Archive | January 11, 2012

A Much Better Check-In

I said in my last check-in (which was late on Monday) that I thought I was getting better at my ROW80 goals. Looking at the two days (yesterday and today), I totally am.

I also said I was going to create a chart, or something to track my progress – I was thinking something I could make into a graph – I like graphs. However, with 4 goals that was going to be quite hard, so I’ve come up with a colour coded chart instead. This is how I’ve done (up until yesterday) for the whole challenge so far:

(someone doesn’t know how to make a graph bigger and delete all the white around it on paint – sorry!)

Obviously, traffic light system – Green good, yellow ok and red bad. I’ve set myself limits for each (except reading) for where the colour changes.

For Writing, if I write nothing (or below 100) I get red, anything from 100 – 499 gets me yellow, then 500+ is GREEN.

Reading: I haven’t quite worked out yet (I don’t really have a measurable goal for reading) – probably if I think I’ve done a lot – green, a bit – yellow and nothing – red.

Exercise. Less than 15 minutes is red, 15 – 29 is yellow and over 30 is green. That can be made up of a mixture of walking, gym exercise, and playing on the Wii. The only things that don’t count are walking to and from the tube in the morning, and if I get off at the tube closest to work, walking there. Every other walk can count, every other exercise can count.

Eating: I calculated once (via something online, or in a magazine) that for my height and daily activity level, I had to eat 1750 calories a day to stay the same weight, any more and I’d put it on, less and I’d lose it. That’s the basis for the coding here. If I eat more than 1751 calories, that’s red, 1401 – 1750 it’s yellow (losing weight, but still over my daily goal), then green is 1400 or below.

The chart shows that the last 2 days have been good – no reds. Woop! I’d like to keep it that way.

When writing The Man of My Dreams last night, I got really into it. At the end of last week I added a new story line (or increased one more than I thought I would), which was maybe a stupid idea at 65,000 words, but I think it’s going to add to it. Tonight I worked out the nitty gritty of that ‘extension,’ and wrote over 1,000 more of it. I had to jump a little, because one scene totally came to me. I didn’t want to do that, but I guess when the muse is there…

The other day I downloaded a new app for counting calories. I was using Noom which tracks food, but also exercise, so I was loving it. BUT, it doesn’t tell you any calories, you have to look them up then add them. That was boring me a little (I probably used up half my internet usage this month checking how many calories in different foods), so decided to download something that had calories there. I planned to use that for the calories, then Noom for the tracking.

Until I downloaded My Fitness Pal. It is amazing! It’s got millions (probably) of foods in its database, and (this is the good bit) a bar code scanner. If you’re having, say some cereal, you press the bar code scanner, and scan the bar code. It registers it and tells you what it is, and how many calories are in it. This morning I had Strawberry Crisp, I scanned and it told me how much a ‘portion’ was (how much I had). Amazing. If I had have eaten less, I could have changed the scale and it would have worked out the calories from how much I told it I ate.

I loved Noom, but I’m pretty sure this is going to replace it. Today I’ve used both, to see which I prefer, but I think it’s going to be My Fitness Pal. I’ll carry on using Noom, because I love the exercise tracker, but probably not for food.

The good thing about something new and exciting, is that I’ll use it, and be so excited by it (I hope) that I’ll be good. Fingers crossed anyway.