I attended ‘Mom Prom’ with my son over the weekend and when I woke up Monday morning I couldn’t find my Fitbit anywhere. Since I had dressed up for the event I hadn’t used the wristband, but I was sure I’d laid the tracker on my nightstand – and equally sure that it had fallen off and been eaten by our little canine vacuum cleaner, Teddy.
I’ve been wearing my Fitbit Flex every day for a little over a year and was pretty distressed at the thought of having to replace it – and what I would replace it with. Which naturally led me to ponder the pros and cons of the device…
On the plus side, I’ve found that wearing the tracker really does encourage me to move more throughout the day. Just tonight in fact, I was thinking about asking one of the kids to turn on the space heater in my bedroom so it would warm up before bedtime (old house unfortunately equals cold second floor bedrooms) but then I remembered that the class I have on Thursdays has me sitting for several hours during the time that I usually take a three mile walk so I figured I should make the quick trek upstairs and do it myself (yay me).
There was a time that I would walk the floors until midnight if I had to in order to fit my steps in, I don’t do that anymore because sleep is also important, but I absolutely pay more attention to my activity level.
I also love the silent alarms, you can program up to eight of them and since the repeat function is comprehensive I use the alarms to remind me to do my Minute Movements. The sound of the alarm on my phone was always jarring and irritating to me, which didn’t actually help me develop the habit of doing the movements; but when I realized that I could set eight alarms that would simply vibrate on my wrist a few times I was thrilled (and that was when I began consistently doing my movements)!
The sleep tracking option is also useful. I’ve always had some difficulty sleeping and often wake up feeling tired so seeing my restless times is interesting. That said, there’s something about wearing the tracker 24/7 that bothers me (electronic waves and all that) so I usually take it off while I sleep just to be safe – it’s not like wearing the Fitbit was helping me sleep better, it just confirmed that I don’t!
But not everything is perfection in Fitbit land. I don’t love that the device has to be re-charged (some don’t) and even though the battery lasts about five days it still irritates me to have to plug it in – but not as much as it irritates me to realize that the battery died hours earlier and my steps haven’t been tracked!
I have always enjoyed jewelry and am a bit of a girlie-girl so the plastic band really isn’t my favorite. While it’s fine when I’m wearing workout gear and I recognize that the band protects the tracker I’d really prefer something that looks a little more classy to wear with my ‘real clothes’. At the very least a band that looked similar to metal or leather. My black band ripped after only about six months so now I’m stuck wearing a navy band and searching Etsy for cute alternatives. Since my tracker was missing, I kicked around the idea of replacing it with one of the newer models that have a watch display since I now look for the time on my Fitbit band, but they look much more bulky and I’m not sure I’d like that.
I’ve heard complaints about the accuracy of Fitbit and I will absolutely admit that mine has buzzed to tell me that I’ve hit all of my steps while I was folding laundry. I move a little bit during that chore but not so much that I would count those movements as ‘steps’ . I usually take off my Fitbit when I’m doing a lot of paperwork just in case it sees my movements as ‘steps’. BUT the point of the Fitbit is that I have a good idea of my activity, is it really necessary that I have exact number of steps that I walked that day?
Overall I recommend using a fitness tracker to help you become mindful of your daily activity – something we encourage with our program – and I think the Fitbit Flex is completely adequate at a reasonable price (about $100).
Fortunately, after a day of looking in the same exact places 37 times and racking my brain (oh, and listening for the little dog to buzz at the top of every hour) I put my hand in the pocket of my robe as I was getting ready for bed and there it was!
What a relief!
What about you? Do you wear a fitness tracker and do you like it?
I ran across this article last month and I just can not stop thinking about this absolutely amazing man. Paul Alexander was completely paralyzed and confined to an iron lung due to complications from polio when he was six years old. The very fact that he lived at all is a miracle in and of itself but, with the love and support of his family and through his own determination, Mr. Alexander received a law degree and established a private practice.
Even better? Mr. Alexander has taught himself how to breathe on his own for short periods of time (usually when he’s in the courtroom).
Check out this beautiful story (it’s long but worth the read).
Change can be scary.
Change requires that we look at ourselves, our patterns, our decisions and honestly assess which are healthy and which are unhealthy. Which patterns we need to scrap, and which need to be developed more.
That might mean that we have to humble ourselves, admit ‘the way I’ve been doing it all along is not , in fact the BEST way to do it – maybe its even the worse way to do it’.
Boy, that really drags up some ugly stuff doesn’t it?
What if the way you’ve been doing something your whole life were completely sabotaging your goals and dreams? Would you be able to give up being right to do the right thing?
In order to avoid being wrong, many of us simply refuse to look very deeply at our behaviors. Maybe we have the ideal person in our heads (the person who hits the gym three- no FIVE times each and every week, who always chooses the salad over the burger, the person who makes good interrelational choices, who’s always there for their friends, who never skips church …), every now and then we might catch ourselves comparing the reality with the ideal but then we feel too confronted, too disappointed in ourselves, so we duck our heads back in the box and go back to pretending that everything is going great in our lives.
But pretending doesn’t make it so.
If you aren’t absolutely satisfied with your life today, if you find yourself feeling sad or discontented or frustrated it might be time to sit quietly with yourself and examine the choices and actions that you are really making.
My family and I recently watched ‘The Truman Show’, a movie about a man who had lived his entire life in a television studio, in which all of his interactions were actually contrived by the producer without his knowledge. Truman knew something was off about his life, he just couldn’t put his finger on it – and despite strong efforts on the part of the producer and actors who made up his life to the contrary Truman was motivated to figure it out (also to track down the girl who got away…). There came a point when he finally stumbled upon the truth – he came to the end of studio – what appeared to be an endless horizon was really a wall. The wall of the box that he’d spent his entire life confined to. The producer tried to convince Truman to stay, that life was safe there in the studio, that people were counting on him not to mess with the status quo. Truman had a choice. He had no idea what was in his future, he had never had a real relationship (except for that girl). He took a chance.
Maybe you’re living in a box too. It could be any number or things but let’s say it’s your health. Whether you used to be able to eat whatever you wanted and never had to exercise and this middle-aged weight is a surprise to you and has left you feeling confused or you weren’t ever even able to run a mile in gym class no matter how hard you tried. Maybe you think ‘this is just the way it is’ because you’ve never known anything different. Are you where you really want to be? Are you willing to consider the possibility that things don’t have to be this way, that you actually can lift the curtain, step out of the box and be – really BE the person that you want to be.
A little step is all it takes.
Make your minutes matter.
Photo credit ‘The Truman Show’ 1998
Oh. My. Gosh.
Coach Wright wears many hats around here and one of his newer titles is Chef –which I have to admit, he’s getting pretty good at. Last night Aaron made chicken breast, rice, salad and steamed broccoli – a very healthy meal that blew our past efforts out of the water. That’s because he researched the best way to bake chicken breast – and apparently 350* for 30 minutes is not it.
The secret to perfectly cooked chicken breast is to bake for a short time at a high temperature. The chicken was crispy on the outside, fabulously moist on the inside, and perfectly seasoned. Check out the recipe here.
You’re welcome 🙂
How much time did you spend planning your last vacation? Did you research where you would stay, which local restaurants to check out, and which activities and sights were not to be missed? Or did you just say, ‘Hey let’s go to Greece next Thursday’ and buy a plane ticket? Many people spend hours planning their vacations, down to the most obscure detail and one week of vacation represents only about two percent of your year.
What if you spent as much time planning for how you will reach your goals as you spend planning a week away?
The things we resolve or set goals about at the beginning of the year are the things that we claim to want the most out of lives:
Don’t the things that determine your happiness and satisfaction with life deserve as much attention as your free time? Our goals need to be planned for, mapped out.
We’ve talked a little about setting goals (or resolutions) the past week or so but we haven’t really looked at how are we going to accomplish them. Setting a goal (especially if it’s a SMART goal) is a great first step, unfortunately it’s where many people stop and that’s why they don’t reach their goals. You have to take the next step, breaking the goals into smaller tasks and achievements. What will you do and when will you do it each month, week, hour, and minute – what actions and behaviors will you take to help you reach your goals? What mindset will help you reach your goals?
Now put those actions in your calendar as appointments – and KEEP THEM, or assign blocks of time to different behaviors, make a list – – – whatever you need to do (and WILL do) to keep yourself on track.