Hello! Sorry for the lack of article yesterday. For those that don’t know this month is National Novel Writing Month. I am participating this year, as I have the past three years, and my goal is to write 50,000 words in the span of the month of November. This can be extremely difficult and often takes much of my free time. Until the end of the month Tuesday posts will be put on hold but Thursday’s informational content will continue to come through!
I’ll leave you with a quote for Motivational Wednesday.
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.
Yesterday I went to shower and as I was going to undo the strap on my FitBit my FitBit broke. My FitBit is one of the tools I rely on greatly in my weight loss efforts. It allows me to track my daily progress. As soon as it broke my first thought was how am I going to track my steps, my blog!
So I called FitBit just before they closed and spoke with their sales department hoping to just order another band. Turns out that you cannot buy a band for the FitBit Charge HR. According to the sales person I have to speak with someone in their customer service department to determine whether they can fix it for free or I will have to pay for it. After the amount of wear my FitBit has seen it isn’t too surprising that my FitBit broke but I like it. I am really hoping to hear that they will fix it for free.
My FitBit Broke, Now What?
After I was done with all of that my next thought was my FitBit broke, what am I going to do about my Pact? Well I looked at the Pact app and it will sync with the Jawbone Up Move. The move is labeled as a throwaway fitness tracker and at the price of $49 it is hard to disagree. I have a friend who has one so I decided to give it a go. At the very least it will give me a way to track my steps while my FitBit is being sorted out.
When I arrived at Best Buy there were only two options black and red. I went for the black one. The Jawbone Up Move normally comes on a clothing/belt clip but because I lost my first FitBit because it had a belt clip design I wanted to get the watch strap for it. I got a pack of watch straps from Best Buy, black, yellow, and a redish color.
Until further notice I will be using the Jawbone Up to keep track of my steps and possibly my sleep. The device doesn’t have a heart rate sensor so it fits a lot looser on the wrist which is nice. It almost feels as if it wasn’t there. I am still trying to get used to the Jawbone Up Move but the app is a little confusing and it seems to be having some syncing issues. As far as I can tell there is no option to force a sync with the device.
Once I have worn the device for more than a day and have had a chance to figure things out I will post a review of the Jawbone Up Move so that you can know a little more about it. I will also keep you apprised of what FitBit says about my Charge HR.
It’s been just over a week since my last post. I was going to try and post while moving but things got a little too chaotic to handle. I have a few updates to share and now that everything is moved I should be good to resume regular posting.
I know this is being posted a day late. This is due to the move and work.
After moving my Aria scale was a little off kilter. I believe my weight after a little bit off was about 180.6 lbs. I gained weight this week but it doesn’t seem like it, my duty belt and regular belt fit looser.
I have stopped doing the Pact for food logging because it was actually causing me to gain weight. I am hoping that without the regular food logging I will go back to losing weight. And if my scale was right last week then I have.
I have some weight loss targets and fitness goals. In the past I talked about my reasons for creating Bettering Me to get a better level of fitness for both health and career reasons. But I didn’t go into that much depth about why I wanted to lose weight and my goals. I wanted to go into more detail about both so that you can better understand me and my goals.
My Weight Loss Goals
My weight when starting on this journey was 188.5 lbs. Too heavy for someone like me. My BMI was over 30, into the obese zone. For a reference I am five foot four and half inches. My end goal is 125 lbs. I want to drop inches of my belt line and off the rest of me too. I have ordered a body tape measure in order to better track those statistics. My current waist size is between 36 and 38 depending on the brand that I am wearing and the cut of the pants.
I would like to reach near my goal weight around May of 2016. There is a lot of weight loss to undergo but I am off to a good start with just about 7 lbs lost so far.
With a wedding coming up in a year it would be great to engage in some serious weight loss. By the time of the wedding I would like to be down to at least a waist size of 32. Seeing as how I have already gone down two belt holes on my regular belt and adjust my duty belt once with the need to adjust it again, I don’t see how I could not hit that goal.
My Fitness Goals
Beyond just weight loss goals I have fitness goals that I want to meet. I want to end up with more than just a smaller body. There are certain activities I want to be able to perform with no trouble. These standards for fitness are outlined by the Washington State Criminal Justice Council. The actual testing is administered by Public Safety Testing and more information can be found here. Here are the goals I would like to be able to make:
Sit-ups – 38 Sit-ups* Push-ups – 35 Repetitions* 1.5 Mile Run – 13:55 Minutes 300 Meter Run – 60 Seconds
* indicates that the event has a maximum number of repetitions.
I can already do the maximum number of push-ups, but I have a little bit of trouble with sit-ups. Weight loss would greatly help me with my sit-up goals especially because it will eliminate fat that gets in the way. I can master the sit-ups though. Where I really need the work is the mile and a half run and the sprint. Both of these activities I have always had trouble with. When it comes to chasing after someone though I have never had a problem.
The Reasons and Motivation Behind My Weight Loss
There are a lot of reasons that I decided to start my weight loss and fitness journey. In my junior/senior years of college I got in a weight loss kick. It led to me losing around 40 lbs. A significant amount of weight to shed. After college when I started working in plain clothes in grocery stores I started to gain the weight back by being surrounded by food and having a busy schedule. I had also already passed my fitness tests for multiple law enforcement agencies. Weight loss lost a priority in my mind.
It didn’t take long for me to gain the weight I had lost back. I even gained an additional eight pounds with it. After having some issues at work I started to bring fitness back into my mind. I bought a Fitbit Charge HR. What I didn’t do was aim to hit my goal every day and surpass it. It wasn’t until I took a 4th of July vacation in California that helped open my eyes.
One night I was sitting there writing and talking with my aunt and she brought up my need to lose weight. This is an aunt that I have always connected with so it hit home when she was very blunt about it. What it also did was help push the idea that I needed to get more serious about weight loss. My aunt is a big reason why I started to undertake this journey.
With some of the issues I have had at work I have also wanted to get into better shape. It reminded me that I wanted to get into law enforcement. The whole reason I got a Criminal Justice degree after all.
Now that I am engaged I have also wanted to lose weight. Being at an ideal weight for my wedding would be amazing. Currently, our plans are to get married in the winter of 2016/2017. By then I should be at least waist size 32. We want there to be snow involved but haven’t decided on an exact location. Looking sharp with a much lighter weight would make me feel much better at the wedding.
Knowing my weight loss and fitness goals along with my motivation will better help you understand my journey. If you have any questions for me I would be happy to answer them. Depending on the nature of the question it may take me longer to answer but this blog is about being open.
The above photo is from my new Instagram account, it is the first photograph I posted. Early this morning I created a new Instagram account to post pictures from my journey to a better me. If you have an Instagram account come follow me so you can stay up to date on my photo journey. If you don’t have an account, set up a new Instagram account today.
After doing some thinking I decided to stop doing the daily activity updates and have moved to doing a new post Monday through Friday. This will give you something to read every day. It will also give me a little bit of extra motivation ever day to help you. I plan to replace the daily activity updates in some form but have yet to decide how. There is still no built-in WordPress feature for Fitbit. What I might do is include in the Monday check-in post what my step count was for every day of the previous week. We will find out Monday. Here is the new weekly posts schedule:
Monday – Weekly Check-in/Weigh-in Tuesday – New Informational Content Wednesday – Motivation Quotes Thursday – New Informational Content Friday – Finish it Friday Exercise
There will still be randomly added bonus content occasionally.
Weekly Posts – Motivational Wednesdays
Wednesday is hump day, for someone of the hardest days to get through. Every Wednesday I will post a motivational quote to help you get through your work week and to help you and I keep up with our fitness goals. These posts will be called Motivational Wednesdays.
Weekly Posts – Finish It Fridays
There is nothing more important than finishing your week off strong. Not getting the steps in or the workouts in that you want can plague you all weekend. To help inspire you to finish it off strong on Fridays I will post a new exercise every Friday at about 10:00 AM. These exercises will be easy to do at your workspace or on lunch. These won’t be exercises that will kill you. My goal isn’t to give you a dead Friday but to give you a fulfilling Friday. If any equipment is needed I will let you know.
For the last few weeks Bettering Me has been using the same Twitter account that I use for my writing but it’s time for a new Twitter account. I want Bettering Me to make its own break into the world and to do that it needs a twitter to attract more people. That twitter is @betteringian. This new Twitter account will have small posts from me but more importantly all of my blog posts will be sent out as a notification there.
I was extremely happy with the Twitter create account process because it was streamlined and only took seconds. Whereas setting up a Facebook page for a blog takes more than just a few seconds. The only part I wish were changed would be making it so you don’t have to go to a separate website to find themes or headers. Twitter has the staff to create an internal themes and headers library. They could even allow Twitter users to contribute to said library.
A New Twitter Account Doesn’t Mean The Old Will Go Away
All of my posts will continue to be posted to @iandscofield as samples of my casual writing and to help gain popularity. My old twitter account will continue to focus on my writing, both professional and casual.
Due to my last scale giving me different results I walked all the way to Fred Meyer (about 3,500 steps each way) and bought an Aria scale which can be found here. I first went to Bartell Drugs then Fred Meyer to look at non-smart scales. However, upon looking each one up on Amazon I encountered bad reviews. So I turned to what I know best, Fitbit and bit the bullet to get the Fitbit Aria Scale. So far after some updating the scale was fairly consistent. I plan that after I have been able to use it for a little while to write more about it. The setup of the scale wasn’t too hard and can be conducted from a smartphone. My only issue with the scale is that the home appliances are between the WiFi and the scale, making it difficult to connect the scale at times. If it doesn’t connect right away though, I can just pick it up and walk a few feet for it to connect.
Weekly Weigh-In With Aria Scale
As I predicted my week last week wasn’t as effective as it could have been. I only lost about .1 lbs, leaving me at 183.4. I know this update is later in the week then it should have been but the weight actually comes from Wednesday night when I had time to work on the scale but not enough time to write a post about it. I still am not that upset about not losing more weight but happy at the fact that I have lost some weight. I hope to continue the weight loss process. I have received my weights and have been bringing them to work so that I can lift them while I am sitting at desks and still be active.
I know I posted the schedule for the weekly weigh-in last week being on Monday. Yesterday I had two issues though that kept me from doing a weekly weigh-in and will continue to delay the normal weigh in. First, yesterday when I went to weigh myself I got five different weights, varying as much as 8 lbs. I had planned to go out and look at new scales but I got a call in for work. This week’s official weekly weigh-in should happen either tomorrow or the next day. However, here is a summary of my weekly activities.
I currently have a scale that uses the Weight Gurus system. I got it because it promised wireless smartphone weight tracking. What it didn’t say was that this was via taking a picture of the screen. The scale when it comes to weight has never worked that well. The picture capture feature for the weigh in is difficult to capture depending on the lighting of the room. The lighting needs to be just right to prevent glare. I have been thinking of getting a new scale for a while now and getting a “smart” scale probably won’t happen this time.
On to Normal Weekly Weigh-In Stuff
I was down in step count a little bit due to injuring my back on Saturday the 15th, but all of my low days were higher than previous low days which was nice. I feel like while I didn’t achieve the level that I could have I improved on my daily overall levels. I will be pushing even harder this week.
What I am happy to notice is that my duty belt at work is now looser than it used to be. It will yet again be time to tighten it up. My regular belt is also one hole shorter. This is some of the best motivation that I have been able to get during my journey to a better me.
Over the weekend I participated in another Weekend Warrior Challenge with my Fitbit. Unfortunately, I came in second place. I am not unhappy about it and the group of people I have found on Fitbit have been very motivational, sharing encouragement regularly. It doesn’t hurt that I was about 10,000 steps above the closest person to me. Groups like this are great! I hope to continue to find more people like this on Fitbit.
I managed to get out on Sunday and find a couple of Geocaches too. I will post those later in the week with a Geocaching update.
In summary for the weekly weigh-in so far, it wasn’t a bad week but it wasn’t the best week. All that can be done is to have a better week though!
My friends and family have been asking what my posting schedule is so I figured I would let those interested know now that I have been operating the blog for a couple of weeks and have ironed out an idea of how I am going to work it. I have several different types of posts with different schedules: Weekly Weigh Ins, Informational Content, Geocaching Adventures, and Fitbit stats.
Weekly Weigh In Posting Schedule
My weekly weigh in day is Monday. Every Monday I will post a weigh in along with a general summary of the last week or something fitness related. The posting schedule for weigh-ins will be fairly regular unless I am out of town or unable to use a scale.
Information content is what I use to refer to my regular posts such as app reviews, fitness reviews, activities, and articles. The posting schedule for this content is every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 am, with the exception of today where I was a little late. I will also randomly add in additional informational content to help spice up your work week. This content is what makes up my blog. I always welcome suggestions and ideas.
The posting schedule for my Geocaching Adventures isn’t set in stone because the times and dates that I go caching aren’t set in stone. Typically I will post updates the day after I go caching. If I find a lot of caches I may do a bulk posting on Sunday. I usually go Geocaching at least twice a week now that I am stepping up my walking.
As I am a firm believer in my Fitbit helping me lose weight, my post schedule for Fitbit stats is every day between 07:00 am and 08:00 am. I use IFTTT (If This Than That Recipes) to post my daily stats automatically since it is not a feature that Fitbit natively supports. Unfortunately, IFTTT does not allow me to specify a specific time. These updates are titled Daily Activity.
Updates such as this one typically are unscheduled. If I have news for my visitors I will let you know as soon as I can. Updates will always appear in the category Updates. I also post Fitbit and Geocaching badges/souvenirs as I earn them.
I am currently working on more content ideas. As with my introduction I am still testing what works and what doesn’t. If you have any content ideas that you would like to see me write about leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have more fitness products to write about and test. I will also be trying out apps and websites and letting you know how they work.