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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Why I Don't Wear a Personal Fitness Tracker

What are your views on wearing a personal fitness device. Something like fitbit, nike, or jawbone? I have never worn one, and thus far, I probably never will.

The way I see it

How accurate can they really be for people on a treadmill, lifting weights, or riding a stationary bike? I have read a ton of articles (similar to this) of fitness people saying that they are not very accurate for that. I realize that there are products such as ifit.com that will sync to your treadmill or bike and keep track of distance for you.  I also know that they can sync with some personal devices. But really, how many apps, memberships, etc. does one need to buy to keep this stuff accurate? Not to mention, that as the article above states, treadmills and other machines are notorious for inflating the value of calories burned.  Finally, tracking steps has been proven to be more accurate if you are wearing a device on your hip rather than a wrist.  In which case, the Fitbit One would be the best choice.  But don't get too excited, as that has reviewers say that it can fall off easily, get lost with clothes, and be a tad annoying to transfer it to a "sleep band" at night to track sleeping. While it's competitors already come in a wristband form (some having multiple uses as a watch, tracker, monitor, and will let you receive and answer texts,) the placement itself seems to be a problem with the actual counting steps.  Although, I hear they work well for distance... but again, what if you stay stationary?

Calories

What about calories? You all know that I am not a fan of tracking calories. I don't see it as a long term solution to a healthy lifestyle.  I don't pay attention to the caloric value of my food OR my activity. When I follow the Intuitive Lifestyle the way that I should, I haven't found a need for it. Honestly, I cannot imagine myself tracking calories for the rest of my life. Again, I have read articles (such as this one) about people GAINING weight while wearing a device because the app told them that they were doing so much activity that they could eat way more calories! I've said it before: I just don't think that one equation or algorithm can work for everyone.  There is just no way to measure individual metabolism, genetics, or the body's use of food. Plus, I find it tedious to journal every ingredient that I use, just to get the caloric value of what I am eating.

So, I can see that wearing a device might be best for those people that are able to do a lot of activity OUTSIDE (biking, jogging, swimming, etc.) and who are willing to track their food. (Whether it works or not.) But other than the sleep tracker, heart monitor, and idle alarm (an alarm that buzzes your wrist when you have been idle for too long) I am not sure that a tracking device would be worth it.

Having said that, I am a super fan of being active out side rather than inside.  I love to swim, walk, play, hike, etc. I just need to get back into that habit.  It seems that since I have left Arizona, those things have been more difficult to do.. not sure why.

Sleep

Want to track your sleep?  There's an app for that! Check out the new Apple App, that will count your steps, measure your sleep, and sync to other apps as well! Ok, so you have to have the iphone 5S or higher for it to work, but I DO! Don't have an iPhone? Check out these apps for sleep!



So, am I missing something?  As far as I can tell, it would work out just fine to set a few alarms through out your day saying something like "Have you been active today?" and BOOM, there is your reminder!  Use an app to track sleep, and food (if you choose,) and there you go! Now, if someone invented an intuitive lifestyle device that buzzed you to remind you to be active, check your hunger, and used an app to help you journal how the food made you feel, along with where you stood on the hunger scale, I would probably buy it.

So, do you wear a tracking device?  Do you like it? What am I missing? Have you stopped wearing your device? Why?  Fill me in! Let me know!  Who knows, maybe you will see me out and about with a wristband tracker flashing around my wrist!

Monday, January 5, 2015

How Praying Made Me Healthy

Before I start, I want to remind you that I currently believe in the concept of an Intuitive Lifestyle. Click HERE to learn more about what that is.

This past year, I have REALLY struggled with eating properly, getting in activity, and just plain finding myself again!  We moved from Arizona to Utah and I feel like my life turned upside down.  Now, of course, at the New Year, ONE of my resolutions is to get my "groove" back.

When I lived in Arizona, I lost quite a bit of weight with the Intuitive Lifestyle. I was mindful of what I was eating, how it tasted, what it looked like, and how it felt. I included activity into my daily life. And just like magic, I felt better, had more energy, and yes, lost weight. I yearn to feel that way again.

As I pondered my success in Arizona, it occurred to me that praying, if you will, played a HUGE factor in my success. Mind. Blown. What a concept!  Now, I'm not talking about asking God to help me to lose weight. I'm talking about the prayer itself.  What I prayed for, what I did during the prayer, and how I felt after the prayer. Let me break it down for you.

Morning Prayer

During my morning prayers, I took the time to breathe deeply, ponder my day ahead, and most importantly, share how grateful I was for the ability and strength to tackle what lied ahead. My morning prayers are my "grateful prayers."  I find that I do better during my day when I have recognized my blessings. After the prayer, I felt peace, and was ready for the world!

Taking time to breathe deeply helps stimulate metabolism and increase energy. Recognizing the things that you have in your life helps us to not take things for granted. Having the ability to walk, run, climb, eat, sleep, and do so comfortably can be very motivating. 

Praying Over Food

When it came time to eat, I would pray over my food.  This gave me time to SLOW DOWN and to FOCUS on eating! It helped me to be mindful of the food and of my hunger. During the prayer, I would use my tongue to feel my teeth (bringing focus to my mouth.) I would take deep breaths to slow down my anxiety and business from the day, ensuring that I wouldn't eat too quickly. I focused on how blessed I was to have the food that I had, helping me to see the value in every bite. With each bite having value, I was able to TASTE the food instead of "snarfing it down."

Slowing down and enjoying the food helps us to not over-eat. Recognizing how the food tastes, looks, smells, and feels is all a part of the eating experience.  We are less likely to over-eat or waste the food, when we value the food. 

Evening Prayers

I considered my evening prayers to be more of a "one-on-one" with God. This is where I would thank him for my life: my wonderful, amazing, life. This is where I would feel his love for me, and gain a sense of individual worth. This is where I would plead for those that I love.  This is where would I feel his arms around me. This is where my happiness came from. I would sleep in peace knowing that I was protected by my Father in Heaven.

A peaceful sleep resets the body, reduces stress and Cortisol levels, and gives us the energy needed to tackle our day.  It also gives our bodies the energy to function the way that they should. All systems are "go!" 

It's been too long since I have prayed like this. My life has been rushed. My activity is rushed. My eating is rushed. My SLEEP has even been rushed!  Today, I realized that all of that would change if I took the time to sincerely pray.

I know people that meditate every day. They meditate to prepare their bodies for exercise, eating, work, whatever. They SWEAR that it helps.  I'm sure it does!  I KNOW it does.  Prayer isn't unlike meditation, they are similar in many ways. For those that don't believe in God, all of these things can be accomplished through meditation. I DO believe in God, and I have to admit, that I like having that support. Talk about choosing the right person to be on your team! It's time to start praying again.

I might not pray for God to help me be healthy.  He just does it.... because I take the time to talk to him.

**This journey has been awesome, and I have learned so much! As I read previous posts, I found that my definition of "healthy" has changed from what it was when we started.  It's not about losing weight and eating right anymore. It's much, much more. Perhaps you have noticed that over the course of this blog as well.  Therefore, I will no longer be using the same logo that I used to end my posts with.  Instead, I'm searching for another that will fit the essence of my new views and findings. Thanks!**
 

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