I bought myself a fitbit one at the end of last year and a few people have been asking me about it so I thought I’d put my thoughts into a post for you all to peruse at your leisure. My parents have both had one for a couple of years and they love them and use them every day, so I decided I needed to get in on the action and begin logging my activity with fitbit. It’s pretty easy to be sedentary these days – especially those of us with sedentary jobs. For me, I sit down to practice and I’m at a desk when I’m doing other admin things – then before you know it it’s dark outside and I’ve barely moved. The fitbit one clips discreetly into your pocket or bra and counts your steps, plus distance, calories burned and floors climbed. It has an automated goal of 10,000 steps per day but you can change this goal if you like. I’ve kept mine at 10,000 as that’s what we’re told we should be aiming for (10,000 steps is around five miles). The first few weeks I had mine I’m sure I became a total fitbit-bore to all around me. Parking miles away from where I wanted to be or just leaving the car at home altogether. Going out dancing and being thrilled to have done 14,000 steps before even going to sleep. Going out of my way to find the stairs rather than take the lift (not possible with harp by the way). Now that the initial novelty of the fitbit one has worn off, I’m still using it every day. Why? Because it encourages you to move more. My friend Katherina has one and she joked that it plays on all the negative emotions we have – the guilt of not moving enough, the thrill of achieving more than your friends, ick… but still I use it and like to be towards the top of the leaderboard of my fitbit ‘friends’. The fitbit one itself is really small… But it comes with a handy silicone clip: You can also get it in burgundy. I thought about it but I’m the only one who ever sees it really so there was no point paying an extra £10 for a different colour, right? So I just clip this to my bra first thing in the morning and forget about it – it comes with a tiny dongle to plug into the computer so whenever I’m a few feet away from the computer it’ll sync to my online fitbit account. I’ve also set my phone up to do this but you don’t have to. It emails you when it needs charging, which is only about once every 10 days, and it charges in about an hour. The button at the top lets you scroll through all the information – and you can tailor the information you want to see online – so you can see the time, steps that day, floors climbed and calories burned. There’s also a cute flower that grows if you’ve been active recently: If you reach a milestone such as 50 total miles or 100 floors climbed you’ll get an email and a ‘badge’ – it’s quite nice to know I’ve climbed enough floors to be at the same height as a helicopter but, I’ll admit, not overly useful. What is really handy is that you can connect your fitbit account with myfitnesspal – so fitbit logs your steps, myfitnesspal logs your food, and theoretically, you will lose weight if you burn more calories than you eat (although there are lots of different opinions on this so let’s move on swiftly!) I’ve been logging my food for almost 100 days, and I think 100 days is enough, once I’ve got my 100th day of food logging I’ll probably stop doing it so religiously and just focus on eating whole, healthy foods (and maybe drinking fewer glasses of rose wine). I’ve lost 6 pounds since I’ve had mine. So I don’t know whether that’s from moving more or eating less – it’s almost definitely a mixture of both. I haven’t been trying to lose weight very quickly but I am aware that I want to lose a bit. No rush though – I’m not going on holiday for another eighteen weeks. Something else you can use the fitbit one for is tracking your sleep – this is a bit much for me, I tend to know if I’ve slept well or not! Also, I wasn’t keen on the wristband that came with the fitbit. The velco was weird and was already losing its grip after a few nights. I loved the silent vibrating alarm though, it wakes you up without disturbing your significant other. But it wasn’t worth it for me to wear the uncomfortable wristband unfortunately. I’d love to know your thoughts on the fitbit if you have one? What do you think?
So here we are, 2015, can you believe it?
It’s natural at this time to assess the previous year and to look forward to what we want to achieve in the future. Last year I moved in with my boyfriend so that has been the biggest change. We are absolutely loving having our own space just to relax and spend time together. He probably does 90% of all the cooking, which leads to me eating far too much of his delicious food (carbonara is my favourite – I may steal the recipe for a future blog post, leave a comment below if you’d be interested in this).
Work-wise, things still seem to be ticking along nicely. I’m making enough to stay afloat, woohoo! I’ve started saving 20% of everything I earn, which comes in really handy at this time of year when my tax bill is due.
I haven’t been running quite so much as I used to and have joined a gym instead. I wanted to work more on strength but also I wanted the variety of being able to do things like Yoga, Body Pump and Spinning, then be able to swim and have a jacuzzi/sauna afterwards. I also like doing classes as once they are in your diary you treat them like appointments, so emails, phone calls etc. just have to wait until you get back. End of story. I can’t help it. I just love prioritising ‘me time’. Having already done two classes this week I can’t believe how much busier the gym is! So many people on their New Year’s Resolutions. I miss the old days before Christmas with Yoga classes of six and spinning classes of two!
So now for some resolutions, I don’t want to commit to too much and then fall off the wagon later, but here goes:
1. Dry January
No booze in January. I’m tweaking this ever so slightly and doing January 5th to February 5th to allow for a large family party last weekend. I’m doing it to stretch my self-control, and possibly save a bit of money. In addition to that, I’m trying to lose a bit of weight and I’m interested to see if quitting the drink for 31 days will help give me a headstart.
2. Have a ‘weekend’ during the week
Ok this is an odd one but bear with me, I nearly always have gigs at the weekends, so I’m trialling a system of making Tuesday and Wednesday my weekend – and treating Saturday and Sunday like normal working days. Normal working day means getting up at a reasonable time, and either practising, doing admin, going to gigs or something useful during the working day. Weekends mean sleep in, practise if I want to, go to the gym, go for walks, maybe cook a nice meal and generally potter about. I’ll be reporting back on this after a few weeks. Obviously it won’t be completely clear cut – I have pupils who can really only do Tuesday for example. But we’ll see how it goes. I may just end up binge-watching Sex and the City on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Let’s hope not.
I’m also aiming to publish a blog post once a week (on a Thursday, just in case you’re interested). So watch this space for more musings during 2015. It’s good to be back!