My Quantified Self

I wanted to write this post as I’ve been addicted to quantifying my life since I started to become addicted to fitness over the last 18 months.

I wanted to drop a bunch of weight and get more fit as I became more addicted to mountain climbing and backpacking (and spending more time in Yosemite).

Why shave just 10 lbs off your pack when you can shave 20-50 lbs off your body.

If you think about it, even 5 lbs is amazingly annoying. If someone asked you to carry around 5 pounds of weight for a year you would look at them like they’re crazy. However, tons of people will put on 15 pounds slowly over the course of two years and not even think about it.

What do I log? Here are the list of apps that I use and have some what stuck to over the past couple years.

Runkeeper

I record ALL my rides with Runkeeper. I’m addicted to cycling. Here’s my ride from today.

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This is pretty much my normal ride. The calories burned is more like 550-600 though. Not sure why it’s off.

Here’s my profile:

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82 THOUSAND calories. 1640 miles.

By way of comparison, 82k calories is 45lbs of sugar!

Without Runkeeper I would have NO way to know that.

I love this app!

It really needs better integration with my heart rate monitor but for now this is ok.

MyNetDiary

I use MyNetDiary to track all of my food. It’s a great app.

I have a pretty strict diet. It’s easier than it sounds once you incorporate dietary help into your daily life.

I have a bunch of tricks to do this. I keep plenty of safe food at the office. I have additional tea in my bags. I often make my own food in bulk since this is easier than having to compute calories.

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This is a typical day with MyNetDiary.

I even control my caffeine intake. It turns out that with my ADD too much caffeine is bad but too little is also bad. 33mg is the ideal amount.

Every morning I eat pretty much the same thing. My protein shake is actually very delicious. It basically takes like a milk shake.

I’ve also recently added fruit/vege smoothies for lunch. They’re tremendous and only take 10 minutes to make at the office.

Zeo

I have mixed feeling about the Zeo. It has helped me optimize my sleep a bit but the strap is WAY to big and it doesn’t have wifi.

It’s also like 2 years old and they haven’t shipped an updated version.

IMO the company is over funded and mismanaged.

I hope they get their shit together.

Vitamins

Controlling my vitamins has also helped out a LOT … I’ve identified a number of performance related deficiencies. Potassium being one that I identified a long time ago and have long since corrected for.

iFitness

I weight train 3x per week using the Starting Strength system and log the data using iFitness.

I wish there was a web based version of this app or at least a way for me to upload the data onto the web.

Blood pressure

I have a home blood pressure monitor.

Because of my aggressive athletic training I have hypotension (low blood pressure) and it varies based on salt intake, water, etc.

I can use the blood pressure monitor to keep tabs on this so I can figure out when to have more water, salt, etc.

It also has a significant impact on over training detection. When I have low blood pressure it’s often because I’m training too hard and need to down a TON of water.

I have one at work and one at home so I can really quickly measure my blood pressure.

Future improvements

Everything needs wifi. The Zeo is useless without transparent sync. I’ve only ever uploaded the data twice.

Runkeeper is a NO brainer. I have NO problem pushing the button before my rides. They have all my data because it’s easy to upload.

I wish I had a a way to record heart rate with a simple / small device.

I wear my heart rate monitor while I bike but I’d like to wear one while I sleep so I could add this to the data about the quality of my sleep.

24/7 body temperature would be nice.

These signals can be used to test for overtraining , dietary issues, etc.

I think the next thing I’m going to buy is the withings scale which is a wifi scale that you can use to measure your weight.



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