Analytical Dieting

So two months ago I changed the way I ate, worked, and exercised. Simply put, I started paying attention to what I ate and how much physical activity I expended. This change was brought on by a visit to my doctor and his not so subtle way of telling me that the numbers don’t lie, you’re overweight! Right on the line, I indeed had a BMI of 25 which put me in the overweight category.

So this is a progress report of sorts and we’ll focus on the numbers since the numbers started this whole journey and numbers is how I am succeeding.

In the first two months, I have lost 13 pounds (5.9kg). To track my progress and get this information I record my weight everyday, first thing in the morning. As you can see it is an up and down journey by the trend is what is important not the daily successes or failures.

This weight loss is result of my activities and what led to this was methodical tracking of everything I ate. To set my baseline I crunched some numbers online and I set myself a goal of 1537 net calories a day. Net calories are important as this is what it would take for me to just live my normal day. If I exercise in any fashion I get to add calories to this total to make up for the extra energy expended. So this is my last two months of eating by weekly intake.

As the chart shows, I often have ended the day or week eating less than my net calorie total but this eating less is how you end up losing weight. How much is good but what you eat is also important. So to track this goal not only did I log how what I ate and how many calories, I also logged the carlorie distribution from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. As you can see, like more Americas, I do have a high carbohydrate diet. It must be the beer! The top five foods I’ve logged were tea, Fiber One bar, beer, onions, and chicken breast.

The other side of the equation is the extra energy expended. Here is my exercise log from the past two months. This is everything I’ve done the past two months other than living. Everything here is the result of physical activity and represent extra calories I can consume. The top five activities I’ve logged were walking, yard work, house cleaning, carpentry, and hiking.

So all this diligent data collection on myself has allowed me to know exactly how many calories I need to eat and when to stop in order to lose weight. Today my BMI is 23.8 and falling. I don’t record my percent body fat every day but when I started it was 22.4% and today is was 18.2%. My goal is 167 pounds (76 kg) and given the current trend I’m on I should be reaching that in about 4 more weeks!

It’s said that in order to make any change you need to be able to measure that change. By tracking my eating, exercise, and weight loss I have enabled myself to make better decisions to direct myself and my health.

A Quick Art Project

One day on Facebook a friend linked to a image of the Seven Lovely Logics. I thought it was neat and it instantly gave me an idea for filling that blank space on the bathroom wall. On my next trip down to Ikea, I picked up VIRSERUM picture frames, three white and four black. Yes, seven in total.

I created the right size printouts for the saying and placed them in the picture frames and arranged them on the wall. Simple but it looks great! That and no more big blue wall.

Standing Desk Update

I’ve been using the standing desk for about 8 months now and I’m loving it. It’s been very functional, I no longer have any back pain, and I’ve received many complements on it’s design. But it wasn’t without some issues, since my initial post I’ve made a few updates to the desk and have used some additional Ikea products.

First the cables were driving me nuts! So I’ve added some cable management to the desk. To do this I went out and bought the EXPEDIT Door Insert and installed it under the monitor and computer. I then drilled a 1.5″ in hole in the top of the EXPEDIT book case to allow cables to pass in and out while leaving the VIKA desktop untouched. This also had the benefit of allowing me to hide the UPS in addition to all of the power cables running everywhere for a much cleaner look.

Next was the clutter, it needed to be hidden as well. So help this issues I added some BRANÄS Baskets and another EXPEDIT Door Insert to hide the clutter. At the end, am left with a well organized and clean workspace!

Built in Ikea BILLY Bookcases

I wanted the centerpiece to our home office remodel to be a nice set of built in bookcases. I have always loved the built in bookcases and other features of many craftsman and other homes but being we live in a 1970’s generic home there are none of these feature in our house. On order to have these new bookcases fit in with the custom desk I built, they needed to have a  uniquely modern to them. In order to keep with that idea I decided to use a lot of 90 degree lines with no rounded corners or fancy trim.

Like the desk components, the bookcases also came from Ikea and are the BILLY series of bookcases in the same color to match the desk.

I get asked about the difficulty level of my posts ofter so let me state that the construction process for these built-in bookcases was quite involved and not recommended for first timers. With that in mind this is how the project was completed.

The first step was assembling the bookcases I replaced the cardboard backs that come from Ikea with custom cut hardboard that I then painted three different colors. I wanted to paint the backs of the bookcases as an entirely black wall would be too dark for the small room and I used three different complimentary colors to keep it interesting and add some flare. The bookcases were then glued together with Gorilla Glue to make sure nothing would ever move and placed on a new platform that was constructed along the back wall that was about 8 inches high. Each of the bookcases were then glued to each other with Gorilla Glue to make one solid and massive BILLY. After being secured in place of the top and bottom to the base and wall studs, the top, bottom, and sides were finished in with cabinet grade wood that was painted (not stained) to match the black-brown BILLY bookcases. Then I ran vertical trim from floor to ceiling over the joints where the bookcases met and horizontal trim inset by a 1/4 inch at the top and bottom of each BILLY to finish off the integration.

Since the bookcases would cover the old wall we were free to cut as much drywall as needed to move the outlet from the wall to a new position much high allowing a stereo to be plugged in on one of the shelves. Let me tell you how fun it is to mess up a wall that you don’t have to fix to perfection when done! 🙂

Some beer glasses, books, and NASA Tweetup swag and we’ve now got some great looking built-in bookcases.