Greetings from back in the UK! 👋 🇬🇧
It never takes too long after returning from a long break to start feeling like you’ve never been away, ain’t that the truth? I finally got back to the UK late on Tuesday and it’s been full steam ahead with work and getting myself back into the gym, completing 2 PT sessions 💪, which, as I write this on Saturday afternoon have lead to me having the worst DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) that I’ve experienced since I started training last summer. I know this will pass and I just have to push through. I’ve been telling everyone that I’m currently 50% pizza and 50% burger at the moment. But it was my honeymoon, so who cares. Now the big challenge that I’m facing is getting back into my previous routine of fitness, journalling, meditation and building on my knowledge and skills. With this in mind, you’ll notice a themes of mainly health and diet in this weeks newsletter, but let’s start with some entertainment. Enjoy 😎
🎬 tech movies
Remember how sometimes that we see the same thematic movies released at the same time? Antz and A Bugs Life, Armageddon and Deep Impact and this year we’ve had two decent movies that delve into modern tech history. Neither of which have hit the heights of the absolutely brilliant Pirates of Silicon Valley or have the wit and expertly crafted dialogue from The Social Network. Regardless, both of the following films are absolutely worth watching:
In 1989, Nintendo launched the Gameboy with the bundled game Tetris. This was a bold move, as Super Mario Bros was originally intended to be included. However, Tetris appealed to a wide range of ages and was likely a key factor in the success of the Gameboy launch. The film focuses on the story of the game's licensing, which was developed in the Soviet Union during the waning days of the Cold War. It was impossible for an American to simply walk into Russia and buy an IP. Taron Egerton is outstanding in the movie, and the entire cast, including the underrated Toby Jones, are brilliant. If you haven't seen it yet, you can stream it globally on Apple TV+.
Remember the phone you had before you got an iPhone? For me, it was a BlackBerry, and I loved it. So, on our last day in Vancouver, Glen and I were killing time and decided to see BlackBerry, since it was developed by Research in Motion, a Canadian company. Let me put it simply: BlackBerry is one of the best films of the year. It's easy to forget how influential the BlackBerry was - it was a stepping stone from a mobile phone being just that, a phone - but with internet capabilities, it changed the game and laid the groundwork for the smartphone as we know it today. The story behind the BlackBerry is quite interesting, but not in a "let's have a car chase through the streets of Moscow" kind of way, like in Tetris. It's interesting in terms of how businesses operate, with themes of culture, market understanding, and ego permeating the story. Though Jay Baruchel's wig in the latter half of the movie is off-putting, the cast is stellar. Matt Johnson, who plays Doug and also directs and co-writes, is brilliant as one of the most irritating people I've seen on screen, until the penny drops and his performance is revealed as sheer brilliance.
The film is shot in a documentary style, with a handheld camera, muted colour palette, and enough swear words that you'll need to listen to a Disney soundtrack afterwards. It's paced just enough that the film never feels too long. I have to admit, when all the cast sit and watch Steve Jobs unveil the iPhone, a moment that seals their fates, I got chills. And to top it all off, there's Michael Ironside.
BlackBerry is not yet listed for UK release (likely to go straight to streaming), but it is now playing in US and Canadian cinemas.
🍔 advice for losing weight
Though I've seen some success in weight loss, I'm feeling like I'm starting all over again this week. On Wednesday morning, I weighed and measured myself, expecting bad news. To my surprise, I had only gained 4.5kg (about 10lbs). For my height and build, I'm quite pleased.
I had taken over 25,000 steps some days, but not enough to offset the extra calories I had consumed. So, I'm now in weight loss mode, tracking diligently. I've started to slowly increase my protein intake and added creatine to my diet.
I'm aiming for 2100 calories a day, with 200g of protein. This will put me in a small deficit before I add in any activity. I'm doing three strength training sessions a week, plus a weekly run to help shed the excess fat. My goal for December 1st is a flat stomach and unassisted pull-ups (I can do one now). I'll weigh and measure myself each Thursday morning.
My advice for anyone wanting to lose weight:
- Don't rush it, you'll put it straight back on.
- Don't starve yourself.
- Track everything. Use MyFitnessPal or Nutracheck.
- Move more. Take a 10-minute walk.
- Know your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). Use an online calculator and deduct 10%. That's your calorie goal.
- Don’t underestimate the benefits of strength training. Getting to the gym is scary and it’s both a time and financial commitment. I made this video a few months after I started outlining what I’d learned. This was going to be the start of a regular update (but no one watched it) - This was the last video I made on my weight loss journey before pivoting to travel content. (But that’s a story for another day)
🎧 listen to this podcast
Stumbling across new podcasts to listening to, is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because this podcast episode that I’m about to recommend is fantastic, and a curse because there are so many hours in the day and I often find myself falling behind on shows that I really enjoy. The School of Greatness, covers topics from heath, mindset and business (to name a few) and in this episode, guest Sal Di Stefano (who also has a podcast, Mind Pump, talks about our relationship with both food and also with exercise. In a world where social media blurs the lines between what’s fact and what’s fiction this episode covers everything from why 90% of of gain weight back that they have lost, appropriate training and rest, discipline and motivation. They also talk about an interesting study which found that people who consume processed foods and inadvertently increasing their calorie load by 600+ per day.
why am I recommending this?
When it comes to weight loss, fitness, training everyone has an opinion. But I had to learn very quickly to tune out a lot of the ‘advice’ that I was given. This is because the advice I was being given was bad advice. That’s bad advice for me. Because everyone is different and we all react differently to the activities that are mentioned in this podcast. For example, one of the key takeaways for me is how Stefano outlines how our body can adapt to burning calories during exercise. Also how strength training (building muscle) improves our metabolism. This explains how I was able to only put on 4.5kg in the previous month, whereas during a 6 day trip to Malaga in 2022, I put on 2kg (Before I started strength training).
🎧 listen to this podcast too
Once again, I’m recommending another episode of Huberman Lab. Having only discovered Huberman a short while ago, it’s fast becoming one of my favourites and with the average run-time of 2.5hours, it’s a great companion for long walks when I need to get my step count up.
My body clock is a total mess at the moment, so the other night, rather than lay in bed staring at the ceiling and hating life, I was scrolling through some older episodes of this podcast that I’d yet to listen too.
The topic of intermittent fasting is a prickly one, I read James Smiths’ Not A Diet Book (I’d highly recommend it) and though Smith doesn’t discount the effectiveness of intermittent fasting, nor deny it - he, like myself, often see it as an unsustainable form of weight loss, or fat loss (which is what we really want).
In this solo podcast, Huberman speaks at length, from a scientific, evidence based, perspective of what a fasted state really is, when it starts (and it’s not as soon as you’ve had your last bite) and when is the most appropriate time to begin your fast. Though he does caveat a lot of his points. It’s actually shifted my opinion of fasting for fat loss. He is clear about what can break and not break a fast (water and black coffee is fine) and he references different studies, including this one, to back up his claims. But is it a practice that I’m going to take up? I doubt it. But I know a lot of people do intermittent fasting as a form of controlling caloric intake and I think that those who do will benefit massively from the teachings in this podcast.
When I listen to podcasts, I use the app Snipd, which I’ve talked about in this newsletter before. It allows you to ‘snip’ the previous minute or two and saves them for later. For me as a blogger and PKM enthusiast, this really is a huge help. With this episode I snipped 36 clips. There is simply so much to cover. What I will do is write a separate summary of the episode in a blog soon. In the meantime you can listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify
So this week and next tbh has been all about getting back into my old routine and rebuilding my broken habits from before the wedding. I have a few blogs that are nearly ready to go, but they have been paused as my mental capacity was at its limit. However next week you can expect a flurry of writing on both the Not Entirely Boring website and also Medium. I’m going to start time blocking to allow myself an uninterrupted hour each day dedicated to writing and improving writing quality and focus.
📺 youtube updates
Finally, I'm editing! It's my favourite part of creating YouTube content, but also the most challenging. When I started 18 months ago, I'd include footage I liked, but it didn't always serve the theme or point of the video. Now, I'm being strict and removing anything that doesn't contribute. I want the videos to be no more than 10 minutes and the editing to be tight and punchy. Fair warning on this first video, Glen and I were jet lagged when we filmed it, so bear with us! In the background, there's a lot of footage that needs stabilising, so each video will be released every two weeks starting on the evening of Friday, May 26th. We'll be reviewing Circa Hotel and Casino from a 40+ perspective. Make sure you're subscribed and hit the notification bell to get a ping when it's published.
🚭 smoking is banned on planes. so why the ashtrays?
For years now It has really bugged me and once again this week, on my flight back to the UK, I was in the toilet and once again I came face to face with an ashtray. I then came to learn that the reason why airplanes are required to have ashtrays in their toilets is to prevent fires caused by cigarette butts. While smoking has been banned on commercial flights for decades, there have still been instances of passengers attempting to smoke in the lavatory. If a passenger were to improperly dispose of a cigarette butt, it could potentially start a fire in the trash bin.
To mitigate this risk, the FAA mandates that all commercial airplanes must have a functioning ashtray in each toilet. This way, if a passenger does attempt to smoke, they have a safe and designated place to extinguish their cigarette. The ashtray also ensures that any lit cigarette can be properly disposed of without posing a fire hazard.
According to chat-take-it-with-a-grain-of-salt-GPT, in 2019, there were 142 reported incidents of smoking on planes. Anyway, I found this little fact to be not entirely boring.
💻 pkm and timeblocking
Staying with the theme of health and fitness, I’ve been working on consolidating my digital life. I’ve already moved my writing and YouTube organisation and stuff over to Tana, and now I’m focusing on my fitness tracker. I’ve been using this early template in excel for a while now, and I gotta say, it’s not working as well as I want it to. Some of the formulas are broken, and I’ve had to manually add stuff to the top sheet, which was supposed to autofill everything. Plus, there are 65 tabs in the sheet, which is way too many. But I’m determined to get it working the way I need it to and I really think that Tana is going to solve this problem.
Anyway, I was thinking that if I can get it all sorted out in the next couple of weeks, I’ll make the template available for free to Tana users who subscribe to this newsletter for a limited time, so keep an eye out for that!
Speaking of time, of which I have found I have very little of, I’m back to time blocking my life. Seems like an extreme way to get things done, but over the next few weeks it’s probably the best way to get myself back into a routine. (At least before the next cruise in September).
🗣️quote of the week
Bottom line: be yourself. It’s exhausting if you’re not. And if you get enough people to dislike you, you’ll be left with a new bunch of people who love you for who you really are.
James Smith, Not A Diet Book
This quote was resurfaced using Readwise. You can get two months of Readwise for free with this link.
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