Welcome to my launch of working on myself in 2024 using my spreadsheet. I am focusing on yet another 12-week fitness challenge to see if I can lose the last of my weight while enhancing my physical prowess.

I know that 12 weeks really isn’t a lot of time in the grand scheme of things. But I’m also curious as to what a 47-year-old desk jockey can do within three months. While I do spend far too much time sitting at my desk, the idea is to demonstrate what can happen when you put in effort to reach your physical and mental goals.

And yes, your mental state is just as vital to survival as your physical fitness. In fact, I would go so far as to say that without being mentally in the game, it’s less likely you’ll succeed at any goals. I’m a big proponent for mental health, so make sure you’re taking care of your mind before you even consider picking up a dumbbell.

Let’s Check Out the Spreadsheet

There are quite a few things I am keeping track of in this 12-week fitness challenge. Calories in, calories out, food macros, physical activity, and the amount of weight I’m lifting make up the majority of what I’m tracking.

The overall plan is to keep every day “in the green.” This means that I am under my calorie intake goals according to my Net 600 Calorie Diet. Any numbers that are highlighted in yellow represent actual data that has been collected.

If you see a red box, that is a day when I didn’t record those elements, such as if I forgot to track my food.

The current day will usually start off with yellow boxes until the next morning. That’s when I tally up my intake against my output and whether MyFitnessPal records that I was under my calorie goals.

Weekly Updates

I decided to add a bit more to this page than just the spreadsheet. Below is my weekly journal regarding the progress of my most recent weight loss journey. In case you’re curious, this is how I progressed through the fitness challenge.

  • Starting 12-Week Fitness Challenge – Going for a Summer Bod
    Perhaps the most difficult part of losing weight and starting a fitness journey is being in the right headspace. If you’re not feeling it for any reason, you’ll wind up restarting or giving up. It’s your mentality that makes the biggest difference.
  • Week 1 of 12: Gained 3.2 Pounds, But Not Really
    I was doing quite well throughout most of the week keeping the calories green. But I decided to give myself a weekend off as the plan was to do some drinking and play some games. Since I’m not going to Utah, I figured it would be a nice mini-vacation.
  • Week 2 of 12: Time to Take This Seriously! Again…
    Well, here we are; two weeks into my latest fitness challenge and I’m not really challenging myself. It kind of defeats the purpose of creating a challenge if you don’t have any intention of seeing it through, right?
  • Week 3 of 12: Gaining Some Easter Weight
    This last weekend was Easter, and I gorged myself a bit on its goodness. At first, I was going to try to be good and record everything I ate. Then I thought, “Why?” As long as I go back to maximum effort, it’s all good…it’s a holiday, after all.
  • Week 4 of 12: Still Struggling, But Not Giving Up!
    This last week was a bit of a struggle. I’m not exactly sure how or why I fell apart, but I still lost 1.6 pounds from the week before. So, I suppose I can still call that a win despite being heavier than when I started this challenge.
  • Week 5 of 12: Trouble Gaining a Foothold
    Every Monday, I get a sense of invincibility and that I can take on the world. Yet, the universe says, “Hold my beer,” and tosses everything at me at once. Still, I’ll keep trying to gain a foothold no matter how many orcs are in my way!
  • Week 6 of 12: Still Spinning the Tires in the Mud
    Well, so far, I haven’t made any headway in trying to get myself kickstarted for this latest challenge. However, I think I made some progress from a mental perspective. At least, more than I have in the past.
  • Weeks 7 & 8 of 12: Fighting to Keep Myself Afloat
    The past couple of weeks have been exceptionally difficult. I thought I had things zeroed-in but was grossly mistaken. Now, I’m on the fence about starting over and putting in maximum effort.
  • Week 9 of 12: Still Not Getting a Good Flow Going
    As you might have guessed, I’m still not getting my poop in a group. I could say that it’s because of the sheer amount of stress I’m under. Or, I could say that it’s because I’m hitting 48 this year. But, the truth is that I’m still having a hard time getting into gear overall.

How Does This Spreadsheet Work?

Every day, I am going to weigh myself using the Renpho scale I mention below. I also record calories in from MyFitnessPal and calories out from Fitbit data. The spreadsheet then calculates the data to deliver an estimated weight loss routine.

This is also basing the data on a pound of fat equating to 3,500 calories. Of course, this is a very rough estimate because everyone will have a different level of burn. But for me, it’s relatively close, so this is a good representation of how well I lose fat.

I’m also tracking average protein, carbs, and fats. I am curious to see just how much of a difference there is in day-to-day weight loss depending on the types of food I eat. Plus, I am working on adding more protein to my day due to how active I am.

I also added the total weight lifted in pounds as well as several methods of cardio that I’ll use. For instance, gaming with the Xbox, time using the Oculus, cycling, and even using the Zaaz.

The numbers that are already added without a colored box are averages based on the previous days and weeks. This also helps get a more accurate estimation of how much I’ll weigh by the end of the challenge including body fat percentage.

What Am I Using to Collect the Data?

For this challenge, I am using:

  • MyFitnessPal – This free app lets you track every morsel of food you eat. It’s great for showing you just how many carbs, calories, proteins, and fats you consume on any given day.
  • Fitbit Charge 5 – I’ve been a huge fan of Fitbit since the days of getting my Charge 2. The data from Fitbit will show my calorie burn for any given day.
  • Google Docs – Obviously, I’m using Google to show the spreadsheet. Normally, I use LibreOffice for this kind of stuff. But, I can embed the sheet from Google directly into the blog.
  • Renpho Fitness Scale – The Renpho Fitness Scale I use also measures body fat percentage and a variety of other biometric data.
  • Xbox Kinect – I’ll be playing a lot of Xbox over the next few months. I want to get back into testing the effectiveness of certain games in terms of calorie burn.
  • Oculus Quest 2 – I’m curious about calorie burn in VR as opposed to the Kinect.
  • Planet Fitness – I am a big fan of using weight machines. In fact, I’ve made significant progress in muscle development and definition.

If you want to follow along, the only two absolute tools I would suggest are MyFitnessPal and a fitness tracker that monitors calorie burn. There are a few you can pick up from places like Walmart, Walgreens, or even Amazon.

The idea is to make sure you’re burning more than you’re consuming.

Tackling 2024 After a Rough January

I initially started a 12-week fitness challenge on January 1st. Unfortunately, I had a few things get in my way, including myself. However, I am refocusing my efforts to see if I can complete this damn thing without a single day in the red.

Here we are; starting yet again on February 5th instead.

I’m relatively certain that I won’t be able to get down below 210 pounds. That’s mostly because I am already kind of a big guy and have been adding more muscle mass than I thought I would.

So, I will probably have to change my focus about halfway through this challenge…that is as long as I maintain my diet and exercise goals each week. Originally, I wanted to be under 200 pounds. But at 6′ tall with as much muscle as I have, I doubt that will happen now.

That’s OK, though, because I already have a tentative plan to work on body fat percentage instead once I get below 215. I always have a backup plan.

This year, I intend to start working more on cycling and stamina as I would love to cross the state of Colorado in 2025 on a bicycle. And although I’ve made some great headway losing more than 80 pounds, I don’t believe I have the umph to ride 280 miles in three days just yet.

Results from My 12-Week Fitness Challenge Spreadsheet

As this specific challenge is currently in progress, I don’t have a lot of insights into the results just yet. Though, the plan is to use the data to write a few blog posts and perhaps a few videos.

Once the challenge is completed, though, I will update this page with my experiences.

Can I Finish This 12-week Fitness Challenge?

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve tried this challenge. But this time, I’m feeling pretty good and can’t wait to see what I can turn myself into over the next few months.

Using the spreadsheet above, let’s see if I can collect some viable data to prove a few points. Especially when it comes to demonstrating how steady-state cardio is still a good way to lose fat and how some “influencers” are full of shit.