Monday, May 25, 2015

Garmin VivoFit Review

Hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend (or hopefully had a long weekend!).

Activity trackers seem to be the biggest rage these days and I avoided them for as long as I could.

But after reading so many studies and articles over the past couple years about how even though you might workout daily - and at an intense rate that you still may be too sedentary. As a marathoner this really had me thinking for a while. Yes, I workout 6-7 days a week but at the same time I work 10ish hours most days and that doesn't really bode well for a healthy lifestyle. How many of us have looked at the clock after a busy morning to only realize that it is lunch time and you haven't gotten up since you walked through the door? #corporateworkflow 

Then one day my sister posted a picture of her app she had on her phone - nothing fancy it just tracked steps - and it was free so I immediately downloaded it. 

Within a day I was definitely addicted. But my already poor iPhone 5 battery was being demolished having the app running in the background (as was the lack of being able to be freed from my phone if I wanted to track). 

So I took the plunge. I bought the Garmin VivoFit (the original not the second version, since I like to save money and I was okay with it). 

And, I am in love with it. I got it and it has not left my wrist in the past month. 

It is oh so simple. There is no charging, it syncs within seconds (via bluetooth) to your phone or computer and the interface online has a lot of potential - and it also tracks your sleep. The one downfall of the original version I will mention is no backlight. So if you are going to bed and want to press it to sleep mode you can't see. But as I have learned it is also intuitive and will realize when you aren't moving anymore and figure out when you are sleeping for the night even if you don't put it to sleep mode! So smart!

I was honestly most concerned with steps and being active every hour so I have not engaged a lot with all it can do online. 

But I have to say it has very much changed my activity level. I am cognizant of getting up and checking that darn red line that begins to grow after an hour of activity. I also find myself going on more and more walks. Even the weekends first thing I either walk for coffee or make a coffee and go for a walk (if not working out first thing).

You can see below: in the beginning my goal for steps was slightly under 8,500 per day.

Now, it has grown to over 15,000 day. 

And that was within a month.

It is intuitive in that it alters the step goal every day to adjust to your normal daily activity. 

This, is where I think it is a bit detrimental for me. My competitive attitude (with myself) sets in and I have to exceed that goal. 

By a lot. 

Obviously on one hand that is good for me, and has set some very healthy habits. On the other, it has played to my already slightly obsessive tendencies and I notice I get a bit of anxiety with "needing" to demolish the goal for the day. 

So yes, it has me walking EVERYWHERE (I haven't taken the subway in the past month I don't think or a cab) and I walk the stairs a few times a day up the 12 flights at work and then some, I get up when watching TV to move about; but on the other hand I have definitely developed an attachment to it. 

I didn't want to wear it the other night because I was going out and it just didn't "go" obviously but that gave me a little anxiety. Not a good thing. But I have a very all or nothing attitude. 

I think at the end of the day it is definitely something that people can benefit from as far as becoming more active. And even for those of us that don't have a problem being active (as in working out/training for an event etc) I think it shows you just how your activity trends during the day. You can work out and be in shape but still be too sedentary. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Current State of Affairs

So this is a mish mosh of things in my life right now. I have had so many frustrations lately and have been trying to be zen about it but basically frustrated is the state of affairs over here.

If you know where I work then you can google it and see the headlines to know how THAT has been. Things are on the up and up but holy few weeks of turmoil.

On the Crohn’s front, things have been okay. The couple weeks before my last remicade appointment things were getting not so great again. My doctor wasn’t too concerned because the first 3 are part of the induction phase and you aren’t expected to be in remission – a lot of people (like me) just see a marked improvement. So obviously when I started getting really symptomatic again I was stressed out. It has been a week and a half since that 3rd infusion and well I was kind of an ass to my body last week (pizza, ice cream and too many beers + a wine class) so don’t know if what I am feeling is because of THAT or if we need to add back on the prednisone for a few days (although it didn't help in general last time). Time will tell. I am trying to take it in stride but god I just want to feel WELL.

Plus my newest blood panels came back and still severely anemic (as in no traces of iron – high five body) which still explains the energy lagging and my hair falling out at a rapid and concerning rate. We are addressing it but it is still annoying. It makes me feel lazy when I have a hard time and have to force myself out of bed – I know there is a medical reason to justify how I feel but I can’t help but just feel lazy.

My running still is sucking. I can’t run fast. And it is PISSING ME OFF. I am being patient. I am running 20 – 25 miles a week now but they are SLOW. And I am still too scared to really run outside.  I know that should be the least of my concerns but it just makes me sad. I know there are many logical contributing factors but god damn it I just want to be able to sustain sub 10 pace. Running makes me happy usually and THIS just makes me unhappy.

I 100% fall into the comparison trap. I see others come back from injury or a break or pregnancy or even a flare like me and they kick ass. Me? I’ve literally NEVER been this slow. Even when I was trying to lose weight way back when (and was about 30 pounds HEAVIER) I wasn’t this slow. And it makes me sad to think I may not ever run at the potential I was before. Good bye to getting back to 1:5x half’s on the regular.

Speaking of weight loss I thought that would be the magical jump start to getting speed back. I pretty easily lost 12 - 15 pounds (thus far) and am back at my old race weight.

I’m not faster.

But I do look better in my clothes? So, yay?

I know my “problems” could be a lot more but I just really want to wake up and feel GOOD. Consistently. Not just have some good days. I don’t think I will ever again take my health for granted.

And if you have stuck with the complaining this long, thanks for listening!