Daily Tools

For the last 5 months I’ve had to be very diligent and mindful of what I eat, how much, and what I do in order to have a successful 6 month deadline. So what am I using? Well,

BodyMedia

I’ve posted about it before (click here). It’s been one of THE most important things I’ve owned. I know exactly how many calories I’ve burned or not  each day. It’s taught me that on off days I typically burn about 2323 calories and to meet my daily goal (2785) I need to walk/run 3 miles.  It’s helping me become mindful of my lifestyle and holding me accountable. You can purchase them here

MyFitnessPal

The website MyFitnessPal.com has been huge for me. I’ve tried just using a notebook but in all honestly this has been the best way for me. Since I always have my phone with me  it’s an app I can keep on my phone (much easier than a notebook). It’s free (yay free) and it has a scanner so all I have to do is scan. Bam. No excuses!

Scale

I love my food scale. It’s like the BodyMedia. I can see how much I’m eating. I know what 56 grams of lunchmeat looks like. I know what 32 grams of peanut butter looks like. Including pretzels, almonds, steak.

Tip:
If you weigh the same items enough, eventually you know that two handfuls of tiny pretzels is a serving size. The repetition is a teaching tool within itself. It’s building a good habit! 

GARMIN FORERUNNER 305/  CONNECT.GARMIN.COM

This is something I’ve owned for several years now. I’m constantly learning what it can do for me besides measure my mileage. I can load a workout into it and it tells me exactly what I should be doing and how fast. The corresponding website for it is PHENOMENAL   It recently went through a little updating and now they have FREE training plans to use with the Garmin (yay free).  I also can keep with my PR’s and other details that I deem important.   

So there you have 4 tools that I use day in and day out. Yes I still have to do the work but having some help never hurt anyone.

What helps you stay successful? I’d love to hear from you.

Repost: BodyMedia Review

I originally posted this last year.  Overtime, I get questions people asking “How does it work?” or “Is it really effective?” My answer to this is the same as it was a year ago, yes, it works if you wear it. You have to do the work but this is just the GPS to help you get where you’re going. The really cool thing is the folks at Bodymedia are constantly working and striving to improve their products. Since I’ve had it, I’ve gotten some great updates to it that were at no cost.  I’ve updated a few things  in the post  since some content was lost when I was having to make some website changes.

Yes, this unit was given to me but these are my own words. I was not paid by anyone to say anything positive. I choose to say these positive things because I love this product THAT MUCH! So without further ado,  I give you………..The BodyMedia Review.

Say hello to my friend!

Recently I acquired a Bodymedia from the fine folks at Bodymedia.  It was nice that it was gifted to me but I still get to give it my own stamp of approval.  However, I must say, I have very very little negative to say about it.
Here’s what it is and what it does………..
Included in the box:
*BodyMedia Wireless  LINK Armband
*Medium size Armband strap (grey/chrome)
*USB cable
*Manual and Quick Start 

    Your BodyMedia Link will help you track:

    • Total Calories Burned
    • Total Steps Taken
    • Total Physical Activity Time (Moderate and Vigorous)
    • Sleep Duration and Efficiency
    The Activity Manager will help you to set goals, and see how close you are to reaching them
    Getting Started:
    • When you first get your BodyMedia Link you’ll need to plug it into the  computer for it’s first initial charging for about 3 hours.
    • Next log into Bodymedia.com and click at the bottom of the page “Get Started”
    • Next you’ll fill out some information about yourself…..
    • Once you’ve given them a few key details about yourself you’ll set up your goals, the nice thing about this is this is adjustable if you decided later you want to change this.
    • You’ll need to download to you computer the BodyMedia  Activity Manager software so that your armband can communicate via USB with your computer.
    • After the detailed stuff is done then you get to have fun!  
    • Calories In can be tracked by the activity manager but it was a little slow for me and personally I like the feel of MyFitnessPal.com.  
    • Activity can be manually logged for times when you can’t wear your BodyMedia. For example, when you’ve been swimming.  
    • Sleep activity can be tracked. I normally don’t wear mine when I’m sleeping but if a person wanted to see how efficiently they’re sleeping this is a good tool for it.  Once again, you can click on the area to the right of sleep and you would see your sleeping activity like you would for calories burned.  For data geeks this could be fun!  
    • A person can also look at weekly and monthly views.  This can come in handy when a person is experiencing a plateau in their weight loss journey.  Also its a great way to give your coaches a snapshot at what’s going on.  
    • A app for your Iphone or Android can be installed to sync your BodyMedia Link to your phone or tablet. 
    The phone app will also tell you the battery life of your armband. Very handy if your not plugging it into your computer daily.

    So you might be asking at this point, what’s the Pro’s to having one of these.
    1. Real time calorie output.  This means no second guessing about how many calories your burning while working out or even not working out. I still say Sundays are a diet killer for most people. Between sleeping in, eating with family, laying around; we tend to not realize how much we’re taking in but very little expenditure.
    2. Easy to use.  The hardest part is setting it up. Beyond that it’s pretty much pressing a button to sync with your phone or table OR plugging in a USB cord from your computer and logging in the activity manager online. Easy peasy!
    3. MOTIVATION!!!  I love being able to physically see what I’m doing (or not doing).  Seeing is believing!
      And the Cons?
    1. The cost of upkeep. Once a person gets past the three month free trial there is a $6.95 monthly fee.  The cost of the technology alone can be a bit  pricey ($149) BUT I personally feel like the $6.95 month is what one might spend on a meal at McDonalds and that’s not healthy or good for you. Also figure up how much you might be spending on take-out and fast-food and your Bodymedia might just pay for itself REAL fast. 
    2. The comments about wearing it.  I can’t count how many times someone has said, “So, trying to stop smoking huh?”
    Is the armband comfortable? Honestly, some days I forget I have it on.  So yes. 
    Can I wear it on my ankle? I have read somewhere that it’s not a good idea to do that but I can’t find the specific reason now. I just know it won’t be as accurate if you do. 
    Overall, I LOVE my Bodymedia!! It’s just a great tool to have on hand!! At any time if you have questions, please feel free to ask!  When I use it, my weight loss efforts are so much more effective. For me personally, if I try to watch my calories and not use it, I struggle to lose the pounds.

    Update: If you’re interested in purchasing, you can find more information here  

    What’s Working So Far

    16 pounds gone as of today.  I started seriously and fighting mad on the 11th of November, 2012 giving myself till May 11, 2013 to make some serious changes in my weight.  
    **Oh and to the person who called me fat, making me insanely mad, thanks. Even though it was rude of you, thanks for pushing me over the cliff to do something.***
    So what’s my secret? It’s no secret it’s just a lot hard work (exercise) and counting calories. When I get to my daily allowance, I’m done. 
    *Daily exercise- I use a BodyMedia to make sure I’m at least burning a 1,000 calories a day. If you can get one I highly recommend it. It’s a like a GPS for your weight loss. It takes all the guess work out of my numbers!! LOVE IT! 
    *Counting calories- You can find my daily eats at MY FITNESS PAL.COM  I highly recommend it as well. Can we say FREE? Oh, and the thing I love about it also, is that it has bar code scanner!  Makes life easier. 
    *I also weigh all my food!  
    *I research restaurants before we go out. I PLAN!!  Fail to plan, plan to fail. 
    *Daily doses of motivation and accountability.  Facebook, Tumblr and other blogs keep me excited and my spirits high. And then ultimately if there is good numbers on the scale that helps the drive.  
    My diet has been the challenge. I know so many people, including myself, that get bogged down not knowing what to eat or not eat but so far, I haven’t given up bread, pasta, sweet treats or anything. I just count calories. If I want the cookies, I have to ask myself, how bad do I want them? I still eat out but not as often. I like cooking my food so I know exactly what’s going in it.  Basically, I try to not over think it and make it complicated.  
    So to summarize:
    • Exercise
    • Count calories
    • Plan 
    • Motivate 
    If I can do it, I know you can. 

    Day 4 Mission A&m

    Yep I’ve made it four whole days. A little tired and exhausted but I’ve survived. Today was my hardest. I’m really tired and to be honest I could do some comfort food eating, but I’m not.

    I had the opportunity to talk with a close friend/nutritionist today about my calorie requirement right now. I live my Bodymedia but I’m not crazy about the nutrition calculator/journal. It’s says I need over 2400 calories. I call B.S. on that one. That’s way too many. That’s a lot of food. I contacted them about this and they said they go based off of FDA standards. If that’s the case now I know why the U.S. is so obese! I digress….

    Now that I got that handled I feel better about tomorrow. I have to admit I didn’t take the time to journal today. Life happened. That’s okay. I also think me being tired had a lot to do with it. Too mentally exhausted.

    I’m ready for day 5. Bring it!

    Day 3 of Mission A&M

    Three great things about today:

    1. I totally rocked today. Okay so I could have stood to eat a tad bit more but I think one day under calorie is not the end of the world. Tomorrow I plan on upping the calorie intake and then Friday back to the 1300 mark.

    2. I got in 10,000 steps in today!

    3. I came home to laundry free house!  The Mr. had the day off so he was nice enough to finish up laundry for me. Gotta love it!

    As you can see I brought out the BodyMedia and I’m so glad I did. Honestly, if I hadn’t I would have been way under on steps and calories burned.  It’s such a visual aid.  Other wise I might not have gone walking . Speaking of that, yeah, I’m out of shape. I got in a real bad funk couple of months ago and well it all  went downhill.  I’m not proud of it. And I don’t know if it was  funk or just something.  Anyways so yeah  I’m COMPLETELY OUT OF SHAPE!! So I feel like I need a do over. So I’m running (or a version of it) 3 days a week sooo…..yeah I was good for walk today. Legs  were a little tired from yesterday (sad I know).

    Oh yeah that’s another thing, the Danger Ranger is in time out. I think the water pump is out but I’m so put out with it I refuse to do anything with it so me and the Mr. is (are) carpooling till I get over the wound of the truck being broke AGAIN. Oh yeah, I replaced the water pump just two years ago and there’s no warranty on it so I’m back to replacing it AGAIN. With that being said, since we’re carpooling we haven’t  been hitting the gym because it’s just out of the way. That’s okay because I can do plenty of damage without going to the gym.

    I know it’s just been 3 days but I can say I’ve got a great mindset and I feel great about this.  So till tomorrow………Cheers!

    Day 2 of Mission A&M

    Accountability and Motivation…….day 2.

    Also got in 25 mins of walk/run. Wasn’t much but it’s something. And somethin gis always better than nothing!

    Tomorrow I’m starting to incorporate my BodyMedia back into my routine. It always helps WHEN (stressing the word “when”) I use it.  Another great thing I’ve learned about BodyMedia is that it now syncs my calories with MyFitnessPal with my Bodymedia account. Making life simpler

    Can’t wait to share more tomorrow.  Cheers!

    Review: BodyMedia

    Say hello to my friend!
    Recently I acquired a Bodymedia from the fine folks at Bodymedia.  It was nice that it was gifted to me but I still get to give it my own stamp of approval.  However, I must say, I have very very little negative to say about it.
    Here’s what it is and what it does………..
    Included in the box:

    *BodyMedia Wireless  LINK Armband
    *Medium size Armband strap (grey/chrome)
    *USB cable
    *Manual and Quick Start 

      Your BodyMedia Link will help you track:

      • Total Calories Burned
      • Total Steps Taken
      • Total Physical Activity Time (Moderate and Vigorous)
      • Sleep Duration and Efficiency
      The Activity Manager will help you to set goals, and see how close you are to reaching them
      Getting Started:
      • When you first get your BodyMedia Link you’ll need to plug it into the  computer for it’s first initial charging for about 3 hours.
      • Next log into Bodymedia.com and click at the bottom of the page “Get Started”
      • Next you’ll fill out some information about yourself…..
      • Once you’ve given them a few key details about yourself you’ll set up your goals, the nice thing about this is this is adjustable if you decided later you want to change this.
      • You’ll need to download to you computer the BodyMedia FIT Activity Manager software so that your armband can communicate via USB with your computer.
      • After the detailed stuff is done then you get to have fun!  
      • Calories In can be tracked by the activity manager but it was a little slow for me and personally I like the feel of MyFitnessPal.com.  
      • Activity can be manually logged for times when you can’t wear your BodyMedia. For example, when you’ve been swimming.  
      • Sleep activity can be tracked. I normally don’t wear mine when I’m sleeping but if a person wanted to see how efficiently they’re sleeping this is a good tool for it.  Once again, you can click on the area to the right of sleep and you would see your sleeping activity like you would for calories burned.  For data geeks this could be fun!  
      • A person can also look at weekly and monthly views.  This can come in handy when a person is experiencing a plateau in their weight loss journey.  Also its a great way to give your coaches a snapshot at what’s going on.  
      • A app for your Iphone or Android can be installed to sync your BodyMedia Link to your phone or tablet. 
      The phone app will also tell you the battery life of your armband. Very handy if your not plugging it into your computer daily.

      So you might be asking at this point, what’s the Pro’s to having one of these.
      1. Real time calorie output.  This means no second guessing about how many calories your burning while working out or even not working out. I still say Sundays are a diet killer for most people. Between sleeping in, eating with family, laying around; we tend to not realize how much we’re taking in but very little expenditure.
      2. Easy to use.  The hardest part is setting it up. Beyond that it’s pretty much pressing a button to sync with your phone or table OR plugging in a USB cord from your computer and logging in the activity manager online. Easy peasy!
      3. MOTIVATION!!!  I love being able to physically see what I’m doing (or not doing).  Seeing is believing!
        And the Cons?
      1. The cost of upkeep. Once a person gets past the three month free trial there is a $6.95 monthly fee.  The cost of the technology alone can be a bit  pricey ($149) BUT I personally feel like the $6.95 month is what one might spend on a meal at McDonalds and that’s not healthy or good for you. Also figure up how much you might be spending on take-out and fast-food and your Bodymedia might just pay for itself REAL fast. 
      2. The comments about wearing it.  I can’t count how many times someone has said, “So, trying to stop smoking huh?”
      Is the armband comfortable? Honestly, some days I forget I have it on.  So yes. 
      Can I wear it on my ankle? I have read somewhere that it’s not a good idea to do that but I can’t find the specific reason now. I just know it won’t be as accurate if you do. 
      Overall, I LOVE my Bodymedia!! It’s just a great tool to have on hand!! At any time if you have questions, please feel free to ask!  When I use it, my weight loss efforts are so much more effective. For me personally, if I try to watch my calories and not use it, I struggle to lose the pounds.