So I’ve lost a few pounds and kept a Power BI dashboard for my tracking
When data leads to results …
I’ve always been very passionate about data, but likely one of the data pointers that I voided looking at was weight gain, primarily due to lack of exercise… that’s right … the personal numbers and metrics.
So when one of my colleagues encouraged me to join the 2020Lifestyles program at Pro Club in Bellevue, my initial take was that it wouldn’t work because I had “too much work”, “it didn’t work with the kids”, or “work related travel”.
But for anyone that knows my colleague Lonnye Bower, they certainly know her as someone that pushes through, and gets you excited about things.
That excitement and her drive got me to sign up for the seminar, and before I realized I started spending time in the gym with a personal trainer 3 days a week, and 2 days by myself.
How did I monitor my data points?
Tracking steps and workout activities
Important as part of a program like this is to keep track of how many steps per day you get (step tracker). While I could have opted for the Microsoft Band 2.0 which I use for workout activity monitoring, I decided to have Fitbit Charge HR for tracking purposes of steps and sleep because of its extensive battery life. I would recommend anyone to keep track of steps outside of exercise separately from the actual workout monitoring.
For the overall gym / fitness club activities (primarily cardio) I used the Microsoft Band 2.0 which gives me a better way to control the type of exercise, the timing etc… Great Job, I truly liked it as a tracker for these kind of, believe it … intense at times” workouts.
The 2020 Lifestyles program supports you with dietitian and counseling support. Needless to say as a food lover that I was a bit anxious going in, but I wasn’t too scared about my ability to stay committed to a program which in my case was heavily subsidized by my employer and health-care provider due to my BMI being in the obesity range. For food tracking, there is a great app called MyFitnessPal, owned by Under Armour.
Kim, my dietitian did a great job explaining to me what I was allowed to eat and what I wasn’t allowed to eat during each week of the stages in the program and quite honestly, it wasn’t that hard to stick to it. The biggest thing I had to give up was Duvel, my favorite Belgian beer, although I occasionally had one but tracked it all nicely in MyfitnessPal.
What I really liked about the app though is the fact that you can just scan a barcode and you know exactly what your calorie intake is.
To keep track of weight I actually bought 2 scales, ran a comparison and found the Fitbit Aria scale to be the best and more accurate as it syncs the data directly to my scale. As you were to drill down into the dashboard, you’ll probably notice that I was “getting obsessed” with standing on the scale every single day. Some people only measure themselves every week upon their dietitian check in appointments, but as a data obsessed person I really wanted to track to get more accurate data points.
Overall Apps integration?
MyfitnessPal really integrates well with Fitbit, Microsoft Band and all other tracking devices. More important was the food tracking which is crowd sourced and provides a variety of data that allow you to accurately track the food. The consolidation of data into a single spot made it actually very simple and fast to build a report in Power BI. And that’s exactly what I did in the dashboard below.
Well, the result is that due to accurate tracking of meals, exercise, workout and activity I have dropped over 30 pounds (that’s 13.6 kilo) within the 12 weeks of Stage 1 in the program.
It’s absolutely surprising to me how quickly I was able to book results with an average of 45 minutes of workout / activity per day and monitoring what I am eating.
Also, even more important is that my blood pressure is back to a healthy 110/80 versus the stage 2 Hypertension I was diagnosed with last year.
Now I will keep this up and keep going until I reached the pre-determined goal of dropping 20 kilos, so I have quite a few more to go.
Please feel free to explore the data in the embedded Power BI Dashboard below.
To anyone for whom I can be an inspiration or share some insights , what worked for me what didn’t work, I gladly share those in person so let me know how I can help and reach out to me directly.
Keeping track of my data resulted in living a healthier life style, probably one of the more precious gifts I can give to my wife and family, today on our 5th wedding anniversary.
Make sure to expand the dashboard to full size for better visibility and interaction.
Leaves me with a big THANK YOU to the entire team at Proclub, especially my personal trainer Jenn for keeping up with me 3 days a week at 5 AM.
I am currently in Indonesia for work and feel that I’ve been slacking quite a bit this morning so I am going to look for where I can put my exercise and workout in this morning.
Absolutely a big thanks to Lonnye Bower for helping me change my life.