Losing Weight With My Fitbit

How To StartActivity trackers are one of the biggest fitness trends right now. Michael Luke and I are big Fitbit fans. I’ve had my Fitbit Flex for sixteen months.

flex_3qtr_black_3lights_300dpi During that time I’ve traveled more than 1,300 miles earning myself the New Zealand badge.

new zealand badge

When I ran the St. Jude Half Marathon last December I earned the Hiking Boot Badge for achieving more 35,000 steps in one day.  It may be a while before I top that one.

hiking boot badge fitbit

It’s fun to earn new badges and to see how my daily steps compare to all my friends and take part in the occasional challenge but for 15 months that all it was… FUN.  Oh, and until you have experienced it it’s hard to describe the joy of your tracker vibrating as you hit 10,000 steps.

10,000 steps meme Occasionally I would lose a couple of pounds but before I knew my weight would go up a few more.  My goal was to get back to my weight that I was at before getting pregnant (in 2011).  For four years that has been my goal but the closest I ever came to reaching it was within four pounds and that was three and a half years ago when I was walking with my friend Kalli three to four days a week.

Last month when I stepped on the scale and saw myself a full 10 pounds heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight I knew I had to do something. It’s easy to blame it all on the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day) but honestly the weight gain is because I wasn’t being kind to myself.  I let all that food take victory over me.

Now I know that 10 pounds is really not that much weight and even at my weight a month ago I still fit in the normal weight range for my body height and age.  But it was on the upper end of “normal” and I knew I could treat my body better.  Something had to change.

Over the past year I had occasionally used my Fitbit to count calories and each time I had lost weight.  I never did it more than a couple of days though.  Sometimes, I’m on the lazy side and it was just too much trouble for me to enter all the ingredients in each time I prepared a meal and often times it seemed easier to calculate a meal from a restaurant than a meal cooked at home.

This time I did some research in the Fitbit forums. I knew people had success losing weight with their Fitbits I just had to figure out what I was doing wrong.

What I Was Doing Wrong

I knew the answer all along but reading through the forums I confirmed what I already knew.

I HAD TO COUNT CALORIES!

I discovered though that the majority of people used a third party app to count their calories. Determined to make it work I tried a couple out.  I finally ended up going with My Fitness Pal.

my fitness palMy Fitness Pal has an extensive data base of food… including Young Living protein powders.  Another perk is that it tracks your fat, sodium, sugar, and carbs, and protein intakes.  And the best part is that it syncs with my Fitbit app so that as my steps and activity increase throughout the day the amount of calories I can consume increases.  This is my motivation to move.

I’m 4’11” so if my goal is to lose 1/2 pound a week my base recommended intake of calories in the morning is around 1,200 to 1,300 calories.  To me this is depressing.  We see all the nutrition information on food labels and everything is based off of a 2000 calorie diet.  I felt like I was being short changed 700+ calories a day.  In the beginning I basically threw myself a pity party because I WANTED MORE.  It’s not my fault i’m so short.

Here’s the interesting part though as I began to count calories and monitor my serving sizes I realized that 1,200 calories was enough for me. At the end of the day I was satisfied.  I also realized that the more steps I took and the more active minutes I had during the day the more calories I earned.

I learned to use this to my advantage. For example, if I was going out to eat and wanted to enjoy a fried chocolate pie I made sure to reach my 10,000 steps that day and eat lower calorie meals earlier in the day.  This helped me bank extra calories so that I could enjoy my dessert guilt free… and that I did!

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Fitbit keeps up with my calories burned vs. intake letting me know if I’m above/under/in the zone.  I don’t have a lot of self control and have always had a hard time resisting sweets at the end o f the day.  But I am a rule follower. Give me guidelines and I will stick to them.  That’s where calorie counting in huge for me. If I don’t have enough at the end of the day I won’t let myself splurge because I have worked so hard to stay within my budget.

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I find myself checking my Fitbit more during the day now.  I want to know how much I’ve been moving. If my step count is low by lunch I know that I need to PLAN time to move during the afternoon.  It’s now my goal to hit 10,000 everyday.  I no longer refer to my tracker to see how far I am falling short that day but instead to see how much more I need to move.

Fitbit also tracks your water intake. This isn’t a feature I use every day but I need to.  On the days that I do I do a far better job of reaching the recommended amount of water.  I know some people aren’t fond of drinking water all the time.  Adding Young Living Essential Oils is a way I add variety to my water. My favorite right now is to add a drop of Peppermint Vitality essential oil to my water bottle.  The Peppermint helps to curb my appetite… and keeps my mouth tasting great.  It’s also fun to flavor my water with citrus Vitality oils like Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, and Citrus Fresh.  There are wonderful benefits to adding citrus oils to your water… take a few minutes and do a little research.

Young Living Citrus Oils

The Results

I’ve been moving, counting calories, and drinking water for a month now.  My calorie intake is set to allow for half a pound a week and over the past month I’ve already lost 3 POUNDS!  I’m so excited. I feel empowered, motivated, and encouraged. I KNOW I can reach my goal if I keep this up.  My goal was set all along but what I really needed was a plan.

What’s Next

I plan to keep doing everything I’ve been doing and start to incorporate more exercise and strength training.  Even though I’m moving I haven’t been running as much as I used to. Imagine the impact I could have if I combined calorie counting with running.

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So tell me… do you wear an activity tracker? Are you actively using yours to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight or do you find yourself wearing yours like I how I did mine in the beginning?  What goals do you want to achieve with your activity tracker?

 

 

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Insta Favorite: Raising Up Rubies

Scrolling through Instagram is one of my favorite past times. Let men have their baseball… I want pretty pictures!   Like the normal Instagrammer I enjoy following my friends but my favorite part is curating my feed with some of my favorite profiles that I’ve stumbled across along the way.

First up on my list of favorites is Raising Up Rubies.

I can’t really remember how I stumbled across her beautiful rainbow of pictures but I think it was during one of my #journalingbible searches.  Jamie is the beautiful mom behind Raising Up Rubies and her love of color captured me from the beginning. Jamie loves vibrant colors and they can be found throughout her house, her craft room, and her items in her Etsy shop, Raising Up Rubies.  She is one of the few people I have Instagram set to notify me when they publish a new picture.

Her posts include pictures of her items listed in her Etsy shop, like her beautifully illustrated Bible journaling cards, necklaces and bracelets with scripture on them, and fun children’s accessories like Shopkins necklaces.  You are going to find yourself looking for excuses to purchase from her.

raising up rubies journaling cardsraising up rubies shopkins raising up rubies to live is christ

Oh, and some of my favorite pics are of her craft room! Her husband allowed her to turn her dining room into gorgeous and fun craft room so that she can do all her work from home. She’s one crafty mommy with loads of colorful inspiration and you should definitely add her to your Instagram feed!

What’s your favorite picture of Raising Up Rubies?

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Frozen at Five

Earlier this month we had a big celebration … Esther turned FIVE.  Like most little girls she had been counting down to this special day for months.  So much so that we had put a ban on talking about her birthday until after Christmas.

As a child there aren’t many times that you get to make BIG decisions but choosing your birthday party theme is one of them.  For a while she was leaning towards a Barbie party.  Michael Luke and I were almost positive her choice would have been Frozen.  Sure enough though with a few weeks to go before the big day she decided her party should definitely be Frozen.  I had to pull my mom card at that point to make sure this was our final theme.

After searching around town for party decor it appears we may be riding the Frozen birthday party train out of town.  Decorations were few and far between but I found some good stuff and had fun transforming our dining room into her Frozen fantasy land.

Frozen Birthday PartyEsther and I found the Frozen streamers on sale at Target.  Back in December I had an inkling that she would choose Frozen for her party theme so I went ahead and bought these Elsa and Anna plates and napkins.  Frozen Birthday PartyFor the backdrop I considered drawing a scene from the movie like I did with Noah’s Belle birthday party but I really didn’t feel like I could execute a good ice castle. Instead I bought a couple of table cloths from Dollar Tree to hang from the ceiling.
Frozen Birthday PartyI couldn’t find any Frozen cupcake toppers…except on Etsy and  I didn’t have enough time for those to arrive. Etsy has lots of cute party supplies though. Maybe I can plan ahead more for Noah’s party this fall and order some decor from Etsy.

I got creative though and bought an Elsa figurine doll for the cupcake topper.  I stuck the bottom of her feet into one of Chloe Coscarelli’s chocolate cupcakes and then piped the icing around it to make the skirt of her dress.

The most exciting part about the day for Esther was getting to wear her Elsa dress.
Frozen Birthday PartyThe week before you would have thought we were shopping for a prom dress.  She absolutely loved going to the mall and picking out her dress. I don’t know what it is but when Noah and Esther pass a window display or rack full of formal dresses they immediately stop and gawk.  I’m afraid it gave me a glimpse into the future!Frozen Birthday PartyNoah was more than happy to play the part of Anna for the party.  I honestly don’t understand all the fascination with Elsa. Sure she gets an ice castle but in the end she’s the one that is single.  I guess you could say I’m a part of #teamanna.

We added cute little Frozen touches all around the dining room and living room like this Olaf tablecloth and Olaf doll for the gift table. .Frozen Birthday Party Frozen Birthday PartyCookies were adorned with Frozen blue sprinkles and flavored with Citrus Fresh essential oil. Flavoring the dough reminded me of my grandmother because she always flavors her cookie dough.
Frozen Birthday PartyEveryone had such a fun time eating multiple courses at Noah’s birthday party that we decided to do the same thing for Esther’s party.  Between each course the kids would dance and singalong to Frozen songs.

We served hot chocolate with melted snowmen (marshmallows).  Frozen Birthday PartyI laugh thinking back to this part of the party because I set a bowl of marshmallows out so that the kids could grab a few to add to their hot chocolate. Many felt like the ratio should be around 50 marshmallows to half a cup of hot chocolate.  They ended up needing spoons to finish their drinks!
Frozen Birthday PartyAfter singing along to Love Is An Open Door where Hans and Anna realize they are perfect for each other because they “finish each other’s sandwiches” we served ham and cheese sandwiches.Frozen Birthday PartyWe also had Frozen Pops. While these may not be the best looking chocolate covered Oreos they were made with love and PAIN.  Let me just say melted chocolate is HOT and BURNS. I’m talking burns so much you need the lavender afterwards to soothe the skin.  It was hard to dip those things and I couldn’t get the chocolate at the right consistency so I got the best that I could under the circumstances.  Oh, and if you want to recreate this make sure you buy the double stuffed Oreos because the stick does not fit in a regular Oreo.
Frozen Birthday PartyParties are fun but dressing up as your favorite princess for parties is even more fun!  We had a few Elsas grace our presence that day.  Esther asks me occasionally if I used to play dress up when I was little.  I really don’t remember having dress up clothes besides cheap dance recital outfits.  Do you remember having dress up clothes when you were little?

Frozen Birthday PartyEsther’s party was so much fun and I’m thankful for our sweet family picture that we captured before the fun begin.

Frozen Birthday PartyI’m not sure when children grow out of themed birthday parties but for now we are having fun planning one each year!

Oh, and that’s another thing… I don’t remember having decked out themed birthday parties either.  They were loads of fun but I think this whole “theme” thing is somewhat new.  At the most I remember having Big Bird cupcakes one year with a mountain of icing on top and an Easter Egg Hunt party another year because my birthday fell on Easter. What do you remember about your childhood birthday parties?

 

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