Victory! Analytical Dieting Success

On June 28, 2012 I reached my weight loss goal! Meeting this goal meant I had dropped by body weight by 12% and reduce my body fat by 29%. And I’m still this weight today almost a month later. Details on how I did this can be found in in my other article Analytical Dieting but I just want to highlight some final numbers as it’s always about what we can measure. Here is what my weight loss looked like over these 126 days:

As you can see a lot of ups and downs but there is a long term trend, just like the stock market. In fact losting weight is a lot like personal finance and it’s easy to look at the short term but you have to stay focused on the long term. Here are some other highlights of my change in those 126 days:

As far as weight, I am only 89.9% of the man I used to be! Woot! I went from 187 pounds down to 166.2 pounds which is a change of 20.8 pounds. Now, ideal weight is a hard measurement to make and it will be different for everyone. If you want to find your own ideal weight forget the internet and do what I did to find mine which is to work with your general practice physician to determined where you should be. For me, we settled on between 162 and 167 as the ideal for my body type, age, and activity level. One other measurement of interest is that I did drop 3 inches off my waist which means nothing I own fits me anymore.

Moving on to percent body fat, my starting body fat was 22.4% and after this quest it now sits at 16.0%. This means of the 20.8 pounds I lost, 15.3 pounds, or 73.5% of my weight loss, was fat. Unfortunately this is the one goal I didn’t meet as I was targeting a body fat percentage of  less than 14%. The reason why I didn’t lose more fat is simple, I didn’t exercise at all during these 126 days. So now I’ll be adding some weight lifting (the best way to convert fat in to other tissue) and getting that in line.

The last key measure was my Body Mass Index (BMI). Starting out I was at a BMI of 25 which put me ever-so-slightly in the overweight category. By the time this experiment was done my new BMI was 22.5 which is solidly in the normal range.

One last thing. I know I can get on a rant sometimes but you can do this too and the secret is simple! During this time I did read a lot on healthy living and on weight loss and it comes down to two major factors in life that shape our bodies. A lack of understanding of what even constitutes good diet and exercise, common sense is so wrong, challenge it! Also having the psychological control to resisting the urge to do things we know are bad, it does take willpower and strength. If you want to know more, I found a great video during this time that sums this all up nicely. If you can spend 60 minutes do yourself a favor and check it out and watch all 6 ten minute segments.

Microsoft SkyDrive on OSX

What’s not to like about Microsoft SkyDrive? Anyone that signed up for a free SkyDrive account before April 23rd 2012, can keep their 25GB online storage forever if they ask for it and new users still get 7GB. That much more than DropBox or other providers.

As a Mac user, I was happy to see they launched a MacOS X compatible client application for SkyDrive so I could use all that space. There was just one little thing that bothered me, I couldn’t stand that client has the SkyDrive icon sitting in my Dock and menu bar at the same time! That’s just bad form from Microsoft on this one.

Being this is OSX there is a quick fix however, just open up a Terminal window and type the following to modify the SkyDrive clients settings:

defaults write /Applications/ LSUIElement 1

If SkyDrive was already running, just close it and start it again and the Dock icon is gone !

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.

LMTweetup and the F-22A

I was invited to be part of the inaugural Lockheed Martin Tweetup class and to visit the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics plant in Marietta, GA for the roll out of the final F-22A Raptor produced. For me it was a great honor to be one of only fourteen of Lockheed Martin’s Twitter followers to received this magical invitation.

Arriving at the Lockheed Martin plant on December 13th it was clear this was going to be a great day. Near record high temperatures for Marietta and clear sunny skies set the scene for what would turn out to be an awesome adventure but not before the first speed bump. Photos are normally a large part of a Tweetup but because of the classified nature of the work at Lockheed Martin, no cameras, anytime or anywhere, would be allowed. Instead we would be limited to the photos taken by the Lockheed Martin provided photographer and stock photos. Moving past that and placing our cameras back in our cars, we checked in and met our hosts for the event, Kimberly Jaindl and Alison Orne. We then boarded the nicest corporate shuttle bus I have seen and rode deep in to the facility to Building B-1, the huge main assembly plant that is four stories high and covers several acres in a massive open space.

Over in Building B-1 would be our pool area and after a quick meet and greet with others in our Tweetup class, we walked out on to the factory floor where the rollout ceremony would be held and were escorted like VIP’s to our seats in the media area. From here we could see the final F-22A tail number 4195 sitting in front of the huge hanger doors awaiting it’s move. We could see across the cleanest factory I have ever seen, the walls and emblazoned with flags, milestones, and slogans such as “Through these doors pass the most awesome fighters in the world” and “A mistake covered up may cost the life of a brave pilot.” Here basking in the spotlights, 4195 still missing it’s stealth coating and is mint green and black. Surrounding 4195 are hundreds of workers who produced this magnificent plane as well as dignitaries and the media.

On stage, the program began with the local F-22 Songbirds singing a rendition of the national anthem. A succession of speakers then took the podium to praise the work that went on with this program. Shan Cooper, General Manager and Vice President of Lockheed, stated “While the Raptor itself is eye watering, the people on team Raptor have made the F-22A what it is today.”

Addressing the crowd, Col. Sean Frisbee, the US Air Force Program Manager, noted that “This is not a funeral, this is a transition, this is only the beginning.” After all the speeches well wishes were given the moment had arrived, Lockheed mechanic Henry Mason climbed aboard the single seat jet, the South Cobb High School marching band began to play, and the large hanger doors opened slowly. The darkened plant was lit up by the sun and a small yellow tug slowly began to pull the F-22A out of the factory as it had done for the 186 other F-22A’s before it. The assembled crowd filled in behind the plane and the fourteen of us walked with the engineers, workers, and managers who built this amazing fighter. We circled around the plant to the front of the assembly building for photographs. It was amazing to see the pride and sadness from these workers who built the F-22A with it’s amazingly precise specifications and tolerances.

Then as the first surprise for our group, we were invited to be part of the team photo for the last F-22A. This was little intimidating as personally we didn’t really deserve to be there, but it was a great honor to be invited as guests and really who couldn’t resist.

After the ceremony we were escorted back inside for a brief lunch and meetings with more personnel who worked on the F-22 program. We met with Tom Wetherall, the director of F-22 Business Development, and had a candid discussion about social media and how it can be incorporated into their business plans. However this was cut short when test pilot Jeff “Trigger” Wallace exclaimed loudly “We’re here!” Accompanying Trigger was chief F-22 test pilot James “JB” Brown. Trigger and JB sat down for a much to short 30 minute one-on-one about their experiences with the F-22. They discussed how the plane has reached the limits of human physical endurance, how the F-22A can pull 9 G’s, how the plane can accelerate and what it feels like, and what it is like to travel a mile every 3 seconds. Finally they signed autographs for anyone who wanted them, which was everyone, and then they were off to prep for a test flight of 4188 which we would get to watch later.

Next up we were off for a tour of Building B-1 and the production lines of the F-22A, the F-35 center fuselage assembly, the P-3 Orion wing assembly and the C-130J assembly lines. The tour was conducted by Jeff Rhodes, Lockheed Martin’s resident historian, and he spoke in great detail on the history and current operations of the plant.

The last stop on our tour was the F-22A cockpit demonstrator, a non-classified near replica of the glass cockpit controls and displays. Lockheed’s Adam Dubinskas, ran us through several missions. I personally infiltrated enemy airspace and dropped a JDAM on a radar installation before downing two Mig-29’s with AIM-120 missiles.

Finally we all moved to a large patch of lawn to await Trigger and JB’s test flight of 4188, however something in their pre flight didn’t check out and the flight was scrubbed. But every day since them when I see a green F-22A flying above my home I get a a smile knowing I’ve met the person flying that plane.

I want to thank Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and all the people there that made the aerospace company’s first tweet-up an excellent experience. Their talented people, generosity with their time, and their knowledge of their products was very much appreciated. this event will always be remembered.

Press Release for LMTweetup

CONTACT: Jason Whittenburg
Twitter: @jwhittenburg

Cobb County Resident is One of 10 Selected to Attend the Inaugural Lockheed Martin Tweetup for Final Rollout of the F-22 Raptor December 13, 2011 

Lockheed Martin Twitter Followers Will Tweet History as the Final F-22 Raptor Fighter Jet Rolls Off the Assembly Line

Marietta, GA (December 12, 2011) – Lockheed Martin will bring together 10 Twitter followers to the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics factory in Georgia for a one-day Tweetup, December 13, 2011, when the 195th and final F-22 Raptor fighter jet rolls off the assembly line and out the door. Cobb County resident Jason Whittenburg has been selected as one of 10 @LockheedMartin Twitter followers to attend and Tweet the event.

As a Lockheed Martin Tweetup attendee, Jason and the other 9 Twitters will interact with the Lockheed Martin historian, an F-22 test pilot, and others from F-22 project. Additionally the attendees will tour the Marietta facility including the F-22 and C130J production lines, the P-3 Orion wing assemble area, and have the opportunity to take a turn in the F-22 cockpit simulator. Attendees were selected through a lottery system in which many applied over a one day period in December.

The F-22 Raptor is the world’s first stealthy air dominance fighter and is capable of multiple missions. The F-22 program began in the early 1980s as the Advanced Tactical Fighter and reached initial operational capability Dec. 15, 2005. The F-22 is scheduled to remain in service through at least the year 2040.

“Being selected for the first ever Lockheed Martin Tweetup is an incredible honor having followed both the successes and failures of the F-22. Being able to tour, meet, and listen to the individuals connected with this important program is delightful and informative. Being part of history making is exiting”

Jason is the founder of Geeklog, a Business Analyst with IBM, a father of three, a home brewer, and an adult fan of LEGO. Follow his tweets at

Lockheed Martin Tweetup attendees are traveling from across the U.S. to attend this historic event. A list of registered Twitter attendees can be found on the Twitter list: Information about the Lockheed Martin Tweetup can be viewed on

Quest for GRAIL

Now I’ve always been a space geek, just look at the path my LEGO building takes, but recently I had the amazing opportunity that turned me back in to a 12 year old boy again. I was invited to attend a NASA Tweetup for the Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission which included tour of Kennedy Space Center and viewing of the launch form the NASA causeway. How could I say no?

A tweetup is when people who follow a twitter account, like NASA, meet up in real life. With a NASA Tweetup, the space agency invites a certain number of it’s followers for a behind-the-scenes look at for a high profile event which includes special guests and amazing access to facilities.

Continue reading Quest for GRAIL