In a previous post I talked about how I have Meniere’s Disease, which is, in short a disease that is all about the world spinning, drop attacks, and feeling unwell. This brought forth some sort of epiphany that my body was under attack by a disease and my defenses (health) weren’t up to par. I’m 5’2’ish’, 5’3’’ hanging upside down and used to clock in at a big ole 210lbs. Just edging out a size 20 jeans, and they were tight. My smallest was when I was 17ish, 115lbs and I hated how I felt in clothes and my own skin, my most comfortable was 140 in size 12s. I was in a size 10 when I was at 115lb. I’ve got hips, so my jeans were and are always on the bigger size, and I’m short! About a year ago, I started making very small changes to my diet and making excuses not to go to the gym. I’m in school, I drive 10 hrs a week, I have to work, etc. I dropped to 185lbs in the last year in just changing what I eat, or rather, how much I eat. Comfy in a size 18, roomy even.
Then comes the spinning of the world – Meniere’s and that was it, no more excuses. I had to make a change. Gym time. I needed some motivation, come on, I’m 40! I am set in my ways! I am a writer. I sit at a computer screen and bang out stories like a mad machine gun on Red Bull and Rum. I am not the physical girl, I am the girl who is at a computer and making word magic.
A very smart teacher of mine, Aaron T once told me just move, more time you move and are off the couch you’re one step ahead of the guy/girl who isn’t. That’s hard. I spend 8 hrs a day on my feet for work. And the writer in me wants to go home and see what mischief I can get characters into.
I wanted something I could clock in my walking, my work, my food, my steps, my gym time. Off to google I went! I read up on several trackers, read reviews, what other apps worked w/each, and settled on the FitBit Flex (I wanted the Force but due to a recall, that wasn’t happening). I put it on my wish list and low and behold, the price dropped to a nice $83.88 free shipping as I’m a prime member. I didn’t care what color, I just wanted that thing. I’m a tech girl, face it, most of us are.
I received the slate/blue FitBit, it comes with a doggle (That goes into your computer) and a charger for your computer, but if you’re smart you’ll go to the sort and get a USB Charger and simply leave it and plug it when you need.
Two taps on the FibBit light up the small LED lights, each light is 2K steps. The clasp can be tricky, but once you get the hang of it, you are golden. There are also several places to get different colored bands and extra clips and even a FitBelt to keep the FitBit on your wrist (some people have a habit of losing them it seems.) The FitBit vibrates when you reach your 10,000 steps (you can edit how many steps you wish to be your goal). You can also set alarms and it will buzz you awake. Which, I thought would never wake me, but, guess what, it does!
The tracking screen on your phone (if you pick to go that route) is great. Steps, Calories, Miles, etc.
One of the lovely things about MD (Meniere’s) is that if you don’t sleep, you’re going to egg on an attack. And, I will admit, I am the worst sleeper ever. So when reading that the Fit tracked sleep – well, that really did cinch the deal for me! Come to find out, I’ve been having very small MD attacks in my sleep for a very long time, which is what caused me to be restless. Now I could track my sleep. I’ve been able to adjust my meds (with my FNP) to get a better restful sleep. I’ve never lacked on energy! Ask anyone who knows me, but I used to run on 5hrs of sleep a night, now I get a good average of 7 or more.
I used the FitBit program exclusively for about 2 weeks, then paired it with MyFitnessPal, there is a food scanner and the exercises are more precise on the MFP. It logs in and saves your breakfast, lunch and supper, also snacks, etc. The synching of the two was very easy and bam, they are talking to each other. The beauty of the FB is you tell it you want to lose, oh, 2lbs a week. It figures out how many calories you need to eat. Where to fall and if you put in a long hard day of work, your caloric intake goes up. Starving yourself is never good.
With MD I need to cut down on my sodium, over the course of a week I can see where I had to much sodium, what foods has more, how I can trim that down. I need extra potassium, I can do the same there. Building my menu around my life and how I feel instead of being stuck in the same repeating motions of “oh I have to eat that again?” to keep the calories and sodium down.
Simply said, I LOVE IT! It’s a motivator. Oh, let me take the stairs. I’m missing 400 steps or 1 mile, maybe I’ll take the dog for a short walk, raining outside, great, 5 minutes on the treadmill, that 5 mins turns into me doing a few jumping jacks and some yoga. At the gym, and I only have 300 active minutes. Lets hit the treadmill for a brisk walk of 4mph. How about some leg presses? Lat pull downs. Bicep curls. Whatever it is, I want that screen green. I want 300 mins of active minutes.
I am down to 178lbs, (but really, I could care less, I am doing this to get healthy to combat the effects of MD) and on my good days I feel great. Beyond great, I feel better. I find that when I have an attack, I’m not railroaded into bed for two days. I can at least function around the house, if not struggle to get to work. I will have bad days. If I can’t drive I can’t work. If I can’t walk to the bathroom without trailing my fingers along the wall, I am not okay. If when I stand still the room is swaying. I am not okay to take care of patients.
I was having daily attacks about 2 months ago. Now, every two weeks or so. I find on my days of inactivity, the next day I don’t feel as well and the room decides to be a Gravitoron and whirl me around.
Of course, the FitBit didn’t do all of this, I did. I go to the gym and I do balance exercises. I go to the gym and hit the treadmill (and even run for ½ a mile). I go to the gym and do the chest press machine (I started at 20lbs and am up to 50lb). I could barely stand on one leg 2 months ago, now I can do a tree pose for almost a minute on each leg. I do those things, but having that screen on the FitBit app go all green (I’m more about active minutes and not steps) and that I’m under calories, makes me feel as if I am doing something to combat this disease and to take things into control.
Is the FitBit perfect? No, hardly. It is what YOU do with it that makes it worthy of your time and effort. Do I recommend the FitBit Flex? I sure do. Will it make you do things? No, that comes from within, what it will do is give you feedback. And information. For 90 bucks, to be honest, you’ve little to lose and a lot to gain. Information is key.
Now, get out there and MOVE!