What I learned by weighing myself everyday

If you read any fitness tips, blogs, articles and so on, you’ll no doubt pick up on a lot of people saying that you should ‘avoid the scales’ and ‘don’t judge your progress by your bathroom scales’, ‘don’t worry if the scales aren’t moving’.  Or in some cases the advice is to only weigh yourself at intervals such as weekly or monthly.  There’s lots of good theory behind this advice.  The body fluctuates significantly throughout short periods of time in terms of weight.  This can be down to many things like whether you have just eaten, been to the toilet and how well hydrated you are.  The idea is that if you weigh yourself infrequently, you avoid all of this ‘noise’ from day to day and get a better idea of any overall sustained changes.  I had read all of that advice…..and decided to ignore it.  I’ve been weighing myself pretty much daily for the last 2 years.

I’m not sure what prompted me to start.  I like the concept of treating the body like a complex machine.  This machine gives us a number of indicators that let us know how it’s performing.  It’s pretty crazy when you think that there are so many smart meters now measuring the performance of our cars, energy use and wifi speed but the way we measure our bodies is still quite primitive.  I’ve not quite gone as far as joining the whole ‘Quantified Self‘ movement but I think there’s a lot of interesting stuff that can be learned from paying more attention to the human body in a day to day sense.

So what did I learn?

For a start, bodyweight fluctuates considerably.  I take measurements in pounds and I’ve seen it vary by up to 3-4 pounds in a 24 hour period.  When you consider that most muscle building, or fat loss plans talk about taking a steady approach and aiming to lose/gain around 1-2 pounds per week, if you only weigh yourself once a week you would have no idea if you are really on track!  If someone is putting too much emphasis on their weekly weigh-ins they could be either totally demotivated by it or kid themselves thinking that natural fluctuations are a true indicator of their efforts.  I found that by weighing myself daily I get a much better appreciation of the ‘trend’.  If one day is particularly high or low, no problem I just see what tomorrow brings and by the end of the week it’s pretty obvious which way the trend is going.

It’s definitely something I plan to continue with and it’s become part of my daily routine.  I use MyFitnessPal to track weight and it also gives you the chance to log photos with the individual measurements.  I find this a great feature as you can do a side by side comparison of what different weights looked like.   Looking back over the last 2 two years I can get a really good idea of how long it takes me to lose a certain amount of fat to get ready for summer, or I can spot the start of me putting a bit of extra weight on and the daily reminder helps me to react to it and sort my diet out if I need to.

I also measure a host of other statistics that help me manage how I look after my body which I’ll save for a future post.  Keep a look out for that in the near future.  I think the potential for this in the future if huge, the likes of the step counters and smart watches are just the start.  Some of the research and product development suggests we could be tracking our bodies in all manner of ways in the not too distant future and it’s something that really interests and excites me about what is possible to learn and how it can make us better performers from the comfort of our own home!

Do you think we should be paying more attention to our body?  What, if anything, do you keep track of?

Manchester Coffee Festival (Cupnorth)

[Links to all products, brands and people mentioned can be found at the end of the article]

I first stumbled upon Cupnorth (or Manchester Coffee Festival as it’s now known) on Twitter in 2015.  I had been getting more interested in independent coffee producers and roasters and spending time hanging out in some of the superb independent coffee shops around Manchester.

Heading there for my second time in 2016 I was looking forward to learning more about the world of coffee production, finding some great produce and learning more about how to up my home brewing skills.  So on a wet and miserable Sunday in November I headed down to the Victoria Warehouse just next to the Old Trafford Football Ground in Manchester.
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5 Great Ideas for Blog Posts

Sometimes it’s a real struggle to think of the next thing to write about.

Here are five ideas to help break through blog writer’s block.

1 Question & Answer – Maybe you have thousands of engaged followers, in which case you can send out a social media post that you’re doing a Q&A and encourage them to ask questions.  Alternatively, if that wouldn’t quite work with the number of followers you have, simply write a set of, say, 10 questions and ask yourself.  It’s a great way to let your followers get to know you better, express your personality on the blog and engage with your audience when they comment and respond. (more…)

My Morning Routine – 10 Things – 3 Hours

Ten Things I do in the first 3 hours of my day.

It is said that if you start the day right you set yourself up for success.  I’m a strong believer of that but in a practical and realistic way, I do what really works for me and gets me in a frame of mind to get things done and feel good.  This isn’t a motivational quote on Instagram type of post – just real stuff that I’ve found useful.

1 – It all starts the night before.  I’ll always make sure I’ve got everything ready – gym bag, food prepped, alarm set (twice!). (more…)

2 to 4 Hour Party People – Big Fish Little Fish Manchester

One of the top UK Drum and Bass producers, lasers, licensed bar and a packed dance floor.  Sounds like a great night out doesn’t it?  Except this was a Sunday afternoon in South Manchester and the packed dance floor consisted of parents and babies, toddlers and young children dressed as superheroes.  A family rave! What a great idea!

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Hacienda Classical at the Bridgewater Hall

Early dance music is scattered with the epic sounds of strings, brass and heavy percussion – so why not recreate one of the world’s best known nightclubs by teaming up a classical orchestra with some of Manchester’s founding fathers of house music?  That’s exactly what Hacienda Classical at the Bridgewater Hall planned to do on Friday 5th February, and we were there to see it!  To say I was excited was an understatement. (more…)

Adventures in Street Photography

Here it is, the first blog post!  I spent a day in Manchester recently on a course, workshop, whatever you might want to call it on Street Photography.  So I thought a blog post on this was a perfect way to start.

Street photography is something that really interests me.  It’s something I had some knowledge of, the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa were familiar  to me, but although I have had an interest in photography for quite a few years now, it’s not something I knew a great deal about in terms of technique.  I spotted a Street Photography course, based in Manchester, advertised on a Facebook page and decided to give a try and to see what I could learn. (more…)