Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Fitbit Ultra

Here is the promised post on the Fitbit I just purchased.

The Fitbit Ultra is a small device that kinda looks like a flash drive that you can put in your pocket, clip to your waistband, or bra, and wear all day while you are going about your business.  It records your steps taken, flights of stairs climbed, calories burned, and even monitors your sleep cycle (you wear it on the included wristband to sleep). I wear mine on my bra while I get ready in the morning & then slip it onto my pants waistband for the rest of the day.

I chose the Plum one.

As you can see from the pic (from the website) it is really small.  I forget it is even there (from a comfort standpoint).  I don't even notice it at night - the wrist band is a soft, wrap-around style band that closes with a velcro-type closure.  One thing I like about it is summed up perfectly in this blurb from their site:
 Unlike bulky, awkward devices that all but scream, "Look at me, I'm on a diet," the Fitbit Tracker is light and small enough to wear all day without anyone knowing.
No one knows I am wearing it unless I tell them.  No one needs to know I am tracking my daily whatevers unless I want them too. Not that I keep much a secret (you know this if you have read any of my blog), but I didn't want a thing strapped around my arm indicating I am tracking my calories, steps, etc.  This also is a more comfortable option, in my opinion.

Well, what does the Fitbit do?  Again, from their site:
Fitbit Ultra's super sensitive 3-D motion sensor tracks your day down to details a pedometer can't catch, showing your exact steps taken, calories burned, and distance traveled. The new altimeter tracks floors climbed so you can monitor this heart-healthy activity, encouraging you to take the stairs at home or work, or climb a little further on your next hike. 
So, yea, it does all that.  What it doesn't tell you is that you will want to walk more & want to take the stairs more because there is something so annoying about seeing the 0 next to the stairs icon. There is also something SO gratifying about seeing the calories burned and the steps numbers climb into the quadruple digits! it is also cool to know how many miles (or parts of a mile) you walk in your regular day. Maybe it is because I feel some sort of immediate gratification. A satisfaction.  Ok, yea, and a little pride.  I climbed 14 flights of stairs at work yesterday!  YEA I DID!  It is like sneaking in a workout with out thinking about it. Nice!

The Fitbit is wireless, so as long as you are about 10' from the base (which handily plugs into a USB port & is also used to charge the Fitbit) your info is synched to your Dashboard page on the Fitbit website.  The website is neat because you can log in your food, your mood, other exercise (besides walking & climbing stairs), it shows your sleep pattern (who knew I woke up at 4am? I didn't.), & your water intake. You can also set fitness goals & weight loss goals.  I originally set my final desired weight goal as my end goal of 145lb, but that seems so far away (Nov. 28, 2012 - at 2lbs a week loss) & so depressing that I reset it for 250lb.  That is 13 or so pounds away and seems so much more doable (estimated at about Nov. 26, THIS YEAR).

The Fitbit Ultra is $99.99 and the shipping & website dashboard features are free.  There is a premium membership on the site that has more options, but for now I am good on the free site.  As my fitness improves and I need more challenges to push me through the inevitable plateaus I will face, I may try out the premium features.

Ok, so there ya go.  Oh, the website is : www.fitbit.com


PS I have not received anything from Fitbit to write about this product.  This is all my own opinion/experience about the product after I purchased it unless otherwise noted.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The post where I try to play catch-up blogger

So first things first... I DID weigh-in on Wed. I just kept meaning to blog...

The numbers:

Starting Weight: 275.0

Last Week: 265.0

This Week: 263.4

It was a really nice surprise to have lost that 1.6lb!!  I thought I had gained!  YAY!

Item #2 - I bought a Fitbit.  I will blog about that later.  Basically it is a little tracking device I wear that monitors all kinds of stuff.  I promise I'll blog about it this week.

Item #3 - I have made a menu for the week.  Beef tips, mushroom, & onions are simmering on the stove for tonight. Everything is prepped & in the crock-pot (and in the fridge) for beef stew tomorrow. I have a plan & am sticking to it.  Veggies are prepped for snacking & lunch stuff is good to go, too.

The Casa Cardona menu for 10/10-10/13 is as follows

  • Sun - Beef tips with mushrooms & onions, truffle risotto, & green beans almondine
  • Mon - Beef Stew with onions, mushrooms, carrots & potatoes
  • Tues - Arroz con pollo with a mixed vegetable side
  • Wed - Dani's tortellini with spinach & a vegetable
  • Thursday - Morningstar BBQ "ribs" with mashed potatoes & broccoli cheese casserole
  • Friday - date night dinner out

I have stuff for oatmeal or smoothies for our breakfasts.  I also bought some cinnamon raisin bread for toast.  Lunches will be a mix of frozen (healthy) dinners, leftovers, or sandwiches with Popchips and fruit.  Our splurge is some chocolate pudding (I'll make it with low-fat milk).

I'll let you know how meal planning goes.  I am hoping it is going to help me monitor my intake, eat better, snack smarter and keep me within my calorie goals.

Item #4 - I am trying some new things to structure/schedule my time.  I am a HUGE time waster and cannot do that if I want to finish my dissertation on time.  I have already wasted 6 months of my allotted 4yrs. It is time to get my act together. I have my days planned out (with some wiggle room) to include time to prep my lectures, time to work on my article, time to work on my dissertation, plus have some downtime, exercise daily, have date-night, and some other stuff. Again, we'll see how it goes.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weigh-In Wednesday - The Sickly Edition


No weigh-in last week as I was on a plane to Portland, ME for a conference (more on that in another post).

So the numbers:

Starting Weight: 275

Last Week: 265.6

This Week:  265.0
I am ok with this as I have travelled, not exercised, and am currently under the weather.
I am pleased to be back to 10lb overall loss and am re-renewing my committment to a healthy life.
...right after I get over this horrible cold/raw throat/cough thing.  No water aerobics & yoga for me this week.
I feel like hell.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Weigh-in Wednesday, Blog Thursday

.. at least I am weighing in on Wednesdays!

So the numbers:

Starting Weight: 275

Last Week: 266.6

This Week:  265.6

One pound in one week.  Hey! That's progress!  If I keep this up I'll be down 52lb  in a year!

I am trying to remain positive... of course I realize if I stay at the rate of 1lb/week then this time next year I'll still be over 200lb!   So, now what?

I am not good at taking things, i.e. diet pills, appetite suppressors, fat burners, what-have-you.  I like my coffee and if I drink coffee AND take anything, I am a spaz, freak, jittery-mess who is 100% certain that her heart will explode in her chest at any second.  NOT a fun way to go through your day (I know this from experience).  If I stop the coffee I am a different kind of mess you don't want to be around either.

I am NOT interested in any type of weight-loss surgery.  I had a former Dr. asked me if I was interested in surgery WHILE SHE WAS CONDUCTING MY PAP.... um, not cool, I am kinda naked, and vulnerable, and um, your hand is in my vagina... can we talk about this later... ooh, did you take the photos of the fish on your exam room walls.... AHHHGGGK! (true story)

It seems like my only real options are to A) diet and B) exercise.

Damn, I hate being rational....

I have been looking at the UTA gym (the MAC) exercise class schedule and for some reason am feeling really intimidated.  I know from past experience that going to the classes were good for me (and they were actually FUN) and I was not the only fattie in there.  I am, for some reason, back in my discomfort zone.  I am afraid.  I don't know why I have regressed.  Maybe because Raefela the wonder instructor graduated (with her PhD in Mechanical Engineering, no less) and i really felt comfortable in her classes.  Maybe i am afraid that other instructors will be tough, or mean, or both.  Of course if they are mean, I can always walk out.  Maybe I am just making excuses....

I don't know what my problem is. I need to get over this mental block and get back to the gym or I am going to be a fat-ass for ever.


I probably shouldn't have looked up my "ideal" weight range for my age & height.  The range for a 5'5' 39yr old female is 119-149 with my ideal target as 134.  That seems so unattainable right now.  At my absolute thinnest and fittest, when I graduated from Army Basic Training, I was a size 10 and 142lb.  I have been there and can get back there... but damn I am not 21 anymore....  I also know it is going to take a lot of work and something else, something that I am not good at.... SACRIFICE.

There, I said it.  I am not good at that.  That. Up there... the s-word.  I am pretty self-centered.  I can be, I don't have kids.  I guess I just need to realize that I should be more self-centered and take care of my SELF better.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weigh-in Wednesday (the Thursday edition)

Starting Weight: 275

Last Week: 262.8

This Week: 266.6

So, I really thought I was the only person who gained weight while on a 48hr food-borne illness fun-fest, but according to FB posts on my page, I am not alone.  Still it sucks.  Not that I encourage or endorse food-borne illnesses as a weight reduction tool, but REALLY!?!

I at first attributed it to the Sprite & Ginger Ale I was quaffing to quell the nausea.  There is sneaky sodium in those babies! Ginger Ale has 35mg per 8oz serving & Sprite has 45mg...  and I probably had 4 servings or so each day. So, because I have not been drinking sodas very much I thought that was probably it.

I also thought it was maybe because over the weekend I had not been downing the water by the 24oz cupful like I have been doing (almost religiously).  I was avoiding putting mass quantities of anything in my stomach as whatever went in had been making a hasty exit...  blergh.

And then I had to admit to myself that it is really my overall poor choices over the last week or 2 that have caused a 4lb weight gain (OK, this morning I was 265.6, but I am only counting Wed. weigh-ins).  I have been on some sort of food free-for-all... nachos, Big Macs (the source of the food-borne illness, btw), blue cheese fries, mashed potatoes drowning in cream gravy.. nary a green leafy in sight.  le sigh

I don't know what my problem is (ok, maybe I do).  I like good fresh food.  I enjoy delicious healthy food.  I like fresh produce, whole grains, lean meats.  I even like some of the meat substitutes (Morningstar BBQ ribs I am looking at you).  I LOVE to cook!!  And I mean COOOOK... not boil-in-the-bag, just add water, microwave stuff... COOK!  Get out the 8" Shun, dice, julienne, chiffonade, saute, braise, and roast up a delicious meal.  So what gives?

This gives:  LAZY TRUMPS ALL

I am Queen Procrastinator.  Duchess of Distraction. The Lady of  the Late. 

I think everything will take less time than it really will.  I leave my everything to the last minute - lectures, papers, grading, PowerPoints, research, reading... cleaning... until it is absolute GO time and I HAVE to finish.

I am THE BEST at time wasting, piddling (in the time sense, not the urinary sense - although with all the water I am drinking...), playing on FB, finding 10 OTHER things to do instead of what I should be doing that I end up in a horrendous time crunch. I end up overtaxed, over stressed, and let things like meals & exercise fall by the wayside because I HAVE to get (insert task here) DONE!!

What I need is some SERIOUS time management skills.  I am looking for some ideas/help here peeps.  Help me help myself & get back on track.  I really do want to be a happier, healthier person.

What tricks/tips do you have/use to manage your time?

Muchas Gracias mis amigos!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hello.  I hope this Labor Day (US) is finding you well - either productive or lazy - whatever you have going on today, I hope it is fun.

I am feeling under the weather today & am 100% sure it is attributed to the rash of crap I have been eating and drinking all weekend.  I am tired, sluggish, a tad grumpy, and my stomach doesn't like me very much today either.

I think this is the glaring reminder that unhealthy foods in mass quantity make me feel like ca-ca.

Yoga starts back up tonight & I will be gentle with myself.  I need to drink lots of water today (I have even fallen off that wagon this weekend).

In awesome news, it is only in the 80s here in TX today and supposed to be in the (high) 50s tonight.  Guess who is sleeping with all the windows wide open!!??

So here is to a short work week, cooler weather, and better choices!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Weigh-In Wednedsay

Ok, so the first of the Weigh-in Wednesdays begins here:

Start weight: 275

Last Week: 264.0

This Morning: 262.8

Progress!!! I was really expecting it to be 265, so I am kinda stoked!!

I have yet to track my food stuffs on MyFitnessPal, but will head there next.

Thanks for hanging in with me on the "boring" posts.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011


"Just one word... BACKSLIDER!!" I <3 the Toadies.

But that is not what this post is about, an awesome mid-90's Toadies song. This post is about me owning up to my backslider ways. I realized, thanks to Facebook posting status updates from 2009 & 2010, that I started this blog & this journey 12 months ago and only have 12lbs to show for it. Not that I am begrudging my 12lbs weight loss, I am pleased with that. I just thought I'd be much further along by now. I am gonna have to rename this blog "Finding myself fit in my 40's."

True to most things in my life, I was really excited about this for about a month (maybe a bit more) before quitting. I did really well - I committed 100%... and then.... well, then I fell off. I quit going to the exercise classes, stopped eating healthy, getting plenty of rest, etc.

So, I have decided to own up to some things:
  1. I have had 2 Big Macs in as many weeks (no fries, though)
  2. Ditto for Sonic Kickin' Coneys & tots
  3. and for Braum's Premium Ice Cream cones (Chocolate Almond double scoops)
  4. and Popeye's Spicy chicken Strips w/red beans & rice.
  5. I haven't been back to yoga (or any exercise) in two full weeks - I do miss that.
  6. I stopped recording my food on MyFitnessPal (probably because I didn't want to face up to the 1000+ calories in those meals.)
So, was anything saved? YES!!. I have maintained my water-intake. I even took my 240z refillable Copco cup with me to Boston. (Sarah Engledow Brown will be proud). AND I think I only gained 1lb, we'll see tomorrow when I weight in.

Why did/does this happen?
  1. Boredom
  2. Laziness
  3. Rebellion
  4. Stress
  5. Feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of it all
  6. I am afraid of what life will be like if I get thin/healthy - sounds CRAZY, I know, but is true.
What am I gonna go about it (in no particular order)?
  1. Blog regularly to clear my mind & conscious.
  2. Have a Weigh-in Wednesday and report the results no matter what they are.
  3. Keep the water routine going
  4. Record my meals on MyFitnessPal - Kickin' Coneys' and all. I need to know what is going in my system.
  5. Go back to yoga
  6. Investigate what exercise classes are being offered at the MAC this semester
  7. Plan weekly meals (I stopped doing that, too)
  8. Be aware when I start to give-up and FORCE myself not to.
Ok, I think that is what I needed to say (mostly to myself). Now I REALLY have to go write class lectures.