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fitness, health, reviews

Fitbit Charge HR

It has been about two months since my wonderful husband gifted me with a Fitbit Charge HR. A just because present, he is so sweet! Several of you requested that I share my thoughts on it and I wanted to wait until the newness of it wore off to give you my honest scoop. This is not a sponsored post.

Function – The Fitbit Charge HR is a fitness tracker designed to track number of steps taken, mileage, heart rate, calories burned, stairs climbed and it also tracks your sleep. The wrist display will also act as a watch and you can get call notifications with caller ID. One of my favorite functions? It also serves as an alarm clock with a vibration on your wrist. Very convenient if you wake up 2 hours before your spouse like I do!!! I am sure he appreciates the lack of intrusive alarms on my side of the bed now!

I find the Fitbit to be very accurate with my steps taken, the mileage and for the most part…stairs climbed. There are some days when I will look down and it says I climbed no stairs when I know I have gone up at least twice. There are other days when it will say I climbed 25 flights when in reality it was probably 15-20. The mileage is always right on with my treadmill for my runs.

The only thing I don’t like about tracking is that if I am lifting weights or doing something that isn’t cardio, it isn’t really tracking. I suppose if you are doing something that is raising your heart rate, then it is getting it with that. Overall this is a non-issue for me because I know I worked out, but it is still annoying.

I find the sleep tracking very informative. If I wake up and feel tired throughout the day, I can almost guarantee that I woke up and was restless several times through the night and can see so on my profile.

Style – Chris purchased the black one for me. His thought was that it was a neutral color that would match everything. So kudos to him for thinking that through! Had I been there, I probably would have gotten the purple one like here because purple is my favorite color. However, I kept the black one because he chose it for me and it grew on me really fast!

While I wear mine every single day with any outfit, dressy or casual….I do wish that it was more stylish and looked more like a real watch or something. Or even had designer swap-able bands for when you aren’t sweating it out. Fitbit, can we work on that? People that care about fitness still care about fashion too!

Motivation – I find that when I am getting ready for bed in the evenings, if I am close to hitting 5,000 or 10,000 steps….I will run in place while brushing my teeth or hit the stairs a few times. When I am sitting at work all day and I see I have barely gone 3,000 steps…I feel guilty and try to make extra laps around the office or pace around the kitchen while I am cooking dinner. If I sign online and see my “friends” have gone several thousand (like 20,000-50,000) more steps than I have for the week, it makes me feel like I am not doing near enough! So yeah, the motivation is there.

The Fitbit also sits on my wrist daily as a reminder to make better eating choices. Sometimes I tell it to bug off and eat a cheeseburger while silently cursing myself. Other time I find myself walking to the salad bar as that damn black band stares at me from my wrist. So judgy.

Care/Durability – While the Fitbit is not waterproof…I know, annoying right??? It has held up to my super sweaty work outs and the banging around of my wrists all day. There is one small scratch on the display screen. Who knows how I got it, but I am not surprised. I am not even a little careful with it. So to say that it is durable, is an understatement. This thing takes a beating like a champ. It is also super easy to clean. I just wipe it down with some Cetaphil (the facial cleanser) and a warm wet wash cloth. Trust me when I say that it needs a good cleaning a few times a week if you sweat during your work outs.

App/Integration – The Fitbit is Bluetooth enabled and connects with your phone and computer. There is an app you can download to track everything, enter food, water, etc. You can friend others who have Fitbits and see their progress and it syncs with other fitness tools such as MyFitnessPal. If I can figure out how to do all this, so can you!

Other Features

–You can just double tap the screen instead of pushing the button on the side to see all your tracking! Brilliant! I probably would  have learned that in the manual, had I read it.

–It vibrates when you hit your goal for the day. Nothing like a little praise to make you want to go further!

–You earn badges for different milestones that you accomplish.

–It comes in three sizes – small, large and extra large. I have the small. If you are average size or smaller, I would say that the small would be right for you. My wrists are tiny and I would be lost in anything bigger. I wish the rest of me was that tiny. 

–The battery lasts me about 4-ish days. Charging it goes by really fast! I can usually put it back on my wrist after an hour or less with a full charge.

–It does run my cell phone battery down a little more than before I had it, but nothing crazy.

Overall- I really love my Fitbit! I am glad that I have it, and I do recommend it for anyone who wants to get serious about their health and fitness. For the extra $20, I feel like the Charge HR is a no-brainer for the heart rate monitor.

Do you have a Fitbit? Let’s be friends! Let me know in the comments and we can find each other. What fitness tracker do you have your eye on? Do you have any questions about the Fitbit? I am more than happy to give you my honest opinion!

Linking up with Joey.

about me, fitness

Victory Equals Motivation

Yesterday after I hit publish on my post, I went to finish getting ready for work. I had been standing in the bathroom checking out my “abs” in the mirror before pulling my dress over my head. I thought, hey…there seems to be a little more definition here today. I then looked over at the scale in the corner and winced. Dare I? Dare I step on that scale only to be disappointed to see the same fucking number that has been staring me in the face for almost a year now?

You see, about a month ago I told myself no more. I am not going to step on that scale for a long time because I cant handle the defeat. I work out too hard to let that scale define me. But yesterday morning, I had an extra moment and all the fear seeped back in. I looked in the mirror again, sighed heavily and stepped on the scale.

As it was registering the numbers I said to myself, well if that number is higher there is a good reason for it. I tend to weigh a little more this week than any other week in the month. I had considered stepping off before I saw the number but too late. I looked down and I could see something register. But wait. This cant be? I stepped off, waited for it to clear and stepped back on.

Wow. I stared down at the number until it disappeared. It has been a month since my last defeat. A month of side eying that scale every time I pass it to grab my make up in the morning. In that month of not knowing. That month of not letting a number define me. In that month…I lost 7 pounds. I finally. FINALLY. got over that plateau.

I feel more motivated now than ever to continue pushing on. I am not done yet. And you know what, the scale and I….we will meet again in a few weeks. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But in a few weeks. Because checking that number every day does no good. Checking that number every day holds me back.

I say all of this to say, keep going. This isn’t just a weight thing, but a life thing. Sure, you might not be getting what you want right now. But if you continue to believe that you deserve it and you can achieve it, then it will be yours. Just take it a day at a time, and after a few weeks or months have passed take a look at your progress. You may be pleasantly surprised.

fitness, health

No More Excuses

Do you ever look at the last year and think really? That was all I had to give? Sometimes I do that. I look back over the last year and know that I worked out 5 days a week, maybe only skipping a day or two here and there due to illness or what not….but I showed up 5 days a week and worked out. I completed the entire body beast program, I did the C25K program, random work outs with the Pop Sugar Fitness girls. And yet here I sit, looking back over the last year and where is the change I wanted to see?

Sure, I can certainly see more muscle definition in my arms, back, shoulders, and legs. But what about my trouble area? You know the area I am talking about. The one that stares at you in the face every time you look in the mirror or see a picture of yourself.

I am not going to discredit myself and say that the last year was a waste, because it certainly was not. I am stronger than I have ever been. I have more energy than I have had in awhile. I have more endurance than I could imagine. Just a year ago, I could barely cut the grass without wanting to die and now I can do the whole thing like a beast.

But what I also have had this last year is a plateau. The scale isn’t budging. It hasn’t budged at all. In fact, due to muscle gain it went up a few pounds. And we can sit here and say all day that the scale doesn’t matter and blah blah blah. But I call bullshit.

I want more.

We all know that abs are made in the kitchen. I do pretty good during the week, but I am not perfect. And the weekends? Well, I end up snacking on the same things that Chris does because it is easy and if he is having cheese sticks, well I should have some too! And I deserve a burger and fries because I have been good all week, right? And a few beers would be nice because last week was super stressful. And pasta? Sure, why not.

No more excuses.

I know that if I do not try harder, and cut more….I am not going to see a change. I am going to stay on this plateau. Just keep being ok instead of being awesome. Because I KNOW that I have it in me. I know that I can do better.

I started making small changes last week. Last night when I got home, I got two awesome packages in the mail!

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I received The No More Excuses book to review. I am so excited to dive in to this! It looks like it has some great work outs and some healthy advice. I will have a review on it when I am done. Also, Mia sent me some Spark to try.

I have been pinning some new recipes, and I want to bring back a 6th day of work outs. I want to get serious about giving yoga a real shot this time. I am going to make Yoga Sundays a thing. Alyssa, Tracy and Kristen have all encouraged me in some way or another and I think I am ready.

I also plan on cleaning up the eating even more. I have lots of room for improvement, especially on the weekends. I plan to do just that. I think I am finally in the right mindset of needing to fuel my body with better things to feel better. It has taken forever to get here, but I am here.

So I am linking up with Training for Tuesday because I am on a new training plan. Healthy insides makes for a healthy outside! No more excuses!!! Who is with me?


Working On My Fitness

I joined Erin and Kristin for their #4weeksfit challenge last month and have also been working on my fitness.

My goals for the #4weeksfit challenge was to work on my training in the Couch to 5K program, as well as start IIFYM for eating. I am proud to say that I have been showing up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 4:45 am to say hello to my little friend the treadmill. There, I literally work my ass off and push myself harder than I ever have in my life with running. Each week I can run a few minutes longer, and each week I give myself self-fives.

I brought back leg day for Tuesdays. I just do the bulk leg work out from Body Beast because it works on all different parts of the legs. I also do the six minute arm work out from Pop Sugar Fitness either during the “rests” or after.

On Thursdays, I either do a chest/shoulders/back work out from Body Beast or a few different Pop Sugar Fitness work outs, either cardio or strength training.

Now that spring has sprung and the grass is growing, some Saturdays will be spent cutting the grass. Most would say, meh…no big deal. We have three sections of our yard; the front which is slightly rolling, the back which is all on a slant and then there is the beast of a hill we call the side yard. This is a picture of about 1/2 the side. It is hard to tell just how steep it really is towards the top…

That hill was my arch nemesis last year. It took everything I had in my legs and upper body to push our mower along. I tried a few different approaches and have found what works best for me. You can’t just go up and down or you will fall, you either have to take it at an angle or side ways. Last year I used to cut the front and  half the side one day, and then the other side and the back another day. I would be drenched in sweat and completely breathless and worn out on that side yard when all was said and done.

This past Saturday I did it ALL.  I did not break out in a sweat and I was breathing just fine. The only thing that sucked afterwards were the damn blisters on my feet from sliding around in my shoes on all the hills. And some blisters on my hands despite the gloves I wear. I was so damn proud of myself for being physically able to do it all! This year we are going to have a lawn to be proud of! HUGE non-scale victory for me.

Just because you aren’t seeing the results, doesn’t mean your work outs aren’t making you stronger each and every day. That was proven to me this Saturday.

Now on to the eating. The first week of the challenge I tracked all my food as I would normally eat to see where I am with protein, carbs, etc. Like most people in this country, my carb intake was a little high. Damn you carbs! I had blood work done just to make sure all of that is ok. My hormones, insulin, cholesterol, and all my vitamin levels checked out just fine. The only thing that was just a little higher than the normal were my triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat lipid found in your blood that are normally released as energy between meals. In order to get the number down, you want to decrease your intake of carbs and fats.

I sat down to try to figure out the right numbers for IIFYM from a few different sites. Each site I came out different. I really don’t want to have to pay someone to figure this out for me, but if I am going all in…I may need to suck it up. Anyone out there good at figuring out their own? I feel like how many recommended calories I am getting with most of the formulas is way too high. Therefore, I haven’t started following it yet and failed the food portion of my challenge.

For the next month, I really want to continue pushing myself for C25K, and continue strength training the days I don’t run. I may start incorporating a 6th work out day each week on the weeks I don’t cut grass. I have been thinking about starting another program on the days I am not doing C25K, but I am not sure which one yet.

I also want to actually track my macros, so my goal will be to keep researching and figuring out the right numbers for me so that I can give it an honest go and see if it will work for me.

Linking up with my running cheerleaders Tracy and Alyssa as well!

fitness, goals, health


For the month of February, the Choose Your Own Adventure theme was “create.” I declared then that I would probably fail, as I usually put my creative projects on the back burner for more pertinent things. Let’s take a look at how I did.

1. Create a completely new to me recipe with something that I do not have much experience cooking. I try lots of new recipes, but they usually revolve around the same basic ingredients of chicken, beef, turkey, mexican, italian, or asian food. I want to branch out even more.

I started playing with my spiralizer this month and created three vegetable noodle dishes. That counts for something, right? I made Asian Zoodles, Sweet Potato Noodles with Sage and Turkey Meatball Zoodles. I only give myself half credit because I was trying to attempt to cook with shrimp and that didn’t happen. 

2. ?? I am in the middle of designing something that I will share at a later date. It needs to be done in the next week or two so I am putting it up here to hold myself accountable.

This was the update to the Magic City Bloggers website. It was completed and looks awesome! Chris did the work though, with me just saying I like that and don’t like that….so does this really count as a goal I accomplished. Absofuckinglutely. 

3. Work on a DIY project for my office decor. 


4. Create a DIY project piece for the gallery wall.


5. Create a work space in the office area.


Now, I did do some things that were not on the goals list. I completed the rest of my research on purposeful houseplants and have started drafting my blog post for it. It was A LOT of research and I am trying to decide if I want to break the post up or have one large one?

I also did research on nutrition and macros. That took up all of my “creative time” and I deem more important!

This month’s theme is relationships. There is one relationship that I have that is very unhealthy. I have to work on starting to correct it this month…

1. Food – My relationship with food is the worst relationship that I have. Food is comfort, food is a reward, food is something to do when you are bored, food is socializing with friends. Food should be none of those things.

This month I am going to work on retraining my brain to see food as only nourishment for my body and eat accordingly. I have broken down how much protein, carbs, fats and calories I need each day and that is that.

2. Me – I am my own worst critic. Aren’t we all? After I finish my current book, I plan to read The Body Book by Cameron Diaz. I learned about this book through Erin who said that it really resonated with her.

3. Marriage – Chris and I are pretty good about staying unplugged for the most part when we spend time with each other after work in the evenings. I plan to continue this 🙂

4. Friends– Plan a girls night for March.

Are you linking up to work on your relationship goals for the month? I plan to do much better with these than my create goals from last month! I am not off the hook though, I still need to complete those projects too!

Life According to Steph