back to article The curious case of a wearables cynic and his enduring fat bastardry

I owe everything to a quick one off the wrist. This was not always the case. Previously, my attempts at achieving a rhythm would frequently slip, causing it to get out of hand. But now with a firm grip on the matter and lots of practice, I’ve really begun to shake things up, good and proper. I feel sure plenty of readers are …

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Lost 10kg ...

Is that how much £400 in coins weighs?

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Re: Lost 10kg ...

A £1 coin is 9.5g, so 1052 of them.

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Fruity watch wearers

Having seen

1) a woman get mugged for her iDevice. (The thief ran into a couple of builders who floored him. Plod took him away.)

and

2) someone pay in a shop by wafting their Fruity Watch at the NFC terminal

all within 24 hours in London,

I had my doubts about wearables but to be able to pay for things without risking your phone or physical wallet (you know those things you keep folding notes it) seems to me to be a very good solution.

I am sure there are downsides (other than it being Apple tech) that will get pointed out very soon but that is one use that Apple have got very right. Simple to use and seems to work (from my very limited survey).

If I

1) Wore a watch (not done that since about 1980)

and

2) Had a smartphone I might look at some form of wearable device.

Until then my old nokia dumb phone and my Half-Hunter pocket watch will do very nicely thank you.

Now if I could get an Apple watch inside a half hunter case then I'd be more than willing to open my wallet.

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Re: Fruity watch wearers

Not quite a half hunter but it is a pocket watch

http://venturebeat.com/2015/08/31/this-accessory-makes-the-apple-watch-an-old-timey-pocket-watch/

personally I'll stick to my good old Seiko, bought in 1971 by my Dad for my 12th birthday, still ticking.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fruity watch wearers

I'll stick to analogue watches too, thanks. After all, who want to look like a 5km individual fun runner?

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Pint

Re: Fruity watch wearers

"After all, who want to look like a 5km individual fun runner?"

I see what you did there. Have an upvote and one of these -->

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Re: Fruity watch wearers

"Until then my old nokia dumb phone and my Half-Hunter pocket watch will do very nicely thank you."

Even a Nokia "dumb phone" *in your pocket* has a clock display, so if you've not needed a wristwatch since 1980, why do you need a pocket watch too?

This all rather reminds me of the comments sections on TVs and the posts from people proudly claiming to have neither watched TV since Neil Armstrong stepped on the Moon nor even own one of the infernal tools of the Devil.

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Re: Fruity watch wearers

No need for an expensive iThing to get wrist-based contactless payments. It's just an NFC chip so get just the chip and add it to your existing watch for £30. No vendor lock in.

https://www.shop.bpay.co.uk/loop

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Can you change the strap?

I almost got one of these, there are some really nice ones. All the ones I saw had permanent one time only straps and no supplies for replacements...

I kill straps. :(

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Re: Can you change the strap?

Fitbit Alta is the one you want

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Re: Can you change the strap?

12 months too late for me. I saw their marketing drive and I assume their target consumer group.

They could have had that as standard from day one, but did not. That choice does not bode well with me and the possibility of them providing a product or service I want, as supposed to one they know can gouge out my eyes (wallet).

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Anonymous Coward

Do you even lift?

To acquire fitness, you have to pickup heavy shit. Unavoidable.

But you don't need a watch to tell you your 1-rep-max, and even a muscle head can count to 8, which is about the most reps you want to do of almost any muscle group.

The data these things collect is completely worthless, and if you buy one you'll put it in a draw and still be a fat bastard, only £150 lighter. Be sure to kick yourself that you could have just lifted a rock or a tractor tyre for free.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To acquire fitness, you have to pickup heavy shit

In contrast, I acquire most of my fitness by doing stuff like running around and swimming, not so much by lifting heavy shit. I agree, however, that I could certainly make myself stronger by adding lifting heavy stuff to my routine.

I'm not really sure that your definition of the word "fitness", in an exercise context, is quite the same as mine. I'm happy to believe that lifting stuff can make you fit (i.e. OED "in good athletic condition") - why do you believe that (eg) running or swimming somehow doesn't?

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Re: To acquire fitness, you have to pickup heavy shit

My regime is not limited to putting on a Fitbit and smiling inwardly. I didn't want to bore you all further with my fitness regime, this not being a Daily Mail "I used to be a fat c*nt" article.

I go to my local gym for cardio and do a lot more walking generally. The boss at my gym, an ex-army beefcake with shoulder muscles the size of footballs, is now nagging me to increase my weight-training so that I don't end up scrawny.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: increase my weight-training so that I don't end up scrawny.

If weights don't appeal, swimming can also help give sufficient upper body development to not look (so) scrawny.

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Re: Do you even lift?

'To acquire fitness, you have to pickup heavy shit.'

You appear to be conflating fitness and strength. Marathon runners (I mean good ones) generally can't lift up 'heavy shit' because the excess muscle mass in their upper body would affect their ability to run long distances at an annoyingly fast pace. Similarly weight lifters are shit at running long distances because the training to do so would affect their ability to retain muscle mass.

I would argue both are fit but in different disciplines and both have significant health advantages over sitting watching TV.

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MrT

Re: Do you even lift?

Buying a fitness tracker and expecting dramatic changes just because it's there did remind me of this story from The Daily Mash back in springtime this year...

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Re: Do you even lift?

> To acquire fitness, you have to pickup heavy shit. Unavoidable.

Rubbish. I doubt very much that fellrunners do many weights (the ones I know don't) and they are (as a class) pretty fit.

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Re: Do you even lift?

Lifting is dangerous and poor exercise. It will add muscle, but may not make you fit.

There is only one way to be less fat. It's not more exercise, though for fitness a minimum of activity is needed. It's eating less than you burn, gradually over a long period, a fast diet lowers the metabolic rate and later you put on more weight.

Fatness, bulk, fitness and muscle are different things, though related.

Lifting is probably the worst way to lose weight or fat. Even situps does no better than a corset, it just adds muscle to pull in the fat tummy, unless there is eating reduction and some overall exercise too.

There is no magic solution (diet or exercise) other than a reduction over a year and permanent reduction in food intake. If you are very sedentary, then separately you need also some regular daily activity (even if just using the stairs frequently each day), a weekend gym workout is actually worse!

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Re: Do you even lift?

Just putting on a fitness tracker can make a person much more aware of just how little he/she moves and tracking caloric intake makes it quite clear just how much you are actually stuffing into your face. Just getting those facts mushed into your face in a clear manner can be enough to make positive changes to eating and daily habbits

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Re: Do you even lift?

I wouldn't mind betting that tractor tyres cost far more than £150.

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Re: Do you even lift?

Add splitting up your normal three meals to six spread across the day, just to convince your body it is not starving.

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Re: Do you even lift?

That sounds a lot like snacking.

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Re: Do you even lift?

There's several distinct elements to fitness, and some medical professionals are barely competent to judge. For instance, the Body Mass Index is OK as a starting point, at a "do I need to ask more questions" level, but there are people who don't bother to ask the questions. Some athletes have a high BMI, but the mass is muscle, not fat, which has a higher density, and there's a better correlation of poor health with excess fat rather than excess weight.

When I worked on a farm I was heavier than I am now, and the extra weight was muscle. I sometimes had to handle 50kg sacks of wheat seed (and you really need to know how to do that properly). When I fractured my spine, all that extra muscle helped me avoid the need for surgery.

Anyway, the one simple trick to losing weight is to eat less. Exercise helps change the ratio between fat and muscle, and we all need some fatty tissue, Most of us have too much.

Weght training can focus the exercise. As mentioned, running does more for the legs, and weight training can fill the gap. But weight training isn't as good for the heart and lungs, and that seems to be an important aspect. They call it aerobic exercise, and it matters because for a short burst of exercise the muscles use internal resources. At least, they did according to my school biology lessons.

In the end, it's about keeping a good balance, the right mix of food in balance with the exercise. And, while you don't need to be a weightlifter, there are things in the computer business that are heavy enough that you need to know how to use your muscles.

Incidentally, it helps to know how to cook. There are ways in which cooking can really mess with good nutrition. My mother did manage to get away from overcooking cabbage and brussels sprouts.

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Anonymous Coward

@Mage

Good response in general. However...

"Lifting is probably the worst way to lose weight or fat."

Well, it depends. For some people, cardio is out for one reason or another, and hitting the gym is actually a good alternative, precisely for the reasons you mention (increasing one's caloric intake+exercise). I mention this as I'm one of those people - cardio in general makes me hoover up food at an unsustainable amount, and running specifically temporarily busted my knee joints. However, when weight training I manage to consistently lose/maintain weight (which one of those depends on the caloric intake at the moment), and not break anything in body.

So, overall, properly done lifting is the only way to go for some people. Of course, OP's claims about "8 reps max" is patently ridiculous.

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Re: @Mage

Me getting out of the couch is lifting heavy shit.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: photo

is the Jeremy Kyle show being filmed on a holodeck now?

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Fat chance

A problem that I have with the obesity epidemic is the supply-and-demand impact on the clothing marketplace.

I take a size 30" waist (not amazingly active or particularly frugal in my diet...I just have an the kind of metabolic rate that more-or-less guarantees a slim build and the prospect of being an ironic heart attack statistic by the time I reach 50)

Shopping in a lot of high-street stores is a problem, as their jeans start at 32" and go up in increments well into enormous. It's getting harder to find stuff that fits.

I could shop in the teenagers' section, but the idea of a middle-aged man in the changing rooms in a teens' department usually ends up with a court requiring you to sign some sort of register.

Lard pies seem to be the best course of action right now

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Pint

Re: Fat chance

Amen! Every year or so I slope into M&S to buy some bog-standard cheap black trousers for work. It's got to the point where I'm highly unlikely to actually find anything with a 30" waist on ther shop floor. So I usually end up muttering something about the vast majority of GB being fat bastards and then try and order online where they may be more choice.

On a similar note once upon a time I could have sworn I was size medium for most things (I'm 5'10", albeit thin as a rake), but now I seem to be size small. Now I don't think I've shrunk at all...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fat chance

Simple solution: Buy women's jeans. About size 8 should work.

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Joke

ironic heart attack

I remember the Peel session they did in the '80s.

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Re: Fat chance

I believe that the measurements on clothing are no longer accurate, instead being larger than indicated. So a 30" is now actually a 32". Apparently it's to do with customers wanting to believe they're slimmer than they actually are...

I have used an Omron pedometer for five years now. I've found I've become habitualized to using it every day to get around 10k steps on it. But it has one drawback: it has only got a USB connector and doesn't have Linux drivers for it, so can only be used with Windows meaning it's one of the reasons I have to keep a Windows 7 partition on my PC to be able to download the data... (I knew I'd get a dig in at Windows 10 and it's telemetry and forced updates somehow :-D )

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TRT
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Re: ironic heart attack

Funnily enough, the washing machine in the flat I moved into post-divorce has taken a terrible toll on my clothes. Either that or I'm shit at laundry. Because all the shirts I have are shrinking rapidly. The nice short sleeved one I only bring out for special occasions (i.e. very hot days) that I've had for years? It's now so tight I look like a throttled earwig. And the long sleeved white one with the special collar for bow-ties... I've had that for years too, and it used to fit brilliantly, but now the sleeves and cuffs are so tight... the right cuff I can't do up at all for some reason. And you're right. Shop stocking has definitely changed. I can't find any 32xs trousers, so I'm forced to wear 34s with belt and turn ups. I always thought it was because there were so many short-legged men around that they sold out of xs before I got there. And now with BHS gone titsup, I've no chance.

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Coat

Re: Fat chance

And if you can find 30" trousers, the bottom of the legs will end up around shin level.

I'm just resigned to being a weird shape and wearing trousers that either end just past my knee, or have enough room at the waist for another person.

Maybe I should wear dresses instead, length is less of a problem and the extra air on your bits must be nice in the summer.

>>>>>> mines not a coat...

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Re: Fat chance

There are loads of 28in waist trousers and skinny fittings at Top Man. Jeans, chinos, whatever.

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Re: Fat chance

In the UK, 30" waist would be size 12 or 14. UK size 8 is tiny and you are unlikely to find jeans with a 30" inside leg.

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Re: Fat chance / not a coat

I believe it is called a kilt?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fat chance

"UK size 8 is tiny [...]"

A Chinese friend living in England used to have to go on a fattening diet in order for a UK size 8 to fit her properly. So she had to buy children's clothes. That saved the VAT - but her husband complained that people could misconstrue him being with a 12 year old.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fat chance

"[...] the prospect of being an ironic heart attack statistic by the time I reach 50.

Watch out for Type 2 Diabetes as well. Any extra calories have to go somewhere. If they are not being deposited as fat then they are being burned off as heat in brown adipose fat. That suggests the body is possibly having to handle regular high glucose levels.

Although the stereotypical Type 2 sufferer is overweight or obese - there are also trim people who develop it in their 60s. My doctor thinks the factors are genetic inheritance, high pressure careers, plus irregular meal and sleeping patterns.

It is amazing how little I have to eat nowadays to maintain my BMI of 22. When I complain that my six monthly Hba1c blood glucose test is still in the low 40s - my doctor reminds me that many/most of his Type 2 patients score 50 through 70.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fat chance

"[...] M&S to buy some bog-standard cheap black trousers for work. It's got to the point where I'm highly unlikely to actually find anything with a 30" waist on ther shop floor."

Take a tape measure. Even the same M&S trousers on a rail can vary up to two inches from the label size. A friend bought me a T-shirt from M&S that was "small" - and it was like a spinnaker on me. Now she buys me "Fruit of the Loom" T-shirts whose "medium" size is a nice snug fit.

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Coat

Re: Fat chance

If you're having sizing problems you could try getting clothes from the ghost shop. If the staff even serve you, you must be a medium.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fat chance

"[...] Buy women's jeans. "

Jeans should be shaped differently for men. A friend took on some home work as an overlocker sewing together men's jeans. She had sent off quite a few pairs before someone pointed out to her that the crotch has to be sown a different shape for men.

Some manufacturers still fit the zip left-handed to differentiate women's versions from men's. The zip can also be shorter as its function is to allow the trousers to be removed - not to give a handy portal.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fat chance

@Novex; "I believe that the measurements on clothing are no longer accurate, instead being larger than indicated. So a 30" is now actually a 32"."

Doesn't surprise me. I'm 5'10" with a pretty narrow *build* (that makes buying off-the-shelf clothes that fit well a PITA), but I still have a bit of fat around my waist; I'm not ludicrously thin.

Yet I can still comfortably fit into Next's regular fit (nominally) 30" jeans. However, I know damn well there's no way I'd get into my several-years-old suit or dress trousers if *they* were 30" rather than the 32" they actually are. So I'd always been pretty sceptical about the former.

I'd always put this down to the style of jeans being a somewhat baggy fit, but your explanation sounds plausible.

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Re: Fat chance

> I take a size 30" waist (not amazingly active or particularly frugal in my diet.

I used to too - until I became T2 diabetic. Now I have to be a bit more cautious about what I eat (and not just the 'minimise simple carbs' type cautious)

Now I'm a 33" waist :-(

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fat chance

> Every year or so I slope into M&S

My missus have given up buying clothes there - their sizing is hopelessly mixed up (she is size 8-10 - but in M&S she has to go to childrens sizes because even their size 8 stuff is like a tent on her..)

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Re: Fat chance

> there are also trim people who develop it in their 60s.

There are also not-fat, ideal-BMI[1] people that develop it in their late 30's. It helps if ones maternal genetic background include a whole bunch of people who developed it early in life, even when living in the days when over-eating was very, very unlikely..

[1] BMI - aka 'a farce'. But the NHS seems to value it (except for the people who really know what they are doing)

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Re: Fat chance: women's or kids jeans

Make sure they open the correct side though.

UK Size 12 OUGHT to be 30"

Take a tape as sizes are completely inconsistent between brands or seasons.

Children's jeans may be too short and too lacking in bum/hip.

If you are 32" or more you are at higher risk of heart attack. BMI is too coarse a guide due to muscle vs fat and different body types / bones / ethnic origin.

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Re: Fat chance

...I'm highly unlikely to actually find anything with a 30" waist...

But try buying casual shirts, and you won't find anything that isn't slim-fit. Most shirts cling like a corset, and are quite uncomfortable to wear for a day. I confess wear 32" trousers, but I don't think I'm very fat. I can only assume the fat bastards are also pigeon-chested.

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Re: Fat chance

Honestly ...

This is what you get when you buy shop clothes like lumpen proletarians. Just get a decent tailor instead of the work of some east asian factory slave. You will both feel and look better.

I'm sure your valet can recommend someone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fat chance

"[...] the crotch has to be sown a different shape for men."

Are the grammar nazis on holiday? Mea culpa - homonym should have been "sewn".

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