Worldly Perspectives – Week 9

Previous Posts:

Check out the Intro post to get an idea of what this blog is about.

Week 8: I focus in on establishing standards for my data for my continued comparisons and improvements.

Week 7: I look at little closer at my body goals with tape measurements.

Week 6: I give a voice to my introverted side by focusing a little on books.

Perspectives:

Domestic: Former Republican nominee Mitt Romney speaks out on the state of the presidential race. The F.B.I. chief faces tough questions from lawmakers over his agency’s encryption battle with Apple. And the Supreme Court hears arguments in a major abortion case.

International: The U.N. imposes harsh new sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear program. Syrian forces and Russia are accused of violating the cease-fire. And a top E.U. official warns economic migrants against coming to Europe.

This are the summaries derived from The Diane Rehm Show: Friday News Roundup. I found this to be the most focused on bigger weekly issues rather than just day to day or hour to hour. There is probably plenty more to offer from the international perspective but I would need a recommendation on that.

I wanted to include this for two purposes. Firstly, it is always nice to look back and see what was going on in the world at a certain time. Secondly, no matter how much one might try you can’t remove yourself from the effects that the world as a whole has on you.

Tables:

Weekly Report

Description of the Week:

Feb 26: A nice pleasant day starting with work and a morning meeting. Ate out for lunch with the wife and puppy. We went and walked around a park downtown after. Came back and did a little more work. At home had dinner, cleaned the basement some, went for an evening walk, and spent some extra time working on a presentation for Monday which ultimately got postponed. Energy Level: 4/3

Feb 27: Most of the weekend was devoted to birthdays starting with my brother’s. We cleaned house some in the morning, got ready, and walked the dog. Ate birthday lunch and came home for cake. Spent some time at the dog park. Relaxed to some Netflix in the evening. Read some before bed. Energy Level: 4/4

Feb 28: In the morning we went to a nature preserve to get some energy out before birthday celebration part two for the wife. We had birthday lunch with the whole nuclear family. Afterwards we walked around the botanical garden because it was a pleasant day. In the evening had some frozen pizza for dinner, briefly stopped by work, did some more presentation preparation, and read before bed. Energy Level: 4/4

Feb 29: Normal work day. Went to work during the day. Came home for dinner. Went to get groceries. Stopped by the library to pick up some new books. Did some weights. Went for an evening walk. Started on one of the books that I picked up. Energy Level: 4/4

Mar 1: Went to work and had a lunch meeting but otherwise everything was pretty normal. Got drenched on the way to my car. After dinner, had game night with the brothers. Went for an evening walk. Read before bed. Energy Level: 4/4

Mar 2: Helped the wife out with some work today and ended up eating lunch a little later. We pick up some fish to cook for dinner and got shaved ice as a treat. After dinner, worked on a presentation for Friday. Took a break for our evening walk. Stayed up a little later to finish up the presentation. Energy Level: 4/4

Mar 3: Had a normal day at work while the wife had a spa day for her birthday. We went for a nice dinner out and had a much better experience than for Valentine’s. Came home and spent some time with the pup and took our evening walk. Tweaked a few things on the presentation. Did some light reading before bed. Energy Level: 4/4

Weekly Energy Level Average: 4/3.9↑

Book of the Week:

This week I started on The Brain Electric: The Dramatic High-Tech Race to Merge Minds and Machines by Malcolm Gay. I’m still early on into it, so I can’t speak in much detail just yet, but I picked this book out because I have a long standing interest in augmentation. Obviously the brain in one area that could see a large effect from any sort of augmentation.

Also in the interest of living a long fulfilling life, I see two research areas as being critically important. The first is tissue engineering/regeneration and the second is neuroprostheses. Even if cancer were cured today the body would still degrade with use and these are potential ways to combat that.

Workouts:

Feb 29: Weight lifting; Incline chest press (25 lb each arm x 10 reps x 2 sets, 8 reps x 1 set), Triceps extension (25 lb x 12 reps x 2 sets, 8 reps x 1 set), Sit-ups (25 lb x 12 reps x 3 sets); Active for 25:11; 5 calories burned; Average heart rate of 95; Heart rate range of 74-112

Body Composition and Measurements:

Weight: 154.4 lb ↑

BMI: 22.2 ↑

Body Fat: 14.6% ↑

Bust: 37.5 inches 

Chest: 36 inches 

Waist: 31 3/8 inches ↑

Hips: 36 3/4 inches –

Thighs: 21 inches

Calves: 14 5/8 inches

Upper Arm: 11 inches 

Forearms: 10 3/8 inches

Analysis:

My resting heart rate for this week is slightly down from last week with no significantly high values relative to my average, so I can say that I had a fairly stable week.

I spent more time in each of my heart rate zones this week. This is presumably due to my increased step activity throughout the week as compared to the previous week.

My total sleep is slightly increased from the previous week but I am still under my goal of 8 hours each night.  My average sleep quality was good though my deep sleep was decreased. On the 26th I was low on my deep sleep which might have caused my energy levels to be low that afternoon. Both my REM and deep sleep were low on the 1st, but I didn’t notice any specific effects as a result of that. I will have to look more in depth in the future to try and determine what causes those sleep phases to be below optimal range.

I met my step goals for the week ultimately even though a few days I was shy a couple hundred steps. I was short on my number of workouts because of focusing on getting my step goals in by taking evening walks. Also various events throughout the week were outside the normal routine. Overall still a good level of activity for the week.

My body composition by weight and fat mass is increased from last week. There is a caveat, however, I decided to switch over to the Withings WS-50 scale, so I can’t guarantee that the readings are 100% comparable. However, since it makes recorded measurements much easier I will try to get my weight on a daily basis and see what sort of variations I see throughout a normal week. It also takes readings of air quality, which might be interesting to examine in the future. My body measurements are pretty much stable from the previous week except for a significant increase in my chest measurements.

Modifications for Next Week:

Establishing standards last week definitely made my analysis easier and allowed me to focus is more on my goals.

I met my step goals for the week and attempt to increase it to 7000 steps/day. At that point I think I might just try to maintain for a while and instead focus in more on strength training and higher intensity workouts. I am still shooting for 3 workouts in the next week and it looks like I will need it to see any increases in muscle mass according to my tape measurements.

Nutrition is also important to reach any weight or composition goal, so I’m finally going to attempt tracking my nutrition as imperfect as that is. It will still start to give me some picture of what my intake looks like and will allow me to start making modifications in the future.

Feedback from You:

Let me know what you think about the worldly context/perspective and what I can do to make that better. Also what is your experience with nutrition tracking? Any advice or pitfalls to watch out for?

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