Monday, May 04, 2015

Fit by Fitbloggin' update: Positive developments

I have a hectic week coming up and I need to stay calm and centered. After talking to a friend last Friday and then reflecting, I realize that there are some people at work who either enjoy creating a stressful environment or who are feeling so much distress that they can't help but spread it. Maybe a little of both.

As much as I wish I had the ability to help make these problems better for them, I don't, and I am not serving anyone by getting caught up in the frenzy of it all. I need to be calm and centered to get all the work I have to do finished before I leave for D.C. next Monday. I started today with a 30-minute "Miracle Morning" practice (I can't recommend the book after reading the first 2 chapters, but there is free stuff on it all over the place). My husband gets up stupid early (like 4 a.m. lately) so I can't get up before him, so I did the practice once he left for work. It was a nice way to start the day, and it answers the question I have been having of how to really use the Passion Planner the way it is meant to be used.


My training is going well. I'm finally getting to the point where I can really push it. I rode with the fast people on a ride on Friday and kept up with them for 12 miles going up to 22 mph. Then I fell too far behind to draft and had to return on my own, but I still averaged more than 17 mph. When I rode with my husband at a more comfortable pace the next day, I felt great even though my legs were tired. I didn't get as much training in as planned, but since we had Big Happenings going on at work, it was more realistic to just do what I could. 

The week by the numbers: 

Weight change from last week: Down 4.2 pounds (I think part of it was water retention)
Days tracked last week: All 7
Average hours of sleep: Changed tracking methods
Average steps: 10,305
Hours of training: 5h 48m (was supposed to be a 10h 30m week)

Calm and centered. Time to start my day. I need to get caught up with everything so I can turn my grades in early, since I fly out next Monday. I'm actually flying to Baltimore, and planning to take the train in.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Jawbone UP 24 vs. FitBit Charge: And the winner is...

Note: This post has Amazon Affiliate links in it.
I think I need another gadget or two

I had been tracking with the Jawbone UP for about a year, and decided to give the UP 24 a try. I was looking forward to the wireless syncing, and was also hoping that Jawbone had solved its durability problems with the newer model (Interestingly, as I am writing this, I learned that both UP bands I have owned are now discontinued).

Not long after I just bought the UP 24, I was notified that our insurance company was offering a Fitbit Charge free for members who agreed to submit to some biometric screenings. Basically, the Fitbit is a bribe for the insurance company to collect information on us. If they catch a diabetic or someone with high blood pressure early, they can save a lot of money. Some of my more suspicious co-workers thought the insurance was going to use this information to charge us more if we were fat.  However, since I see my doctors regularly and they probably already had access to my height, weight, etc., I felt like it was worth a little trouble to get screened in order to try out a new gadget.

I wore them together for about a week. Interestingly, during that week, the UP needed to be reset and I lost a whole day's worth of data. That was the final straw for me. I gave the UP to my sister and switched LoseIt! to sync to the Fitbit.

When I bought the UP band, I was comparing it to the Fitbit Flex, and I didn't like the idea of having to take the "bit" part out of the wristband to charge it. I preferred the simplicity of the Jawbone band. I was afraid that if I got a Flex, I would lose the tiny piece and it wouldn't work anymore. I have a friend who has some mobility troubles with his hands and he finds it very difficult to work with the Flex.  The Charge just plugs in as is, which is much simpler to me. I don't mind that I can't change the color of the band.

Weirdly enough, I love having the watch function on the Charge. I got out of the habit of wearing a watch because they always bugged me when I was using the computer, so I would just use my phone to check the time. It's a lot more subtle to check the time on my wrist during class, and the band is thin enough that it doesn't annoy me when I'm typing.

I still liked the app for the UP better than the Fitbit app, and the UP bands I had were more attractive than the Fitbit, but I'm probably not going to buy another UP product anytime soon.  The new UP3 looks nice, but the UP2 is ugly. I think it is great that they discontinued the products that weren't working, but I'm mad that I bought the tracker on Amazon after it was discontinued and didn't know it (there is now an indication that the band is discontinued, but it wasn't there a few weeks ago when I bought my band). I wouldn't have spent the money if I knew I couldn't count on it to work. How do I know that the new trackers will be any better, and that the company will let me know if they aren't?

My dream product would be a Fitbit that used the UP "smart coach" software. And one that was waterproof, as I jumped in the pool with my Fitbit on and almost had a heart attack (I got right out and dried it off, and it seems to be fine).

Do you use an activity tracker? Which one do you have and how do you like it?

"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07