Keeping Moving – Testing a Fitbit

So I have to admit, since my post about the Blacklight Run I have become a lapsed exerciser again.  Not totally, I still love my high energy classes with Red Squirrels Zumba twice a week, and go to a local Pilates class with Nikki from Move Better Fitness which I love, but the running has ground to a halt.

I think this is because I am not entirely happy when I am running. I don’t enjoy it but I also worry as I run.  The main reason being my total right hip replacement, which was carried out when I was 36 in 2007.  In the back of my mind I know my hip has a limited lifespan, and running just feels like too high impact.  Basically I don’t want to wear out my lovely titanium and ceramic hip.

My day job is very sedentary.  I basically sit in front of a computer all day either bookkeeping, training or promoting my business.  I need some kind of motivation to keep moving between my fitness classes.

Fitbit Review

So I am trialling a Fitbit Flex which a friend of mine is wanting to sell.  I’m going to see if this piece of tech is the kick up the backside I need to get moving again, and watch my food intake more closely. I am a user of Endomondo and My Fitness Pal, and with both these apps they were very motivational when I first started to use them.  I walked a huge 1300 miles in 2012 by following the 100 miles a month challenge on Endomondo, a fact I am very proud of. But the novelty has warn off and I need something new.

Setting up the Fitbit Flex

Once I realised the app wouldn’t work with my Nexus 10 tablet, it was really quick and easy to set up my Fitbit on my Nexus 4.  I was able to set up my profile with ease and the first thing I did was log my first nights sleep.

You do have to remember via the app to say when you are going to sleep and when you wake up, then the fitbit tracks your restlessness and gives you a great graph to see how well you slept.  Not enough is the answer at the moment!

Linking Fitbit to MyFitness Pal and Endomondo

How the apps fitted together got me scratching my head at first, but with trial end error I soon sorted it out. I had to log into my individual accounts for My Fitness Pal and Endomondo on my PC in order to set up the new link to the Fitbit.

In Settings -> Connect you can link Endomondo to your Fitbit

In Settings -> Connect you can link Endomondo to your Fitbit

Historically I logged my exercise on Endomondo which then fed into My Fitness Pal to ‘buy’ me extra calories   I have now had to switch off this link as Endomondo feeds into the Fitbit app with my exercise, then the Fitbit app feeds this information into My Fitness Pal in the form of a Fitbit Calories Adjustment.  If Endomondo also feeds the exercise into My Fitness Pal then the exercise is double counted.  It makes your stats look great but won’t help much with my weight loss target!  The exercise from Endomondo in My Fitness Pal was also fed back into the Fitbit double counting there too – are you still with me?

Fitbit Calorie Adjustment in My Fitness Pal

Fitbit Calorie Adjustment in My Fitness Pal

I do however love the fact that I can still log my food in My Fitness Pal and this then gets automatically fed into the Fitbit App in the form of a calorie value per meal.  I’ve used My Fitness Pal for years now and I have a database of favourite meals already set up, I am a creature of habit, so I dreaded having to recreate all this in the Fitbit app.  Now I don’t have to.

Early Signs

So early signs that having this new Fitbit will hep me get back on track with being more active are good, as I am itching to get out and increase my step count (currently at 4000 steps at 2pm in the afternoon) , I’ve drunk more water today, and I’m not snacking as I’m back to logging all my food.

Let’s see how long this new inspiration lasts.

Looking Back and Going Forward – 2013 in review.

So it is exactly a year since I posted my personal review How life changes – looking back and going forward so now is a perfect time to look at how I did with those challenges set on 1st January 2013.

I decided last year to start running, and did my last run of 2013 yesterday ( a quick 2 miles to break in gently after the Christmas break) I think we can safely say that challenge gets a big tick!

I  did two 5k races when there was snow on the ground late January and early February, joining my husband and daughter, and at this stage I was still doing ‘interval’ running, alternating walking with running, but these events were cross country and a real challenge.

As I already enjoyed cycling and can swim ( although I hate swimming now as before my hip was replaced swimming was all I could do and I got completely sick of it), with being able to run I had no excuse not to join my friend Jo, husband and daughter at a Triathlon in April.  The distances are short, and it is a great way to try out the discipline and get used to the transitions between swimming, cycling and running.  The 2.5 k run at the event was the first time I had run without needing to stop and walk – another great milestone.  Jo did really well too as she was carrying a small passenger!

Super Sprint Triathlon Medals

Super Sprint Triathlon Medals

In September I entered my 2nd Triathlon, again a short super sprint event for me, and I was very pleased to  improve on my times from April.  Since this event I’ve been running more regularly and managed to regularly run 3 miles round Salcey Forest, sometimes getting very very cold and wet, but I now almost look forward to it and feel very twitchy if I can’t get out and do some kind of exercise.

in 2013 I have also consolidated on my weight loss and got more comfortable at my new lower weight.  I’ve tried to dress better for my size, getting better fitting clothing and lobbing some of those old favourites which just hang on me now.  The running, cycling and Zumba have meant my shape has changed even though the scales have not, so I can feel more confident in my clothes.

With my Forever Living business I gained a promotion in January, and I have an established retail business and I am now growing my team and helping them to do the same.  I continue to drink Aloe Gel daily and take supplements to control my cholesterol, improve my Vitamin D levels and increase my Iron stores.  I am sure I would not have the energy to do all my exercise without the support of these products,  I get tremendous satisfaction from seeing how others have benefited from the Aloe Vera products.  The business is primarily about helping others.

I’ve also been able to encourage and support as my sister has managed to improve her health and lifestyle in 2013, leaving her job and going self employed, and she too now is almost unrecognisable from this time last year.  Kate has lost 3 stone, and improved her health with her change of lifestyle. We had a family party for my brother’s 50th birthday on the 29th December and we had a fantastic time – what a great way to end the year!

Kate and I with our family.

Kate and I with our family.

So what will 2014 bring?  More triathlons and more running definitely as I have the bug there.  I would like a road bike as at the moment I use my mountain bike which is very heavy, the hardest part of the triathlon I find is lifting my bike onto the racking!  I’m not sure I want to increase my distances as although I am doing really well I do have to remember my titanium and ceramic hip is almost 8 years old now, and I don’t want to wear it out, but I can work on improving my times.  I did my first Park Run recently and enjoyed it so would like to do a few more of those.

I’m also a member of Northampton Gilbert and Sullivan Group, and we have our next show week commencing 20th January, which is HMS Pinafore at The Royal Theatre in Northampton.  (Tickets now on Sale!) We did an anniversary show this year singing extracts from our favourite shows, and I had the opportunity to sing the part of The Plaintiff in A Nice Dilemma from Trial by Jury.  My first solo in a packed theatre was very nerve racking, but again I had so many compliments I may try for a main role in next year’s production of The Mikado.

This will be my 5th production this year – and looking back at the photos from when I was in Pirates of Penzance in 2010 just shows me how far I have come in the last 4 years.

Pirates in 2010 and Iolanthe in 2013

Pirates in 2010 and Iolanthe in 2013