Yesterday, I completed my 2nd 5K running race of 2023. It was a road run and it was fun.
Stats from the race yesterday:
Chip time: 41:20 Position: 868 / 1384 Pace: 13:19 / mile Elevation gain: 15 ft Avg Power: 124 W
This was my 2nd race of 2023. I ran my first one in January. It was a trail run and it was tough. I was looking at my watch all the time to see how much farther I had to run. Every breath seemed tougher. That’s what I get for not training.
Stats from the Coyote Hills race in January:
Chip time: 53:13 Position: 220 / 289 Pace: 17:10 / mile Elevation gain: 437 ft Avg Power: 90 W
The Coyote Hills race was technically my 2nd race. I signed up for another race in Oct 2022, but I couldn’t attend it due to ill health.
I want to see how many miles I can cover this year. So far, I haven’t run much. In fact, I haven’t even trained for any of these races. It’s pretty clear that I need to put in more effort.
2021 had a lot of ups and downs for me. The first six months of the year were great. I was killing it in terms of my resolutions and suddenly, everything went south. Everything I started came to a halt. I tried my best again to restart my efforts ever since and so far, it has been okay-ish. I talked briefly about it here. I plan on fixing it. Here’s an overview of my 2021 –
2021 has been a polarizing year in terms of health and fitness for me. I have been the fittest and also had to deal with health issues. In terms of fitness, I set many PRs in 2021.
I was at the peak of fitness before I fell sick and had to slow down and eventually end up stopping. The good thing that came out of it is that I know when I need to slow down and what needs to be improved in my training.
2021 was a bit different for me in terms of side projects. I started a few and barely found time to finish them. I finished some, but most of them haven’t had any code commits in a while. I got busy with office work and so I had to delay working on them. I should manage my time better in 2022 and finish working on these projects. I’m very excited and looking forward to publish them.
I consider myself very lucky to have been able to travel a little in 2021. I traveled to Virginia in July to meet my friends from Master’s. It was a fun trip and was very happy to see my friends. I even got a chance to go on a vacation to Hawaii in December. It was a wonderful experience. I visited the Big Island and stayed at the Waikoloa Village. Learned a lot about Hawaiian culture, history, and how to pronounce the word Ukulele.
In May, for my birthday, my wife and I went on a 14.2 mile hike at the Coastal Trail, Palomarin Beach. It hike was tough but we both enjoyed it. It was beautiful.
For the July 4th long weekend, we drove to Redding to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park. The hike had amazing views.
I ventured into new areas of computer science and it turned out to be very interesting. I’ve read a lot of white papers, which I plan on writing about in the future. I have a few drafts around some of the interesting ones that I’ve read. I am planning on sharing my findings and thoughts around those soon.
I also spent time learning Swift and Swift UI while learning iOS development. The projects I mentioned earlier are written in Swift UI for iOS. One of the biggest advantages of Swift UI is that it removes a lot of the boilerplate code that you typically end up writing for common patterns while building UIs for iOS.
In 2021, I started practicing a few new thing such as mindfulness, daily journaling, etc. These have proved to be very powerful. They’ve had a significant impact on the way I think and behave in general. I feel grateful, thanks to these practices.
I will have a separate post talking about mindfulness and how it has had a positive impact on me.
In 2021, I couldn’t stick with all of my resolutions. I had to abandon a few, but I’m not disappointed by it. I’m happy with the outcome of the effort I put in.
In 2022, I think I might take it easy on my resolutions for a bit. I will wait a little before coming up with new resolutions.
And with that, here’s to a much better year ahead – 2022! Cheers!
Up until mid 2008, I had always been underweight. I used to be extremely lean and my focus back then was to gain weight. I wanted to look decent when I wore shirts and not look like someone hung a shirt on a coat hanger. To get a mental picture, I’m a little over 5’9” and weighed 120 lbs. With the focus to get bigger and look more muscular, I joined a gym. Every single day, besides the weekends, I put in my best effort and exercised sincerely. I knew I had to gain weight and so, I ate a lot of food. I didn’t really care about which foods to eat or if a particular food was healthy or not. My focus was purely on gaining weight and building muscle. Within 6 months, these changes started showing. I gained a decent amount of weight and by August 2009, I weighed 154 lbs. Mission accomplished.
In the Summer of 2010, I decided to look for an internship to get some industry experience. However, I failed to find an internship and so, I spent the entire summer learning iOS application development and built an iOS app. I basically ended up all day staying home, watching football, learning iOS programming and doing nothing else. As a result, I gained a lot of weight due to my sedentary lifestyle. I ended up weighing 174 lbs by the end of that summer. That was the first time I became overweight. The ideal weight for a male of my height lies in the range of 125 lbs to 168 lbs.
Ever since that summer, I stopped caring about my health. Way too many things became higher priority. For a few years, I had “hit the gym regularly and stay healthy” as one of my New Year resolutions. I could never really do it as I hit the gym only a few times a year. I became really lazy. Fast forward to January 2018, I weighed 187 lbs.
Road to Improvement
Upon my wife’s recommendation (and enough motivation), I booked an appointment for my annual physical with my Doctor. On June 8th, as per my doctor’s suggestion, I started using MyFitnessPal and started keeping track of my weight using my Withings Smart Body Analyzer. I’ve used MyFitnessPal in the past, but, never consistently. This time, I knew I would use it religiously since my doctor suggested it. I have my Withings Smart Body Analyzer setup such that it pushes my weight data to MyFitnessPal every time I step on the scale. I cannot recommend this enough! This is such a useful feature.
As of September 13th, I weigh 165.8 lbs. That means, I’ve lost 21.2 lbs since January 1st and 18.5 lbs since June 8th, the date my doctor suggested that I get my shit together. :tada: This puts me back in the healthy weight range for my height and age. For the first time in a little over 8 years, I am in the healthy weight range.
Here’s an (updated 10/14/18) image showing where I currently stand on the BMI scale:
How Did I do it?
If you want to lose weight, you need to understand 2 things:
The science behind weight loss
How to keep yourself motivated and maintain consistency
The science behind weight loss
Weight loss ultimately boils down to simple science. At least for the most part.
You need to burn 3,500 calories in order to burn 1 pound of fat. What it means is that you lose 1 pound of fat over a period of 1 week, by consuming 500 fewer calories than your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), everyday.
500 cals (caloric deficit per day) x 7 (days of the week) = 3,500 cals (caloric deficit over a week) = 1 pound (weight lost by the end of the week).
Motivation and Consistency
There’s only so much understanding the science behind weight loss can do to your weight loss journey. Motivation is extremely important. Discipline and Consistency, even more. Staying motivated through out the period is really hard. The following helped me stay motivated throughout the process:
Not over-thinking about the process
Focussing on the result of no more than 1 week at a time
Being sincere and respecting the process, since, perspective drives performance
Every week, I’d check my weight and watching my weight drop really motivated me.
I still need to lose some more weight. My goal weight is 163.2 lbs. Here’s a live tracker of the progress of my weight loss.
Update (10/14/18): I’ve hit my goal! and here’s a screenshot of the tracker.
There’re so many people out there, who’ve lost way more than 20 lbs of weight. I’ve always believed that if they can do it, I can too. Now you just need to believe that if I can do it, you sure can too!
I want to inspire at least a few people and help them achieve their weight loss goals.