-up-down over the past few days (mine tends to fluctuate alot), but that doesn’t tell me anything in comparison to how I’ve been eating or exercising.

So I decided to make one of my own.

exercise-2.jpg

I ended up putting it on two charts instead of just one, and I think it’s not that bad.  A little hard to read, but I can do a  bit more with line weigh and colors to spruce that up.  Anyway, I can’t post Excel files here, but if anyone wants a copy, they can email me (miamaya222@yahoo.com).  Is my email listed someplace here?

Oh! I just thought of something. It would also be useful to try and track other eating habits at the same time – such as when eating is typically done, how much eating is done in one meal or a series of little snacks, and how quickly you eat. But that will have to wait for another day – I’m all pooped out of Excel and figuring things out.