Financial Freedom Sloth

achieving financial freedom one lazy step at a time

Category: health

The health report – October

The summer seems to continue forever in Belgium so our winter hibernation has also been postponed a bit. There were a few restaurant visits and a dinner date. Despite i was able to  refocused my efforts on the diet. It was a little bit of a bumpy start but in the end I got there.

Fase 1: Swimming

Perfect score on this account. Didn’t mis one session. And I have the impression I even got a little bit faster this last month.

Fase 2: a very strict diet

Like I said, a bumpy start. Getting back to the hyper focused diet stage wasn’t that easy. The first two weeks I gradually improved. But the small improvements made me feel a whole lot better. This in turn helped me to get my focus back 100%. The clubbing also helped! Yes, I want to be that 50 year old geezer with the great body, banging his head out on some old trance tunes and embarrassing his wife #relationshipgoals. So the last two weeks were spot on!

The numbers:

Date: weight neck chest belly arm
24-10-2017 114 kg 43 cm 124 cm 124 cm 39 cm
15-5-2018 104 kg 42 cm 115 cm 114,5 cm 38 cm
17-6-2018 104 kg 42 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm
15-7-2018 101 kg 41 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm
15-8-2018 99 kg 41 cm 118 cm 113 cm 38 cm
15-9-2018 101 kg 41 cm 118 cm 114 cm 38 cm
15-10-2018 98 kg 41 cm 118 cm 113 cm 38 cm

Yes! An all time low and I got rid of the cm gained in the summer!

Perhaps even more important: I feel great! More energy, more power, more stamina. Although I celebrated my 44th birthday  end of August I actually feel younger (and a hell of a lot sexier).

Fase 3: fitness

Well, you can’t win them all. Not only did I not add the sit ups to my regime. I even skipped a whole week. Did make a little bit of progress:

date repetitions
15-8-2018 3 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 6
18-9-2018 4 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 7
15-10-2018 5 – 7 – 6 – 6 – 9

I think I am not that motivated to do them because I only do the push up. It’s not enough. 5 minutes and puff it is over.  I don’t get into a groove like I do with the swimming.

What I want to do is a full fitness set and really feel the muscles burning. But for that i need to wait until the utility room is ready and we have a place to set up my fitness bench (I checked, it was a hard no from the misses to set it up in the living room 😉

But there is some good news on that front. The paint is done (by dad and me). This week the floor goes in. After that, all we need is to get a big ass closet installed and the fitness bench can go in. i am guessing/hoping early December. until then I jsut need to remind myself that any progress i make with the push ups will pay dividends later.

But I have always been an all or nothing guy so this ‘little bit’ of fitness really isn’t my style. On the other hand, the all or nothing approach hasn’t really worked for me health wise the last 20 years. Perhaps moderation is key. The question is, can this old Sloth change its ways?

The health report – September

Last month there was even more relaxing on the diet front than the month before. As said last time:  reaching my goal in December or February doesn’t really make any difference for me. And I wanted to enjoy the last month of summer without devoting all my time and energy to the diet. So I relaxed even more on the diet front. This off course, came with a price…

Fase 1: Swimming

I knew it was going a challenging 4 weeks with the parties I had planned  the pool being closed for cleaning. So I am really glad to report I only missed two swim sessions!

One was because we only got home after 18h on Sunday so the pool here was closed. i did discover there was a pool really close to where we stayed/partied so next year I’ll bring my swimming gear and might just skip the festivities to go swimming for an hour 😉

The other missed swim session also was on a Sunday because the pool was closed for cleaning. During the week I went to a swimming pool close to my work but I didn’t feel like doing that drive on Sunday as well. Taking all the obstacles into account I am pretty happy with only 2 missed sessions! I still went 10 times which comes down to 20 km’s of swimming.

Fase 2: A very strict diet

Well, not very strict this month… As explained above and in last months post I relaxed a bit to enjoy the last of the summer and then will go full throttle when it’s winter and there are no more summer activities to attend.

What was the damage? Let’s look at the numbers.

Date: weight neck chest belly arm
24-10-2017 114 kg 43 cm 124 cm 124 cm 39 cm
15-5-2018 104 kg 42 cm 115 cm 114,5 cm 38 cm
17-6-2018 104 kg 42 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm
15-7-2018 101 kg 41 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm
15-8-2018 99 kg 41 cm 118 cm 113 cm 38 cm
15-9-2018 101 kg 41 cm 118 cm 114 cm 38 cm

Ouch! Gained two kilo’s and one cm of belly back!!

This proves two things.

First: I really need to be strict to lose weight. Strict diet AND lots of exercise or weight lose just doesn’t happen for me. Some people can eat a little bit less and lose a few kilo’s. some people can start exercising a little bit and lose weight. Not me. I have to eat almost nothing and do lots of exercise to lose weight. All or nothing. It’s not just my personality but also my body. Which begs the question, did my body type shape my personality or is it the other way around?

Second: I have not yet build up enough muscles to get away with eating more. This despite the 3 x 2 km swimming every week and the push-ups I am now doing. So we better finish up our utility room so I can start with weights also.

Fase 3: fitness

Still doing the 7 weeks to 100 push-ups (even if I am now in week 8, lol). Still slow going.

date repetitions
15-8-2018 3 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 6
18-9-2018 4 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 7

 

The above is also 3 times a week, usually Monday – Wednesday – Friday.

I can notice the difference in upper body strength but gaining 2 kg’s probably didn’t help with the progress. As promised last time I’ll add sit-ups to this exercise regime as off Monday. With the renewed focus on the diet I am hoping to make a bit more progress here by next month.

The health report – August

Last month I relaxed a bit on the diet front, feeling I deserved a bit of a break and I wanted to enjoy the summer a bit. I’ll go into the details below. But all in all I am feeling pretty good!

Fase 1: Swimming

All good here. Didn’t miss a single session in the last month. I am also swimming a bit faster than I was a few months ago. Progress, yeah!

Next month is going to be a tough as I have 2 festivals and 1 party planned. Getting to the pool on Sunday is going to be a challenge. Perhaps I’ll just party hard till 8 AM and then go straight to the pool? Also, my pool is closed for 10 days for cleaning. I’ll look into Leuven to perhaps go swimming there. But those are worries for next month. Swim wise, the past month was great! Also starting the really like my shoulders! Nothing like swimming 3 times a week 2 km to build some nice shoulders!

Fase 2: a very strict diet

I was at 101 kg last month. Then I buckled down, smashed through the 100 kg all the way to 97 kg. Then I had three weeks of hard core dieting interchanged with eating a lot. A lot like in the extra large dominos pizza all on my own, burp!. I finished at 99 kg.

It was by choice as I realized that even by sticking to the very strict diet I would only reach my weight goal somewhere in November. That is the middle of winter. And reaching it in November, December or even January doesn’t really make any difference to me. There is some stuff I look forward to doing when I am at my ideal weight. Like buying some cool t-shirts. But none of it is in the winter. Winter for us is huddling down at the farm. We are half in hibernation during those months. And now it is still summer. With places to visit and stuff to do. I want to cut loose a bit for the month of August. So I am.

I am also, finally, loosing belly fat again. On of the most frustrating things is you do not get to chose where your body loses fat. I want to get rid of the belly. So what does my body do? Add fat first and foremost to the belly but only burn it the last! Looks like my body is finally running out of others places to burn fat and is dipping into the belly stash once again!

Date: weight neck chest belly arm
24-10-2017 114 kg 43 cm 124 cm 124 cm 39 cm
15-5-2018 104 kg 42 cm 115 cm 114,5 cm 38 cm
17-6-2018 104 kg 42 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm
15-7-2018 101 kg 41 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm
15-8-2018 99 kg 41 cm 118 cm 113 cm 38 cm

Yes, I know. I still need to work on viewing eating lots of greasy food as a reward. But I am more confident that I am going to keep it up. Even if, occasionally, I am less strict. I definitely noticed the extra large pizza went I went swimming 2 days later! So I have a correction mechanism in place to prevent me to pig out all the time. Especially now that I started with the fitness again.

Fase 3: fitness

I started with the 7 weeks to 100 push-ups. It is slow going.

Doing the beginner approach because being a couch potato for over a decade really killed my strength and I am still carrying around 15 kg of fat. I am also concentrating on getting my form right. So I am now doing week 2 for a second time. I am currently at 3 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 6. I’ll probably do week 2 on more time next week. But I can definitely see the progress. I also noticed the huge difference with the last time I tried this. I still was 115 kg heavy then and boy that was a disaster! So it is going a lot better minus the 15 kg of fat I have now. That really motivates me to keep going!

Like I mentioned above, the next month is pretty party heavy. So I am limiting the fitness to the push-ups. After the next update on 15 September I’ll add sit-ups to it. And after that, I’ll see when I can get my fitness equipment in our utility room. Slow and steady progress! It is the way of the sloth after all!

The health report – July

Back on track and things are starting to get weird.

Let’s do the weird first. These reports are actually inspiring people?! After Hot and lekkerlevenmetminder, geldnerd also got on board. As I commented on Geldnerd’s post, this is feeling pretty strange to me. I usually do NOT inspire people. What I usually get are strange looks when trying to explain things to people (like why it is no coincidence the biggest derivative exchanges are in protestant countries …). The last time I inspired some people was in the early 2000’s when I got two co-workers to buy Berkshire Hathaway shares. That didn’t feel weird because, well investing is kind of my thing. Health isn’t. Hell, I am the opposite of a good health/sport example. My blog is financial freedom SLOTH for crying out loud! I am lazy! I do not like sports. I don’t even like moving in general. And my approach isn’t even sane (hence why I do not go into details). So for me to inspire other people to live healthier?! We are living in strange days indeed …

And now for the back on track part.

Fase 1: Swimming

Still going strong. I only skipped 1 mainly because I have had an insane busy last two weeks. I had to drop off the Girlfriend in Gent at 15h on Sunday which meant I couldn’t go at my normal 12:30 time. I could, and should have gone at 09:00 am in the morning (have done it a few times in the past). But I have been sleeping less (the heat mainly) so I woke up at 08:00, then thought fuck it and went back to sleeping. Also not helping in the sleeping department is too much screen time in bed. So I am going on a smartphone ban while in bed. I developed a bad habit there and should stop. After all, health is more than just your weight and general fitness level.

But all in all a good swimming month. The rest actually felt great as I was flying through the water after having skipped one session. The rest did my body some good.

Fase 2: a very strict diet

Here is the back on track part people. An almost laser focus.

Date: weight neck chest belly arm
24-10-2017 114 kg 43 cm 124 cm 124 cm 39 cm
15-5-2018 104 kg 42 cm 115 cm 114,5 cm 38 cm
17-6-2018 104 kg 42 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm
15-7-2018 101 kg 41 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm

101 kg! Or very close to the half way mark of losing 15kg!

Actually, those numbers are from 15/07 (I have been so busy I didn’t even get to do this post for the last 5 days, also I am lazy) and have reached the 100 kg mark in the last days. Woot woot and big congratulations to myselfI

I did come to the conclusion I still do not have a good relationship with the snacks. I still view chips and chocolate as a ‘reward’ for being a good little sloth. And while I now have it under control and only very, very, occasionally indulge I need to continue to work on it. Not on indulging less but on changing my attitude towards it.

I have done it for coca cola where I was a real coke addict (at least three cans a day, every day). I stopped (cold Turkey style) and a hard time doing it. I even instituted a coca cola ban in the house. When we bought a few for visitors I got the girlfriend to hide them out of fear of a relapse.

Now we have had a few cans in the refrigerator for a week and zero temptation.

What changed is that at first it was a rational decision and only a rational decision. I knew the coca cola was bad for me (little side notes: Berkshire Hathaway owns a lot of KO shares so the rest of you should definitely not follow my example and stop buying their products, think of my dividends!!) so I made the effort to stop! But every other part of me except my rational part still wanted coca cola. And then, somehow, I made a switch. It was as I finally, fundamentally, one every level of my being now understand that Coca cola was bad for me (again: you all keep buying their products! They have a wide range of healthy drinks too!!). So I think I can finally say: ‘Hello, I am financialfreedom sloth and I am a recovered Coke addict!’

So I need to achieve a similar switch for those unhealthy snack. I also did it for carbs, almost effortless but those snacks … If I am honest, I think it is because a big part of me doesn’t want to. I want to keep those rewards you know. I mean, I am doing good, no? And If I am slim and fit (well getting there), shouldn’t I get to have some M&M’s or Lays chips on occasion? But on the other hand, I usually am an all or nothing guy. It would remain a big weak point and a risk of relapse. It is this internal struggling that, I think, is holding me back from making the switch. It really is a difficult point for me. Honestly, I do not know how or when I will resolve this. Or how buying a bag of M&M’s can lead to some deep soul searching … Fuck, this stuff isn’t easy.

Fase three: fitness

Haven’t started yet. I told you in my last update I didn’t want to!

I actually need to correct that. I went to the local gym to get information and when I was there I realized that what I really do not want to is have to go to the Gym three times a week. See what I wrote there: ‘have to go’. That is not a good way to look at it. That is not the way I view my swimming. Sure, part of me feels like I have to go swimming but I also want to go swimming. I do not want to go to the Gym. So I am not going.

But I also realized I want to do fitness. What I really want to do is train on the Kettler fitness bench that is standing on my parent’s attic. That was always my final goal, the Gym part was to bridge the gap between wanting to exercise now and having our attic finished (two, three years?).

I think I can squeeze the Kettler bench in our utility room once that is finished (October?) and while waiting for that I am going to start with push ups and sit ups. Getting to a hundred will probably take me till October anyway …

Coming up in August are some nice Techno parties, so the health focus might be a little less the coming month. But not going to lie people, looking forward to it with the new slimmer body …

The health report – June

In dieting there is always a moment where you hit a plateau en June was that month for me. I feel I need to remind my readers that although my first post about it was in May, I actually started in February with the swimming and on the 1st of April with the very strict diet. I just didn’t get round to posting about it before the 15th of May. So I have been at it for a bit longer than this blogs reflects.

And I didn’t do that bad, it’s just that my body appears to not be very standard but then again, neither am I as a person.

Fase 1: swimming

Still going strong here. Didn’t skip one! Had a visitor last weekend and left the visitor to fend for herself for two hours in my home as I HAD TO GO swimming, lol. I know, very hospitable off me …

Even adjusted my schedule one week because the pool was closed one friday and I normally go Wednesday – Friday – Sunday. Changed it to Tuesday – Thursday – Sunday.

So 4 weeks of solid swimming, three times a week, 2 km each time. For those interested in the details. I do 500 m as warm up, then some stretching and then another 1500 m and then some more stretching. All of it breaststroke. I learned this weekend that breaststroke is more demanding than crawl! I always thought it to be the other way around because you go faster with crawl but that is apparently mainly due to better aerodynamics (hydrodynamics?) of that style. Yay for me. And yes, the most demanding is the butterfly stroke but let’s be honest, that style is nuts and would only result in me swallowing mouthful’s of chloride water with each and every stroke. I also tend to get lots of water up the nose with crawl (free style), hence my preference for the breast stroke.

Fase 2: a very strict diet

well, I wasn’t all that strict this month. Well, I wasn’t all that strict in the evening to be more precise. Breakfast and work day were still very good but I did falter a bit in the evening. This wasn’t helped by the fact the girlfriend went to Porto for the music festival for one week leaving me unsupervised.

Even with the bad evenings I must have been below 2000 kcal because I was at 680 kcal before coming home. And I didn’t pig out that much once home! It’s just well, my body doesn’t do moderation very well.

Here are the stats:

Date: weight neck chest belly arm
24-10-2017 114 kg 43 cm 124 cm 124 cm 39 cm
15-5-2018 104 kg 42 cm 115 cm 114,5 cm 38 cm
17-6-2018 104 kg 42 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38cm

 

You’ll notice almost no change except the chest. Might be an error in measurement or me breathing but I have to say, I do feel more muscular. And all the swimming (24 km in the last month) must have had an impact somewhere. I have been known to bulk up pretty fast (fat when not exercising and muscle when exercising). So I might have lost some fat but more or less added the same weight in muscles with the eating more in the evening (my body reacting to finally getting some more building materials to work with). I do now need a size XL t-shirt and not only because of the belly but also because of my shoulders. Hell, an XL is actually a snug fit around the shoulders now and there is definitely not a whole lot of fat on those!

This is one of the shortcomings of only being able to being able to measure your weight. In an ideal world you should be able to measure fat and muscles. But no cheap, accurate way exists (or I haven’t found it). I’ll know more when I get a full body scan at 95 kg. One thing I cannot deny is I am still carrying around way to much fat.

Fase three: fitness

The old, strict-goals-me would have lost motivation with a zero progress month. This would probably lead to quitting the effort all together and then starting to add weight again.

Now I focus on the good:

– I still feel a whole lot better at 104 kg than I did at 115kg

– I still went swimming and I am faster/in better shape than I was one month ago

– I actually did okay diet wise until the evening

So lessons from this that I need to be very strict on the diet. My body demands it. Some people can quit drinking soda’s and lose 5kg because of that one change. Some can skip a few bags of chips and lose kg’s from that. But the sad truth is, not me. I just can’t eat a bit less and exercise a bit more and expect results.

No!

I need to put my body on a below 1000 kcal a day diet

I need to swim 3x week for 2km

And in need to add fitness to it. I knew this a month ago. The last month has proven beyond any doubt I need to do it!

I have said it before and I meant it. I do not look forward to adding 3 x of fitness a week to my schedule. I am lazy, I like being lazy. A little part of me was still thinking that the diet and the swimming was enough. That the fitness was a corner I could cut. That I could get away with half assing this. A little bit less effort but still most of the benefits! O, how I would love that!

But nope, when it comes to weight loss I cannot cut any corners.

So fitness it is as of the 1st of July.

Thing is, when I do it my body really, really likes it! My mind is shouting that this is the most boring, stupid thing one can spend an hour doing But my body. O my body loves it. My body is shouting more! More! More! Guess it’s time to start listening to my body and give it what it wants.

The health report – May

You often hear people say that your health is the most important thing in life.

And guess what? They are right!

Without health, a big pile of money will not do you a lot of good. And with both my mother and the girlfriend working at an institution for people with disabilities I really, REALLY know that being born with full physical and mental capabilities is a great gift.

Knowing this you would think I would have taken better care of my health but as those who have met me in real life can attest, I didn’t.

Squandering a great gift

Actually, I have really squandered this gift. First off: the last time I was somewhat serious about exercising was in my university years. Since I spend my working hours behind a desk that was not a good move. Second, I got fat. This too started after my university years. A sedentairy life style + eating large quantities of food (because moderation doesn’t really fit my personality) resulted in weight gain. Adding a few kilo’s every year which seems OKish. But fast forward 20 years and I ended up at 115 kg. With a height of 1m78 I had firmly nestled myself in the obese category. Health wise not good.

I also take some other measurements so here is a full overview of my starting point:

Date: weight neck chest belly arm
24-03-2018 115 kg 43 cm 124 cm 124 cm 39 cm

Financial freedom wise this was also not good. There are only two ways to increase the number of freedom years you have. Either you retire earlier or you add more healthy years after you retire. And if there is a sure way to reduce your healthy years in life it is being overweight (well that and being homeless or develop a bad drug habit, neither of which is going to happen).

So one of my big goals apart from achieving financial freedom is getting my weight down to a healthy level and start exercising. It was actually goal number two in my mission statement way back in December 2016.

The lazy side is strong in this one! After formulating the goal it actually took me until march 2018 to really start. I do have a few excuses, most of them crap. So let’s just skip them and get to the positive!

Learning from the past

I did learn from my past mistake of losing weight but never starting to exercise (because I am lazy that way) and also putting up strict goals which I then didn’t achieve. This failure then lead to losing motivation which in turn lead to me abandoning the effort all together. And then gaining back the weight… it was a very bad feedback loop of my own creation.

So this time I would exercise and I would make my goals less specific.

I went for a three fase approach.

Fase 1: swimming 2 km 3 times a week

During my last bout of unemployment I had actually achieved this but my back aching up plus starting a new job had me falter again. So I started it back up again in February. Old habits die hard so I did have the occasional thought crop up in my head that I should reach that goal by the first of April. Luckily it was only an occasional thought and I immediately squashed it by reaffirming to myself that every week I went swimming was a good week. That was a good mindset since it actually took me till the second half of April to get there.

Fase 2: a very strict diet

Originally I wanted to have completed fase 1 before starting this but that was taking a bit longer than anticipated (and I was fine with that, honestly I was!). I also was being pretty fed up with being overweight. Being fine with a not so strict time table is one thing but the weather is improving and I have a few cool t-shirts I’d like to be able to wear this summer! So I started the strict diet on the first of April. How strict? Remember the bit about me not really being a fan of moderation? Well, I hover around a 1.000 kcal a day for the moment. Probably a not too healthy  approach, definitely not very sane. But it is working for me.

On the 15th April I stood at:

Date: weight neck chest belly arm
24-10-2017 114 kg 43 cm 124 cm 124 cm 39 cm
15-5-2018 104 kg 42 cm 115 cm 114,5 cm 38 cm

(No update from today since part of my new approach is not weighing myself too often.)

Fase 3 will be the addition of fitness/weight training 3 times a week. I will probably start with this on the 1st of July for no other reason that the Gym has a 6 months subscription for a 100 euro’s.

I will then exercise 6 times a week for 1 hour. This should get me in a reasonable shape and hopefully prevent me from gaining back my weight once I stop with the strict diet. Well, I’ll probably need to start eating healthier also. Not looking forward to that, let me tell you …

I should end up around 90 kg, depending on how much muscle the weigh training adds. Somewhere around 95 kg I am planning on spending some money to get a full body scan to determine my fat percentage and muscle ratio so I can fine tune the work-out regime. If I would have to guess I think that at present I still need to lose between 13 to 15 kg of fat and add somewhere between 3 to 5 kg of muscle to be in a decent shape. The body scan will give the hard data I need.

I’ll try to make this a monthly series but no promises (after all I am a lazy sloth and I have discovered that I am not a big fan of self-imposed deadlines).