8,500-9,999 SparkPoints 9,623

Technology on my side

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Wins of the morning:
First day in a week that I didn't wake up to my cat leaving me a dead bug in the living room (or a hairball!)
Perfect weather outside
Not regretting the "impulse" purchase of flowers (try to reward yourself with inedible prizes)

Put a chocolate-covered cherry in my mouth without thinking, chewed, stopped and thought, "What the hell? I'm making breakfast, this is no time for candy!" Spat it out and added frozen cherries (thank you, Costco!) and guiltless chocolate chips (thank you, Whole foods!) to my oats instead!

So I'm feeling pretty good by 10 AM. I also have a plan, and that is a secret (not so secret) love of mine. I plan on using technology to WIN.

To win what? Well, to win the battle of being me versus being something else. The me I have been and wish to be again (actually, I can start right now) is vivacious, active, spunky, wise, solemn, ridiculous and sweaty. She is a hot, heaving behemoth of a woman who has funky tan lines and if you're not careful she'll make you cookies from scratch. She's wickedly alive and has the muscles to prove it.

So, in order to help chisel that woman out of the marble (or fat, if we are being more literal) I'm employing some nifty and generally free gadgets to my aid. I wish Sparkpeople were one of those gadgets, but that's not really how this site works. This isn't a gadget site, it is a people site (hence the name) so I'm going to use THIS platform to boost my community-love and support.

1. Runkeeper emoticon Most people use this free app to track walks and runs, but I'm going to use it for cycling. I bike to work, which is a little under six miles and around 30 minutes depending on the route I take. I used to bike all the time but I am only now getting back into it and remembering that this is a double-edged sword of a workout. I like it because I'm working up a sweat *while going somewhere* That means it doesn't feel like homework or an interruption. However, dealing with cars, pot holes and pedestrians certainly freaks me out and leaves me jarred and nervous by the end of a bad ride.

2. Fitocracy emoticon I like the idea of being the hero in my own video game. I'm not really big on the groups (yet) but I'd like to try and get some co-workers to join so we can throw challenges at each other and unlock achievements. Fitocracy is more for the lifters and gym rats out there but it does have a few cycling quests so I won't feel left out. I also secretly want to be a hawt lady lifter, but I have neither the time nor money for a gym membership yet.

3. Gympact emoticon Using the start-up code GymPact$5 you can have a free week and a $5 start to try out this app. It is a pact where you set up the terms of promising how many days a week you'll work out (1-7) and how much money you'll pay out for every day that you miss ($5-$50). I used the common parameters of 3 days a week at $5 penalties, which means if I don't work out all week I pay $15 from my paypal account! Yikes! But here's the thing... I commute to work! I have the tendency to brush that off as "not really exercise" because I'm a jerk to myself and love being delusional, but a hard 30 minute bike ride IS exercise and must be treated as such! If I bike ONE WAY only THREE TIMES every week then I will meet my pact. And I'm already bike BOTH ways at least FOUR times a week!

Now, only days are counted, not individual work outs. So you can't get it all in at once. But that is also good because it means I can choose to track my commute in or my commute out if I need to use public transit for some reason. Or, I can actually check into a gym or go for a run to make up for "lost time". The penalties for gympact are high (starting at $5, that's a lot!) but the penalty money gets pooled and divided among those who complete their weekly pact, that means every week I make my pact I'll get a small money reward! And you know where that money is going? Coffee.

I'm going to use those nickels and dimes to have ritualized coffee shop trips for writing. It is something dear and deep to my heart, and even when I try to set aside money to do it I feel guilty. This way someone is PAYING me to write! All I have to do is bike to work and track it on my Runkeeper.

Oh, the best thing about these three apps? They all sync together through Facebook. That means if I track a ride on Runkeeper it shows up on my FB account, on Fitocracy and on Gympact automatically. I don't have to individually enter my minutes into each application (sorry, Sparkpeople, but you're killing me with that). I just have to make sure that Runkeeper successfully records and sends my completed workout. I was trying it out yesterday and BOTH trips failed, but luckily Runkeeper saves the data in a short-term memory. So I resent the data a few times and finally it uploaded to the site, branching out into my other applications. Boom. As I become more familiar with the technology it will be even faster and smoother.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You should also check out AcheiveMint - it's not an app, but it connects with RunKeeper as well as several different weigh in apps. You earn points for weighing in and for exercising - get 25,000 points, get a check for $25. :)
    1642 days ago
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