Thursday, May 23, 2013

FitBit One (First Impression)

It's been just over a week with my new companion - my FitBit One. I haven't named it yet, but I probably should with as much time as we spend together. So far, I'm in love - it's a great little device. I found it on sale at and only paid $89 (w/ free shipping) and it came with all the things in this picture (FitBit One, case/clip, USB connector, night wrist strap, charger).

It provides me with basic activity information (steps, distance, floors climber, calories burned, and sleep) and gives the option to track additional activity as well as food and water consumed, I find it to be quite the perfect tool to keep me active and accountable.

The step counting feature is accurate as far as I can tell. My daily goal is set at 10k and most days I've been able to reach it (it doesn't hurt that I'm usually beyond 3,000 by 7am thanks to Insanity). My highest day was 15, 624! During the day, I wear the one on my waistband and only once have I changed my clothes and forgot to transfer over the lil guy.

At night, however, the One comes with a wrist band to house the FitBit while you sleep. Don't ask me how, but it tracks your sleep - how long it takes for you to fall asleep, times awakened, times in bed, and sleep efficiency. I don't get enough sleep - plain and simple. But this tracking has shown me that at least of the time I am in bed, my sleep efficiency is in the high 90% range, waking up on average about 3 times per night for no more than 3 minutes.

I think that my favorite feature of the FitBit One is the incredibly user friendly website and mobile app interfaces. While the One does have a display that toggles with a button push, it also syncs via bluetooth with my iPhone and gives me instant access to my stats and also allows me to log my activity, food, and water consumption in real time. I'm currently participating in a 30-day Challenge and one of the goals is to drink a gallon of water per day. The iPhone app allows me to easily track this with a few simple clicks.

Another thing that I love so far is the battery life - I've had it since last Tuesday and haven't charged it once. The battery is said to last between 5-7 days but I'm going on nine and trust me, I play with it constantly. However, the questions remains: When I will charge it when the time comes? because I don't want to miss out on steps OR my sleep tracking. Perhaps while I'm in the shower. If anyone has one and can give me some advice - I'll take it.

I wish there were a heart rate monitor associate with this device so I could get more accurate measures of how many calories I was actually burning during workouts, that would be rad - but for the time being, this is suiting my needs just swimmingly.

If you're looking for an activity tracker, I give this one (so far) my glowing stamp of approval. And if you already have a FitBit, we should connect - you can compare steps with your friends. (Sorry Gorman, I'm still smoking you!)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

for a few special mothers in my life...

Today is Mother's Day. One day, of the 365 in a year, that we are encouraged to appreciate, value, and shower our mothers with love. While I'm of the mindset that we should be doing this about 364 more days than prompted, I see nothing wrong with having a special day JUST for them. I was lucky enough to spend the weekend with mom, and I hope you did something special for the mother figure in your life :)

I want to take a moment to recognize and appreciate some of the fantastic mothers in my life*

Quinn Marckesano
I love Quinn for a million reasons and the way that she has risen to the challenges of motherhood are simply one in a long list. I love to see the joy that she shares with her children, and the way she includes them in her daily life. I wish I were closer to her (geographically) so that I could watch her in action, but luckily social media has allowed me to be a part of their lives.
Jennifer Kontich
Jennifer is one of those people who was born to be a mother. Not only did she handle pregnancy like a champ, but she conquered labor (with the help of her amazingly supportive husband) and is now is getting into the swing of motherhood time management. Little Danika is an absolute peach. 
Jessica Dehl
I never knew Jessica as a mom, not until we recently spent a few days with her adorable family in Oregon. She is an absolutely fabulous mother, who does what I hope to someday do - raises her kids in her own likeness. I mean, how can you compete with a toddler who comes up to Champ and I while we're doing an Insanity workout and offers us a beer? All joking aside, she's got the "mom" thing down, and I'm so glad to have reconnected. 

Kristen Varga
I've never seen someone so cut out to be a mom. Not only was she doing yoga and organizing gatherings for her husband's birthday a couple days before delivery, but she's half of a dynamic duo who is raising a girl who is flying through "firsts" and looking good in the process.
Linda Gentry
I love that I've had a few moms in my class that I've been able to form really special bonds with. Linda has not only been a mother figure to me, but I watch the amazing way that she supports her own daughters and many other children in the neighborhood. Linda is a special lady and I am lucky to have her in my life. 
Courtney Eckard
I first met Courtney when her oldest son was in my class. I was and and still am constantly in owe of the ease with which she parents four lil ones. They are some of the sweetest, well-mannered, and most fun children I know. They are a rad family and I have no doubt that someday, when I am a mother myself, I will look to her for advice and organizational tips. She rocks!
Danielle Moore
While I haven't had the pleasure of meeting lil Austin, I know that Danielle will be an absolutely fantastic mother to this adorable lil boy. Plus if it's true that it "takes a village", you've got one hell of a community behind you. Happy 1st Mother's Day! 
Aida Sued-Dominguez
Aida's daughter is currently in my Kindergarten class. While I would never admit to having favorites, Ana is arguably one of the kindest, most considerate, intelligent, and thoughtful young girls that I've had the pleasure of teaching. She is a shining reflection of the mother who has molded her to be such a wonderful little lady. I am constantly impressed by the thoughtful and creative things that Aida does for me and her children.

Sue Chiampas
I've been lucky enough to have this lovely lady in my life for the past year. She's the mother to my other half and has accepted and embraced me as part an incoming part of the family. Her work ethic, supportive demeanor, and enthusiasm are qualities that I see in her children.  I admire all the hard work she's put in to raise them, and know that she is proud of the young adults that they're growing into.  
Rose Wagenaar
This list wouldn't be complete without the woman who I place above all others. She is the absolute epitome of what I believe a mother to be. She is caring, compassionate, loving, and supportive. I could not ask for a better friend, mentor, or role model. 
* I'm sure I left some out, my apologies. I'd blame it on "mommy brain" but that's YOUR excuse, not mine.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco De 'Sanity

In a facebook message I received last week from a friend that I've lost touch with, she noted "I see how fit you are... damn. Clearly a lifestyle." This simple message really got me thinking, I HAVE made a lifestyle change - I'm no longer searching for a quick fix. I enjoy the way that this lifestyle makes me feel, and the results that I've already seen. I know that because I have found a balance in this lifestyle, I can enjoy a holiday without becoming completely derailed from my health and fitness goals. 

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, most people are planning a day of indulgence, and a year ago I was not unlike the majority of the population. This year I am spending Cinco de Mayo in a slightly different way. 

This morning when I woke up and had Insanity on my brain. Today was the first day of Month Two, a milestone that I have never reached in previous attempts. Not only was it my third Fit Test, but once that was done, the schedule called for another DVD: Max Interval Circuit (60 min). Ouch. Luckily I got to see a familiar face, Jimmy Hays Nelson, squatting his way through it with me - I love that my great-grand-coach is on the DVDs. 
Since Champ is recovering from a nasty stomach bug and subsequent severe dehydration, he wasn't able to work out with me but he was a trooper and not only came down to count every rep for me on my Fit Test but he brought his laptop and did his work while I "hopped around for an hour" doing my Max Interval Circuit. (Insert obligatory comment about not only how important a support system is, but how lucky I am to have one of the greatest in the world) Now, you may be asking yourself: did you want to get up on a Sunday morning, the Sunday morning of Cinco de Mayo nonetheless, and workout by yourself for 90 minutes? Well, yes and no. I would love it if drinking my face off, eating quesadillas and scarfing down chips and salsa yielded the same results as Insanity. But it doesn't. I know how I feel when I do both activities mentioned above and can say hands down that I feel better mentally, physically and even emotionally when I get in a daily workout. It has become something that I enjoy, even when the time required exceeds what I might want to give to it - the return is always exponential. 

As I walked down to Farmer's Market with a cup of tea in my hand, I commented to Champ that in years past that would likely have been a margarita "road soda". We walked by the crowds of people enjoying a swirl at Aqui's but instead stayed our course - shopping for fresh, seasonal, organic produce. Tonight Champ is going to make a Petrole Ceviche (using fish we purchased that was caught on Friday) while I throw together a Cucumber Guacamole. We will skip the margaritas, but you're foolish if you think we won't polish off some of our favorite Spicy Soy & Flaxseed Tortilla Chips from Trader Joe's. Life is about balance after all. If you're looking for a way to celebrate and save a few calories, Beachbody has taken out the guess work and has compiled a list of 20 Cinco de Mayo Recipes Under 200 Calories. Try some. And if you're gonna have an alcoholic beverage, make it a "Nor Cal Margarita" which can be described to a bartender as follows: "tequila, soda water, and a sh!t ton of lime".

Feliz Cinco de Mayo, hope you wake up feeling as good as I do tomorrow.