Back in 2009, I got motivated and decided enough was enough. It was time to get moving and lose the weight I had been putting on for the last few years. So I decided to eat right, count calories, exercise more, and so on. After about 6 months, I was 30 pounds lighter and in the best shape of my adult life. Then…I got pregnant, had a miscarriage, and got pregnant again.
After Jake was born, I began again. Eat right, count calories, exercise more. Again I lost some of the weight I put on, but I was still about 10-15 pounds heavier than I wanted to be. I just wasn’t as motivated as I once was. I was still lighter than I had been, I felt relatively good, and I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted and not put on weight. Plus, with my job in retail, I was on my feet for a good portion of the day. I maintained my somewhat high weight for a good 1.5-2 years.
In January of 2014, another big life change occurred. I got promoted to Store Manager, hence why I stopped blogging. I had to get used to this new chapter in my life along with a husband and much more mobile, attention-seeking toddler to appease. So now, I was still eating somewhat (OK maybe a lot more) poorly and on my feet less. Store managers tend to have a bigger role in the planning process and a smaller role in the task doing process.
You probably see where this story is headed. After a year of being a store manager, eating poorly, and not really working out, I had put all of my weight back on. I was back up to the weight I started at in 2009. Yippee.
So what now? I thought, in the spirit of being accountable, I’d share my plan with all of you. How will I get Healthy in 2015?
Accountability: My best friend, Carolyn, and I have been doing a weekly weigh in with each other off and on since 2009. That’s when we developed this plan and it worked back then. I was a way for us to keep ourselves accountable to each other and motivate each other. Well, the novelty of the program kind of fizzled. It just wasn’t working anymore. So this year, we gathered several of our friends and created a Facebook page to post recipes, issues we have either with motivation or challenges we are facing, and share accomplishments of all shapes and sizes with each other. So far it’s really working!
In addition to this, Carolyn and I joined DietBet, an online program where you send in your starting weight and “bet” that you will lose 4% of your body weight by the end of the program. You pay $25 and everyone who achieves that 4% splits the pot. So, basically, if you’re pretty determined to lost that 4%, there’s no risk as you’ll just make your money back. The only bad thing is for you to make money, others have to do poorly. But I’m not going to focus on that…
New Gear: I’m a gadget person. I really am. My family knows that so, for Christmas, they got me a few things that would help me on the journey they had no idea I was planning to take.
I wear this thing every single day (except the one time I left my tracker at home and went to work just wearing the arm band…that was fun). I didn’t know if I would be motivated by it or not, but I usually am! See how the Flex works is it has a tracker you charge periodically and then slip it inside a wristband you wear. You can tap the tracker throughout the day and little dots light up to tell you your progress. I have mine set to the standard 10,000 steps per day, so for every 2,000 steps I take, a dot lights up. If you’ve reached your “mile marker” (i.e. 2,000), the light is steady. If you’re progressing, the light blinks: slowly if you’ve just entered that 2,000 or more quickly as you’re nearly the end of that particular set of steps. Once you reach your goal (which you can adjust to fit your lifestyle), the wristband vibrates! If it’s towards the end of the day and I haven’t achieved my goal, I typically walk around the basement or head to the gym to make up my steps.
The Flex also tracks sleep and can wake you up if you like, but I don’t like to wear jewelry or anything like that when I sleep, so I don’t use those features. It’s nice that they are included though.
Fitbit Aria (i.e. the Fitbit Scale)
I’ve wanted this scale for quite some time. It’s the neatest thing for lazy people like me. When you step on the scale, it tells you your weight and body fat %, but then automatically uploads that weight to My Fitness Pal, which is an app I use daily (when I’m in this healthy phase). It keeps track of all my past weight ins too. What’s more, you can link up to 6 people on it, so Jeff and Jake can use it too! Sure, it’s not a necessity by any means, but I like it. :)
Soundbot SB220 Bluetooth Headphones
Again, not really necessary, but having Bluetooth headphones is nice when you’re at the gym. When I’m lifting weights or running or whatever I’m doing, I don’t want my ear bud cord getting in my way. Plus, with these headphones, you don’t have to worry about them falling out of your ears like you do with ear buds. The one downside to these is I like to immerse myself in music when I’m at the gym. These get pretty loud, but I can still hear outside noises every so often. Not often enough that I will go back to ear buds though.
Finally, some of my favorite apps I’ve downloaded this year to help me stay fit and motivated:
MyFitnessPal (Free)-This app is how I track all my calories, exercise, and water intake. It’s probably the most talked about calorie counting app out there and what’s better is it links directly with my FitBit. The more I walk, the more calories I get to have if I choose. Also, a new feature they’ve added since I used it last is the recipe importer. This is killer for me as I do A LOT of cooking from internet based recipes. Before I would always shy away from inputting recipes because it was time consuming and tedious. Now you can enter the link for the recipe you’re making and MFP finds the ingredients for you. You have to verify the items and quantities, but for the most part MFP gets it right. It has never been easier to upload a recipe!
Fitness Buddy (Free)-This is a new app that was rated highly in the App store. I discovered it on one of the “best apps for working out” lists I read when trying to find workout apps earlier this year. I downloaded several but so far this is my favorite. It has a ton of different workouts, easily tracks your sets and reps, and (best of all) it was FREE! I believe there are some in-app purchases available, but I haven’t needed to utilize that function yet.
Couch to 5k ($1.99)-This app is another one that’s highly rated and tons of people use it when they want to train to run a 5k. There are free versions available (one I like is Ease into 5k), but when experts recommend something to people, this is the one they choose. Being a gadget girl, I like that this app (and others like it) track your runs for you, build you up gradually, and even have voice over encouragement if that’s your thing. I don’t really enjoy running, but I do love the runners high I get when I do. It’s a love/hate relationship, people.
RockMyRun (Free)-I just discovered this app last night actually. I’d had it on my phone for a while, but I’d never really played with it. (Something you may not know about me is I’m a music junky. I love music. It motivates me when I want to give up and calms me down when I’m anxious or upset about something.) Last night was my first time in the gym in a while. I had made a half assed attempt to go last week but ended up flaking out on my cardio, banged out some strength work, and left. Just no motivation at all.
Last night I decided to try something a little different and played around with this app. Maybe it was the playlist I landed on, maybe it was my mood, maybe something completely different. Who knows. But I KILLED IT last night. I like to think it was due in part to this app. The playlist I found was a mix of rock, rap, & pop. What’s better is they were all mashups! (Mom – mashups are when you take two seemingly different songs and blend them together so they seem as though they were meant to be together all along.) I had to stop myself from busting out the lyrics to Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’! I’m anxious to get back to the gym just to find another playlist I love.
So, as you can see, my year is starting off on the right foot. Where it will lead, I have no idea. But for now I’m gonna ride this wave as far as it will take me. Hopefully this post has left you with a little inspiration for your own healthy 2015!