Fitbit – Part One

fitbit1a

Remember earlier this year when I posted about my main goal for 2016? I said I would write about the Fitbit once I had it a little longer. Today it is exactly one month since I got this nifty device and I am loving it.

There are a lot of different aspects to the Fitbit, so I am not even going to try and cover them all in the one post. I’ll start off by telling you a little bit about what the Fitbit is, then I will talk about some of the ways that the Fitbit has inspired me to get moving again, and then tell you what I love and do not love about it.

What Is Fitbit?

Fitbit is an activity tracking device. You wear it on your wrist. Depending on which model you choose, it can track other things as well. I wanted to keep an eye on my heart rate especially when exercising, so I chose the Fitbit Charge HR. It cost $124 to purchase in the Boxing Day sales.

Fitbit reports the data it gathers back to your smartphone and/or your computer. You have a dashboard, which contains many different fields, and you can move the fields around to get it looking how you want.

The wrist device itself has a very small LED display which you can tap to switch between the time, steps so far, heart rate, KMs for the day, and calories burned. You can set it so that a flick of your wrist shows you the current time. I deeply love that feature!

Fitbit Makes Me –

Park that bit further away.

When you know you have a daily goal of 10,000 steps, you begin to find opportunities to add them in to your day. There is this local meat place which has a carpark of evilness, so now I park in a street away from the carpark and walk there instead. I discovered that I MUCH prefer this to driving in and trying to find a park and negotiating every other person in the tiny and badly designed carpark.

Get on the treadmill.

I’ve had this treadmill sitting here next to me for over a year now. There were times when I was very disciplined and would get on it every day, and there were times when I ignored it totally. Now I am on it most days, even if only for 15 minutes to get those last few missing steps.

Get out and about.

I’d much rather walk out at Huskisson and Vincentia than on the treadmill. Since the start of 2016, I have managed to get down there on average twice a week, sometimes 3-4 times.

Be Less Rigid

In 2015, I would only get on the treadmill first thing in the morning, before my shower. This meant if I did not feel like exercise then, it would get skipped. Now, with Fitbit, I have all day to get my steps in. If I do not feel like it first thing in the morning, I’ll take a shower, do what I feel like, and get on the treadmill in the afternoon, then take a second shower if I need it. I’ve even exercised as late as 9:30 or 10pm, if I needed more steps.

What I Love About Fitbit –

Convenience –

It is so simple! Wearing this one item on my wrist gives me SO much information about myself and my health, from heart rate at different times of the day right up to how well I slept.

Reminder –

Fitbit is there on my wrist 24/7 reminding me to make better choices – whether it be move more or eat less.

Tap To Know –

Three quick taps at any time of day gets me my current heart rate. This is useful mid-treadmill when I want to see if I am pushing too hard.

Great Workout Tracking

Look at all the info Fitbit collected on my walk today!

walk1

Above is heart rate and which zones you are in during your work out. The very low dips – the first one is where I stretch after doing my slow warm up 2 mins, then there are 2 drink breaks in there.

walk2

Above shows calorie burn, and the impact of his exercise on my day.

Resting Heart Rate

wresting

Fitbit tracks my resting heart rate. You can see it has dropped significantly since I started my journey to fitness on 29 December. You can also see it went back up a little – I had a cold which I was fighting at that time.

What I Don’t Love About Fitbit –

Fitbit Can’t Go Swimming

I have always loved the pool – swimming and aqua aerobics are my first two choices of exercise, even above walking and kayaking. However Fitbit is unable to join me there – which means all the information I rely on when I exercise, like heart rate and calories burned is also unavailable to me.

Fitbit Needs Regular Cleaning

Not that cleaning is a problem for this germophobe, but whenever I do it clean it – usually once a day, twice if necessary – I worry that I might accidentally murder it. Fitbit is splash proof but not water proof.

Fitbit Needs To Be Placed Correctly

In order to measure your heart rate, Fitbit has to be in the right place. Sometimes I have had trouble putting it in the right place or I have bumped it slightly and there goes my heart rate measurements, sometimes for hours because I did not know it wasn’t measuring it. I wish it would beep or flash when it wasn’t picking up my heart rate so I could adjust it.

Fitbit Took Some Getting Used To

wsleepdata

I found sleeping with it on extremely weird to begin with. However, I stuck with it and I got used to it, and I consider the data gained VERY useful – I’ll talk more about the data in another post.

Overall –

I love my Fitbit, and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to get moving. Just remember what I said about lessons learned in my Main Goal post.

exercise, Fitbit, health, Making Choices

My Main Goal For 2016

fitbithr

I have a few things I would like to achieve this year. There is one major goal, though – and it is –

Eat Less, Move More.

This is a pretty simple goal. It needs to happen. My weight has been quietly creeping up to a place I am not a fan of. At the start of January, I weighed in at 95.2kg – (209.88 pounds) – if I let things continue this way, I’d soon be over 100kgs.

The Other Half and I bought ourselves the Fitbit Charge HR for Christmas. We got them on special for $124 each. This little gadget has changed my life in a good way – I will do a post all about it later this month once I have been using it a little longer. Here is a quick look at the dashboard, which you will see in more detail in my upcoming post. :)

fbdashboard

As a part of the Fitbit thing, I’m also tracking my food intake. I was doing it with the inbuilt Fitbit food logging software, but I have now switched to MyFitnessPal. You can find me here – MyFitnessPal & Fitbit.

We bought the Fitbits on Tuesday, so I weigh in on Tuesday mornings and in the first week I lost 1.3kg (2.86 pounds).

stats1

Of course one of the very first things we did was go out for a long walk, during which I managed to pinch a nerve in my foot, making it difficult to get my 10,000 steps a day for that first week. In fact for two days I had to rest and limp about – then I injured it again and had to take another rest day. That has been quite frustrating. However even on a rest day I managed 6468 steps which is pretty decent.

I know I have a couple of readers who have set themselves the same goal and at least one thinking about buying themselves a Fitbit, so here are my lessons learned after one week.

Start Out Slow.

As soon as you get that Fitbit, you’ll want to get moving. However if you do that, you will not have a baseline to know how many steps you would usually do in a day. So my advice the first day is – do what you would do on a regular day.

Be Careful

An injury will hinder your progress and frustrate you, so rather than go all out, ramp up your exercise slowly. If you are not doing 10,000 steps to begin with, aim to add a thousand steps each day.

Work It Out

It is useful to figure out how many steps you get from things you do regularly. For example, if I need to run to the shops, it will be 2,000 steps or so. A shower is usually 200-300 steps – I keep mine on, you don’t have to, of course. Why is this important?

Step Budget

If you know that you have to do grocery shopping tomorrow, and you know that is going to be around 2,000 steps, you might want to cut back on your other activities.

stepswed

For example – I like to get on the treadmill and do a walk but I will always stop around 8,000 steps because I know the rest of my daily doings (dinner, cleaning, etc) will be around 2,000 steps. On the day you see pictured above, we discovered we did not have an essential dinner ingredient, so off to the shops we went – and I went way over on my steps for that day.

Not that going over 10,000 steps is a major problem, but at this stage with the injury I really want to try and stick to 10,000 -11,000 a day.

Sleep Is Interesting

sleepbest

Sleep stats, that is. Above you see one of my best nights of sleep since getting the Fitbit. Interestingly, I had stayed up late reading a truly great book. When I did go to sleep, I was out solidly for 4 hours. I woke up so refreshed the next morning.

sleepok

This sleep was less good but it seems like this is a more normal sleep for me.

Fitbit Thoughts

Why does it seem like this is going to work well for me? Putting this little tracking band on my wrist has inspired me to get moving and watch my food intake. Is it because, in a world where everything can be tracked, tracking the human body tells us more about ourselves? I haven’t logged food to this extent before and I am finding it to suit my Aspie, slightly OCD nature.

Saying It Out Loud

The major reason I am posting this here is to hold myself accountable. There is always the danger I could become complacent and fall off the eat less, move more wagon. I’ll update here once a month.

Over To You

Did you make any goals for 2016? Do you fitbit or myfitnesspal? :)

2016 Goal, exercise, health, Making Choices, moving forward

Update On Everything.

PALEO – EATING

Things have been going well. I have been eating paleo for 23 days now. This will end tomorrow. It simply will not be practical to eat that way while in Sydney. I will not have a lot of control over the amount of sugar in things or the ingredients. And I have been reading about these gelato places for *months* and longing to try them.

This is going to be a very interesting thing, to see how my body handles sugar now. I wonder if I will get an appetite back. I still do not have one.

My intentions are to go back to Paleo when I return home, and start over again.

MEATINESS

I recently mentioned in my food exhaustion post about the huge amounts of meat involved with Paleo. On second thoughts, it is not truly that meaty. I think the reason it seemed like a lot more meat for me is because I did not eat very much of it beforehand. If I did eat meat, 9 times out of 10 it would be chicken.

I certainly didn’t eat things like pork or beef much previous to going Paleo – unless out somewhere and it was served to me as a surprise. An occasional pork roast, tacos with beef, a hamburger or a spaghetti bolognaise were the extent of my experience with those foods. I’m so excited about pork, I am a huge fan of it now. Beef I can take or leave.

I have been cooking meat in bulk which is not something I ever did before, so it seems like a lot more meat in the diet when you put in a 1.5kg (3 pound) pork roast, a 1.5kg beef roast or 4-6 chicken breasts into the pressure cooker. But most of the meals I cook in there I get 8+ meals out of and some of them end up frozen for eating later.

SUGAR OUTAGE

I think the most important thing for me has been cutting out the sugar. I think has changed everything.

I have always been someone who chooses full fat over fat free because I find what they replace the fat with is generally sugar and I have always believed fat is preferable to sugar because our bodies know what to do with it.

But if someone new to paleo was used to eating the low fat stuff, and they had a mindset that fat is bad, it would be a big change in their mindset. Plus, they would be used to getting those sugar highs from the “fat free” sugary food they were eating.

I was going to update you on my teevee watching but I have run out of time and could not get the images to cooperate, so that will come to you as a surprise later. ;)

food, life lessons, Making Choices, paleo

A serious announcement

For those of you reading this blog who are not already aware, I have made a decision some time ago not to breed – I’m not having kids. Why, you ask?

  • I was in the room when my second nephew was born and what I saw happen was extremely scary.
  • My arm still has the bruise from where my sister dug her fingers in during transition.
  • My sister has been breeding quite well – 3 kids already and she’s not yet 30.
  • Perhaps I can convince her to have another one then she can give two to me?
  • The Other Half and I hate being places where kids are allowed to run amok.
  • The Other Half and I would rather work weekends because that means weekdays are generally kid free wherever we choose to go.
  • I cannot STAND anything icky, gooey or not 100% clean.
  • This means I would turn any offspring into a germophobe.
  • I have two cats, these are my babies.
  • So much so that I printed out nice wallet size pictures of them, had them laminated and gave them to my Mum so she can show strangers her grand kids.
  • My sister once let me babysit. She said she would be back in two hours.
  • For two hours I was scared. At two hours and one minute, I was terrified. At three hours and still no sign of her I was ready to pack my belongings and run far, far away. At four hours, I was desperately calling her mobile. Help! HELP NOW!
  • The only reason I survived those four hours was because the other half did most of the baby sitting.
  • Babies become eerily calm in his presence.
  • If I bred, I would have to give my baby to him and go to work while he raised it to four years, at which stage I would be happy to take over as you can have a rational conversation with a four year old. Sometimes.
  • I’m honest enough with myself to say I am just too darned selfish to be a mother. I don’t have that mothering bone at all. But, I do love my cats. And my nephews and new niece, as long as I can give them back after a few hours.

I made this decision some years ago (my second nephew is now 5) and I am still feeling ok with it. I don’t think I am going to freak out as my biological clock ticks closer to stopping entirely. But, ask me in 9 years when I will be almost 40, and I’ll let you know if that is still the case. ;)

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