New Year Resolutions

Pregnancy is, indeed, a great fattener. More so for the guy than the woman, if I may say so. The year 2004 (at least the first half) wasn’t good for me health-wise. I had some minor surgery in March which put me out of the gym for a few weeks. Then I started commuting too frequently between Jersey and Atlanta as we were expecting a baby. This also meant eating a lot more fast food and joining Amber in her pregnancy-induced eating binges. Amber gained 32 lbs during her pregnancy but she was underweight (102 lbs, 5'1") to start with and lost most of the weight gain within a few weeks after giving birth due to natural processes. My task was harder. So I started exercising and kept daily records of my weight, body fat percentage, waist size and rest heart rate. The graphs below show the 7-day moving averages of these quantities.

New Year Fitness Resolutions

My new year resolution is to get to the bottom horizontal line in these graphs this year and then keep them there.

Some notes regarding measurements:

  1. I used 7-day moving averages as daily data is very noisy.
  2. All measurements were done in the morning, usually an hour after I wake up but before I have eaten anything. (The first thing I do every morning is feed Michelle a bottle of milk.)
  3. The weight and body fat were measured using Tanita BF680 scale.
  4. Body fat measurement varies quite a bit depending on hydration level etc. So it is important to measure it in the morning.
  5. The waist size in the graph is that measured with a measuring tape. Trouser sizes can be deceiving as they can be 1-2 inches (or even more sometimes) smaller than your actual waist.
  6. I measured the rest heart rate with my Timex watch + GPS + Heart rate monitor.
  7. I sat down for 5 minutes and then measured the heart rate for 5 minutes while still sitting.

POSTSCRIPT: Note that even at the worst, my BMI was 24.3 kg/m2 which put me at the 38th percentile among men of my age and height. Now my BMI is 22.8 and I am at the 23rd percentile. This means that 77% of American men aged 34 years and 6 feet tall weigh more than I do. So weight hasn’t been a problem for me. It is the body fat and especially the fact that almost all of it accumulates on my waist.

Author: Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer

8 thoughts on “New Year Resolutions”

  1. 🙂

    anyways saw ur testing blog page

    The perils of surfing using one’s test page!

    It should be unveiled soon, though it will take some time to convert all the archives over.

  2. Weight should be an easy target but waist thing seems a bit challenging 🙂

    “Heart Rate” graph requires a little more low-pass filtering, I think.

  3. Hibah: Thanks. Happy new year to you as well.

    Asif: Waist is definitely going to be tough. It’ll require lots of strength training as well. The herat rate data could definitely use more filtering, but I wanted to be consistent and do something easy in Excel instead of using MATLAB.

    Renee: It’s easy though it does require setting up a routine.

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