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#120 - FitBit Review.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Although I received my FitBit just less than a week ago, I have already formed an opinion on it, and I wanted to share it with you just in case you were thinking of getting one.

Let me first start off by saying that for the longest time, I didn't want one. I have a desk job in which I don't get up much. My boss is very weird about things, and I wasn't sure how I could get in steps without him getting mad that I wasn't at my desk. However, I started considering it in December when BJ (boyfriend) and I did a lot of walking to find Christmas gifts. Every weekend we were out shopping. When I received a $100 gift card for Christmas, I took some time to really consider it. As you know, I ended up purchasing it.

I received and began using it last Wednesday. While at work, I was determined to get up every hour to get in at least five minutes of walking around my little office. This goes to show you that it will get you moving because you WANT to make the 8,000 steps (that's my goal right now)!

While I was so afraid that I would not get my steps in during the work day, I didn't do as well this weekend. I finished the day out with about 2,000 steps. Truthfully, this was the first weekend we weren't out and about. We slept most of the weekend; we were exhausted! Not only does it motivate you to be active, but it teaches you about your habits. I now know that I need to do better on the weekends.

Lastly, it tracks sleep. It goes into a wrist band while you sleep; I was a little worried about this too because I was afraid the wrist band would irritate me. It doesn't! After putting it on, I don't even notice it's there. It provides great information about how well you sleep. For example, a few nights ago, I woke up 20x! I couldn't believe it! With this information, I will be researching on how to get a better night's sleep.

If you've been thinking about getting one, I say do it. While $100 isn't cheap, it is worth it with all the information it provides. Plus, it gives you motivation!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DMA215 1/25/2013 10:33AM

    I've been avoiding the fitbit because of my fear that I just am not active enough during the day and it will be discouraging, but this blog definitely has me reconsidering, thanks for sharing! I go to the gym every day, but outside of the gym I sit at my desk all day....it's a hard habit to break in the working world. I heard some people have started turning their meetings into walking meetings, but that's not really practical in my line of work....plus with the weather in Boston it's really tough in the winter. Something to think about though!

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CCSDESTINY 1/15/2013 10:25PM

    Whoot!! So glad you like it! I found out that I really do sleep like the living dead but my husband is another story, he is very active! Which one did you get? I have the ONE - its awesome!! I had the ultra before it, still good, the one is just smaller and sleeker (: My husband is waiting patiently for the wristband to come out in the spring. We are addicts!

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ASHESS85 1/9/2013 1:27PM

    I'm glad it's motivating you. It has been on my wish list for quite some time. Thanks for the review!

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CALI1156 1/8/2013 3:33PM

    Love my Fitbit One also! I need to figure out ways to walk around more in my office too...I did take the mail down and then only took the elevator up to the 7th floor and walked the other two flights on Monday...may have to do that every day and try to increase my flights. Or drink a lot more water and make more trips down the hall to the bathroom! win-win! haha!

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G.I.JANE 1/8/2013 4:27AM

    Sounds good! Will look into it.

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HAWAIIANMAMMA 1/7/2013 10:47PM

    Wow, thanks! I was contemplating getting one because they're so expensive. Been using a pedometer that I got for free at a conference. It sounds like a really great investment, though!

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LAURIE5658 1/7/2013 8:56PM

    I have the Fitbit One and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Great review!

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WONDERWOMAN 1/7/2013 8:54PM

    I'm considering one as a gift for my sister. Really trying hard to decide which one as she doesn't want ANYTHING that is techno (another long story). Anyway, because of her sleep issues, I'm leaning toward the ultra (less expensive on ebay), but my question is how does it know when you wake up?????

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DRAGONFLY02 1/7/2013 7:10PM

    Great review!! I'm glad you are enjoying it. I haven't regretted my purchase at all. I especially enjoy it during the summertime when I get a lot more walking in. Also, a good thing to know, their customer service is AWESOME. I had an issue with the first Fitbit they sent me and they replaced it with no problem. And they got back to me within a couple days. I have been so happy with the device and the company as a whole. Enjoy!

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BREW99 1/7/2013 2:04PM

    Thanks for the review! I look forward to hearing how you like it after a another week and etc. I have been looking at it but you are right $100 isn't cheap. I do like the idea of knowing how I am sleeping since I have found that I am not waking up rested since our move to a new state. You really woke up 20x? Did you feel tired when waking up? I wonder if it would help me too to get a good nights' sleep since rest is a good way to get healthy.

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DREWBIMON 1/7/2013 1:39PM

    Pretty neat little device. Glad it helps you be more active!

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COURTS42 1/7/2013 1:24PM

    I love seeing this, I just purchased one last week and I am waiting to receive it. I am glad to see feedback on it.

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COUPONS0216 1/7/2013 1:10PM

    They are great devices! I got mine in mid November and it really does motivate you to move more. I also like that it syncs with your spark account, so you don't have to enter your exercise any more and if you are tracking your food in Spark, it syncs to your fitbit. Have you joined the Spark fit bit team yet?

emoticon

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PAPER_WINGS18 1/7/2013 11:24AM

    Thanks for the review! I still can't decide if I like my WW ActiveLink or not... It's kinda depressing to see how inactive I am for the majority of the day, lol. I am struggling w/ finding ways to get exercise into my day on my non-work out days, and sitting for 10 hours a day at work, and then sitting some more after work. I think I will enjoy it more once the weather is warmer here and I can walk on my lunch break at least..

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KANDOLAKER 1/7/2013 11:22AM

    Good feedback for you! Hope it allows to figure out how to sleep better and get your goal steps. All the best to you!!

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MELLYBEANS0919 1/7/2013 11:03AM

    I am glad your purchase was worth the money.

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MOMANDNURSE150 1/7/2013 10:45AM

    I've seen them sell a little cheaper on eBay. Just not sure if its a good purchase for me. But thanks for the info!

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C8TSON 1/7/2013 10:42AM

    Thank you for sharing this info! I have really been considering getting one of these, so I may just save up to buy one. I really like that it tracks sleep. Wow! 20 times in one night?! You might consider doing the sleep challenge team. I just did it, and I am sleeping better now. Thanks for letting us know about the fitbit! emoticon

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#119 - New Years, 5K Race, & FitBit.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

emoticon I hope every one had a great New Years! emoticon

I relaxed with family and friends as well as took time to treat my body right (exercising, eating well, sticking to portions, and drinking my water). For someone who always struggles on the weekends and holidays, this is a major plus for me. I did SO much better on New Years than I did at Christmas. It's like something clicked for me these past four days. I think it was the idea of a new year full of new opportunities to meet goals and get where I want to be. Plus, I did not want to be full of regret and have to "start over" on January 2nd. It feels good, and I hope to carry these two "reasons" throughout 2013!

Saturday, I had a 5K race which went well. My nerves bothered me on Friday night because it was expected to storm Saturday morning. However, I went to the race site, and I was glad I did because it ended up clearing up. I saw sunshine!


This was before the race. It was a bit chilly. Ha.


And let the race begin!

This race was difficult. I didn't get much sleep the night before, and I noticed a difference. Plus, once my shoes and socks were wet, my feet felt like weights. I ended up taking two quick walk breaks because I couldn't find my pace. Truthfully, I wanted to give up at several points during the race because of those situations, but I didn't. I finished strong:




My time was 33 minutes and 11 seconds (a personal best). I thought I was going to end up around 37 minutes; I don't know how I ran it that fast. I came in first place for my age group, but there were only about 20-30 runners. Regardless, I was excited about my numbers and first place!



On another note, I received my FitBit today! First, let me say that it is so tiny and cute! Haha. Anyways, even though I've only had it for about two hours, I've been getting up more to walk around which is exactly what I need since I work a desk job. I barely get up during the day. Hopefully, this will change!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DJSQUISHIE 1/6/2013 10:28PM

    Congrats on your achievement! emoticon

Also, thank you for commenting on my blog!

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TFUNKSGIRL 1/5/2013 8:24AM

    Congratulations on your race, emoticon You will have to let us know how your fitbit works for you, keep up the good work. emoticon

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WINNIE1978 1/4/2013 11:17AM

    Congrats on finishing the race with a great time! emoticon

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CHODGES83 1/3/2013 11:45AM

    emoticon emoticon
Look atchya rocking that PR!

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MISTYBLUE716 1/2/2013 5:40PM

    way to go!! keep us posted on the fit it!!

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CIPHER1971 1/2/2013 3:05PM

    Well done

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WONDERWOMAN 1/2/2013 2:42PM

    Great weekend, great race, great finish! Great start to 2013! I too am interested in your thoughts on the FitBit; I'm thinking of getting one for my sister for her birthday. But it will have to be simple to use as she is not a techie at all - hates her non-smart phone even. lol

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POOKASLUAGH 1/2/2013 2:40PM

    Woohoo on the personal best! That's great! I think the wet feet thing would have killed me haha! Especially in the cold.

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LJCANNON 1/2/2013 2:26PM

    emoticon I love Celebrating a Holiday with a 5K or Marathon!! I really do have to make a Better Effort to get in to an "Official" Event during the Holidays this Year!!
emoticon Even though I have enjoyed doing my Own Private 5Ks at the Park or around the Neighborhood on the Holidays this year, LOL!!

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CHUBRUB3 1/2/2013 2:20PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Sam!
Good for you! You persevered and finished well.
Awesome!
Hugs,
Angel
a

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MNGIRLIE 1/2/2013 1:27PM

    Woohoo! Congrats on the PR. That's a really great time! And i really think you should celebrate that first place finish! :)

I'm interested to see how you like the FitBit. I'd been considering getting one, but opted to just get a new Polar HRM instead.

Happy New Year!

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DRAGONFLY02 1/2/2013 1:16PM

    Yeh!!!! You went with the Fitbit. It is cute, haha. I wear mine clipped to my bra, to me it's the easiest and most discrete. And I'm much less likely to accidentally toss it in the washing machine. I used to have a $60 pedometer that I clipped to the waistband of my pants and forgot one time and it went through the wash and dryer and got ruined. Since I don't wash my bras after 1 time wearing it (I hope that's not gross....), I just keep it clipped on all the time. And to me, it's more noticeable when I change clothes, so I'm more likely to remember to remove it before I do throw my bra in the wash.

By the way, great job on the 5K race and I have to say, you are looking very thin in your photo, in a good way. You might not be seeing the number moving much on the scale, but it sure is noticeable by your appearance that your slimming down and obviously gaining muscle since the scale is not moving much for you. Awesome job!

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SPICEMWE 1/2/2013 1:14PM

    Great job on your race! First place is still first place. Be proud of what you have accomplished! I've seen you come such a long way! So proud of you!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MELLYBEANS0919 1/2/2013 1:04PM

    Way to go! I am so proud of you!! Your Fit-Bit is adorable. How much was it? What does it track? Just curious.

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PAPER_WINGS18 1/2/2013 1:04PM

    Congrats on your race, and for staying on track for NYE! That's great, girl! :D NYE is always easier for me than Christmas b/c Christmas there's just too many tempting foods around, where as NYE is basically just another "weekend" food day for me, lol. We ordered Chinese and lounged around in our PJs this year, and it was great!

I am so excited about your FitBit! I am finding that with my WW ActiveLink, I am getting up and moving from my desk more too! It's pretty neat to see our graphs at the end of our day to see how active we are at different parts of the day! :)

Here's to a great 2013!! Lots of amazing stuff is in store for us, I know it! emoticon

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C8TSON 1/2/2013 12:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Great job girl!!!! You are definitely an inspiration to me!!!

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#118 - January Goals.

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 has been a great year for me. I've lost a little over 20 pounds, I'm healthier than I've ever been, and I'm working out more. When I was 174 lbs, I never thought I would get to where I am now. I know, though, that to get to my desired weight, I need to do a little better, so below are my plans for January:

1. Eat cleaner/try a new clean recipe once a week.
2. Workout 5-6 times a week.
3. Sleep more (8-9 hours a night).
4. Drink more water (8-12 cups a day).
5. Incorporate Yoga or Pilates 1-2 times a week.
6. Be grateful.

**I say January because I am better with short-term goals. I hope to continue these for all of 2013.**

I struggle on the weekends and on holidays. I guess the lack of a schedule really throws me off which explains numbers 2-4. I think the best way to tackle those are to create a schedule for days that I am not at work. I hope to come up with one over the next few days.

Number 1 is a big deal because right now, I am eating whatever as long as it fits within the calorie range. I would love to get away from processed foods entirely; however, I would need to be better at taking time out on Sundays to make meals. (I will be working on that too!) For January, I would like my breakfast, lunch, and snacks to be 100% clean. Dinner is a little different as I cook for both my boyfriend and I; he's picky. Hopefully, I can switch to 100% clean eating in February or March, but I'd also like to take my time too. It's a big change.

So, how do I begin clean eating? What foods can or cannot eat? Any suggestions? I will be on a budget, so any tips for that would be greatly appreciated.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WONDERWOMAN 1/1/2013 9:53AM

    The term 'clean eating' has always had me somewhat confused too. Maybe because it is too nebulous. I need defined and very structured limits to succeed most of the time. It is also because I grew up on a farm and still, for the most part, eat the way I was raised. All good, fresh, wholesome foods. But you know what? That did not keep me thin - I just ate too much of mom's good home cooking and ballooned into a chubby teen. Don't get me wrong, I've eaten my share of junk too; but I know that isn't clean. It's the "in between" I have a hard time making the distinction. Therefore, I'm basically going to just do my best. We can do this!

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CCSDESTINY 12/29/2012 12:37PM

    The best advice I was ever given is to shop the parameter of the store and skip the middle isles. If there is something you have to have from the middle - ask yourself is it clean? Do you really need it?

I've found that I dont REALLY need much from the middle isles except dried beans (because I like the cheap beans :) - They do well in the crock pot all day.

Good luck!!

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CHUBRUB3 12/28/2012 11:20PM

    emoticon emoticon
You got this Sam!
Check out Mark Sisson at www.marksdailyapple.com in regards to clean eating.
Also check out the Primal lifestyle team here on spark.
Hugs,
Angela


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WINNIE1978 12/28/2012 10:53PM

    Congrats on your accomplishments in 2012... and good luck with your goals for 2013! emoticon

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SEPPIESUSAN 12/28/2012 5:10PM

    Wow, you've done great - how inspiring! When I'm good about eating clean, it's all about the convenience factor. I love Just a Handful of Roasted Unsalted Almonds from Trader Joe's because it's both totally clean (just almonds) and also prepackaged in single-serving bags. I like smoothies for breakfast and I google recipes to make (especially crockpot recipes) to batch-cook. I even prefer convenient fruit for snacks like apples and clementines over something I have to chop up! (I need to get back to eating like this!) Best of luck!

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C8TSON 12/28/2012 1:09PM

    I would say try to stay away from processed foods as much as possible for the clean eating. Since I have cut back on the pre-packaged stuff, I have felt sooooo much better. There are so many preservatives in those types of foods, that even the "healthiest" claims don't make up for the junk they put in there. emoticon I think you have great plans for January! emoticon emoticon

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MELLYBEANS0919 12/28/2012 12:15PM

    Fantastic goals. I'll be trying to eat clean too, as you know from my blog. I have "The Eat-Clean Diet' book by Tosca Reno. Also, there are a lot of health blogs and tumblrs online that I can share with you if you like.
In terms of what to eat: lean meats, veggies, fruits, healthy fats and lots of water. I am not sure yet how to handle meals with my husband either.
We'll figure this out together!


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OLIVIANIGHT 12/28/2012 12:10PM

    I struggle on weekends too, mostly because the time just gets away from me and before I know it it's 7pm, I've only had 3 glasses of water and 1 piece of fruit.
Making a schedule for weekends sounds like a good plan, in which I might join you : )

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BRANDI.FEY 12/28/2012 11:16AM

    Sounds like you have some great and do-able goals. Good luck!

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NANCYPAT1 12/28/2012 10:29AM

    Your goals sound great.

Cleaner eating to me means choosing mostly natural/fresh or frozen fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. It means avoiding for the most part processed foods and things that have more than a couple of ingredients. Cleaner cooking methods include baking, broiling, grilling, roasting, etc. without the addition of a lot of fats. When using fat, choosing healthier fats like olive oil make it cleaner. I refuse to eliminate ALL of any food group or even any specific food but choosing the more natural and the healthier options is a good place to start.

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#117 - Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hi all! Hope everyone had a great Christmas! I did although I ate too much and barely exercised. I'm not particularly proud of it, but it is what it is. I enjoyed spending time with family and friends, and that's what it's about.

Anyways, I received some money for Christmas, and I really want to put it towards something I will enjoy as well as something that will further my journey. I've really been thinking about getting a FitBit One or a BodyMedia Fit Core, but I'm just not sold. I have a couple of reasons:

1. My job consists of me sitting at a desk for 8 or so hours. I try to get up as much as I can, but it's not a lot. Due to this, I am super afraid that it won't be put to good use except for on the weekends.

2. Money. I did get some money like I said, but ahh, bills! Haha. I'm a broke ex-college student (who really needs to find a better job! Haha), so money gets tight. However, it is pretty close to income tax check time... emoticon

I know some of you have these products, so I am interested to know your input before buying such a big investment. What are your pros and cons? Also, should I buy it online or go to say, Best Buy? Let me know what you think!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CCSDESTINY 12/31/2012 10:01AM

    Girl, I love my fitbit!! I got the ultra last year (or was it year before last?)...hmm.. anyways, I have worn the heck out of it, and I've replaced it and worn that one out too. This year I got an upgrade to the ONE and it is soooo nice! way easier to wear than the ultra. :)

That being said, i have a desk job too and it motivates me to get up and walk around. On the fitbit website (if you get one - friend me) you can 'pass' your friends during the day. Its fun - my husband has a desk job too - and a fitbit of his own. I drink more water so i can get up and go to the bathroom more than him ;)

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JODIRICHARDS 12/29/2012 10:28AM

    I invest in a heart rate monitor so when I do workout I make sure I make the most of my time. I've seen basic pedometers at Dollar Tree you could set goals here on SP for steps in a day to help keep yourself moving during the day. Find what works for you and make it happen!

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SUGIRL06 12/27/2012 10:36AM

    What DRAGONFLY02 said. I am always shocked at how little I move during the day so having the FitBit makes me want to move more. Some people shoot for 10,000 steps. Sometimes I'm happy to get 5000! It really is nice to see. I used to use it for the calories too but now that I don't track, I don't need that part. Now I just use the steps as a decent estimate which has worked great. I love having it! And like she said also, the website is free and can be linked with SP (and My Fitness Pal too which I find more accurate and updates both ways). Anyway, I vote for FitBit and its the same price whether you buy it on their website or at BestBuy!
~Ang

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DRAGONFLY02 12/26/2012 10:58PM

    I have the FitBit and love it. I also have a desk job and I wear my FitBit all day, every day. It really shows me how little exercise I get with my job. At first I was shocked to find at the end of the work day, I often barely log in 2000 steps!! Yikes! But my point is, that wearing the FitBit daily motivates me to move more in the evening to get that count up.

I had also looked at getting the Body Media when I was looking into devices and the ultimate decision-maker was the required monthly membership fee for Body Media, whereas the FitBit is free. You can upgrade the FitBit online for extra stuff for a monthly fee, but between what I get with SP and the free FitBit information, I feel I don't need to pay for the upgrade. I like that I pay once for the device and can access my information for free whenever I want. AND I can now link it up to my SP account.

Read this review I found on Amazon.com. I have to say from reading the review, I'm even happier that I kept with the "cheaper" device. http://www.amazon.com/review/R2UMUB
I5B3YHLX/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=
UTF8&ASIN=B0052KONSI&nodeID=376
0901&store=hpc

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POOKASLUAGH 12/26/2012 1:05PM

    You can use the BMF even at a desk job, and it's interesting to see what happens to your metabolism during the day when you have to sit that long. It was very eye-opening for me. Even just getting up for 30 seconds every 15 minutes can boost your metabolism.

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PAPER_WINGS18 12/26/2012 12:57PM

    I can't speak for either, but just got the ActiveLink (WW's device that is essentially the FitBit). I will let you know how I like it, the more I use it. Like you, I have a desk job where I sit for 10 hours/day, but I am hoping that this allows me to get up and move every hour. Even if it is just to the far bathroom, or to fill my water bottle up more(I fill it up downstairs so it makes me move more too).

Also keep in mind that these devices keep track of how much you are REALLY burning, which can come in handy with your work outs. A lot of the gym machines, and the calculations inputted on SP are wayyy inaccurate, so wearing these devices gives us an accurate reading of how much we are truly burning, which could motivate you to move/work out more intense too! :)

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 12/26/2012 12:46PM

  You can shop at Best Buy on line. You can shop at just about any store on line. Just go to your search engine and type in the name of the store and there you go you got it.

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#116 - Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

If you were like me, I was devastated to hear the news about Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. I couldn't believe how someone could take innocent lives of 6-7 years olds. It broke my heart that they would never be able to smile, laugh, or learn. Not only do I hurt for the victims, but it hurts to think about how these families have prepared for Christmas only for their child to be taken away. Presents will remain unopened this Christmas.

With that said, we have a chance to change lives. We have a chance to make a difference. Although money will not bring back those sweet faces, it can help with funeral arrangements and such for these families.

On December 31st, there is a race - Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial 5K and Half Marathon. It's a virtual race that can be done at any time. You can walk, swim, bike, run, anything. It's $20 for the 5K and $30 for the half. If you are interested, here's the link:

http://www.active.com/half-marathon/tamp
a-fl/sandy-hook-elementary-memorial-ha
lf-marathon-and-5k-2013?cmp=1745

I'm not trying to make you but just think about it. If you decide not to, that's fine. All I ask is that you will share this race with other friends on FB and SP, so that we can get the word out.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WIFEALF 12/20/2012 1:33AM

    such a sad story broke my heart.if i lived closer i would join..good luck....

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C8TSON 12/19/2012 12:41PM

    emoticon

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KANDOLAKER 12/18/2012 8:59PM

    Excellent - thank you so much for sharing. They also have a Facebook page, and they show over 2000 registrants! What a great idea and cause. Again, thanks for sharing!!

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MELLYBEANS0919 12/18/2012 7:10PM

    I hope a lot of people are able to join the race to support the families. It's so heartbreaking.

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HDHAWK 12/18/2012 6:43PM

    Thank you. I am going to stay away from the news tonight. Thinking about what happened kept me up half the night. I'm a teacher also.

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DRAGONFLY02 12/18/2012 5:44PM

    Thanks for sharing. I also can't read the stories or watch much news about this. With an almost 5 year old at home, I don't want to think about it. Not that I don't care or pray for the families and the community, I just know I would get way too overwhelmed with emotions and cannot deal with that right now. I do feel bad for avoiding the news, but at the same time I just don't want to know too much. I start getting horrible images in my mind that I don't want.

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CHUBRUB3 12/18/2012 5:24PM

    Thanks Sam!
This is something good coming out of something so tragic.
Hugs,
Angela


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CAGMUAHFO2 12/18/2012 4:12PM

    I can't read any articles about it without crying. I just can't understand how such violence can happen. It breaks my heart to know that Christmas morning is not going to be filled with joy for the parents and family.


Thank you so much for the link!!

Comment edited on: 12/18/2012 4:14:42 PM

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