Getting fit with Fitbit

A lot sure has changed since my last post.

For starters, I’ve gone back to work full-time, which has been really, really great. And with that, of course, there’s been some bad.

My foot started acting up soon after I started, so in addition to not being able to log those five-plus mile walks every day like I’d been doing prior to getting hired, I wasn’t even able to do much more than walk — more like painfully limp, actually — to and from the subway to work and home.

It killed me, it really did, going from being so active to just doing the bare minimum. I know I’ve changed, and I like the body that all that walking over the past several months has given me. It’s not my best, nor my goal, but it’s better than it was when I started this journey, and that’s all that matters to me.

Luckily, my foot seems to be getting better (knock wood!), so the fella and I took a decent walk last Monday before doing our grocery shopping. And I cannot tell a lie: This came after a horrible, horrible weekend of eating. We’d gone back to my parents’ for the holiday weekend, and, like I’d written the month before, the food was plentiful — and not very good for us.

Wings and beer at our favorite place. A secret hot dog run. The biggest grilled steak I ever did see (and eat). A nice, big slice of an amazing early birthday cake and then an absolute massacre of a NEPA delicacy: Victory Pig pizza, which we bought frozen and ate when we got home Sunday. All 12 cuts. Gone. In one sitting.

We felt disgusting the morning after, so Monday was a total detox day, which gave a really great start to our mindset for the rest of the week. I’m happy to report that, by Friday, I lost the pounds I gained on our “Lost Weekend.” Most of it was thanks in part to being able to walk more — and the latest addition in our fitness regime: the Fitbit Flex band, which the fella’s parents gave us both as an early birthday for me and Father’s Day for him gifts.

In case you’re not familiar, Fitbit is a rubber bracelet-like device that wirelessly tracks the number of steps you take, sleep patterns, calorie burning, etc. While ours are black, the device comes in several colors, so it can be changed up to be more of an accessory to your outfits. Getting Fitbit was the fella’s idea, and he was almost to the point of annoying with how excited he was about getting one. I, on the other hand, took some convincing.

Photo from techgirl.co.za

Photo from techgirl.co.za

I’m not a big wrist-jewelry wearer. I loathe watches and have one bracelet I’ve worn for years now, so I’m used to it, and I love it … but, I take it off the second I get home because I can’t sleep in any jewelry. When the fella snapped the Fitbit on me the first time, I immediately felt constricted. Compared to my bracelet, the Fitbit was ginormous. Bulky. Uncomfortable, especially to sleep in. Every time I moved, I felt it. Worried that I would turn it off or screw it up. So that first night, I didn’t sleep very well.
Plus, it’s always with me. Sleeping, in the shower, should I ever find myself swimming in a pool or ocean, there it will be. That’s a commitment I don’t even make with what little jewelry I do wear, and they’re Tiffany pieces for God’s sake!

I grumbled about it the next day, tried wearing my bracelet on my left wrist since the Fitbit had to be on my non-dominant hand and felt so off-kilter I could’ve screamed. I’ve since put the bracelet back on my right wrist with the Fitbit and feel much better, thankyouverymuch.

As the week wore on, and my foot felt well enough to walk up to the fella’s work after I got out as well as some lunchtime strolls and I started looking at my Fitbit dashboard online and on the app, I started to come around. It got easier to sleep with, and the first time my wrist vibrated because I met my daily step goal, I first jumped because it startled me, and then I felt very accomplished.

Then a funny thing happened, which is what makes the product so great: I got competitive with myself. Each day I wanted to — I needed to — beat my step count from the day before and/or beat the fella, who sent me a taunt on the app, which looks similar to a Mr. Yuk sticker.
Oh, hell no, fella. Hell. No. 

Though I am still getting used to wearing the Fitbit, which really isn’t as bulky as I made it out to be with my set-in-my-ways way, I really think it’s revolutionized the way the fella and I look at fitness. We’re still using My Fitness Pal to track our calories (Fitbit syncs with MFP, which has been great), but after having some issues with Map My Walk, which told me on several different occasions that I walked two miles in two seconds (even though the distance from the subway to work is less than a mile and takes about five minutes), it’s been awesome to see a much more accurate measure of distance. I chalk some of my issues with MMW up to me being back in the Financial District, which, despite being the center of the financial world, is a huge reception dead zone most of the time.

While I do miss the mapping MMW did, I don’t miss having to end a workout before I go down into the subway station, meaning that the many steps I take underground through stations and on platforms go uncounted. The Fitbit counts them all, and its accuracy showed me that I really wasn’t burning as much as I thought I was, as much as MMW led me to think I was — which might finally start showing me some substantial loss on the scale now that I know my true caloric burn.

If you’re looking for something that could take your fitness/health goals to the next level, you might want to look into a Fitbit. I’m not being paid for this little write up (though if the company wants to, I won’t object, haha). I’m just a girl looking to be her healthiest self and using a product that I think makes a big difference in my life. We all know we should aim for 10,000 steps a day, and this product is helping me blow that minimum away — and helping me become the thinner, fitter person who’s getting closer and closer every day.

Nikki

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-15

I hopped on the scale today and was extremely pleased to see the number down 15 pounds!

I’ve been working my tail off with exercising and eating right, and I love seeing it pay off like this.

I’ve continued to be super mindful of tracking my food in My Fitness Pal and all my movements in Map My Walk, and, thanks to the fella and I taking advantage of last weekend’s glorious 50-degree temps, we walked almost 17 miles on Saturday and Sunday combined. On Saturday, we found a new path along the Hudson that led us to The Little Red Lighthouse, and on Sunday, we walked from 43rd, through Central Park and home to 149th. Needless to say, I think my new purple Reeboks are officially broken in!

According to my weekly summary from MMW for March 3-March 9, I did 10 workouts for 8.2 hours, covered 23.5 miles and burned 5,405 calories. Not too shabby I daresay! I think when I’m down 30 pounds, I am going to start incorporating jogging as part of my walks to help ward off any plateaus and to, you know, start putting the “run” back into Run, Nikki, Run!

Hope you have a great Thursday — and an even better weekend!

Nikki

Get up and go

Just as I was getting balls deep into a week-plus cycle of sleeping through the night, I was wide awake this morning at 2 a.m. and stayed that way until almost 6 a.m.

Since I was up, I did what any good girl would do while the rest of the house and building slumbered and took to Netflix, where I  continued my recent tear of watching fabulous documentaries about fabulous New Yorky people, like the Kennedys and Diana Vreeland (can I just pause to mention how frigging fantastic she was?? Such style! Such great vision! Watching it made me realize that even though I work from home, there’s no reason I shouldn’t dress up or not wear lipstick around the house on a daily basis because why the hell not? I just might be wearing my best red lips right now if you must know. It goes fantastically with my black yoga pants!).

Last night started with a program about Candy Darling, one of Andy Warhol’s Superstars. She was so beautiful and tragic, and it’s kind of BS that she, who was born as a man, had better cheekbones than I do. I also tried to watch a doc about Halston, but the interviewer was so unprofessional and stupid I had to turn it off after 10 minutes. But I watched enough of it to see some of Liza Minnelli’s fantabulous apartment and have decided that I would like to have that be my “downtown” pad, so don’t be surprised if you hear a ding-dong one of these days, “Lucille 2.”

MMWAnyway, now that that’s all out of my system, even though I super-cleaned the apartment and did some work, all day I felt sluggish and on the verge of a binge. I know  it was definitely because I was so tired mixed with the fact that I know for a fact I haven’t been drinking as much water as I should lately (for shame!). It wasn’t until I took the garbage outside that I realized how nice it was here in New York today — like, almost 40 degrees nice! — so I came back upstairs, put on some workout clothes, downloaded a new pedometer app that works with My Fitness Pal called Map My Walk and out the door I went.

The fella had gone to a nutritionist last night, and she gave him a meal plan that the two of us are going to put into practice ASAP. Some of the stuff, like cutting out white foods and most of the processed junk in our lives and adding some more fish and protein-rich foods into our diets we’ve actually done in recent weeks, so hopefully this will be an easy transition and lifestyle change.

We’re both pretty excited and hopeful that this will be the thing that sticks, finally. If you’ve been reading RNR for any amount of time, you know I’ve fallen off and gotten back on the exercise/healthy-eating wagon more times than Chris Christie has been in the news in recent weeks. Sad but true, but I know that us doing this together is a key to success. And a little — OK, a lot of — competition between the two of us is sure to kick things up a notch, especially because the bastard males of the species lose weight so much faster than women. Hmmph.

Now that I logged a brisk almost two-mile walk this evening, I feel better, less on-the-verge-of-binging and more quiet inside my head. I tell ya, they were onto something with this thing called exercise …

So are any of you on Map My Walk? What do you think about it?

Nikki

-5

mfpWell, it’s been a little more than two weeks since I started being a regular checker-in on My Fitness Pal, working on stopping my emotional eating (which has been a very difficult task what with some crazy amounts of stress lately) and finally, finally, finally thinking before eating.

I’m nowhere close to being out of the woods, but I’m of to a good start, especially after stepping on the scale yesterday morning and seeing the number five pounds lower than it was last week.

Yep, I’m five pounds down, and hopefully this is one downward spiral that’ll continue until I get back to the weight where I was most happy with myself.

I’ll never be 130 pounds, sadly, but I know where I’ll feel comfortable, and like “G.I. Joe” always said, “knowing is half the battle.”

Nikki

 

 

Scaling down

Photo by Getty Images, surprisingly not a Nikki original ...

Photo by Getty Images, surprisingly not a Nikki original …

Well, the scale’s just a few days old, and already I loathe it.

I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know how bad, I didn’t know how far I now have to go.

But, it was a wakeup call that I know I desperately needed, and it seems daily inputs into My Fitness Pal and texts between me and my lifestyle-change cohort Tiffany about our progress (and/or setbacks) have become “the new normal,” and it’s all for the better. I see myself being super conscious about what I eat. “Do I really want to put this in MFP … and have a questioning text from Tiff?” I say when I find myself craving something naughty.

Right now, I’m still in baby-step mode, but I think I’m making the right choices. It’s been 10 days since we started, at least according to MFP, and I do feel more energetic and that I’m making the right food choices to fuel me for hours, plus, I can see a slight difference in my face, which is always the first place I see results.

Ahh, if only the belly was first, but all in due time, I s’pose.

Nikki

 

My pal and My Fitness Pal

fitnesspalOne of my dearest friends whom I’ll call … Tiffany … has long been the one I call or text when I’m feeling super down about myself. We talk other times as well, mind you, but we both know the other will listen unconditionally and help give us the push we need to get back on track when we’ve gotten off track.

Tiff’s always been there to offer up any tips she’s learned along the way or to wager a friendly challenge, such as the one we just started today. We’re going to keep track a food diary via My Fitness Pal, and I think we’re both going to try to give up (as much as possible) a beloved food we’ve often bonded over: Cheese.

Today I logged back into the app for the first time in God knows how long, saw a bunch of comments from my brother playfully yelling at me for being MIA, and vowed to make checking in on it a daily habit, like my obsession with my beloved Instagram, which just so happens to be right next to MFP on my phone.

I vow to be honest and smart about the food I eat, and to become that healthier version of myself I know I can be.
And when Tiffany and I meet at the end of next month at another dear friend’s baby shower, we’ll raise a toast to ourselves at how good we’ve been, how much better we feel, how we can always count on each other for support and how we’re just getting started.

Let’s do this!

Nikki 

Just a walk in the park

Sunday the fella and I dropped the Girl Child off at Penn Station for her train back to New Jersey, and it was early so I knew I wanted to stay outside as long as possible because 1. It was really beautiful out, even despite being a tad overcast, and 2. I wanted to log a good, long walk in My Fitness Pal.
Which, by the way, I’ve now logged onto 17 days in a row, thankyouverymuch! 

cp walk2

Here’s me on our walk through CP.

In case you’re scoffing, “Oh, big deal, you walked through a park,” I shall repeat myself:
We walked through all of Central Park.
That’s 843 acres.
2.5 miles long between 59th Street and 110th Street.
0.5 miles wide from Fifth Avenue to Central Park West.

By our calculations because of the bevy of looping and twisting paths within the park and the extra blocks once we exited it, we know we walked at least 73 total blocks – and a few more miles.

I have to say that during our walk, it didn’t really seem like a major undertaking, even walking up the many hills Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux were clearly so fond of.

Maybe it was because of how gorgeous it was that day, the fact that I spied a lot of pretty blooms popping up here and there, the charming company (of which I am biased about) and the fact that no matter how many times you walk through the park, you can always discover something new, be it some unexpected waterfalls right there smack dab in the middle of Manhattan (I know, right?!), a completely undeveloped path that reminds me of the woods I grew up in in Pennsylvania or an intriguing path that winds under a beautiful stone bridge.

I love walking through New York, it’s truly the best kind of exercise, and now that I’m being seriously mindful of the food I eat, and tracking it and the walks I take on lunch and after work on MFP, I know I’m on the right path, one that will have great results at last.

Nikki

 

 

Mindful over matter

Here we are at the tail end of the first week of the rest of my life, if that makes any sense.
In my last post, I vowed to really get myself back on track, and for better or worse, I’ve done that.

I was mindful of what I ate all week, filled up on greens whenever I could, walked a lot, spending at least half of my lunch walking around the Financial District, took walks after work two nights and tracked myself on My Fitness Pal every single day, which I think makes a world of difference. You really can’t question or deny how important accountability is.

I started to see and feel a difference in myself around midweek, and the fella even commented that I seemed more energetic.
Example: I bounded – actually bounded I say – up the steps in the Fulton Street station and was just a little out of breath instead of the dying I was previously.
You should know that the exit I use has a lot of steps, two flight’s worth from the A or C line, and almost everyone I walk up with in the morning is panting by the time they reach the top. They’re brutal, I tell you.

I start my trampoline fitness class this week, and I’m really excited about it, so be sure to check out the tale from the first one later this week.

Nikki

Getting the funk out

This will be the start of something beautiful.

This will be the start of something beautiful.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk with myself lately, hence why I’ve been so very quiet here on Run, Nikki Run, and, to be honest, on my other two blogs, too.

I’ll spare you (and myself) the gory details, but after a soul-searching talk with my Mom, who I visited this past weekend, and a whole bunch of great support from the fella, I am finally ready to do something about myself.

I will eat right, I will fully commit to exercise more than just my walking to and from work and up the subway steps, I made a long overdue return to My Fitness Pal, and I will stop making excuses because, dammit, I’ve been pretty freaking ridiculous.

Tonight I bought a purple yoga mat to start doing exercises at home again, and next week, I’m going to start taking my exercise class (for honest-to-goodness real this time) and booked my vegetarian cooking class for next month.

It’s been a long road of setbacks for me, but for the first time in a really long time, I feel positive about myself and the changes I plan to and need to make. Because, in the words of one of the fella’s favorite bands (which includes “one of the greatest guitarists that ever lived” as he likes to repeatedly say): “If you don’t like what you’re seeing, get the funk out.”
That band, of course, is Extreme. 

Nikki

Resolution check: August

OK, so August wasn’t the greatest exercise month, this I know as fact.

I stopped recording everything in my Exercise Log Book about 10 days into the month, and My Fitness Pal wasn’t too far behind on the back burner, but this isn’t going to be one of those, “I suck,” “I’ll get better” resolution round-up posts, no siree Bob!

You see, I might not have written everything down the past month, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t kicking my own ass. First there was the moving of all the important stuff from our second-floor (up very steep steps, mind you) apartment in NEPA to our charming (and very 1st floor) abode in South Harlem.

Up and down, up and down the fella and I walked, sometimes under the heavy weight of a couch, dressers, chairs and cabinets into said SoHa home and what was getting stored in the lower level of my parents’ homestead.

Then there’s the walking to and fro the subway to and fro work – and up (and up) the tons of stairs from the train to the streets – which I have to admit is grueling, especially in the temps of 80 and above we’ve been having in the city the past week.
But I cannot tell a lie: It beats getting stuck behind a moron NEPA driver – and driving myself!

In just a week, I’ve already seen a big difference in my face – and my gams. My newish jeans are already baggy on me, and let me tell you, that’s a darn good feeling, darn good indeed! My next order of business is getting myself better walking shoes to really feel the burn on the walking commute and lunchtime Financial District meanderings.

So I’m sorry I was out of touch, August 2012, but just because I was paperless doesn’t mean I was resting on my laurels. I’m seriously doing something exercise-y every day!

My goal for September now that we’re settled into our new home is to really get back into eating better, especially since the options to do so are so vast here in New York.

Nikki