Tuesday, March 22, 2011

AT&T buying T-mobile is a bad idea.

There are currently 4 large wireless providers.  AT&T has agreed to purchase T-Mobile for 39 Billion.  You've no doubt read about this in many other places. 

There is a good breakdown of the pros and cons of the merger from Tim Karr

Here's a few thoughts I have about it.
1. The merger is guaranteed to cost people jobs.  Practically all T-Mobile stores and kiosks will be put out of business, in favor of already existing AT&T stores and kiosks.  Many of the admin and support staff that perform the same function at the two companies will end up being cut from T-Mobile, because there is already someone to do that at AT&T. 

2. AT&T worked real hard to brag about how 95% of the country was already covered by their network when Verizon was pointing out that it has better coverage of 3G than AT&T.  T-Mobile will not increase the amount of coverage that AT&T has.

3. T-Mobile uses a different technology than AT&T, so the fact that more towers will be in the same area will not increase the bandwidth available for AT&T customers.

What I believe this actually comes down to is that AT&T is buying the customers that T-Mobile has.  When there is enough competition in the market this is not an issue, because the customer that didn't want service with AT&T in the first place and went to a competitor can just leave AT&T and do it again.   This time however I'm not sure they will be able to.   T-Mobile has historically been the cheapest wireless provider which has drawn in many price conscious consumers.   Now those same people will be tied to AT&T with the cheapest option off the table when looking to leave.  They will be forced to pay more.

I'm sure I'm not the only one asking this, but are those customers worth $39 Billion?  Is that a good price to pay for that many wireless customers?   I expect a percentage to leave, my guess is that between 25% and 50% of them will leave as soon as their contract is up.  Anyone whose contract runs out between now and the merger may already jump ship and choose a different provider.  

Would the $39 Billion be better spent upgrading the 4G network?  Isn't that enough money to cover the entire country in 4G?  Doesn't the 4G network stem the tide of customers already leaving and open the doors to new customers looking for faster service?   Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know what's going on behind closed doors, I don't know for sure what happens in those meetings.  An invest and be the best strategy is a slow way to get customers.  However, it pays to be the leader, to be the best.  Those are the things that keep customers longer.   Retention is cheaper than earning new customers, and I have a feeling that AT&T is going to lose in the retention battle.   It may jump out in front with a big purchase of customers, but it will also have $39 billion less to invest in improvements, which just means that they will leave.   

Verizon, I think you've got it right.  Continue to invest in improving your network and stay better on price than AT&T, many of these customers will be yours, and when they are, they will stick around.

Diet - Week 4

The slow carb portion of my diet is completely gone.  I have continued eating healthier.  My breakfast is still for the most part carb free.  I've found that I am full longer when I don't eat toast or cereal at breakfast time.

My lunches and dinners are still low in carbs.  I've cut bread except for once a week subway night.  I've gotten used to eating soups without any crackers.  That's probably huge considering I used to eat an entire sleeve of Ritz with a bowl of soup. I did have nachos one night, and I had a DQ blizzard on Sunday, which is not a cheat day. I'm still trying to keep all soda out of my diet.  I've started drinking green tea during the day.  I haven't had a craving for the carbonation like I used to have.  I don't think the green tea is doing that, but that has been what I've started drinking in place of diet pepsi.

In line with the 4-Hour Body I'm fine with my calories fluctuating and not being the same every day.  Since I'm not on board with basically using laxatives on my cheat day to make sure all of my extra food is gotten rid of I've decided that my cheat day is bigger than a normal day, but I won't let myself eat just as much of anything as I can.  I have let myself eat any types of food without concern on that day, just not to an absurd quantity.

I have continued to try and work in more exercise.  I'm trying to use muscle building as a way to make me stronger and look better.  I used to be a running machine, and I still love and want to run, but I am trying to do more with weights than cardio.  I'm sort of following the minimal workout to biuld muscle that is listed in the 4-Hour Body.  I'm pushing myself to max for shoulder press, pull downs, leg press, and bench press.  I've definitely been pushing hard because my muscles ache for days after a hard workout.   As the weather has gotten nicer I'm also trying to get out and do more outside.   Sunday for example I took the kids to the park and ran for about 15 minutes.  I'm not sure how long it was, but it felt good.

Today was another weigh-in day.  I still have not had a big drop in weight.  However it's down another pound.  In 4 weeks I'm only down 4 pounds, however, I'm down 6 inches total, and 2 of those are from my waist.

I'm happy that progress is still moving in the right direction.  My plan for the next week is to eat well, exercise well, and drop 2 pounds.  It would be the first 2 pound drop in weight, but I'm going to see if I can make it happen.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Slow Carb diet - Week 3

I am no longer following the slow carb diet strictly.   I interpret that as a good thing though.    The purpose of the 4-Hour Body is to experiment with your body.  I have been eating much less white carbs.   I have had a few sandwiches, but not any toast by itself.    I have only had pasta on cheat day.  

For the most part breakfast still consists of eggs, onion, beans (red, black, or pinto), spinach, and peppers.   I find that when I eat a nice breakfast of this stuff I'm full all the way until lunch without needing a snack.   I also have been feeling very much awake with this as my food.

I have cut most soda out of my diet.   I occasionally have a diet pepsi, or diet mountain dew, but usually only if I'm going to drive.   I have not bought a case of either in over a month.

I am not a caffeine free nut.  I drink coffee every morning, and I will have an occasional cup of tea.

I am trying to include more exercise.   Every Monday my kids go to gymnastics at a gym, and I get to work out when they are there.   I am also trying to get another workout in during the week.

This past week I ran about 3/4 of a mile on Saturday, the first running I've done in a while.  Monday I lifted a few weights and then ran on a treadmill for 15 minutes.

Today is my weigh in.   I've done OK.  I'm only down 1/2 an inch total, but it's all in my waist.  My pants are starting to fit me a little better, instead of me spilling out of them.   I expect that in the next 2 weeks I'll need to start wearing a belt.  That is awesome.    I am also down 2 more pounds.   I'm thinking it was close to 3.  I got on the scale and it teetered back and forth between the two numbers.   I weighed myself several times and each time it teetered on the number.  I decided to go with the more conservative number.   I'd rather be honest about how much I'm losing than lying to myself.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Where I'd like to go

There's not really a reason for this post. It's just a thought that crossed my mind.  

There are places in this world that I would like to visit.  Kind of a travel bucket list.   I'd like to get to all 50 states, but that's only kind of a like to.

I definitely want to get to:

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Brazil, something about Sao Paolo has always interested me.
  • Ireland
  • Greece
  • Germany
There are several more that would be nice, but these are the ones that really have a hold of me somewhere deep inside.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

No more slow carb

Yesterday was the 2 week weigh in.  And although I'm disappointed that I didn't lose more, I'm not giving up on losing weight.  I've just decided to move on from the strict slow carb diet.

My planned changes include adding fruit back into my diet.  I'm not a huge eater of fruit, but I plan on eating it occasionally, the way I did before.   I do still plan on keeping out white carbs as much as possible, no rice, pasta, or bread.   My breakfast of eggs, spinach, beans, and onions has made me feel full until lunchtime.  I plan on keeping this as often as possible.  

I am going to continue getting exercise when I can, and weighing/measuring myself every Tuesday.   I may not lose weight as fast as the Slow Carb diet was preaching, but I already wasn't losing weight like that.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Slow Carb diet - Week 2

Week 2 weigh in was today.  I was looking forward to it.  Week 2 went a lot better for me than week 1 did.  I cheated less throughout the week, I exercised and did a little more than week 1.  I cut almost all diet soda out too.  I even feel better.  I thought this is going to be a good week to weigh-in.

It turns out I am down another 1.75 inches in measurement, but I didn't lose any weight.  Is it just water weight hanging on me?   Did I actually grow enough muscle to offset the measurement differences?   Am I doing something wrong?  

I know that weight is not the only measurement to take into account.  My waist size dropped again, and one of the biggest reasons that I am doing this is because it has gotten too big, but still I want to see the weight number go down too.   I have enough fat to lose that I expected at least something.  I weighed myself 3 times, the same number came up all 3 times.   I don't get it.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Slow Carb cheat day.

This is the first day that I'm actually counting as a cheat day.  I haven't actually been 100% true to the plan so far, but I've been holding mostly true.

I haven't had bread, potatoes, rice, or noodles, except for the one meal out. I did have ice cream twice.  Not the best way to follow the plan.   I also had half an apple one day because my son only wanted half of his.

I had planned on not being too bad on cheat day, but I may have overeaten a little bit.  I wanted to get all my cravings out of the way.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Slow Carb diet - Day 13

Breakfast
I made a scrambled egg concoction again.   This is by far my favorite thing to eat in the morning. I definitely prefer it to the cereal that I used to eat.  I feel full longer, and more awake each day.
Today I sauteed 1 cup of spinach, chopped onion, kidney beans in a non-stick pan with a little cooking spray to prevent it from sticking.   I then added 2 eggs with red pepper flakes and a bit of cayenne pepper.

Lunch
I had a salad with iceberg lettuce, spinach, kidney beans, turkey breast, onion, and a little western dressing.  It's not oil or vinegar based, but I hate those types of salad dressing, so that is one place that I have to compromise with the slow carb diet.   It's not the normal Ranch dressing that I would have used anytime in the past 10 years.
I also had 3 stalks of celery and a handful of baby carrots.

Dinner.
Erin made an awesome stir-fry for dinner tonight, it was amazing.


Tomorrow is the cheat day and I'm looking forward to chips and salsa and Mexican food from Chevy's

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Slow Carb diet

I haven't had an opportunity to blog about my current diet this week.  I will try to wrap up several days into one post.

Monday
I had a good breakfast, eggs and beans.  Lunch was not good.  I had a lunch meeting at work and ate a sub like sandwich with some chips.  After work the kids had gymnastics and we had to run to Menards to pick up a Wardrobe, so dinner was a horribly fatty Frisco burger from Hardees with a medium fry.
I walked on the eliptical for 30 minutes while the kids were in gymnastics.   According to the machine I burned 400 calories.

Tuesday
I weighed in and took my measurements.  After yesterday I am very happy that I did well.
I did really good eating today.  Breakfast was beans and eggs.  Lunch was chili, and dinner was a subway sandwich with a few chips.  I'm a little disappointed that I had bread at dinner.

Wednesday
Another good day.  I had to be at work half an hour early today, so I got up a little earlier to get breakfast and lunch ready.   Breakfast was eggs and beans.  Lunch was left over turkey breast and some frozen veggie mix of carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.  Dinner was an omellete with beans and onions and green pepper.  I also had about 1.5 cups of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.  I had some dessert tonight, a couple of scoops of Moose Tracks ice cream.
I did a set of 10 curls with 30 pounds of weight.
I did a set of 30 squats no weight.

Thursday
Breakfast I had eggs and black beans.   Lunch I had Campbell's vegetable beef soup I took out all of the potatoes and added half a can of black beans to it.  Dinner was a big salad with iceberg lettuce, spinach, yellow pepper, onion, kidney beans, cashews, and chicken breast.  I also added a little Fat Free Western salad dressing.
I did 1 set of pushups to failure with a 5 down and 5 up cadence.  Much slower than I normally do pushups, I think I was at 17 with I couldn't move anymore.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Slow Carb diet - Week 1

Week 1 of the slow carb diet came and went.  I started it on Sunday, but have decided to make Tuesday my weigh-in and measurements.

As far as the slow carb diet officially goes, I'm not going to follow it 100%.    For the first week I was terrible at following it because I was on vacation and ate carbs on about half of the days.  I skipped fries and baked potatoes several times, but I did have some bread.  I did no extra exercise this week at all. Which in case you are curious means I did almost no exercise.

Weight.  Down 1 pound.
Inches. Down 2 inches.
Waist. Down half an inch

I am excited that I was able to make progress in the first week despite eating out for 5 days in a row.  I believe that being more aware of the food I'm putting into my mouth has as much of an effect as removing the white carbs does.

A couple things I've noticed.   Without breads, potatoes, and noodles in my diet I've had less of a sweet tooth.  I have consciously had less diet soda to drink, but I've also had less of a craving for it.   I have increased my water intake to more than 2 liters a day, (I refill a 1 liter bottle and drink it more than twice).  I did lose half an inch from my stomach, but it feels like even more than that.  I feel a lot less bloated than I did before.

I am continuing to read through The 4 Hour Body and plan to start adding more exercise in for Week 2.