Day 17 of gym challenge

I’m doing … okay. I’ve been drinking more water, working out a bit more, and generally watching my food more closely. But there is no silver bullet here.

I’ve ranked a bit lower in that:

  • I’m being tight about claiming things eg if I don’t eat well I won’t claim it.
  • The app cuts off reporting at midnight so you cannot log for the former say. Yuck. Hate that as I rarely check my phone after dinner.

Like all Wodify apps this one suffers from a terrible network stack and feels like a web app bolted into native. Terrible app, wish we had something better.

11 (Non-Dietary) Actions That Enhance Insulin Sensitivity | Mark’s Daily Apple

Easier said than done sometimes but this seems true for everyone I know. As soon as you stop exercising, bad things happen. This is one of the reasons that even when I get injured I try to find some other way to stay active.

Never Stop ExercisingIn other words, stay active for life. In a recent paper, both sprinters (aged 20-90 years) and endurance athletes (20-80 years) had far better insulin sensitivity than sedentary controls. Absorb this point: insulin sensitivity didn’t decrease with age in the two active groups. Even the 90-year-old sprinter retained good insulin sensitivity. The sedentary controls? Not so much. That says it all, I think.

Source: 11 (Non-Dietary) Actions That Enhance Insulin Sensitivity | Mark’s Daily Apple

Day 0 of the challenge

Officially today is the first day of the gym challenge. While I am weighed and scanned (gym has an InBody scanner now, hooray) the kickoff starts today with a baseline workout and then a Q and A session.

From Friday:

Breakfast – good

Lunch – shawarma had pita bread so not good. But fairly light on calories.

Dinner – steak, veggies, some cheese. More wine than my diet would allow on non-Fridays. Small cup of gelato for dessert.

Body: sore from two days of back-intensive workouts. I see a foam roller in my future.

Egg and cheese “omelette”

Gym Challenge

My gym is starting a six week challenge to get fit and lean. I have my starting body composition numbers – goal is set now.

As part of this I’ll be using my blog to keep me honest. If you, my two actual readers, don’t want to see a lot of food and exercise pictures and entries it’s a good time to unfollow for a while.

The goals will include:

  1. Primal eating six days per week with only Fridays being an exception. This has worked for me in the past. It’s similar to the Slow Carb diet which has also worked well for me.
  2. Working out five days per week.
  3. Food and drink recorded daily. Ugh. I hate this part but I know it works.
  4. The gym has an app, coaching, etc. and I will stick to that.

Good luck to me.

Today’s workout

Some days are rest days

We went pretty hard last week: three Crossfit sessions which were harder than normal. Football on Saturday. And a good long hike on Sunday. I woke up this morning and couldn’t identify any major muscle group which wasn’t sore and aching. Various tendons were tight too.

So rather than crawl and groan and moan and go to the gym I decided to take it easy. Thankfully the guru says rest days can be a good thing So guilt-free today, I will hit it harder tomorrow and just go for a short walk this morning on my way to work. And maybe some stretching in the office later.

Here is a lovely photo of the water and surfing to complete the restful, zen-like mood I am shifting into.


I’ve tried using GymPact a few times now. The basic concept is great: you bet really money on real workouts. If you don’t make the workouts you pay. If you do, you take a share of the pot.

Motivational. Simple. But with earlier versions the bugs have gotten in the way. But the last update seems stable enough. I have used it for two weeks without needing to contact support.

So this week I increased my pact (ie the wager) to 4 sessions at $5 each. Wish me luck!

January habit: put my money where my mouth is so to speak

December was horrible for fitness. I expect that. First it’s dark and rainy and nasty out and my body is craving foods. I always gain weight during December. Second, work was stressful. Stress causes lots of issues ranging from the simple chemical work in my body as well as the need to stuff food in my face whenever I see it. Third, I was busy at work and so I didn’t exercise nearly enough.

So January… there is always a carrot/stick to working out. It feels better but is hard to motivate. I am intrigued by using crowd mechanics and game mechanics to make this easier. So I signed up for Gym Pact ( The basic premise of this is simple: you say you will hit the gym X times for the week and will pay Y dollars if you miss. Given the sign up process and how wonky the app is so far I am skeptical that this particular app is the right thing, but it’s worth trying for a month and seeing how it goes. So that’s it: one month of setting weekly Gym Pact goals and seeing if the money motivates me or not.

Note: GymPact is a little sad in that outdoor workouts like running, cycling, or walking don’t count. That’s lame and needs a solution. Putting in GPS tracking or integrating with RunKeeper doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.