Friday, October 04, 2013
Or it could be me, of course. But it's only my second day with it, and I'm super frustrated!
Yesterday it seemed to be doing a few weird things, but since it was the first day and I was just setting it up and such, I decided to mostly ignore the feedback until today. It's not going well so far. So many people report loving these -- it has to at least in part be something I am doing/not doing/not understanding then, right? Any feedback from experienced users would be greatly appreciated, as I'm almost ready to pack it back up and return it already!
It told me I was restless quite often during my 6.5 hours of sleep last night (I know, I know), but not awake -- even though I remember waking up and speaking to my husband at some point -- leading it to report that my sleep was 97% efficient. Great! Except, as usual, I felt like I'd been run down by a train when I tried to wake up this morning. Hmmmm.
Now, it could be that you need to be up and moving -- like, walking to the bathroom? -- for it to detect that you're "awake," which I guess could just be a "limitation" of the current state of the technology (which otherwise seems crazy-advanced to me!), but that's not going to be terribly valuable for me. If I didn't want the sleep-tracking function, I could just buy an HRM or something.
Yesterday during the day I had set my main goal as steps counted, since I knew I was going to walk about 2 miles on my lunch break and I wanted to test out the feedback. But I changed it back to calories burned before I biked home for the same reason. I was pretty pleased when I got my "goal met" four flashing lights with about 2 miles still to go, until much later when I got a push notification (after 11 p.m.!) that I had almost made it to my goal -- just 2.000-some steps to go. Argh. So wrong goal AND obnoxiously late. I should have been in bed already. Maybe it will know when I am and not send them? I am not hopeful.
It finally seems to be remembering my main goal (about which you get the flashy-light feedback) but I also have tried to change the numeric part of my goals (number of steps, calories burned, etc.) numerous times, but it keeps reverting back to all the default settings. I don't see any "save" button...am I missing something?
I just don't believe it so far! On the first day, by the time I got to work (before I had fully set it up yet), it told me I had logged a few hundred steps, even though I had walked only out to my bike and from my bike into my work building. It also told me I logged only 3.1 miles in distance, which is accurate only if it applies to STEPS ONLY. That's fine if that's what it does...but as I am primarily a cyclist, this also is not really useful to me.
It also says I burned a total of 2,052 calories yesterday. I average 175 per ride (5 miles! seems so unfair, doesn't it? LOL), and I rode to and from. Plus I walked about a mile or so one way on lunch (FitBit says 64 calories there and 60 back -- and at least that seems reasonable, since on the way back I slowed just a bit by my groceries). So that's 470 calories burned. Can I really be burning nearly 1600 calories just from walking no more than 30 feet to the bathroom at work multiple times a day and pacing my kitchen while making dinner?
Today the flashy lights said (and are still saying) I met my calories-burned goal before I even made it to work (same routine - modest movement getting ready for work and 175-calorie bike ride). My dashboard says I've burned 900-some calories so far -- but the goal setting has reverted back to the factory-set 2,184! 900 is NOT greater than 2,000...this much I remember from grade-school math. Argh again.
And if those things were true, wouldn't I be melting away when I am compliant with my 1400 calorie intake per day? Evidently not, because then there are food goals: If I tell it I want to lose 1 pound per week for a total of 13 pounds by January, it says I can only eat 770 calories.
And even though I have not logged any food yet with the FitBit, it says I have 0 of those 770 calories remaining. It does say something about updating over time as you log, but what - why? It's math.
And what the heck are "active minutes"? It says that yesterday I had 58 total, which doesn't seem right: 25 minutes biking, minus maybe up to 10 for traffic lights -- I doubt it's that many, but let's estimate 15 anyway. So 15 x 2 (bike to work, bike home), plus 15 minutes each way on my lunchtime walk = 60.
So far today: 2. MINUTES. Remember I biked 25 minutes in to work?
I wish I could upload screen shots from my phone to make this easier to describe, but I never ever have time for anything at home anymore, and it's not possible at work.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
NOT "diet"-friendly, but my hubby made it for me! First time we've had gumbo since I stopped eating gluten, so ... 2-3 years?!
His go-to recipe (which he only ever uses as mere guides) used to be Emeril Lagasse's, and when I looked up a GF recipe I discovered both his daughters are gluten-free (one has celiac disease) and they wrote a GF cookbook, containing, of course -- gumbo!
Ours has all the fat (I found my stomach almost entirely souring at first at the idea!) but we used chicken andouille from Trader Joe's, plus shrimp and a nice piece of halibut. And we used the ONE bell pepper we got from our very-late-planted plant this year!
Monday, September 09, 2013
Synopsis: I am a mess but determined to get back on track. Read on if you care about any of the details. If not, no hard feelings! This is mostly me trying to get my head together. And besides, I'm sure you've heard the sob story before. Possibly from me.
First off, I have to apologize again for not yet personally getting back to everyone who sent their well wishes for my husband and their support for me -- every single one meant a lot to me, and if I never get to thank each of you personally, I hope you'll understand. He has at least two and half more weeks in the cast; except for the moment, work has been absolutely insanely busy; and my email inbox looks like it exploded. I once had a goal of keeping it under 300 -- and right now I'm well past 2,000! Yeeesh.
Anyway, I was struggling to maintain my fitness level and 75 pounds lost (WOO-HOO!) well before my husband went and landed himself in a wheelchair, and as you can imagine, the 5 weeks at my dear MIL's pretty much unraveled me the rest of the way! I was without my bike, I was often eating dinner at 9 and 10 p.m., I was getting even less sleep than usual, etc. My only exercise was an almost-mile-long walk to the train. Sure, this is better than nothing, but it's a far cry from biking almost 10 miles a day!
So I am feeling completely out of shape. I was teetering between a 10- and 15-pound gain, but now I am solidly at 15. I am back on my bike most workdays, but I haven't stretched properly or picked up a set of weights in what feels like ages, and oh, how it shows. Muffin top, lumpy-sausage thighs, cottage cheese triceps. I tried on some clearance clothes at Target on Saturday. BAD IDEA. Why didn't anyone tell me I have back fat again? (And really, at 140? Life really isn't fair sometimes.) Plus, the combo of sudden added stress and poof! NO exercise sent my fibro into a tailspin. (Did I mention I was also working on an important freelance job at the time that was already behind schedule when my dear other half called me to take him to the hospital?)
Granted, I am not sure my lowest weight of 125 was gained exactly healthfully -- it MELTED off (from the 138 at which I had been stuck for roughly a year) when I stripped ALL of the potential allergens out of my diet and lived on chicken and rice for days on end. Sugar suddenly hurt my teeth; fruit tasted like candy!
But as soon as I was brave enough to try soy again, with that came CHOCOLATE. (Many, many chocolate makers use soy lecithin as an emulsifier, which sucks, because they are doing it to save money, replacing some of the healthy cocoa butter with cheap -- i.e., government-subsidized -- soy, but that's as far up as I'll get onto THAT soapbox for now.) Oh, how I'd missed regular ol' dark chocolate! And with that came sugar, which I am learning is simply bad-news bears for me.
Also, I had fallen out of the habit of tracking. I felt so limited in what I could eat that it seemed silly at some point to even bother. And then, as I maintained for a while, I figured, hey, I got this thing! But then I also stopped exercising in the morning, because I was running on 5-6 hours of sleep, and my chiropractor/health guru and I decided that had to stop, and so it became more important to focus on that.
Basically, though, I think it all has combined into a perfect of storm of becoming lazy and resistant again (you'd think "tracking" translated into "cut off my left arm"), which has only increased my self-disappointment and my terrible negative self-talk. I just feel so...GROSS...that I can't help it. (that's the negative-self-talk police!)
But I am starting to see again just how counterproductive all that is. Plus, maybe some of it IS me being too harsh, because I just saw my doctor for the first time in over year, and she said, "You look great!" And she's short like me but a fit, trim runner, so I guess I should take that into account.
Regardless, though, I am unhappy with my current state of affairs. I am, weirdly enough, simultaneously anxious to get back to where I was and yet daunted and almost exhausted by the sheer thought of it. So I guess my best bet is to start slowly. Here's my new get-back-to-basics game plan:
Improve my sleep quality. In bed no later than 11, but 10:30 when possible. (Earlier is NOT possible right now.) Getting up at 5:30 then gives me 7 hours - not perfect, but better. I bought one of those sleep-quality smartphone apps over the weekend. It monitors your sleep and, based on your movement, wakes you at the most optimal time during a 30-minute window ending at the time you set the alarm. It's supposed to prevent you from waking up during a REM phase, which is what theoretically makes you feel like you've been hit by a bus. I decided it was worth a try for $2. (I've been wanting the Fit Bit forever, which does the same and a bunch of other cook stuff, but can't find/justify the $100+ for it right now.)
Re-establish my exercise routines: Get my butt back up in the morning (hopefully easier with the sleep measure above) but START SLOWLY. I tend to jump the proverbial gun so I don't lose my motivation! I'm going to ONLY do the stretching I learned in physical therapy for at least one week to get some range of motion back. Then I'll get back to Leslie Sansone -- first her walking program, then her interval (walking + weights) DVDs, plus maybe a yoga day on the weekends. THEN I can add some of the new stuff I've been amassing on my phone and Pinterest (thanks, PIR8CHIK! LOL).
Get eating under control and track, track, track. I'm been voraciously hungry for some time now. I blame the sugar creep. So it's time to get that back in line and get back to being more accountable. It's mostly elementary math, baby, not rocket science!
Rethink my fibromyalgia approach. Frankly, I am tired of this nonsense. I remain one of the lucky ones in that I am fairly highly functioning, but I am tired of it ALWAYS being part of my day, my approach to nearly everything. I just read a short interview with Carolyn Myss that nudged me about this yet again: I spend sooooooooooo much time and energy and money on trying to treat/fix/beat fibro, but maybe I need to just spend some time with it, listen to what it's trying to tell me. (All pain is a message!) Perhaps learn to co-exist with it and the special challenges and lessons I can learn from it. I find this VERY difficult -- finding the line between that and allowing suffering/giving up. But it seems to be important, because all of my efforts -- even a fibro SPECIALIST -- have gotten me not terribly far.
Start standing up for myself and my needs. This came up after another insanely late family gathering (midnight!), after which I am the only one who has to get up before the sun. I need to start putting my foot down, taking care of me. And this probably needs to apply to other areas of my life as well. It's got to at least contribute to my feeling worn down and stretched way too thin all the time.
I can do this!
Thursday, April 04, 2013
I was about halfway home on my bicycle on Tuesday evening when, waiting behind two cars at a stoplight, I was rear-ended by another car! I had no idea what was happening at first! I just remember being crashed into from behind and sort of gasping and flailing before I instinctively somehow braced from falling. Then I whirled around to see this guy's front end smooshed into my back tire.
Of course, my instinct was to yell, "What the hell are you doing?" The guy, in his defense, did look rather shocked and said "I didn't see you at all!" Seems impossible, right?!? But we were traveling westbound at around 6:15 p.m., and the sun actually was incredibly bright.
Sigh. So I am more sore now on day 2 than I was yesterday, the next day, but miraculously and thankfully, I am not at all seriously injured. It did, however, ramp up my already chronic back pain and perhaps set off a bit of a fibro flare. Still, I am thankful. Obviously, it could have been SO much worse!
Also, my beloved Specialized fared surprisingly well! I thought for sure it was wrecked at first, and I was just devastated...again. (Some of you will recall my Giant was crushed in the street by some psycho about two years ago!) But the frame is intact, and my wonderful husband brought it to our local bike shop while I was at work yesterday, and they are replacing the back wheel and brakes and such that got jammed, for a very reasonable price. (Thanks so much to Owen and Clare at Blue City! You guys rock and we're so glad to have you in the 'hood!)
So far the driver is being very cooperative. He said he'll pay for my bike repairs, he was apologetic and even offered to give me a ride somewhere. I declined of course LOL and instead took all the groceries I'd just bought out of my pannier bags and jumped on a bus. Hopefully he'll follow through without it having to get all legal and ugly. But again, I'm grateful that, either way, I can fairly easily afford the repairs so I can get back on the road!
Thursday, February 07, 2013
I'm actually a regular blood donor, but the past year or two, I've been encountering iron levels that are too low, and I have to walk away all sad and dejected. (They are clinically fine, just not high enough to give away any blood safely.) And it was so random! Sometimes fine, sometimes not. I tried to focus on iron-rich foods, avoid tea (the tannins interfere, I think they told me) and even switch up the time of day. And then, the last time I nearly passed out for the first time in years of donating!
Anyway, I squeaked in today with a hemoglobin reading of 12.6 (the minimum of 12.5). Hooray! This particular day was more important to me, because this blood drive at work happened to fall on the anniversary of the death of a family member in a DUI crash. She didn't die because of a lack of available blood for a needed transfusion, but still, it felt fitting and appropriate today.
When I climbed up onto the chair, the phlebotomist probably jokingly asked "Ooh, can I have your magazine?" when she spotted my December issue (yes, I'm that far behind - LOL) of Health with Skinnygirl Bethenny Frankel on the cover. I thought for a second and then said "Sure!" She looked surprised and asked "Really?" I was almost done with it, so I said, "I am! In fact, you'd be doing me a favor. My towering piles of magazines are out of control anyway!" It's true. I subscribe to far too many right now, but I can't help myself. I am a health- and spiritual-information fiend!
So I finished looking through it while recovering with my LifeSource-provided water and gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free Snyder's pretzels (WHAT?! I had no idea!) which were very good! I enjoyed all 100 calories.
It felt so good to do a small but nice and generous thing for a stranger! I wasn't even mad at her for not being the most gentle technician I've ever encountered. (I swear, for the ones who are, it is a coveted gift.) And hey, that's two gifts when you count the blood!
Despite a sad anniversary and rain and sleet outside, not a bad Thursday at all.
Sparkle on, Sparkies!
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