written by alastair barlow [blog]
I’ve had a personal trainer for about 18 months now – he’s awesome. We’ve worked hard together (more so me!) to shift some of the fat I put on post ankle surgery (invasive micro-fracture surgery on my ankle where my cartilage had pretty much disintegrated). It turns out running is not that great for you after all!
Read: 5 minutes
In 2016, I was training for the Rotterdam marathon – in the end I had to watch from the side lines and struggle to walk for another 6 months until finally conceding to surgery. In the period of surgery denial, I was still doing a lot of cycling and keeping pretty fit, until the surgery that was. I was then on crutches for 6 – 8 weeks. Unfortunately though, I hadn’t changed my eating habits too much – as you can imagine I piled on the pounds with very little post op exercise (hopping for the remote control doesn’t really count). A further 6 months of post op physio and I still wasn’t as active as I normally would be. I had transformed but not for the better – I didn’t feel like myself and I didn’t look like myself either!
Equally, given the fact we were moving into much more focused areas, the data became much more important; I started measuring and weighing my food, every little bit I was consuming, and adding it to MyFitnessPal. My PT told me exactly what my intake should be and what my recommended macro nutrient split (segmentation) should be (carbs, fats and protein). And I listened to him – after all, he is my advisor and the professional. I would just be playing at it and not really get the results I wanted. My body fat % was dropping nicely – I got to 10.8%. Now, clearly you need a pretty strong mindset to maintain the carbs, fats and protein split along with the right calorie intake and consistent PT sessions, weights and cardio. Sometimes that’s a little tough when you’re growing a business and bringing up an 11 year old!
It was all going swimmingly, until I went skiing with flinder takes the piste! It turns out that ski resorts are not that conducive to maintaining a good macro nutrient split. Add to that the 250 beers or so Luke and I bought for the ‘team’ and my body fat % increased significantly! 6 weeks and a couple more ski trips later and I was seriously off course – the Calipers don’t lie (and neither does the mirror)!I needed a reset button and I needed to get back to tracking my intake. However, as most people know there are two sides to most equations. I also wanted to understand what I was burning and focus on that too so I bought a fitbit charge 3.
Now I could really focus on the energy I was expending too. By this point you’re probably thinking I’m a bit of a nutter but I love the data side of things and what it can tell you – the insight you can glean from it. An added advantage with MyFitnessPal and the fitbit app is that you can connect or integrate them to get even more out of them – blending data sources is so much more powerful!
“I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
- Advisor & professional
- Understand your vision
- Wrap around your objectives
- Blending data sources
- Behavioural change
- Few KPIs
- Real-time dashboards