Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"Because People Are Awesome."

What gets attention these days?

This politician does something stupid. This talking head says something stupid. And this "media personality" manages to say something dumber still. And then all of us cluck at each other in response, as if what we are arguing about makes any difference at all.

Personally, I've spent way too much time focusing on nonsense. And at the end of the day, it just leaves me frustrated. Who cares what these people say or do, when it has no real impact on my life at all?

You know what does matter? People doing good things. People being wonderful to each other. People choosing to make this world better. In other words, people being awesome.

I'm going to make a genuine effort to focus on the good rather than the bad, the inspiring rather than the heartbreaking, and the hopeful instead of the hurtful. I'm curious to see how that will help me change my own attitude.

For starters, I give you these examples of people being awesome:

Yup. Because people are awesome.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Finding New Solutions - Runtastic and MyFitnessPal

I've known for quite a while that I needed to switch Fitness and Health Apps, but I wasn't quite ready to make the switch away from the site I had been using. Wow. Now that I've changed, I can't believe I waited so long!

For my workouts, I'm using Runtastic. It's simple, easy to use, and I can add live workouts (running, biking) and add gym workouts (treadmill, exercise bike, strength training, etc). I really appreciate that it syncs with my other fitness app, MyFitnessPal (MFP).

And now, let's talk about that second app. MFP is slick. The integration between exercising and eating is fantastic. I love being able to see the impact that a good workout has on my available calories for each day.

First, I set up my profile. I put in my starting weight and the number of pounds I would like to lose each week. And then I start tracking.

Start of each day
Looking at the image on the right, you can see that at the start of each day, my numbers look like this: 1500 calories available to eat, 0 calories eaten, 0 calories earned from fitness activities. I do eat before I go to the gym, but I don't always track my food as I'm eating. Usually, I like to get caught up later in the morning. The first thing I log, then, is my fitness activity. And here's how that looks on the app.

After logging my run
You can see here on the left that I ran for 30 minutes, burning 521 calories. Those exercise calories get added to my daily "can eat" totals, so now I can have just over 2,000 calories for the day and still be on track to lose my forecasted weight for the week.

I love this. When I'm working out, I'm already imagining how my fitness time will bump up my available calories for the day. The harder I work, the more I can eat.

By the time I add my food and my fitness, I have a great look at the impact of my entire day. Here, you can see that I took in 1,701 calories for the day. Had I not worked out, I would have been over my calorie goal. But because I had the extra fitness calories available, I ate what I wanted for the day and still came in over 200 calories under my goal.

It really helps, because I'm also less likely to cheat with crappy food and useless calories when I am reminded in black and white just how much work I had to do to earn them.

Who's happy with his changes? This guy.

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's Time For A Change - Leaving SparkPeople

I've been an active Spark People user for nearly three years, and it's been an amazing experience. I have connected with a powerful and supportive community, made real changes in my life, and become a happier, healthier person. But, for reasons personal and private, I have decided that my time here has come to an end.

I will always have a special place in my heart for my time here. The tools and lessons learned here have truly changed my life, and I am grateful to SparkGuy for helping me become the person I always knew I could be.

I don't know exactly where I am going from here. There are many different health and fitness sites, and I'm not sure which one is the best match for me at this point in my journey. But the one thing that will remain the same is that I will continue to blog here.

I've changed a lot in three years. I have gone from this overweight, unhappy guy to a man open to all the adventures life has in store for me.

And there's still a world of fun just waiting for me!

So, thanks to all my Spark Friends for your amazing support. Hopefully, I'll see you around on my blog, on Facebook, or wherever I land next!