Tag Archives: exercise

My Journey from Fat to Fast – Cycling and Health


1 month ago I resolved to dramatically improve my health, fitness, and ultimately to compete in a cycling race… and then I got a very, very bad flu (or covid). So, I had to wait three weeks to get started.

10 days ago I started… by getting up every morning at 5:30am and working out. I’ve been improving, learning, improving, learning and I’m feeling so great about my progress… even though I’m still just catching up to where I was before getting sick.

You can follow my journey on YouTube on my From Fat to Fast playlist. I publish something daily and I’m always happy for likes, subscribes and shares!

Let me know if you have any feedback too; I’m hoping this becomes a great reference for others who are like me: technically obese, looking at the beginnings of bad medical tests and results, and hoping to avoid the really bad stuff: diabetes, heart disease or stroke.

FB: Addiction to Food

Just finished my second indoor cycling session of the new year. I really need to realize that the high I get from exercise needs to replace the high I get from food… not supplement it!

20 virtual km, set a couple personal records, and loving my new setup.

Anyone else on Zwift? That’s the software I’m using to connect to my smart trainer and track all my activity.

(originally posted on Facebook here)

Weeks 11 to 14: Catching Up is Hard!

Well, I got sick during Week 11, and let my numbers go way way down, and that lower pace, while getting better, has been the norm for the previous three weeks. I’m done week 14 and I’ve set two new records: 1415 reps in a week, and 335 reps in a day!

Next week, my goal is 1800 reps total, one day over 400 reps.

I’m using some new abbreviations as follows:

  • SU – Sit Ups
  • CR – Crunches
  • LL – Leg Lifts
  • AR – Ab Roller
  • SC – Standing Clench

Here’s the boring numbers (Including raw data for week 10):

Week 10

20190320 230.4 25CR+25SU + 25+25+25CR+25+25+25SU
20190321 229.0 25CR+25SU + 25+25+25CR+25+25+25SU+25CR
20190322 25CR+25SU
20190323 25CR+25SU+25CR + 25CR+25SU + 25CR+25SU+25CR
20190324 25CR+25SU+25CR + 25CR+25SU + 25CR+25SU+25CR + 25CR+25SU+25CR+25CR+25CR
20190325 100SU + 25AbRoller + 25KneeLift + 25BenchSU
20190326 day of rest

Week 11 (275)

20190327 50CR+25LegLifts + 25AR (100 total)
20190328 none
20190329 none
20190330 25AR+25SU + 25+25AR (100 total)
20190331 none
20190401 none
20190402 25AR + 25AR+25SU (75 total)

Week 12 (600)

20190403 25AR+25CR + 25+25CR (100 total)
20190404 35+35+30CR (100 total)
20190405 25AR+25CR + 35SU+35+30CR (150 total)
20190406 none
20190407 25+25CR (50 total)
20190408 25+25CR (50 total)
20190409 25AR+25CR+25SU + 25AR+25LL+25CR (150 total)

Week 13 (475)

20190410 25+25CR+25AR + 25AR (100 total)
20190411 25+25+25CR+25LL (100 total)
20190412 none
20190413 none
20190414 25AR+25CR+25LL+25SU + 30+25+20CR (175 total)
20190415 none
20190416 none

Week 14 (1415) – NEW RECORD!!!

20190417 25StandingClench + 40+20SU+20+25CR+15LL + 25+25+25+25CR (245 total)
20190418 25+25SC + 25+25SC (100 total)
20190419 25+25SC + 25+25AR + 25SC + 25+25SC (175 total)
20190420 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 + 30SC + 30+30+25CR+20AR (235 total)
20190421 30+30SC + 30+30CR + 50SC + 30SC + 30+30SC+20+15LL+30AR (325 total)
20190422 35+35SC + 25+25CR + 50SC + 20LL + 30+25CR+30+30+30SC (335 – NEW RECORD!!!)

My weight has gone back up to the 236-range which is a combination of bad eating and lower exercise levels. However, this past week I’ve started cycling. I’ll be starting to cycle to my office daily soon. Maybe next week. And I’ll start sharing my cycling progress.

3485/500000 and 10th Day of the Baha’i Fast

My day of rest was good and I’m taking another ont tomorrow (one a week). This past week I set two new records: 100 reps of sit-ups in a single set (!!!) and 800 reps total for the week. The 100 reps was really hard and I felt awful afterwards. I also did another 150 reps day. However, I’ve added crunches to the traditional sit-ups, and I’m just calling them all “sit-ups”. So now, I will do 100 proper sit-ups per day and start working on increasing my crunches. I’ve also lost a bit of weight, about 7 lbs, mostly due to eating only one meal per day due to…

The Baha’i Fast has been great this year. It’s a little harder than last year, truth be told, probably because of my week off of work. I find it hard to ignore hunger and tiredness when I don’t actually have to do anything during the day. The part I’m having a hard time with is really getting some good prayer time in. There are distractions, but also I’m just having a hard time remembering. I have, however, been trying to spend time with each member of my family during this week. I have to do something with Ocean and Justice still. I went for dinner with Melanie, dinner with Haifa, and a movie with Verity (Captain America – good, but not great, btw).

I’ve tried doing a bit of pottery/ceramic art, but I feel like I haven’t got the hang of it right now. I tried an experiment for making tentacle sculptures, but it didn’t work out so well. And this evening I started a new “vase”, but it’s too early to say if it will work out.

I finished reading “Great North Road” by Peter F Hamilton. Fantastic sci-fi/detective/creature novel. Some really touching moments. Nice long read too, and completely self-contained. No sequel to wait for. No really unique ideas, but extremely well-written and enjoyable. I highly recommend it!

New 50 Goal: Lose 50 lbs by Age 50

So I’ve made some good progress on my goal to 50000 sit-ups by time I’m fifty years old. I’ve been thinking a lot about other goals and I will have several more… but for now, I can announce my second 50 goal: to lose 50 pounds by time I am 50 years old. I weighed 238lbs this morning and losing 50 would get me to 188lbs. This is a little higher than my ideal weight of about 170, but would still be an enormous improvement. My current weight is the highest it has ever been. So, as I work my way down, I hope to find ways to make it completely sustainable. I also know that I can lose fifty pounds much faster than the three years until I am fifty, but by making it a long term goal, I can also aim for sustainability. I will start by doing some things that have been successful in the past:

  • having green smoothies or green juices every day,
  • eating keto-style stir-fries regularly,
  • restrict my eating hours (probably noon to 8pm),
  • drinking lots of water, and
  • doing more and regular exercise (beyond my sit-ups goal).

For exercise, I know that cycling and swimming are good. But bad weather can kibosh those so I will also get back to using the elliptical. I’ll start tracking that exercise and reporting it here too.

(Photo is me today as I post this. I’m not going to share a full-body image. I think those are kinda gross. As my weight improves, it will be easily visible in my face. )


425 sit ups this week. 50 reps in one set. 4 sets of 20 reps in one session. Three new records for me this past week. Goal for this week: 550+… gotta really push myself. I’ll start by doing 30 reps every morning instead of my more normal 20. Gotta average 80 reps per day. Starting to seriously consider that I need to lose weight to make the overall goal possible; probably 25-35 lbs!

In other news, my brother has a great proposal up on the LEGO Ideas site. Check it out and vote to support it:


890/500000 + I Am A…

I got only 300 sit-ups done this past week. I skipped Thursday and only did a few on Wednesday. But, I did 45, my highest in a long time in a single set, then did another 22 a couple minutes later. I can feel my body reaching the “this is easy” threshold. Soon. This coming week, I definitely want to do 350, but hopefully 400. I also need to accelerate. I don’t know if it is possible, but I hope in just a few weeks to be doing 700+.

We had a great team meeting today. There was lots of great consultation. One personal high note was an insight about myself. I listed off some things I aspire to being good at: a Baha’i, a father, a husband, a teacher,… an artist. When I got to that, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I couldn’t speak for what felt like a couple minutes. I have much to explore with that idea.

Here are some photos of a recent clay sculpture, after it has been glazed and fired:

135/500000 Sit-ups

One week has passed towards my goal of 500000 by my 50th birthday. I just had my 47th birthday so I have 365 x 3 + 1 (leap day) – 3 = 1093 days left.

I did 10, 20, 20, 25, and 20 reps over the days since my last post. Because I have a long ways to go, I can be patient with myself.

I’ve thought of taking a “before” picture, but I’m not really doing this for weight reasons. I hope it will help in that regard, but really it’s for general physical fitness. Sit-ups are one of the easiest, most flexible self-powered exercises. No excuses about equipment, space or convenience possible.

Sabbatical Day 31 – Cycling

Yesterday, Sunday, I went cycling with Verity again.  She needed to get a new sketchbook at Curry’s.  And today I rode to the Mountain Equipment Co-op to pick up my road bike and leave my mountain bike for tune-ups.  My road bike is like new and a dream to ride.  It’s an old Specialized Allez Elite from the late 90’s.  It has an aluminum frame and beautifully thin racing tires.  It’s pretty light (although nowadays you can get a lot lighter) and stiff and quick.  I put new pedals on it that work well with me wearing runners with soft soles. I’m going to ride it to school tomorrow.

Specialized Allez Elite circa 1999-ish

At the Mountain Equipment Co-op, on of the people helping me with my bikes was a guy named Michael.  Turns out his kids also go to the Waldorf school where Ocean attends.  We chatted a bit about that – I’ll definitely be seeing him around!

It’s a little belated (I mean to post these on Saturdays or Sundays), but here’s an update of the personal Kanban board.  Not too much has changed but the pottery class is now in progress.  I’m actually a bit over my WIP limit so I have to try finish a couple things this week.  Haifa and I are going to do a couple days of driving practice and then she will schedule her mock test and real road test!  I’d really like to get Jerry’s book out the door this month too.

20181001 Personal Kanban Board

Sabbatical Day 26 – Missed Class, Homework

Today was the first day I missed a class.  Honestly, it’s because I was unwise with my sleep schedule.  I bought a couple books yesterday and read one of them cover-to-cover and read about half the other.  Both are fiction.  And I stayed up until after 3am doing so.  I got up in the morning anyway, and when I discovered that Justice had already left for class by bus, and didn’t need a ride from me, I decided to go back to bed.  I didn’t really consciously think about it but I didn’t set another alarm so I slept in until 11am – and missed my class from 10:30 to 11:20.  Honestly, it’s not a hard class, but I really can’t miss them regularly because I need to keep up with the concepts and terminology.  I’m still a bit ahead of the class in reading the textbook so there’s that.

So given how late I woke up, I decided to ask Melanie to go to lunch with me.  We had a very nice date.  We talked a bit about work (almost inevitable), but mostly just enjoyed our food and company at a great little place called “Which is Wich” downtown London.  The “Wahn Mi” is an excellent choice if you find yourself there.  After lunch, I came home and spent a bit of time on the phone with a colleague.  There are some “adjustment pains” that are partly related to me being on sabbatical.  I’m not going to go into any detail here, but suffice it to say that I believe it is part of the maturation of BERTEIG that various large and small crises will be dealt with.  One of the things about BERTEIG is that there is no individual positional authority in the organization.  The “management” structure is that the three Partners, myself, Melanie and Travis, must make significant decisions as a group (usually unanimously) in order for them to be valid.  This includes hiring, firing, major changes to people’s roles or other structural aspects of the business, strategy, business goals, large spending decisions, etc.  It’s an experiment in governance that is based in part on the Baha’i principle of consultation.  The key concepts include that consultation is about searching for truth, that consultation results in united action,, ideas are not owned by individuals, and that conflicting ideas (not conflicting people) leads to truth.

After my colleague’s phone call, I basically just continued to read my new novel for much of the day until dinner time.  After dinner, Verity, Haifa and I went to the Baha’i community gathering in our neighbourhood.  Haifa brought along her dog Katara who is being trained to be a service dog.  She (Katara) did very well in her first social setting.  She was mostly calm, obedient, and quiet.  It wasn’t perfect – she’s a puppy and she had a small pee accident – but everyone at the gathering enjoyed her presence.

After the gathering, Verity started to feel quite anxious about her homework project.  She and I spent about two hours working on it together.  She made some good progress and I think she feels much better about it.  She and three others have to create a public service announcement for the London Arts Council.  Verity is tasked with writing the script for the PSA.  So we talked about slogans and other ideas that she could take back to her group tomorrow.  I love being home to help the kids out.

At 11pm I sent Verity to bed and I got on the elliptical.  I’m trying to get significant (30+ min) of exercise every day.  I miss a day here and there, but with biking to school, walking the dog, swimming or the elliptical, I’m doing a pretty good job of getting the activity in.  Yesterday, I took my racing bicycle in to get it tuned up.  I hope to use it a bit before the fall weather gets too cold.  It’s much easier to ride on than my mountain bike, and I can go waaaay faster!  The only problem is that the handlebars are really low so I’m bent over quite far… and my big stomach gets in the way!!!  It’s very uncomfortable and provides some motivation to lose some weight.  So that’s something that I’m officially working on.  The exercise is part of it.  The next part of it is to restrict the hours when I eat to a 8 hour range (e.g. noon to 8pm) to do a mild form of intermittent fasting.  After a week of that, I plan to start adding more vegetables and fruit to my diet.  Currently, I eat very little greens.  It’s probably not healthy.  I eat a bit more fruit, but still it’s only a few times a week, not every day.  Eventually, I’ll try putting limits on some of the more unhealthy things I eat (sugar mostly).  I don’t expect to make rapid changes, but I want to get from my current weight (about 233lbs) down to under 190lbs, and then keep it there.  I also have an intermediate goal.  I hope to be about 215 by mid-December when we go on our family vacation to Panama.