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!