#76 - Fitness. Life Tracking System. Video.

6 minute read

Motto: Shallow and Pedantic

Forewarning: This update is all about me. I apologize for the topic, unknown readers, but it’s pretty much the only thing I write about. What are you doing here, anyway?

That was an inside joke. Sort of.

I leave for Thailand in 4 days. But this post has nothing to do with that. That will be soon. Probably next time.

What this column IS about, as given away by the title, is Fitness and a semi-dramatic system re-tooling within my life. To tell you that story, let me set the stage with the way things were.

There was chaos. The streets ran wild with the long-forgotten children of who knows who. These kids knew they had to look out for themselves - nobody else was. Street fires burned for days. Fire departments had long since gone the way of the dodo and the police force. Did I say they were gone too? Yeah. They were gone. It was a pretty bleak scene. I didn’t keep track of the foods I ate or where my money went to.

Like I said. Chaos.

Fast forward a few days. A young man burst onto the scene with an idea so earth shattering that the tall pillars of uncertainty and guesstimations shook and fell. Our hero goes by the name of Aaron. He lived in the swirling storm of chaotic calorie intake and money outflow for years. He was hopeless. Without hope. If his body was a dashboard with lots of needles and stuff and one of them said “hope”, it would’ve indicated “less” - because he was hopeless.

For years he lived this way.

One day, not too long ago (2 days ago), our hero was struck with an idea so simultaneously powerful and beautiful it bordered on - or very well could have been the product of The Divine. A bright illuminating beam of white light and wisdom, straight from the palm of God himself to the pre-frontal cortex of a hopeless soul.

“Maybe I should keep track of what I eat and spend money on… so that I know what I eat and spend money on!”

It hit me like a tsunami.

I have the Demetri List (which my lovely girlfriend just wrote about in her blog, btw). I track how productive of a person I am. I should track how healthy I am living, both physically and financially.

Okay I wasted most of the time I had allotted to write this column by making into some sort of weird dystopian alternate timeline dramatization. I’m going to now state the relevant facts in the only short way I know how -

Important things that happened in the past 3 days:

  • I saw my family for Easter. Like, all of them. It was awesome. I like them.
  • I found a webpage called “Simple Science Fitness” that is basically the product of one fitness enthusiast and designer who did tons of work and research putting this together. I didn’t study biology, health, or exercise sciences in school, but it seems mostly legitimate to everyone I’ve asked so far.
  • I decided I need to start tracking my diet. Calories. Protein. Sugars. Etc.
  • I started keeping around a notebook. A plain and simple spiral notebook for jotting things down.
  • I made a workout plan. I used to just meander in the weight room from lift to lift based on what I “felt like” doing. This led to a few key neglected areas.
  • At the suggestion of my lovely girlfriend, I experimented with Google Forms as a method of keeping track of things. I love it. I can input things from my phone or tablet or computer in less than 30 seconds from homescreen to screen off. That 30 second mark is not just a guess, I just tested it. 28 seconds to put in the two terrible-for-me chimichangas I just ate.
  • I got a grand idea for a Life Tracking System that unified all the things I wanted to keep track of. This is a work in progress. It will use Google Forms, Google Docs, and some Scripts that I have to learn how to write. It’s going to be a fun, challenging, and rewarding process.
  • That’s basically it.
  • Oh, and I cut together a video of all the athletic clips I’ve taken for the second-a-day video…

DISCLAIMER: The following video shows entirely too much shirtless Aaron. Content approved for mature and strong-stomached audiences only.

(editor’s note: this video lost to time)

I just did an experiment to see how good my phone’s camera’s facial recognition software is. I drew cartoon faces with increasing levels of detail until it recognized one. The recognition happened way faster than I expected. I thought I was going to have to draw 5 or 6 faces. I probably took too big of a step. I should redo this later. Not now. Now it’s late.

(editor’s note: this picture lost to time)

If your phone has facial recognition, give it a shot. Does it see the guy on the right?

Top 5: Best Things on the Internet (in a serious way, not like “this picture of a cat!”)

  1. Netflix - Netflix is really a placeholder for Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Spotify, etc. The internet is better entertainment than your television, your music collection, your movie collection, and the movie and music collection of everyone you’ve ever met.
  2. Amazon - Everything you would ever want to buy… but cheaper. I’ve sold stuff on Amazon, too.
  3. Wolfram Alpha - Wolfram Alpha is the reason I wanted to make this list. It is a free calculation engine that is useful for ALL KINDS of stuff. I used it constantly during my time studying Electrical Engineering. Lately I’ve been using it for nutritional information. This is the sandwich I had for breakfast.
  4. Wikipedia - anybody and everybody has access to an EMENSE encyclopedia that is always up-to-date and nearly as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica (as some studies show). We all have access to oceans of knowledge so large that we couldn’t even begin to explore nary a corner during the course of our lives.
  5. Google - Google search alone would be enough of a reason to put Google as number one. It’s the index for the rest of the internet. This is not to mention things like Gmail, YouTube, or the myriad of other products and services they offer everyone for free. This blog is ran on a Google service.


“It’s okay, there isn’t too much muscle” Melissa, after I asked if she was okay with me putting a largely shirtless video up on the column