Back in charge: Phase 2

I mentioned recently the beginning of phase 2. This was referring to my now 7 month old operation “Back in charge“, or my efforts to stop being lazy, not exercising, and eating whatever I want whenever I want.

For the most recent readers, and those who don’t pay much attention over there in the back (I see you), I posted previously a 3 month report.

So, what happened since the end of November?

Still not smoking, reaching the 11 months mark soon.

Training frequency is still good, I went to  33 sessions in the first 3 months, then 64 in the following 4.5 months. Weight was stuck for a while during December and January, partially due to the holidays, partially to me messing a bit around with my diet and basically removing too many carbs. The nutrition aspect was solved as I started seeing a nutritionist monthly, and she helped me balance my diet and reintroduce some carbs at breakfast and lunch.

Training has become definitely more intensive, and the novelty there (which marked the beginning of phase 2) is that I started running a bit.

As the image above shows, I reached just yesterday a new milestone, with 15kg lost since the beginning (it was 10kg after the first 3 months).

Now, what’s really interesting, is the evolution of the % of body fat that went finally below 30% in March (29.4% exactly) and is now down to 27%. Still not ideal, but on its way.

Phase 2 also means a new weekly routine, that I have been trying for the past few weeks, here’s how it goes:

  • Monday: 1 hour strength training with a coach.
  • Tuesday: Treadmill run.
  • Wednesday: 1 hour circuit training with a coach.
  • Thursday: rest, pool, sauna, steam bath.
  • Friday: 1 hour training with a coach, half interval training, half strength.
  • Saturday: rest.
  • Sunday: 5k outside.

As running is pretty new to me (haven’t done it in the past 25 years), I am taking that slowly:

  • On Tuesday, I run on the treadmill, as far as I can, without stopping, I started just above 1km, last Tuesday it was 3km
  • On Sunday, I go for 5km, alternating running and walking. I started by alternating 1km segments (run/walk/run/walk/run), the last time I managed to run 2km, walk 1.5km, then run 1.5km again.
  • I tried once to also run on the treadmill on Thursday, that was a big mistake, I need two days of rest per week.

The goal of phase 2 is now to get comfortable running a full 5k at a good pace, at which point I’ll switch to phase 3 🙂

I don’t have short term weight goals, as long as it goes down slowly I am happy. Long term I’d like to reach 99kg, hopefully in a year or so.

I am writing all this, not to brag, but to keep myself accountable as it helps me progressing, so if you don’t see any news in a while, don’t hesitate to ask!

That’s not the whole truth though, I am also writing this with the hope it could be useful to someone else, somewhere, as if I can do it, well probably everybody can do it.

Is working remotely hereditary?

The year is 1984, I am still a kid, living in Italy with my parents, this is the year that changed my life. My Dad started a new activity that year, transcribing music in Braille for the Swiss Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Now, back then this was done exclusively manually by human beings and, as you can imagine, required a pretty rare skill set: one had to know how to read and write music both in Braille and the regular way while not being visually impaired.

In the 80s Switzerland wasn’t an easy place to move to as a foreigner, and as it usually happens when problems are interesting, people got creative, so my Dad started working from home.

I didn’t really realize it at the time, but I grew up totally stranger to the notion that to perform a task you had to actually go every day to an office, a factory, or any other facility.

We eventually ended up moving to France later that year. Transcriptions were extremely fragile, and unique until they reached Zurich (how that worked is material for a different story). He had to travel to Switzerland roughly once per month, and moving to the east of France made that much easier.

Once there my Mom eventually also learned how to make these transcriptions, and for the following years they worked together, remotely.

I didn’t really realize it at the time, but I grew up totally stranger to the notion that to perform a task you had to actually go every day to an office, a factory, or any other facility.

Fast forward. The year is now 1994, I just finished school and start working in a photo studio in Paris, on this new thing called “le web”. The distributed virus takes its toll, and soon I am moving back to the east of France, 360km away from Paris, working from home half of the week, going to Paris the rest of the time.

The next years are a mixed bag of working more or less remotely, including six months from NYC in 2000. Generally having an office in Paris where I would go for meetings, but doing most of my own work from home.

Fast forward. The year is now 2004, I progressively managed to gain my freedom by moving all bits and pieces to remote locations so that my presence in a specific place is not required anymore. Sites are hosted physically in the USA, designers all over North and South Americas, developers in India and Thailand, and we  move to Switzerland, with a 2y old daughter and her sister coming soon, it’s more attractive than the city.

Fast forward. The year is now 2014, I since moved to Vienna, Austria, work for Automattic, a completely distributed company, leading a team of 29 people spread across 4 continents, 10 countries, and covering 17 time zones.

Think about the millions of people who, every day, commute to go sit in front of a computer for 8 hours, now think how easier it would be to move these computers to the people’s locations instead. Now think again: computers don’t need to go back home at night!

As more and more of us experiment with remote working and distributed setups, more and more children will grow up strangers to the XX century vision of work, centered on the workplace and the time spent there, but familiar with the idea that “the office” is wherever you can think.


Photo: ‘Braille typewriter, antique’ by domesticat used under CC BY-NC-SA / Cropped and desaturated.