Wonder Woman

It’s late at night so I am going to be random and even less cogent than usual…

I just watched the latest Wonder Woman movie from DC and its selected film partners and have a few random thoughts.

Outfit

Hated the way the new outfit looked in Batman vs Superman, okay not really hated as I thought it was pretty sexy but is that what we really wanted to display, is that the image we should associate with a female here?[1] I felt they used it to satisfy a desire and not a need. So hated it as it just was a pander (or a Panda).

So to set this straight I don’t mind good looking people and sexy clothing I just want the association to be appropriate.

In contrast the way the camera is used here, the manner in which we linger on the lead is not in a predatory manner. Diana was sexy, the outfit was good, the camera wasn’t a voyeur for once, so well done. Pay particular attention to where the focus lingers and compare it with say Suicide Squad or Batman Vs Superman.

Script

Would give it both a 5 out of 5 and a 3 out of 5. yup it had issues, so lets settle on a 4.372 out of 5. Where it was good it was really good and the rest of the time it ticked the boxes. Not sure what happened as there was nothing specific it just didn’t have the right impact which is a shame as some bits were stand out ace.

Direction

I would have done things differently and there were points where I wanted things to be shown in a different way. It took me until near the end of the movie to realise the issue I was having. The director was clearly learning the medium and wasn’t ticking the usual boxes, so they were not the problem, maybe I was. It was fine and nicely rounded. The director knew when to emphasise and when to hold back and let the story take control. Solid and very professional.

Actors

Some didn’t have enough to do.

Some were given less than the best lines – see script

Some needed more screen time and some just seemed ensemble cast for a single arc story  (the leads had all the work to do).

However the focus on the leads was great and both of them were good, very strong and reliable performances.

Overall

Deserves its praise.

Some people will hate it and I could have long discussions why.

Yes, if you want to discuss gender narratives I think this film has something to say but I am not going to discuss that much here or say whether it is a positive or a negative, and I doubt I care to be trolled into giving a long answer as I’d need to re-watch it and think about it and my time is limited.

It is worth watching.

It is worth thinking about.

Aside from the overt hype, it is very worthy of recognition on a number of fronts.

It pisses on the rest of the recent DC films (Superman, Batman Vs Superman, Suicide Squad) .[2]

[1] No this doesn’t mean that women can’t be smart and sexy. No I don’t think that women need to be ordinary and portrayed as less than any image they choose. No I am not indicating anything other than what we are generally fed. No I don’t care to discuss this any more than what I just said in a vague hand gesturing way.

[2] However I don’t think that is that hard as I don’t rate these movies much above popcorn and low brow analysis fodder. And in parts cringing fucking awfulness. But they are very stylised, expensively so.

Ranking up Achievements

If by now you are getting bored of me talking about hitting fitness goals and my achievements this year you might want to give up now. Though you’d miss all the pretty graphs…

For those of you still here this blog post is all about the recent achievements.

Yearly Goal

At the start of the year( well actually a few days into it but that’s just because I don’t do New Year resolutions at midnight on the 31st I think through and make sure I want to do them after a few days) I set a goal, I wanted to beat the last recent low weight I had in 2014 which was 3 stone less than the weight I was at the start of this year (I was 18 stone 1 lb at the start of the year and my previous best was 15 stone 1 lbs).

I did that about 2 months ago, so I set a new goal. I wanted to hit by the end of the year the healthy weight band that the NHS has for my age/height. By now you should have guessed it, I did it:

This is the first time that I know of (so my living memory) where I have achieved this. I am a Healthy Weight. So I have a new goal which is about 12-14lbs under this weight and that is a lifetime goal and one to keep and maintain. I reckon I should do it for the end of the year but earlier would be nice.

Challenges

I also wanted to get more active and a good benchmark for that is to be vigorously active for 25% of the time I move around. This would be either fast walking, cycling or other exercise. That was a big challenge as it a big percentage of the active part of a days movement.

However I thought this was a goal that can be achieved, the easy way to do it would just be to walk a lot more energetically, this will be recorded by Google Fit as jogging/running. Of course that energetic state is not just swift walking it is ‘fast’ walking which is a semi-jogging pace.

I passed this as well, in fact I passed it so much I am more vigorously active than just active – I run more than I walk.

It’s also nice to note that I pass 500,000 steps in a couple of months and come close on others, which puts my daily average at about 17,300 steps.

Another thing I have started to do is to accept fitness challenges from friends and on various apps. These work out well for me as I am fairly competitive so I can be pushed, it is also nice to win for a change (at school I was generally last and considered amongst the wets/weirdos/fatties – I pretty much was in all 3 of those categories judging by the nicknames and insults hurled).

This was the most recent challenge, a Mon-Fri event. It was helped by the fact that I ran 10K each morning and ran at 4 lunches with either Leigh or Tom (names and images are purposefully blurred and Leigh and Tom were not in this challenge ­čśë ).

Heart Health

My family has a history of poor heart health. My maternal grandfather and father both died in their 50s from heart attacks and my mother has suffered with Angina, my sister has a congenital heart defect. So having 3 young kids and being very overweight and approaching 50 I was suddenly filled with a lot of concern.

My blood pressure was high (125-142/80-90) showing signs of hypertension starting and my resting heart rate was averaging 75-82. I couldn’t go upstairs without being slightly breathless from the weight and fast breathing.

When I started with a fitbit heart tracker I was ‘Average’ for the heart tracking, by that point I had been exercising for close to 3 months, I was likely at ‘Poor’ to ‘Fair’ when I started. This week I was happy to sneak into ‘Excellent’ though two days later I dropped .3 points and went back to 49.2 and just ‘Very Good’ – but at the top end of that.

As you can see my resting heart rate is now around 60, though it hovers between 56-63. My last blood pressure check I was at 110/65 and I average 107-122/63-81 dependent on the time of the day and what I am doing.

All in all I am feeling happy about my health. Since December I have lost 4 stone 9 lbs (65lbs/29.484Kg) and this year it is 4 stone 7 lbs (63lbs/28.576Kg) so my current weight is 13 stone 6lbs (188lbs/85.275Kg).

 

Goal Stats

This is an update to the post on this year’s goals that I published back in March. One of the goals I set for the year was to lose weight. I have been working hard to achieve this goal and it has taken considerable will power. I have:

  • Started exercising on most days, in fact I run┬áalmost every morning.
  • Watch how much I eat by counting the food intake, but sticking to sensible limits as defined from the NHS website (no calorific reduction to approved intake – 2250 calories) – I use the myfitness app.
  • Changed my diet to have a lot more fruit, vegetables, fish and fewer sugary foods.
  • Try to get a balanced diet of fats/carbs/proteins, again no specific Ketogenic/Atkinsons or Paleo stuff, just balanced eating using the myfitness app. to┬ámonitor.
  • Reduced my alcohol intake and switched from Lager/Cider and predominately white wine to real ales, red wine and spirits with low calorie mixers.

So what are the stats so far I hear you cry. Well I have a few for you that I would like to list.

Stats

136 ┬á– ┬áDays Counted

Weight

18st 1lb/114.759kg ┬á– ┬ástarting weight

14st 3lb/90.265kg – current weight

3st 10lb (52lb)/24.5kg – weight lost

32.9 – Starting BMI (Obese)

26.8 – Current BMI (Overweight – but not by much)

The loss of close to 4 stone (26kg) feels great.

Body Measurements

Body Part / Starting / Current
(all measurements in Inches as the British are random like that)

Neck / 19.5 / 15.9

Chest / 48.6 / 42.5

Waist / 45.5 / 36.5

Hips / 44 / 41

So I have taken a huge 8 inches or 20cm from my waist, which I am very happy about.

As mentioned above I run on most days and walk a lot more than I did last year. An average month last Autumn saw me doing between 220 – 260,000 steps or between 8 – 10,000 steps a day – which is okay but I do like walking and try to whenever I can.

This year I have increased that by about 50%, in fact I have a couple of charts for you to look at below.

My average daily step count is between 17-20,000 steps now which is about double from the previous year. You might notice that the column which shows the percentage of my step count from running has increased from below one fifth to about one third of my monthly average. A last couple of stats I want to share with you are to do with the step count and specifically the running.

When I started in January I could manage to run for 2-3 minutes before being very out of breath with a heart rate that was high. I wear a heart monitor and regularly check my stats so I can give these now:

January

Heart Rate (running): 172-185

Speed: 8-8.5Kmph

Resting Heart Rate: 78-83

Blood Pressure: 135-145 over 85-98 – avg 132 over 86
(Very high end of acceptable, this was bad but it was still lower than last October where I was actually hypertense all the time)

SPO2: 95-97% – avg 96%

Distance: 3.5Km in 36mins
(walking and running 22 mins walk to 16 mins run)

May

Heart Rate (running): 155-162

Speed: 9.2-10.5 Kmph

Resting Heart Rate: 61

Blood Pressure: 115 over 83 avg.

SPO2: 98-100% – avg 99%

Distance: 6.3Km in 41mins
(walking and running 5 mins walk to 36 mins run)

I have managed to complete the Couch to 5K challenge, can run with a steady pace that makes me breathe fast and a little breathless but I am not out of breath. I have done a few longer runs of 45-55mins in length and managed 8-9.5 Km before feeling too tired to continue.

I never thought I would run as long and as steady and have until now never run as far. My longest run that I can recall, even as a child, was 25mins and I completed about 3.3 Km.

And a final piece is a couple of photos. The first was me in December:

 

And this is me about 2 weeks ago with my youngest child.

Feeling pretty different and a lot happier about my weight.* And there have been lots of nice comments about how I look, my favourite was only yesterday.

‘You have gone from the respectable looking businessman who likes his lunches to a wiry goat’ (Thanks Kay ­čÖé ).

-Exunt: Chased by a bear**

*Which makes up for all the other sadness I feel at the moment which I mentioned in 2 previous posts Doughnut 1 and Doughnut 2.

** At least these days I might be able to out-distance the bugger.

 

 

What Words to Use?

This question recently plagued me when I reviewed in my head a conversation I had with Ben.

‘Daddy, what’s that?’

‘It’s a chimera.’

‘Oh.’

‘Do you know what a chimera is?’

‘No.’

‘Can you say chimera?’

‘Camira.’

‘Close enough, a chimera is an amalgam of two or more creatures.’

‘Oh. Why?’

‘Well sometimes you have to represent more than one facet. Do you know what amalgam is?’

‘No.’

‘It is a mix.’

‘Is it a mix creature?’

‘Yes.’

So part of my dilemma was should I have used the word mix creature to start with. But a small conversation with myself later and I realised a couple of things:

1. I was using terminology that he will benefit from knowing and understanding.

2. We drilled down to a meaningful state for him, which is deductive steps, another useful skill.

3. He created the term mix creature, I referred to the amalgam as a mix not the chimera.

So the word usage broadened a range of skills, and basically I worry too much and over-analyse everything. Still, advanced stuff mix creatures for a child under four.