I Love My FitBit!

e0f76c0be3ca1bb1_gym_equipment_C.previewSeriously, does EVERYONE want to lose weight in January?  I know I do.   Here it is another year’s beginning and my gym is jammed to the rafters with new members.  I went all through December and the place was steady, but not packed.  Some days it was downright empty.

OMGosh.  I tried to go today and it was chock-a-block with people sweatin’ on the machines.  Yikers!

I think that’s great, even as I know most won’t keep it up past February 1.  They’ll make it through January, then a snow will hit (like today – worst commute EVER!).  That sort of thing sidelines everyone’s routine.  They’ll come back…or not…and then….quiet in the gym once more.  Ahhhh!

But some?  Some will stay.  They’ll get into the joy of moving again, and making those not-quite-so-flexible muscles do what they were meant to do once more.  How wonderful is that?

I’ve come to really enjoy the gym.  I didn’t start out there, though.  No gym for me.  I started getting back in shape with a little device called a FitBit.0089862800226_150X150

I’d read about it in an article in Good Housekeeping.  This is five or six years ago, maybe more like ten, now.  It was a cool new gadget on the market, and I like gadgets.  It sync-ed to your computer and let you track not only your steps, but your sleep.  It told you how many calories you’d burned in those steps you took, and if you went online and entered what you’d eaten that day, you could see if you were over or under your target ratio of calories burned (steps taken) to food consumed.  Pretty cool.

Several of the Bandits have them, and like me, are still aficionados after a number of years.

photoI got one for my husband within a year of getting one for myself.  Being a numbers guy, he took to this like a duck to water.  He’s on his second FitBit now.  I’m on my third.  I’d still have my original, and it’s replacement, but the clip broke, and, since I started carrying it in my pocket, I inadvertently washed it.  Eeek!

(I wish I could show you his first FitBit.  He used it until it was just done in.  Had to be held together with a rubber band.  Never let it be said that the man didn’t get value for his money!)

The original FitBit tracker has a clip and numbers and all sorts of things it shows on its face as you can see in the two examples above.  The new, sleek version, just shows dots for progress and you have to go online to see your actual number of steps, etc.  After living with the new sleek one for two years, as you can see on my wrist below, I’ve decided I like the old one.  Ha!  I like the readout rather than the dots.jpa fitbit

However, I’m not ready to replace it.  When it dies, I’ll go back to the original or maybe to the wonderful NEW FitBit Surge once the price comes down a bit.  That one does everything but make you lunch and order groceries.

That’s not really the point, though, having it do stuff.  The thing about the FitBit is that it’s really a simple weight-loss concept that can be summed up in two words:

Be Mindful.

How much are you moving?  What are you eating?  How much are you eating?  Are you moving enough to call it a draw between moving and calories consumed?  If so, you’re staying where you are.  If you move MORE calories, burn them, then take in less calories in food, you’ll start losing weight.

Simple.  Mindful.  Easy.

afbc7375ba89d64c70af1751125f8a7aOkay, so nothing about taking off the pounds is EASY.  Especially when you sit to work all day as writers do.

This – using the FitBit – is just easier than most.  Why do I say that?  Well, if I realize at 5 pm that I’ve taken in a whole lot more in calories than I’ve burned on a given day, I lace up my shoes and go take a walk.  I go to the gym and get on the treadmill.  I take a book and get on a bike or do some time on the elliptical.

Better yet, I take the dog out and go for a jog.

If the FitBit isn’t your thing, there’s an iFit and a Nike and a cool one called VivoFit from Garmin.  That one actually has a signal on it to remind you to move after two hours in one position!  Love that!!

Of course, like most any kind of new program, all you have to do is set a goal and go for it.

“I’m going to do 5,000 steps every day this week.  I’m taking the stairs, and parking further from the building.  Then next week, I’m going to up that to 7,000 steps a day.”  It’s both hard and easy.  My motto has always been “Start with One”  – one pushup, properly done.  One lunge.  One 10 minute session on the treadmill.  One turn around the block.  Next time, do two.  Then three.

Don’t workout till you hurt or you won’t go back to it.  The whole “no pain, no gain” is for gym rats and masochist.  Grins.lifespan-treadmill-desk-100025352-orig

But that mindfulness thing is step one for all of it.  Over the last two or three years, I’ve lost about 25 pounds.  I’m taking them off the same way I put them on – one pound at a time.  I fluctuate, yes, but one step at a time, one pound at a time, I’m going down to the right weight, the healthy weight.  The weight where my clothes fit and I feel good.

I’m always looking for new ways to challenge myself and/or make it fun.  Maybe I should get one of these workout desks.  What do you think?  Think it would work?  Anybody have one??

I frankly don’t give a damn (channeling Rhett) about the actual NUMBER I weigh.  All those charts and things the insurance companies have that say you’re obese at 156 or underweight at 185, or whatever?  Mine says I should weigh 136- 146 lbs.  That’s a size six and that is flat out Nonsense.  My BONES aren’t a size six, nor will they ever be.  If I weigh 136 – that target weight for someone 5’7″ with my small wrists – I look like a concentration camp victim.  I’ve BEEN 136.  I look terrrrrrrible.  I have a friend who’s petite.  The weight to height thing for her is equally ridiculous going the other way.  Another friend, who’s tall, should be well over 200 lbs, according to the charts.  Again, stuff and nonsense.

What I care about is feeling good and being able to move and groove and play the way I want to play.  I want to feel good when I run down the block after the kids.  I want to feel good when I shoot some hoops with my son, or chase the dog around the yard.  I don’t want to need two days rest and 1/2 a bottle of Advil if I go dancing with my hubby.  And I don’t want to have to resort to the SalonPas or ThermaCare patches and more Advil just to get my garden in shape this spring.

bellsThis year, with my gym, and my running shoes, and my FitBit, I’m going to lose the last ten.  Then we’ll see.  If I need to lose more, so be it, but with 10 more pounds down, I’m going to evaluate how I feel.  From there, as I said, we’ll see!
Really, isn’t it ALL about how you feel, good or bad?

So what about you Bandits and Buddies?

Do you have weight loss goals for 2015?

Do you have a new exercise plan?

Do you have  a dog to walk, or a walking buddy?  If a dog, what kind and how far do you walk?

Do you do something else for fitness?

And last but not least, do you too, have a FitBit or a gadget?

(Photos are mine, or Yahoo Photos.  No copyright infringement is intended in any way)

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  • Amy Conley says:

    Do I get him?

    • Helen says:

      Yes you do Amy he probably needs o cool down after the heat we have been having over here

      Have Fun

      • Amy Conley says:

        Single digits tomorrow, with wind. They are telling ppl to stay in if possible. You get him tomorrow and yku can have me too, ok? I HATE cold weather!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Heehee! I wish it were so easy, Amy! I’ve been watching the temps in Aus and thinking, “Yeah, 8 degrees tonight…how much do I love snow?” Grins.

      But I do, so here I’ll stay, but did have a moment of envy for your warm temps, Helen!!

  • Helen says:


    A lot of my friends have fitbits and they do look good but alas not for me I have really bad arthritis these days and as much as I love to walk it does not like me I do walk as much as I can and I try very hard to eat the right foods and stay as healthy as I can but no gym or much exercise for me 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      HI Helen! Oh, so sorry about the arthritis. I have a friend who developed it in her knees, in her late thirties of all things. Its really hampered things for her, but, like you, she’s a cheerful soul and just keeps on truckin’! Grins.

  • Jane says:

    Hello Jeanne,
    I’ve been thinking about getting a fitness watch. I’ve checked them out Amazon and some are cheap, but the Suunto and Garmin ones look nice. I think I’ll work towards losing about five pounds. I don’t have any exercise plans. I usually try to walk and take the stairs whenever I can.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      That’s so often the best way, Jane. Just increasing your moving around, even a little, has amazing results.

      I like the fitness watches. I have my eye on that VivoFit from Garmin because it signals you when you’ve been inactive a long time. I like that feature. When writing, I often forget to just get up and MOVE! :>

  • Amy Conley says:

    No, no, and NO! First of all I’m too old to worry about it. I wear the same size jeans I did I high school or smaller. I am a klutz and have had one knee operated on 5times, so steps, walking, running, only happens when playing with ths grands.
    I think the FitBit is a cool thing and I really want hubby to get one. He’s had 4 heart attacks, 7stents, walks alot at work, and I would like him to be able to stop a couple of his meds and go natural again. But he’s the only man I know not into gadgets or electronics. Give him a saw otr drill press and he’s a happy man.

    • Amy Conley says:

      One of the reasons I am so against exersising, is I suck. Sports, other than swimming, and yes, I taught all my kids how to swim and twin number 2 still holds the s hool record for the backstroke. So I did something right. Aalso when I was in school the only sport for girls was volleyball, which I can play and have played since my mother played also, sometimes she’d need me to fill a sop with all the cute college guys. I was never saying no fo that! And my mother never started playing vball til she was 30 and just trying to loose baby weight from my giant baby brother. And she played til she was 65, at least! And she still died before her time, so I don’t go fo tree all that “healthy living” crap. We have a garden and it’s organtic, so we have alot of good veggies. We try to buy beef from a local/friend farmer, so we know where our food comes from. I did exersise when I was in my 30’s, but I’m 55, it’s time to relax. And as long as my Dr aister chiro are happy with my numbers, I am good.

      • Jeanne Adams says:

        I’m with you there, Amy! So glad you found things you love, like swimming. And WTG on teaching your kids to swim. I think that’s SO important, even if you don’t love to swim, you need to know HOW to! Ha!

        Had to LOL about “if the DR and Chiro are good with my numbers…” I’m that way too. There are things I want to change FOR ME, not for anyone else. And my various docs are happy with me overall.

        Also had to LOL about your hubby not being into gadgets. Mine isn’t much better – hates learning a new phone, doesn’t like iPods or any of that nonsense – but it was the whole numbers thing that got him on the FitBit. The tracking and statistics stuff. What can I say? He’s a numbers geek. Snork!!

  • I used to have a FitBit and liked it, but it stopped syncing properly and I’ve not spent the money to replace it. Maybe someday I will. But you’re totally right at the “Be mindful” is the key to weight loss, or any other goal we might have.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Trish! My first one was like that. Customer Service was very helpful but we could never get it to work properly so they sent me #2, which worked beautifully until I washed it. *eye roll*

      You’re so good about being mindful, however. Your Healthy Writer blog and so many of the cool things you post about fitness shows that you’re already on that train. Grins.

      For those of you starting out with new fitness goals this year, you should check out the http://www.HealthyWriter.com blog that Trish and some other health concious writers have going. :>

  • Fedora says:

    Fun post, Jeanne! No Fitbit here, although for a while I used to carry a pedometer (10000 steps was the goal 😉 )

    I don’t really have firm weight loss goals; I mainly want to stay strong and flexible enough to keep dancing. I don’t have a regimen outside of class, but know I could be doing more to tone and strengthen. It’s just so hard to keep that focus 😉 No dog or walking buddy at the moment… DS1 runs, but way too fast for me; my other kids don’t love running, but I can occasionally coax one or the other to walk with me 🙂

    If only I had more time and money to devote to dance classes 😉

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Oh how fun! What kind of dance? Its one of the absolute BEST forms of exercise. Fun, active, lots of aerobics, and hey, laughing and having a blast. Who doesn’t love that?

      I can’t run with my eldest son anymore either. He’s gotten too tall (6’1″ at 14!) and his stride is waaaay too long. Youngest is coming along though and soon I’ll have a running buddy in him. Grins.

      • flchen1 says:

        Mainly ballet, but I did try some Zumba classes with some friends, and boy howdy, THAT is a crazy hard workout! 🙂

        To be honest, I’m an incredibly slow runner and ALL my kids can easily outpace me, even my 9-year-old… *sigh* 😉

  • Shannon says:

    At work, I am forbidden from having anything that has a signal of any kind. Cellphones, Kindles, hightech watches, noise cancelling headphones are all forbidden. Small lockers are available.

    My fitness is walking in winter and swimming in summer. Today after the snow, I’ll just walk in the courtyard. The cold will make it unpleasant but it is supposed to be sunny. Boring, but safe since they salt that heavily unlike my path by the river.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Bummer Shannon! That means only a paper book at work, right? Grins.

      I walk all the time, and run sometimes. I usually only run in warmer weather because if I breathe in too much cold air, I end up with a chest cold. Grrr. It’s so frustrating. I bought a balaclava – very funny looking, I assure you! – and it helps, but it’s still not great in terms of warming up the wind. Grins.

      Did you get caught in the crazy mess yesterday? I know you’re in my area and you work in one of “those” areas. Hahaha!! Anyway, wasn’t yesterday a total botch?

      • Shannon says:

        I have to ‘fess up. One of my favorite authors had a 6 Jan release, and I had scheduled the day off to read her book.

        As I found out when I closed the Kindle and turned on the TV, the commutes were running two-three hours. This morning at the bus, they told me about “our” bus. It was going up the hill, slid, and blocked most of the street. One car came sliding down the hill and crashes into the center of the bus. Then two more cars sliding and skidding collide with the first car. To add insult to injury, another car comes up the hill, can’t stop and hits the bus from the other side.

        My bus buddies took pictures of it, emailed it to their bosses, and said they’d try again tomorrow.

        The moral of the story is to have snowstorms on Tuesdays when new books come out.

        • Jeanne Adams says:

          Oh my! Have to say I’m glad you weren’t on the bus! Yikers! I saw some of the pics of things like that. Isn’t it funny how all the meteorologists are shaking their heads over this one? Lauren Ricketts said something to the effect that “…two extra inches of snow, at rush hour, makes a heck of a difference!”


  • Karin Shah says:

    I don’t have a fitbit, but I have a treadmill desk. It’s not a fancy store bought thing, just my old treadmill with a wire shelf from Home Depot mounted with Velcro strips, so when I actually run (I can’t go very fast while writing) it’s not in the way. I love it. I think I’ve been in it for only a few minutes, but I look down and I’ve walked half a mile. The hard part is just starting because writing on the couch sounds so much cozier. But, getting writing and walking done at the same time is a real mental boost!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hi Karin! Wow! You really have one? OMGosh, I love the idea of it, and I’m so “energizer bunny” anyway, I’ve often thought it would work for me. :> You’re right about the couch though. Haha! It is a cozy place to write.

      Do you feel like having it has made you fitter?

  • Jeanne –

    You know I love my fitbit. My dh and I get manic when the weather is nice about putting in 10,000 a day. Every now and then we’d be walking and one of us would realize we’d forgetten to wear the fitbit. Suddenly the exercise seemed wasted without the fitbit keeping track 🙂 I don’t think I’d like the version with the dots for progress. I want the numbers and the little flower. Then I’m happy. 🙂

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Heehee. I know EXACTLY what you mean, Donna. The sense of having done all that work and no measure of it? BUMMER. Grins.

      I thought I’d like the sleeker, more streamlined version, but I don’t. I really like the gratification of having the numbers and the flower. Grins. Simple things, but oh, so important!

  • catslady says:

    I don’t exercise much so I do watch how much I eat. I have a yogurt late morning, no lunch unless I’m out with others and I do eat a decent dinner. It’s not how you’re suppose to do it but it works for me. Of course I could always lose 5 pounds or so but I try not to stress about it.

  • Deb says:

    Hey, Jeanne, the FitBit dealy-bobby sounds cool!
    I don’t mind working out; I don’t love it, mind you, but I don’t dread it. I just haven’t been to the gym since mid-October; stomach-something-pain which has gotten much better. I tried walking on the treadmill one day in November and it just aggravated the abdomen pain, and I was going really slow, not my usual 3.9 mph at my incline of 6. So, here’s hoping in the New Year I can, literally, get back on track. Weights, too.

    • Deb, ouch! I pulled an abdominal muscle in late October and wasn’t able to exercise until it healed, so I sympathize. I hope you feel better soon!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      I’m glad you’re better, Deb, and back on the treadmill/track! Grins.

      And yes, the fitbit dealiebobbie is pretty cool. The bit about wearing it when you sleep and figuring out your sleeping pattern is pretty cool too.

      Here’s to a fitter 2015!

  • Hi, Jeanne–

    Way to go on the fitness challenge! Congrats on your progress.

    I lost 18 pounds this year. I gained back 2.5 of them during the holidays, which I thought wasn’t bad.

    I’m not keen on the idea of tracking via a gadget, but I did join the Y. While I find treadmill sessions incredibly boring, they helped me take off the weight. My plan for this year is to buy a bathing suit that fits the current me so I can do laps in the lovely and underutilized pool.

    My fitness goals are to drop one more clothing size by the end of the year and to build up my endurance and upper body strength (via the weight machines at the Y and the resistance bands I own). I also plan to build up my time doing the plank.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Nancy! Yay on going back to the Y! Woot! I love swimming but our community indoor pool has been closed for reno for 18 months. Looking forward to it being back online.

      WTG on losing the 18!! That’s outstanding!!

      Eldest has been timing me on the planks. According to his trainer, it’s a 20 second hold that does it, then drop and rest for 10, then hold for another twenty in the plank. Keeping it held evidently isn’t as beneficial as doing the multiple plank-rest-plank things. Go figure. :>

      • flchen1 says:

        Wow, really? I did the 30-day plank challenge a year ago, and it was brutal. Maybe the multiple minutes isn’t as effective, but it was unbelievably difficult 😉 Good for you, Jeanne!

  • Cassondra says:

    Oh those charts! Those are so ridiculous. They don’t even make any sense.

    The fitbit has never appealed to me for some reason, but then I don’t like gadgets–one of the ways our evil twin thing jumps the tracks.

    I like DOING something fun that requires me to move. In the winter, that’s hard, and I admit that I’ve let this “hate the gym” thing keep me from exercising at some points in the past. Now I’ve come to enjoy the way I feel when I run, and my body has finally switched into the gear of liking to run. Slow as molasses in winter, I am, but I don’t care. I finally pushed past the “hate to run” long enough to actually LIKE to run now, so my body craves it. I’ve dropped off in the cold weather, but I’ll pick it back up again.

    And as for the charts–I don’t care what the numbers say either. I just want my clothes to fit. I want to like the way I look in them whenI look in the mirror. And more than anything now as I age, I want to be strong. I want to be able to lift my own body weight (never been able to do that) and move big furniture and run up stairs again. I want to be able to squat and stand without using my arms to help.

    I want healthy and strong. That’s the goal.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Amen, Sister!! *waves hankie madly*

      I want to feel good and feel strong and be damned to the numbers. :>

      I don’t love to run, mostly because I’m ponderous, I run like a Clydesdale. However, I feel good when i’ve done it, so I keep doing it. Grins.

  • I actually bought myself a fitbit and I am learning how to use it. I’ve got the steps thing down, but I can’t get it to monitor my sleep. I was shocked to discover I walk in excess of 10,000 steps every day at work. I’m walking all of these steps and I’m STILL FAT???? What the heck!

    I do want to lose some weight this year, but I am trying very hard not to obsess about it or lock myself into a number because when I do and I fail it makes me feel worse!

    I’ve also got a brand new treadmill in the box waiting for my nephew to come down and build a treadmill desk for me. Gotta’ get him away from the girlfriend for one weekend. Wish me luck. 🙂

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Luck! Hey Louisa! I love my fitbit. The trick with the sleep monitor thing is to enter when you went to bed and when you got up and it tells you how restless you were in between. (or not) Grins.

      When I first got my very first fitbit, we still had the baby monitor. I could see that I would wake up a lot during the night. The monitor died and we didn’t actually need it anymore. I was surprised to see that I wasn’t waking up. It puzzled me…until hubby said, Oh, I guess you woke up every time you heard the Youngest….

      Yep. Grins.

      You’ll have to let me know how the treadmill desk does for you!!

  • Mozette says:

    I don’t really have any fitness goals each year. You see, every time I do, it normally blows up in my face.

    One year I tried to join a gym – a lady’s gym – and I wasn’t allowed to take home the contract to read it through properly and they forced me to join, guilting me into it, right there at the gym. Then, when I wanted to cancel it, there was a $50 canellation fee! Woah!

    Then, I took up Yoga. That went well until I had an accidental pregnancy and was told to not do Yoga for about 5 months… well there went Yoga….

    I took up Zumba for a little while and found I needed to be in a group to do it… um… refer to my first attempt of joining a gym. Okay… let’s give up on this one.

    Last year, I bought myself a set of hand weights… this had turned out well… I can curls and any other arm things and sit ups when I please on the spur of the moment. And the weights are in a box and I can put them away as I please too.

    So, there’s my attempts at fitness routines.

    Oh… and before you suggest going for walks or runs… it’s not advised around the area I live in as it’s too dangerous to do that. I’d probably get mugged no matter what time of the day it is. 🙁