Getting Active, Trying New Things

>> Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I have 5 pounds to go toward my weight loss goal. It's so close, yet so far away. Though, still -- I'm not really dwelling on the exact number too much. One day, for example, I can wake up 10 pounds over my goal. The next? I'm only 4 pounds away. So weird. I am focused much more on my half marathon training and selling our house at the moment.

(Half training is great, btw! Check out last night's long run -- 7 weeks to go!)

However, as well as my training is going -- I've missed several many workouts due to some cleaning + house-prepping burnout. So, my general level of activity has definitely been on my mind. When I worked outside the home, for example, I had to walk at least a quarter mile from my car to my office each morning. And then again to/from for lunch. And then back at night. There's a built-in mile of walking -- and I'd often take my breaks and lunch walking as well.

I'd say on top of running 25 average miles a week, I was likely walking 4 miles a day. And I also used to do yoga and way more random cross-training. (And did I mention that's when I was pregnant?) Yadda, yadda, yadda. I know parents aren't supposed to make excuses (hah!) for not fitting in fitness as a top priority . . . but c'mon. It's hard when life gets in the way.

If we don't leave the house, we truly don't leave the house. There's very few places we can walk to unless we're out for the purpose of walking only. The weather the last couple years was very mild and kind in winter, but this year? Not so much. So, on days when we're stuck indoors, I bet I don't even walk a mile. Or do I? I have absolutely no idea. No way to track . . .

I've been reading posts and chatting with my friends who have Fitbit trackers, Jawbone UP, Nike FuelBand -- basically those newfangled, glorified pedometers that also help track sleep, nutrition, etc. -- along with steps per day toward a 10,000/day goal. So, I gathered together some gift cards last night and picked one up to try. They all have different bells, whistles, and cons.

Ultimately, I chose the Fitbit Flex over the others for price. I'm not actually reviewing it today -- I'll probably wait a month into use -- because I've only had it on my arm for the last, uhhhh, 12 hours. But I wanted to write out what I'm hoping to achieve by wearing such a device:

  • I want to get a better idea of how much activity I'm getting as a whole -- not just running. Since parenthood has caused me to randomly skip workouts from time to time, I'd like to know that I'm generally active otherwise.
  • I'm hoping to better track my nutrition because it's conveniently in the app, so I might as well use it. I figure it's just extra incentive to be more diligent (bananas versus M&Ms) and, therefore, start making sure I'm eating the right mix of nutrients and enough calories to fuel my lifestyle, all while pinpointing times when I'm indulging to the max. 
  • I want to start better sleep habits. I'm normally a morning person, but somehow these weird night owl tendencies have taken over in the past year. It makes my whole day feel off -- so hopefully I'll feel inspired to get good nights of sleep to look at on the tracker in the morning.
  • I also want to use the cool vibrating alarm clock option. I don't know why I like that feature so much, but I do.
  • I also hope by tracking my weight, which I likely won't do every day, but maybe a couple days a week, I could see why I weigh more on certain days (did I eat lots of salty foods? have I not exercised in a week? do I have my menstrual cycle?) versus others.
  • And I like having a journal component. I've been trying to keep a paper journal, but it just hasn't been working out -- so I hope to jot down some notes about my health + wellness, how I'm feeling, etc. in this app along with everything else.
  • Overall, I'm just looking for an extra dose of motivation. And I think that -- combined with the warmer temperatures that are BOUND to start sometime soon -- will help me take charge of my health (versus just weight).
Do you use a fitness tracker like the Fitbit Flex? 

What has your experience been? Any tips or tricks? Already I'm a little skeptical of the step counts (I got some while sitting in bed? But also didn't get as many as I took while hauling laundry up the stairs...). We shall see!

PS: Please send good house sale vibes my way today. We have our first showing this afternoon!!!

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