Saturday, July 19, 2014

July: updates and reviews

It's been a while since I last updated, but I've been pretty good since I wrote! The past few months have been full of:
- mountain climbing
- running (doing a couch to 5k with some new friends!)
- walking
- workout videos
- swimming
- elliptical-ing

At the end of April, I moved to a new apartment and am so close to a lot of fun things, including work, my favorite dog park, the white water center, and the greenway.

I've run a few more 5Ks since April and improved my time with each run. Then I kind of hit a rut with running (because I honestly don't really like it). Now, armed with motivation in the form of 6 friends who are willing to run and train with me and sign up for 5ks, I am back at it and feeling pretty good!

Since I moved to the Ballantyne area, I have maintained a weight around 145 -- which is a number I hadn't seen for at least half a decade. When I first moved to CT, I was in the mid 160s and when I first moved to NC, I was in the mid 150s. I would be SO happy if I could get down into the 130s, but I think I like food too much. We shall see.

On top of that, I've dropped at least 2 pant sizes. I think ended up getting rid of about 50 pairs of pants (and will probably be getting rid of some more!). Even the "skinny pants" I've been saving for years are verging on the too-big. It's an awesome feeling.

Nala has also lost some weight! She was up to about 40ish when we moved here and is now around 35.  I will attribute that to longer and more frequent walks, dog park visits, running, and doggie day care (which she attends for approx 2 days a week for about 8 hours of playing).

Here are the most recent progress pics I've taken. I think they were from July 1st, so about half a month ago (I can't believe it's almost August already!)

And here are some things I HAVE to review because I love them:

1) Jawbone UP24

I jumped on the bandwagon with this one. My work was hosting a FitBit challenge and I was pretty jealous I wasn't in on it. I tossed around the idea of getting a bunch of different fitness bands and/or watches. My sister had done a bunch of research as well and chose this one, so I decided to follow suit. I have to tell you, I LOVE this thing. It's easy to wear (takes about 1 day to get used to) and super motivating.

Action: it tracks your steps, the amount of time you are active vs. resting per day, your calories, etc. You can set step goals (mine is 10,000 a day) and also program it to buzz when you have been inactive for too long (mine is set for every 1.5 hours). I find that I am not only competitive with myself to reach the 10,000 a day, but I also strive to keep up with or beat my sister every day, as well, since I can see all of her daily data. It also gives you mini challenges you can do throughout the week (like certain days where it ups your step goal). It syncs via bluetooth to your phone and I find myself constantly checking the app for my progress throughout the day/night. I also find I am taking longer and more frequent walks.

Rest: it also tracks the zzzz's you get every night. You switch it over to sleep mode and it will tell you how long it took you to fall asleep, your deep vs. light sleep, the number of times you woke up during the night etc. You can set it to buzz anytime w/in a certain timeframe of when you want to wake up and it will choose the optimal point in your sleep study to wake you. You can program "power naps" that will take the same cue and aren't set for a certain time but rather a certain level of restedness. I set 7 hours/night as my sleep goal and am definitely more in touch with my sleeping patterns and am trying to get myself to bed earlier now.

In short, I think it's an awesome product. If any of my friends up buying this, please let me know so we can be on a "team" and I can be competitive with you, as well!!

2) In motion elliptical

I had purchased a full-sized elliptical about 5 years ago and it was such a pain in the ass to move and didn't work that well. I ended up leaving it in CT when I headed down South. Now, I love me some workout videos, but they can get a little repetitive. I've been looking for something that I could while watching tv -- a way to get my butt off the couch but still enjoy my Netflix. Behold, the inmotion elliptical!

It weighs about 30lbs and is super small and portable. When I want to watch tv, I slide it out in front of the tv and the time flies by! The stride is shorter than a normal elliptical, so it takes a few rotations to get used to it. It also doesn't have anything for your arms, which is good for core strength and balance. For such a small machine, it is pretty effective and I find myself using it almost every night during times I would otherwise be parked on the couch. 

You can also use it while sitting at a desk. I plan on bringing it to work with me sometime and trying it out. Overall, at only $85, I think it was a very worthwhile purchase. 

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