Body Fat Test

Measurements Value
Age 34
Weight 168 lbs
Chest 5 mm
Abdominal 27 mm
Thigh 10 mm
Body Fat % 13.17 %
Lbs Body Fat 22.12 lbs
Lbs Lean 145.88 lbs
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Body Fat Test

Put on a few pounds of fat (and muscle!) since my last test over a year ago. Working on bringing fat down, while keeping as much muscle as I can.

Measurements Value
Age 33
Weight 165 lbs
Chest 7 mm
Abdominal 23 mm
Thigh 11 mm
Body Fat % 12.75 %
Lbs Body Fat 21.05 lbs
Lbs Lean 143.95 lbs

My measurement last year was 8.02%

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2011 Goals


Reconnect with family and friends. Over the past several years I feel like I’ve lost touch with a lot of people – family as well as old friends. While it is true they could call me just as easily, I’d like to take the initiative and talk to someone every other weekend.

Meet my youngest niece. My sister had a baby just before Halloween, and we haven’t yet had an opportunity to visit. Between work and Bhumisha’s school schedule, we’ll have to make some time for a long weekend or a week-long visit. We may roll a visit to Chicago in with this trip as well, so we can meet up with family and friends there, too.

Read more. I’d like to keep reading fiction and non-fiction books, as well as keeping up with my magazine subscriptions. I’ll shoot for six books this year, to allow myself time to read magazines.


Pay off both car loans. We’ve already set the payoff check for the Subaru; it is just a matter of the transaction posting and getting the title from the bank. We just bought the Ford, but I would like to pay off that loan this year as well, to free up some cash flow for when Bhumisha goes to school full-time.

Settle into management. I’m sure my new role at work is going to throw me some curveballs, and I already know it is going to be a challenging year with all the things my management has planned. I’m hoping I can hit my stride and keep the stress under control.


Drop some fat (and don’t find it again). I feel like I am about ten pounds heavier than I should be. The real key, though, is body fat; I’d like to lose about ten pounds of fat, and I’m positive I can do this in 12 weeks. From the reading I’ve done, it looks like low-carb is the way to go. I originally thought Atkins was a quack and the diet was a fad, but based on the books and articles I’ve read since, it seems Dr. Atkins was onto something (and he wasn’t the first). A full-on Paleo plan is going to be difficult to get my wife to buy into, but she has been saying she needs to get on the Zone again, since it is less restrictive. I may meet her in the middle and set up a lower-carb Zone – 20% carbs, 40% protein, 40% fat – and opt out of sweeteners, rice, pasta, and bread completely myself. Rice and pasta haven’t been a problem, but this means no more of 3 of my favorite things: caramel macchiatos, pizza, and burritos.

Keep up with CrossFit. I made some good progress in 2010, and I’d like to keep that momentum going through 2011.

  • 50 push-ups in a row
  • 50 pull-ups in a row
  • 1 Muscle-up
  • Run 5K in 23:00

I am also planning to keep up with my spin classes and/or getting back on my bicycle for longer outdoor rides.

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2010 Review

Yes, it’s another “Year in Review” post. And yes, it will be followed by a “Goals for Next Year”. I find it is helpful to do these kinds of things, just to keep some perspective, so bear with me.


One of the things I’ve been wanting to do is to read more. I read quite a few books this year, and I’ve read more fiction than I have in a long time:

  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Girl Who Played With Fire
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
  • Between the Assassinations
  • The Lost Symbol
  • Good Calories, Bad Calories (almost done!)
  • Head First: Data Analysis
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

We traveled to Africa this summer to visit Bhumisha’s folks and attend her brother’s wedding. We took my mom and some friends with us and went on a safari for a few nights as well. We spent an entire month there, and though we were quite busy for much of the time, it was quite relaxing and fun.


Bhumisha got a job at the Sutter Rehab Institute in Roseville as a physical therapy aid. It is a slight increase in pay over her previous job, and she enjoys it much more. She also applied to the Master in Physical Therapy program at Sac State, and will hopefully wrap up her prerequisite courses by the Fall term.

I took a promotion at work to manage my team. My previous manager received a promotion and I was the next logical choice to take over leading the team. I’ve only been doing this for a couple of months, but so far it has been pretty interesting. The work is not necessarily more difficult than what I did in my old role; I just seem to be busier fighting a lot of small fires. It is definitely offering me a different perspective on the business and the way things work at my company, and what I learn here will be useful wherever I decide to go next (back to technical or up the management chain).

We also bought a new Ford Focus. We’d been planning on replacing the Civic eventually, as Bhumisha will soon have to commute to Sac State to attend classes there. A friend of mine was working at the Ford dealer in town and told me they were running some good promotions. In the end we got a good deal thanks to the X-Plan pricing through my employer discount and having met the finance manager at our neighbor’s birthday party.


I tried a Paleo diet for some time this year, and did see some improvements – increase in lean muscle mass, reduction in body fat, etc. I still find it somewhat difficult to stick with since it does limit a lot of the foods I enjoy. However, the more I read about it (“Good Calories, Bad Calories”, “The Primal Blueprint”, Dr. Eades’ blog), and finding myself surrounded by Paleo proponents, the more it makes sense. I’m just hoping it is not purely due to confirmation bias. Overall, though, I’ve tried to limit eating processed foods, including breads and grains, and stick to meat, veggies, nuts, and fruit.

Our trip to Africa didn’t help here, as nearly every meal was mostly Indian-vegetarian (and a buffet at that!) and we weren’t terribly active during our stay (a lot of visiting, sitting, eating, and driving). We did enjoy some sekela chicken as well as some seafood, though.

I’m still trying to get my diet and weight back to “normal”, but in the meantime I’ve set new personal records at the gym. I feel a bit slower (probably due to an extra 10 or so pounds), but I’ve been putting up heavier and heavier weight in nearly all my lifts dead lift (310), snatch (140), overhead squat (170), back squat (242.5). As Phil says, I just need a bigger gas tank.

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Found this via Lifehacker:

A Bacon Tale | GoodNCrazy.

The gist:

Foil line a jelly roll pan, place bacon directly on pan.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes, timing for 10 minutes and checking.
I did turn the pieces over about half-way through  though most of those sites say you don’t need to.
Once they were the crispness I wanted (extra crispy as I needed crumbled bacon) I let the pan tilt for a few minutes and then poured the grease into a jar.

Sure it takes longer than frying in a skillet, but it sounds like it is worth the wait!

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Welcome to WordPress!

After a recent adventure with my ISP, I am moving my self-hosted blog to Over the next few days, I’ll be importing posts from my old custom blog and bringing them here.

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Excellence, Not Success

There’s a slide set floating around on the interwebs about management lessons learned from the recent Bollywood hit 3 Idiots. One slide that sticks out to me is one with the statement “Focus on Excellence, Not Success”. While it is important to focus on a goal, achieving success at any cost can lead you down a treacherous path. However, focusing on excellence will lead down a more natural and rewarding course to success. Furthermore, focusing on excellence is a concrete goal; it it something you can directly affect. Success, though, is more nebulous; there are many external factors that can get in the way.

Consider a business owner. If she merely says, “I want to have a successful business”, she has to define what ‘success’ is and then make a plan and work backwards. If she instead says, “Every day, I will focus on selling high-quality products and providing excellent customer service”, her success will come naturally as word spreads about her excellent service and products. An athlete who focuses on running faster or hitting the ball farther may choose to take a dangerous shortcut to achieving those goals rather than showing up for practice every day or spending time on developing excellent technique.

Now consider your own activities – are there situations where you are focused on success rather than excellence?

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Body Fat Test

Another body fat measurement. The trend remains positive. Overall fat mass down, lean mass up, lower fat percentage.

Measurements Value
Age 32
Weight 148 lbs
Chest 4 mm
Abdominal 16 mm
Thigh 6 mm
Body Fat % 8.02 %
Lbs Body Fat 11.87 lbs
Lbs Lean 136.13 lbs

My November measurement was 8.96%


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Mental Stamina

[ Also posted on CrossFit Genesis ]

We’ve all been there: In the middle of an intense workout, searing lungs, tired arms, burning quads; and it’s only round three of eight. Wait. Is it? Or am I on round four?.

It happens more often than I’d like. With all the things going on in my head – “keep that core tight”, “don’t pull early with your arms”, “drive off your heels”, all my body parts screaming at me to stop, coaches telling me NOT to stop, and trying to keep track of how many reps and rounds I’ve done – something is bound to lose, especially as the volume of screaming body parts approaches eleven. And every now and then, to add to the chaos, little thoughts enter my head, “Almost done. Wait, how many do I have left? Oh crap, where was I? Did the Bears win yesterday? I’m hungry; I should’ve eaten a better lunch.” It then takes real effort and mental stamina to stay focused and drown out that noise.

But this is all just another part of our training. Sure, we show up at the gym for physical exercise. Our bodies get stronger and faster; we are able to push and pull harder and longer. But we also learn to quiet our minds and focus on the top priority of the moment, over longer periods of time. We learn to turn down the volume from those screaming body parts (and know difference between ‘just screaming’ and injury). With practice we build up our mental stamina so we won’t lose track of our rep counts and still be able to focus on all the other relevant mental notes. In the mean time, we have some strategies to help:

  • Have someone count for you (also a good way to make sure you only count reps with proper form)
  • Use a whiteboard or a stack of poker chips or coins to count rounds
  • Vocalize the count (just a whisper) as you exhale through the exertion of the rep

The training here has applications beyond the gym. Once you are better equipped to quiet distractions, you can improve your performance at work and school, and even social situations. You can ignore those instant-messages and e-mails so you can get your work done by the deadline. You can ignore the loud-talker in the next cube or at the next table and continue your conversation. You can stop turning your head to when someone walks by your dinner table and pay attention to your date.

How do you keep going? How do you keep track of your rep and round numbers? Are you focused on your work, or are you letting other thoughts enter your mind? Or are you so focused on your current rep that you’ve lost track?

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2009 Goals Summary

So I’m a little late in getting this posted, but I finally did it.

  • Financial
    • Earn $5K from sources outside my primary income
      • I sold stock options, but I hardly count that.
    • Give more to charity this year than I did last year
      • Yep.
    • Finish building and maintain a 6-month emergency fund
      • I think I have about 6 months now (probably a bit more). I think I need to continue extending this to a 12-month cushion in this economy.
    • Save $10K for our 2010 trip to Africa
      • Sitting in the bank account, but it’ll likely mean dipping into the cushion.
    • Limit spending on dining out
      • Could have been better
  • Travel
    • Plan our trip to the UK (already paid for airfare in 2008)
      • Done
    • Organize the Africa trip for 2010
      • Planning to head out at the end of July. Waiting for airfares to come down (crossing fingers)
    • Visit Mom & Dad in Chicago
      • Went home to Chicago again in June, but unfortunately not for a pleasure; Dad passed away on June 24.
  • Friends & Family
    • Call someone I haven’t spoken to in a while once a week
      • This one was tough to keep up with. A valiant effort, but fell to the way-side
  • Work
    • Re-assess my career goals at my current employer
      • Job = $. Period.
      • The year ended pretty much the same way. A 5% pay cut didn’t help (though we got it back as a bonus at the end of the year).
      • Trying to decide if I want to go for a promotion.
    • Re-establish discipline in day-to-day task management
      • The daily deluge of email and being pulling 20 directions took its toll.
  • Health & Fitness
    • Stay on the Zone diet and track my progress using FitDay
      • Never got this going. Doing better now.
    • Perform 30 pull-ups without rest
      • Got to 26 during a workout!
    • Run a 5K in under 23 minutes
      • Didn’t hit this one
    • Perform 1 muscle-up
      • Getting close; need more practice
      • Still needed more practice
    • Perform Fran as prescribed in under 12 minutes
      • It was tough at 85lbs, but still managed to do it in under 10 min then
      • Tried it with 95lbs. Still tough. 16 minutes-plus.
  • Learning
  • Photography
    • Take one photography-specific trip (could be anywhere)
      • does my trip to India count?
    • Sell 5 stock photos
      • Did not happen


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