The downward spiral

Anybody that’s met me in person knows that I’m fat. In fact, according to the BMI scale, I’m obese. I know that BMI isn’t the best measure of these things, but it will do. I acknowledge that the amount of fat I carry is a problem.

Losing weight has long been a goal of mine, and I have achieve varying levels of weight loss. At one stage, I tipped the scales at the whopping 105kg. Today I weighed 87.4kg.


I have discovered the secret to weight loss. It’s very simple, in fact:

Burn more energy than you consume.

If you pay attention to your laws of thermodynamics, you’ll understand how this works.

The principle is simple, but unfortunately the implementation is much more difficult. If you’ve been gaining weight, it’s because you haven’t been exercising enough and you’ve been eating too much. Your body has gotten used to this, and it’s probably comfortable.

If you suddenly ramp up your activity levels and try to limit your eating, you’ll end up a hangry beast like me.

Thankfully, I was able to push through the hangriness and have now hit a stage where I’m not constantly starving.

The best thing is that I’m not too far off my end-of-year goal of 85kg. It might be the first time I’ve actually managed to enact a New Year’s resolution.


The quantified Matthias

I use a variety of sensors, apps and web sites to track my fitness and (eventual) weight loss.

Fitness data flowIn this diagram, rectangles are sensors/inputs, rounded rectangles are iPhone apps and ovals are web sites/servers that store my data. Arrows indicate which way data flow.

Looks kinda complex, doesn’t it? It’s mostly complex because, unless you’re buying ALL of your fitness tracking devices from one company, the various sites don’t like talking to each other on the scale that I demand. Furthermore, there is no granular control over which data is sent where. For example, linking Withings to Fitbit, and then both to Runkeeper means Withings sends your weight data to Fitbit, and then both Withings and Fitbit send that data to Runkeeper. You get double entries, clog up your feed and annoy your friends. I use Syncmetrics to tidy some of the syncing up, but unfortunately it can’t do everything I want it to (yet).

I’m going to write a series of rants/blog posts about each of the devices and apps I use, and how they all work together to help me lose weight.