Alphabet Soup is a series of posts in which readers and I explore the words, concepts, and ideas that help on the path to weight loss/maintenance. Please join in with your insights!
The letter L is a Very Big Deal for me, with respect to weight loss and to life in general. Lots of lessons learned in L-world.
I’ve learned a lot about loving myself over the past few years, primarily that love of self shouldn’t be tied to eating healthy and exercising, and it can’t be tied to a size or a shape or weight or bmi or any other physical attribute. While I’m great with having goals in all those measures, I have value and am worth loving at any size or shape or weight. I wish I had fully realized that earlier in my life.
I wish I didn’t sometimes still lose sight of it now.
I spent a lot of years in “when I…,then I…” land, putting off doing things until I’d lost some weight. I had a wonderful, magical click! moment of clarity a few years ago as I was taking a goal weight celebration ride on a jet ski along the gulf coast. As I breezed along on my first ever jetski ride, a couple on a tandem ski passed nearby. Both were significantly overweight, but they were out there laughing and having the time of their lives. They didn’t wait for some distant goal weight to have fun. I did, and I missed a lot of rides.
Anne Lamott says it so much better than I can: Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.
Holding on to hurts, slights, and transgressions (mine or someone else’s) will only hold me back. As Malachy McCourt wrote: Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Let.It.Go.
For most of my diet-y years, I made the process a mean, miserable, soul-sucking experience. (Gee, I wonder why I struggled so much?) Fortunately, somewhere in the early stages of my latest weight loss journey, I figured out that I could have fun with the process by making up games and silly challenges. As the Yiddish proverb goes: What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.
I haven’t said it in a while, but lifting weights completely changed the weight loss process for me. I saw results in the fit of my clothes long before I saw big losses reflected on the scale. I also saw the results in my posture, my attitude, my confidence, and my ability to deal with stress. I gained strength and toning–inside and out!
I suppose I should stop there. I think I’ve covered the most important L-words for me, but there are a couple more I might explore later. Unless one of you beats me to the punch. Your insights are welcome and appreciated!
It seems as though every third person I see is wearing some sort of fitness wristband these days. People seem to like them, or maybe they just like to be seen wearing them. I don’t know, but there’s no doubting that fitness trackers are popular. I confess to a mild curiosity about them, but not enough to plop down a fairly significant amount of cash.
::pause for moment of gratitude that I didn’t plop::
A few weeks ago I was offered an opportunity to review the Pivotal Living Fitness Tracker, a relatively new kid in the fitness tracking neighborhood. Among other things, this band was said to track calories burned, steps/distance, active time, and length/quality of sleep. Ooh, that got my attention!
Do you know what got my attention even MORE? The cost of the Pivotal Living Fitness Tracker, which is…get ready for it… $12 per YEAR!
::pause to allow you to pick yourselves up off the floor::
I read the email several times to make sure it wasn’t $12 per month. But no, it even says $12 per year on their website. Heck, I’ll try almost anything for $12 per year*. (You should stay tuned, because one of YOU will receive your very own Pivotal Living tracker!)
Pivotal Living supplies the band and charger; you supply the smart phone or portable device. You’ll also download the (free) Pivotal Living app. You can find information about the supported devices along with links to the appropriate download center on the company’s App FAQ page.
Here’s a super quick video of how the band functions:
On the support page, there are instructions and videos for every step of the process. They’re quick, to the point, and easy to understand. Perfect for this tracker newbie.
Okay, so after you’ve got everything set up, which could take upwards of 5 minutes (if it takes longer, see aforementioned videos), you just snap on the band and go about your business. At some point during the day, you’ll pause to sync the band to the app so that you can get a report.
Given my foot injury, I didn’t track scads of data but here’s a representative day from my dashboard:
The categories being tracked are displayed on one screen, with the middle score representing the overall percentage toward the daily goals. If I want to know more about what makes up each result, I just tap on the circle.
As you can see, I logged a whopping 6 hours of sleep that night. That actually isn’t bad for me, and I was pleased to see that 2/3 of it registered as deep sleep.
I’m not going to take you through each and every screen, but if there’s something you’re curious about, sing out in the questions and I’ll do my best to give or get you an answer.
For now, I’ll share my pluses and minus(es), so far.
– It goes without saying that I love the price of this tracker! Not only would it be easy on MY budget, it doesn’t price-guilt me into wearing it every single minute. If I want to take a break from tracking for a few days, I’m not feeling guilty for having spent $100+ on something that’s sitting on my desk. (This is my rationale in choosing a basic-model gym, too, and that’s been working for 7 years. )
– I’ve never really looked into other fitness trackers, so I don’t know what all they do exactly, but this tracker keeps up with the basics and that’s what’s important to me. I’m not training for the Olympics here.
– All the features are great, but my surprise favorite is the activity alert. I have mine set for 40 minutes, at which time my tracker vibrates against my arm, prompting me to move around a bit if I’ve been sitting, or since I hurt my foot, reminding me to sit down a few minutes if I’ve been up moving around. In other words, it’s serving as a mindfulness reminder.
– Another thing I love-love-love is that the band only needs to be charged every week or so! Unlike my fancy smart phone which seems to need recharging every 15 minutes.
– Readings seem to be consistent, with respect to miles, calories burned, etc. I have no idea if they’re 100% correct (especially calories burned), but if they’re consistent from day to day, I at least have a benchmark to shoot for each day.
– To be honest, I always thought these bands looked like they’d be uncomfortable, but this one isn’t so bad. In fact, I forget I’m wearing it and on a couple of occasions, I had to do a last minute removal as I was stepping into the shower. (Band is water-resistant, not water-proof. Nice save by me!
– I really only have one true minus and that’s the display quality in sunlight. Exhibits A & B:
You see my dilemma. To be fair, the point of being outside moving about is to move about, not to stop every 2 minutes to check your steps. But besides that, just being able to check the time–yeah, that’s what I was doing–without contorting myself into weird shapes trying to generate shade would be great.
And really, that’s my only minus. Anything else would be more of a ‘wish-list’ kind of thing.
– I wish the display stayed on more than 5 seconds. Some of us have older eyes, you know, and need a few more seconds to focus.
– I wish I could control which categories are displayed on the dashboard. If I could, I’d hide the water and the weight (and any water weight, if you know what I mean.) But it’s not a problem that the ones I’m not using are there. I’ll just ignore them.
– I wish I could manually add in other forms of exercise, like biking, weight lifting, yard work, etc., and then then fitness tracker would include that in the daily totals.
Hmm, it occurs to me that if they added all my wish list items, the tracker might not cost $12 per year and might require charging every 15 minutes. Perhaps it’s best to leave it as is.
You’ve probably guessed by now that I’m a big fan of this tracker, and I am thrilled to see an affordable option on the market. This one could be a game changer for a whole lot of people.
At present the Pivotal Living Fitness Tracker doesn’t interface with other apps, but their app does include the ability to create or join custom teams, where you can share victories and triumphs as you work toward healthier lives. (Wouldn’t it be cool if a bunch of us had these and created our own dynasty? I mean, “team.” Something to think about anyway.)
The generous (and smart!) people at Pivotal Living are offering one of YOU the opportunity to try their fitness tracker for yourself! All you have to do is leave a comment here or over on my Facebook page telling me what your favorite tracking category would be. Let’s review your choices:
length/quality of sleep
Or any combination of the above.
I’ll select the winner by random drawing on Friday. Meanwhile, if you want to show Pivotal Living some social love, check out their About page to find links to their social media profiles. I’m sure they’d appreciate it!
*Note to FCC: I was provided the band at $0 per year for review purposes, but I’ll be renewing this time next year. I neither asked for nor received any other compensation.
Peroneal Subluxation. At least, that’s what I think the podiatrist said. He had a needle in the side of my foot at the time, and I was having a little trouble concentrating.
Basically, my tendons are twisted up, and I have some inflammation caused by that. No fracture. No apparent tears or shredding. I’ll take that and count my blessings.
The treatment, at this point:
Yep, I got the boot. Worse, I got the boot for 6-8 weeks!
I don’t know if I can do 6-8 weeks, y’all. I’m not sure I can make it 6-8 days! My foot feels like it’s being held in a tiny prison. Okay, not so tiny. Between my chunky legs and size 10 feet, it’s more a medium-sized prison, but you get my point.
**pause for deep breaths**
Of course I can do this. There are people dealing with far worse issues (feet and otherwise) every single day. The fact that I will (I hope) be rid of the boot and free to go about my life just by wearing a boot for a few measly weeks is actually good fortune. I’m sure I will forget that fairly frequently, especially as we’re easing into the hotter months of summer, but I’ll try to keep it somewhere near the forefront of my thoughts and keep the whining to a minimum.
When the doctor prescribed the boot, my thoughts immediately went back to 2007 when he did the surgery to reshape the bones in my pinkie toes.
While these were more sandals than boots, I had to wear them 24 hours a day, even while sleeping! Plus, I had stitches in my toes, so I had to sit sideways in the bathtub with those stupid sandals hanging over the side. (I know, you didn’t need that image in your head. Sorry about that..) And if that wasn’t bad enough, I couldn’t do ANY exercise, seated or otherwise.
This time around, I don’t have stitches, and I can take these boots off while I’m sleeping or bathing. Also, I can go to the gym for seated exercises and do normal household activities, including yard work. Well, he didn’t say I couldn’t do yard work.
Yep, with a little finagling, I got my yard work done today. I just McGuyvered a plastic bag covering for my boot and s-l-o-w-l-y worked my way through the routine. (A friend who saw the photo asked if I was practicing safe yard work. LOL I suppose it does look like a boot condom as much as bonnet.)
My plan, for now, is to go to the gym every other day for upper body workouts and then do some sort of stretches and core work on the off days. I’ll probably just make it up as I go along.
So that’s where we are today. One whole day behind me. I’ll take it and be grateful.
Have you ever had to wear a boot? Any survival tips?