habbit tracking

Week 3 Health Update

If you haven’t been following, I’ve challenged myself to get into the best shape of my life by age 40. I think I will post a weekly update every Sunday on my progress. Here is the first update.

I actually started this challenge on 3/14/2024 at 348 lbs. This means I’m at about 3.5 weeks. I’ll call it week three.

Progress this Week

I stuck to my diet and cold plunges this week without missing a day. However, I was only active about 3 days out of 7. I need to increase my activity levels.

Over the last week, I’m up 4.1 lbs, even though I think things went well. I was feeling a lot better, but the last two days I have been down. My mood has been low, and my energy levels are not great. I’ve had to take a nap on several days.

I mentioned before that I’m bipolar. I think I was in a hypomanic state for a while, and now I’m switching into a slightly depressed state. I’ll keep pushing, though.

I believe I will eventually progress if I stick to my habits with discipline. I see discipline as much more important than motivation. Motivation comes and goes, but if you can build discipline, you can push through those days when you lack motivation.

How I’m Tracking My Progress

I’m a fan of statistics. It stems from my internet marketing days, when I would obsess over stats like click-through rate, cost per click, conversion rates, etc. I also think it’s essential to be able to see progress. This is especially true when you don’t feel like doing it. A little evidence that you are making progress can go a long way.

Also, being a tech nerd, I like using technology to help me track. I used to use a simple journal book that I wrote in with pen. It worked fine, but now I like keeping things digital.

Habit Kit

habbit tracking
This app, Habit Kit, is a simple way to track habits.

If you’re a developer who has used GitHub, you’re probably familiar with the graph showing how active you have been committing to your repo. For those of you who aren’t developers, it just means how many changes you have been making to your code per day. The graph becomes addicting because I don’t want to break a streak.

I’ve found a simple phone app to track habits and display them in a GitHub-like graph. It’s called Habit Kit. I paid for the lifetime premium because it was relatively cheap, and I wanted to support the dev. The free version is probably fine for most people.

I started with diet because that is the most important component. I don’t think you can outwork a bad diet, at least when you’re older. Young kids seem to get away with it because their metabolism is so high, and they burn many calories while doing kid stuff.

I added activity because that is the second most crucial factor for weight loss to me. I either go to the gym and lift weights or get on my Peloton. I was doing the classes on Peloton, but now I’m trying steady-state cardio to see if it helps me burn fat. Luckily, Peloton has Netflix and several other apps.

I tend to put on something motivational and pedal for about 45 minutes. The last series I watched was Untold: Swamp Kings, about the epic Florida Gators team that won 2 national championships.

Next, I added my cold plunges. They might be bro science, but it makes me feel better. There have also been studies that concluded: “Cold exposure increases energy expenditure and food intake, without altering body weight”

Cold exposure increases energy expenditure and food intake, without altering body weight

National Library of Medicine

It makes sense to me that cooling down your body causes your body to burn calories to heat you back up, but that is my simple understanding.

Yesterday, I decided to start tracking alcohol consumption. I can technically drink low-carb alcohol on this diet. That usually means something like a rum and diet coke. However, when you drink alcohol, your body metabolizes it first. Which essentially takes you out of fat-burning mode.

I also have high liver enzymes. I think it’s non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The best thing for my liver is to stop drinking. So that will be added to my goals.


MyFitnessPal allows you to track food.

Some people can diet without tracking food. I can’t. I’ll overeat if I don’t keep track, so I use MyFitnessPal to track my food.

MyFitnessPal tracks calories and macronutrients for me. They have an extensive database of food that you can look up. I also really like the ability to scan the barcodes of the food I buy and get the proper macros.

It’s a free app with paid upgrades. I pay for the yearly membership because it allows you to select different diets in addition to basic calorie counting. The premium version allows me to select low-carb, which helps me with tracking keto.

My main goal is to stay below 20 net carbs per day and below my calorie limit, which is currently something like 2100. Most of my diet is made up of fat, with protein taking up whatever calories are left after fat and carbs.

Digital Scale

A digital scale is the third component of my tracking suite. I currently use the scale I got as part of the Calibrate program. It integrates with the Calibrate app. However, I cannot find any integration with MyFitnessPal. Other scales do integrate, and I might look at getting one of them.

There isn’t much to say about a scale. It weighs you and sends the weight to an app. I try to weigh myself every day, but I plan to note progress on Sundays. My weight can fluctuate a lot. It’s probably most influenced by my water consumption for the previous day.

I like to see the overall trend heading in the right direction here, which didn’t happen this week.


I plan to post weekly updates on Sundays. I felt like I stuck to my plan this week, but my weight didn’t trend in the right direction. I’m still going to stick to my plan for now. If I go a few weeks without progress, I’ll evaluate things.

I’m already planning to add more activity, which should help my weight. If that doesn’t work, I will start to lower my calories. When I first transition to keto, I don’t really worry about calories. I tend to focus on just making it through the first few weeks because they can be difficult. Then, I usually start to dial in the calories after I become fat-adapted and in a steady state of ketosis.

Sometimes, the metrics don’t tell the whole story. When I look in the mirror, my stomach is smaller. I also usually have a really hard gut, even though it’s fat. It’s starting to loosen up. I usually notice this before I start to lose weight.

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John Ward

With nearly two decades of experience in building, growing, and monetizing websites, I share insights from my journey—highlighting what works and what doesn’t. Whether you're new or experienced, there's something here for everyone.