Health & Fitness.


If you’re like me and constantly trying to better yourself, then you’ve seen failure after failure in your life. And you know you can’t focus on those, because they will keep you from trying again. For example, my failed training for my first marathon (I ran 13.1 miles 3 months prior…that counts, right?) led me to a very poor showing at the race (which I only did because my family was traveling to see me do it) which led me to years of saying, “I’ll never do another marathon.” When I let go of those failures and tried again the right way, I succeeded and succeeded time and time again. I know have 3 marathons under my belts along with 2 50Ks and one 12-hour run where I ran 43 miles in about 10 hours.

There are other areas in my life where I try/fail to improve…the obvious is weightloss but before we get to that let’s revisit the Bullet Journal. I’ve always been fairly organized. My house is rarely cluttered (minus the kid’s rooms) because things have their place. I do a lot which means I forget things sometimes, but that is more a factor of “doing too much” than “not being organized”. However, for my entire life I’ve never stuck to one planner or one calendar method for longer than a month seriously, a few months half-assedly. I used to blame this on the fact that I just enjoy buying new calendars and planners. But in reality? No calendar/planner really gave me EVERYTHING I need to keep track of To Dos and Dates in my life. Until the Bullet Journal.

I started my Bullet Journal on August 29th and I’m 40 pages in and still using it almost daily. I’ve modified the original plan from the demo video to suit my style and needs. (He did not recommend shiny owl stickers, which is a DAMN SHAME.) But I keep several lists in there that I depend on, my trainings lists for me and the kids…my To Do lists (although I don’t do them daily, more like weekly because I just stick to one page)…my Monthly reminders…my Christmas present ideas…my Blog ideas…it’s all in one place. So I use it constantly and this is the longest I’ve ever stuck with any calendar/planner before giving up. I think at this rate it will take me 6 months to fill up a moleskin, and I’m pumped about accomplishing that assuming this really sticks like I think it is.

Now! On to the weightloss/fitness tracking thing. We all know I’m healthy. I’m in good shape. I’m active. Yay! Me. But I’ve been trying to show off that by losing those last Xlbs since I kinda plateaued at 145lbs back in 2011. I’ve gotten down to 135 a handful of times and know that I still need to go a bit lower to show off my muscles the way I want to, but I don’t know what that weight is. I’ve never been below 135 in this active body. If I could guarantee the next 5lbs would come off of my stomach? I’d say my goal was 130. But since it will probably come off my boobs and fingers first (I have chubby fingers) then I’m just waiting and seeing.

My point? Lot’s of Yo Yo weightloss never taking me below 135.

Enter: FitBit Flex

I log everything I eat either using the app on my phone, or online. Their database is not huge, but it’s easy enough to add items. The fitbit keeps track of my activity and – for probably the first time EVER – I have burned more than I’ve eaten 7 days in a row. (Don’t be alarmed by the weekend, I run further on those days but tend to have less of an appetite…my typical week has me tripling up on weekdays to make up for it.) I really have NEVER gone that long with all good days. I’ve maybe avoided the 5,000-calorie-stress-eat-binge-at-midnight days, but to have 7 ACTUAL good days? Never. EVER EVER EVER.

The thing is, it’s always on. So in weird way I feel like I’m constantly being watched. Even though I have to log my food manually, I still know this thing is there to remind me I’ve not done anything active today. TWICE this week I went for runs when I wouldn’t have normally. My training didn’t require it but I knew the Fitbit would be disappointed in me so I went out and did it. Shorter and easy runs (for me), but runs nonetheless!

I didn’t run on Friday last week, but I ran every other day. And on Friday I at least walked to get the kids after school. Fridays tend to be my “rest” days because I do back-to-back long runs on the weekends. But hell…LOOK AT THOSE DAMN STEPS! I’m so proud of that. SEVEN DAYS!

And in just seven days Fitbit has already given me TWO badges! Just wait until I do my 50K in a week, it’s going to FREAK OUT! I love that when I log in online at the end of the day it typically throws out (literally, they come at me) FOUR giant green smiley faces! And it sends me alerts on my phone saying things like, “You’re an over achiever!” or “You’re doing great!” It’s the happiest fitness/diet monitoring tool in all the land. I’m having so much fun with it.

And then, it tracks my sleep. I forgot to put it in “sleep mode” last night so the data is off a bit (if you put it in sleep mode it monitors your movements closer) but the start/end times of all of those nights? Completely accurate.

You can see that I’m not exaggerating when I say that I try to be in bed by 9pm because I wake up before 4am most days. This is just my normal schedule. And if I stick to it, I sleep well. But if I go to bed later, my mind still wakes up by 4am so I get really restless. I didn’t have any of those days this week but I’m looking forward to being able to track the hard weeks and seeing how that plays out with my other habits.

And this morning the scale said 135.1 – I’m about to be in uncharted territory. I’m .2lbs away from losing weight that I haven’t lost since before Wesley. I was 108 when I got married (but I was a smoker who ran the periodic 20-minutes and sometimes did arm weights, but that was it) and I’ll never get that low with this active of a body. But I got down to 121 when I started running for the first time back in early 2006 (after Nikki). Several failed attempts a pregnancies between Nikki and Wes kept me from holding at 121 for long at all, so in reality I’ve probably not seen below 135 since I got pregnant with Wes in August of 2007. So…5+ years. If next week goes as well as this week did (fingers crossed) I’ll finally lose pounds I’ve been trying to lose for – essentially – six years. (With one pregnancy in there early on.) The Fitbit FEELS like it’s helping me immensely so I’m hoping this seven days is just the beginning of a successful stretch so I can say “BYE!!” to all of the Yo Yo weightloss I’ve been doing for the last 3 years. I’ve gone between 150 and 135 at least 2 dozen times in 3 years – which is SOOOOO bad for your. If the Fitbit can at least keep me from that nonsense? It’s totally worth the $100.

Here’s to trying new things and sometimes re-trying old things until you find something that works in your life!

(Fingers crossed, Wood knocked…)

13 thoughts on “Things That Stick…(KNOCKING VIOLENTLY ON WOOD OVER HERE!)”

  1. I’ve been looking at Fitbit for a while but haven’t made the splurge yet…partly because I can’t get a definitive answer on whether or not it works in the gym. Any idea? I’m a regular elliptical/treadmill user, and most pedometers can’t track that right.

  2. I haven’t tried it but I hear it does well on a treadmill (here’s one of the reviews from a guy who uses a treadmill desk but I hear it’s not as accurate on the elliptical. But I’ve not tried either! It was CRAP for BodyPump though – didn’t recognize I was doing anything other than walking around my house 🙂 I wasn’t expecting it to notice, but i was curious.

  3. Did you know you can sync the Fitbit site to the MyFitnessPal site so that you can track your food on MFP instead of the Fitbit site? They have an awesome database of foods, as well as a very user-friendly app. I have an old school Fitbit that I haven’t been using (it doesn’t sync directly to my phone because I have an iPhone 4 still), and I also follow Weight Watchers right now, but I used to use MFP and the Fitbit together and really liked how they worked together.

  4. I wonder if the non-wristband version might work better, since it’s meant to be on the torso or in a pocket…Amazon reviewers seem to either love it or hate. Althought I’ve learned to take Amazon haters with a grain of salt, because 9 times out of 10 it’s just that they had High Unrealistic Expectations of a product.

  5. I think it is a damn shame the guy didn’t have shiny owl stickers in his bullet journal, too! You should suggest that to him. I would love to see more about how you do your bullet journal. I am trying to get mine started but haven’t been able to get it going well. We went on vacation (to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!) and it was great for keeping up with all my packing lists and travel plans, but I haven’t gotten into the day-to-day life organizing yet.

  6. I have a selfish request. You are so generous to share your actual weight… something I have never been brave enough to do. I would love to get down to somewhere near where you are. Currently I’m pregnant, and I look at my current weight *cringe* and I think that’s impossible. Would you be willing to share your highest weight? And I mean including when pregnant. Because if your highest weight was close to my highest weight… well, it would give me HOPE. Of course you have no obligation to do this, and I realize it’s very selfish. Or you could just e-mail me. I’m just looking for some hope and inspiration.

  7. That’s actually one of my favorite stories to tell 🙂 I’m 5’3 ish and was about 130 when I got pregnant with E. My last doctor’s appointment the scale said 198 and I thought “I’m having this baby before I hit 200 if it KILLS ME.” That’s the heaviest I got.

    BUT – I got close. I think I got to 180 with Nikki (from 120) and to 185 or so (from 135 or so). I didn’t lose weight with nursing either. With Wes I was still at 165 like 8 months or so later. So, I guess I was 165 or so at my heaviest POST pregnancy (like, at least 6 months later). But 198 pregnancy weight!!!

  8. I’ve only had my Fit Bit about a week longer than you. I am bummed I got it right as my outdoor running ends for the winter. But wearing it has pushed me to use our elliptical machine more often than I would otherwise. I feel it tracks that okay, but I was very disappointed that a vigorous Active2 workout on the Wii barely registered any activity/steps.

  9. I think I mentioned on Instagram that I’m thinking about getting a Flex. When you say it was crap during BodyPump, do you mean as far as counting “steps” or keeping track of your calories burned? That’s probably what I’m more interested in, is something that will tell me how many calories I’ve burned.

  10. Both – It barely even registered me as doing more than walking around my house. It definitely didn’t call it “active”. It does a great job monitoring “calories burned” if it can convert steps. Like it does when I run. But if it’s something that doesnt use a step motion? Nope.

  11. There is a new Fitbit FORCE that has some new features. Check it out! It’s on my Christmas wish list:-) I can’t wait to get it!

  12. I know I’m waaaay late to this discussion, but you can put your activities in manually as well (similar to the food). If you go to the activity area, you can search through their list of activities and have it estimate calories from time spent.

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