Web Development and Health

Web development and health

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I can recall two distinct periods of change in my life that led to weight gain.

One period was when I stopped playing football as a teenager, the other was when I moved into an office-based job.

Reduction in Activity

Around the age of 16, I suddenly went from training once a week and playing on a Sunday to nothing at all.

That reduction in activity coupled with no longer partaking in lunchtime kickabouts with friends at school meant I put some weight on quickly.

I was still growing back then and never really monitored how heavy I was so I couldn’t put any exact numbers on how much weight I put on. I remember fitting into 32-inch waist trousers was just a no-go though so I imagine I put on a couple of stones (about 30 lbs for anyone that prefers that measurement) back then.

When I was working in retail, from the age of about 18 – 33, it was straightforward to lose a few lbs. I could just reduce my food intake and because of the physical nature of the job I was obviously burning lots of calories and the weight would drop off. It was not uncommon to lose 4 – 8 lbs in a week if I was ‘dieting’.

While I was never slim, I was always able to manage my weight to a level I was comfortable with and I took this for granted when I moved into a tech job.

We often throw away phrases like ‘I’ve been on my feet all day’ when talking about how busy we’ve been at work.

In retail, this can be literally true, especially for managers. Well, maybe 90-95% of the working day anyway.

I’ve inserted some screenshots of my google fit stats below. The first screenshot shows how I did 25,438 steps in a single day. This would be when I was working nights at Sainsburys.

In a recent week in my current web development role, I managed a paltry 22,310 steps. I used to do more steps than this in a single day in retail!

Moving into Tech

Moving into tech, for the first time in my career I found the exact opposite to be true. Unless I was making a coffee or something I would be sat down at a desk.

I didn’t think about it at all at the time, but my calories burnt would drop massively.

I had no discernible hobbies that would offset the drop in calorie burn either. My time was being spent at work, 9 – 5 Monday to Friday.

In the evenings I would be studying or taking my son to football training.

The weight started to pile on.

I can say that I was often weighing myself around the time I first started working as a developer. I would have been about 15st or so (210 – 220 lbs). Somewhere in that range.

I still had a couple of years of studying for my part-time degree left, so spare time was at a premium.

I noticed weight going on almost immediately but just ignored it really. Within 2 years of office life, I was up to about 270 lbs and it was so easily done.

I had my dream job in web development and health was taking a backseat.

So what is the lesson? Well, if you are going to move careers into a job that is much less active. You really need to be active outside of your job or adjust your diet accordingly.

I’m currently embarking on the path back to some sort of healthy weight and lifestyle.

Adjusting my Diet and Adding Physical Activity

To help me achieve that, I am adjusting my diet and adding physical activity back into my life.

Football is something I’ve always enjoyed and Man V Fat Football has offered me a way back into playing.

They have leagues throughout the country so if this is something that might interest you it’s worth having a look at the website for your nearest league.

You get rewarded for doing things such as tracking your food, as well as losing weight each week.

If you can do these things, you can get a goal bonus on the pitch! The weekly weigh-ins also keep you accountable.

I love it and would encourage anyone to do it if they have a football interest and want to get back into playing.

I’m also starting to get involved in a casual football match with friends after work, to push myself up to two football sessions per week.

It will be demanding, but the mental boost I feel afterwards is 100% worth it.

In addition to this, I’ve decided I am going to learn to skateboard. Yes, me a 38-year-old overweight Brit is going to skate about at the weekend.


First tiktok, first time attempting to learn to ride a skateboard #Skaterdads #trysomethingnew

♬ Snap (Remix) – Rivaldo Wohon
Here is me skateboarding for the first time in about 30 years!

My daughter got a board for Xmas and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do so it’s an ideal opportunity to bond with her and learn something new.

After one session I can confirm it really gives you a good core workout!

When it comes to the diet aspect, I have cut out eating breakfast.

While I know this will not work for everybody, I find that eating breakfast actually makes me feel hungrier earlier.

So technically I suppose I’m intermittent fasting, with my window to eat between 12 pm-8 pm.

For lunch at work, I’m using Huel as a meal replacement. It’s a nutritionally complete meal that I can make in seconds and consume as I take a short work on my break. I then have a normal dinner.

For anyone interested in trying Huel I do recommend the started bundle that is shown in the image. You get to sample the full range which includes:

  • Premixed shakes
  • Protein bars
  • Hot food mix
  • Shake mix

I have a referral code which you can use to save £10 off an order for you and me!


Huel Delivery

So what is the point of this blog post? Well, I suppose it’s to point out the obvious point that I was blind to during my own career change.

If you don’t adapt your lifestyle to suit a more sedentary job, you will feel the health consequences.

Of course, there are small things you can do at work to help stay healthier as mentioned in this Guardian article

Outside of office hours and weekends are your opportunity to make a big difference though.

Web development and health don’t have to be opposing forces, and I’m going to try and prove that to myself.

I hope this was totally irrelevant to you. However, if you need to make a change. There is no better time than now.


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