Work out to be fit and sexy? Hell no.. I am training for the Zombie Apocalypse.

Feb 2014

I have been overweight most of my life, topping out at around 280 lbs (127kg) in January 2013. My ideal weight is supposed to be around 180 lbs (81kg). I started my fitness journey around the Spring of 2013 but didn't diligently invest in myself to get fit until that Summer. As of the time i write this post, i've lost 60 pounds (27kg) and I'm feeling great and more confident in myself. Lots of friends and colleagues ask me if i have any tips or tricks to help them in their own journey of fitness so i've written it down here and will update it as I learn more.


Here's some before and after pics:

My advice below breaks down to three things, how you implement them is your call, my details below align with these three and you may find your own methods:

1. Make this fitness journey fun!
2. Establish a supportive community around you, whether it's friends, colleagues or people in your social network online.
3. Become cognizant of the calories consumed and burned throughout the day

MyFitnessPal


My Fitness Pal is a free website, service and an app. I use it for calorie counting by letting it's diary function track all foods I consume so i can gauge how i'm progressing towards my daily goal. It is also fantastic at tracking activity that burns calories. It’s the best aggregator of data flowing in from many apps, devices and services from wearables, from bathroom scales, from other food apps and various health and fitness related website/services. MFP is pretty much the standard for fitness monitoring services.

The social community aspect of MFP is awesome, you can join virtual clubs with friendly competitions with goals. A goal may be weight-based, or not eating junk food for 20 days, etc… - MFP has a Windows Phone app, IOS and Android apps. They’re pretty much on par with functionality across each device.

The food diary is outstanding, includes a barcode scan option that does a lookup of the food and reflects the appropriate calories, sodium, sugar, etc…to your personal food diary.

The MSP service also acts as an aggregator of fitness data from many other apps and devices and services. Receives info from my Runtastic mobile app, from my Fitbit device/service and my fitness games. This allows for providing a holistic view of my calories burned and consumed during the day. If you join MFP (it's free), add me and we can support each other: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/user/andy_geek

Reddit’s r/loseit group


This forum is great for motivation. In this subreddit, people ask for advice or provide their lessons learned in their own fitness journey and the community here is very supportive. I find it helpful to read the success stories with before and after pics, with their tales of struggle and how they overcame dozens or hundreds of pounds of weight loss with their lessons learned.

Check it out, subscribe here:http://www.reddit.com/r/loseit

Track your activity throughout the day


I use the Fitbit Flex that you wear around your wrist. There are many versions of these wearables from Fitbit, Nike and many other companies. Fitbit is the most popular and is the industry leader in my opinion.

I’ve been wearing mine for about 9 months never taking it off except to recharge. Makes me more cognizant of my movement throughout the day. I target 10,000 steps a day (over 5 miles). If you keep eating what you normally eat today and only change your lifestyle to walking 10k steps a day, you *will* lose some weight, almost guaranteed.

The dashboard with data is really cool, you’ll glean insights into your activity and sleeping behavior - http://www.fitbit.com/

Fitbit flex bands come in many colors, I have 5 of them and like to rotate to a new color every few weeks, once in a while as a goof i'll color coordinate my shirt and flex band! You can buy or trade bands with enthusiasts on the web: http://www.bandbarter.com/

Zombies, Run


It’s a game and an application for your mobile phone. Visit the Zombies, Run! website

It’s no longer supported on WP, so I bought an iphone to keep using this app. It’s famous, years ago it set the record on kickstarter for most $$ donated. This is a radio drama you listen to while walking or running, you’re in game persona is a “runner” doing missions for a community fighting to survive in a zombie apocalypse. I love this. It plays your music playlist in-between your in-game teammates communicating with you, has GPS integration so it monitors your distance, and provides mapping info on their website when it uploads your activity at the end of the walk/jog.

Here’s a couple of trailers on youtube that demonstrate how this works:

Runtastic


It’s a free phone app for the times I’m not using the Zombies, Run! game. Runtastic is useful for not just when running, but walking, biking, hiking, rowing, badmiton, paragliding and tracking many other activities.

I’ve linked my Runtastic account to MyFitnessPal, so I rarely log into Runtastic.com since I just want the activity appearing in my MFP feed and diary to monitor how I’m trending in overall activity for the day or the week.

It also has social networking aspects by linking friends to share, coach each other or compete for the miles walked or the most calories burned.

Audiobooks & Podiobooks


When walking, if I’m not using the Run,Zombies app, I either listen to music or to a compelling audiobooks that have cliffhangers and sustain my interest. I only let myself listen to it when I’m active (walking, rowing, exercise bike), so sometimes if I’m anxious to hear what’s next in the story I get out walking just to keep the story going.

There are many free audiobooks you can download as serial dramas from Podiobooks.com. I’m a big fan of Podiobooks.com and I have been supporting them for years. If you’re new to this free service (they accept donations), there are a couple of stories I can recommend that will get you hooked.

Audiobooks.com , this is a subsidiary of Amazon so you can log in with the same Amazon account. I subscribe to the service that gives me a new audiobook every month, all the best sellers and more in audio format. Keeps my mind distracted while I'm walking or riding the exercise bike.

XBOX One Apps


The XBOX One "Fitness" is something I’m new to and only just now experimenting with. The Fitness app is an exclusive app/service with many cardio workout programs from most of the famous programs out there including some of the P90x content and lots of Jillian Michael's stuff like "30 Day Shred". New content will be continually added for Gold Memberships. One of the things i like about the app is that Kinect can monitor your heart rate by scanning your body, and you can see visually how you're doing compared to your best workouts monitored to date.


Just Dance 2014: - Lots of fun dancing, great cardio and you can do this with your family and friends at the same time. The Kinect places you on screen dancing to some great music from disco to hiphop and more. My wife and I like dancing together in this app.

If you use XBOX, add my gamertag as a friend: Andy Anxiously

Here's a couple of goofy videos the Just Dance app made of me and my friend Kun: