Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Tracker

I bought The Spark from SparkPeople last year, and it’s nice and all, but it doesn’t do everything I was hoping it would do, plus it’s a little buggy. For example, it doesn’t always recognize what exercise I am doing. I bought a bicycle trainer and would ride my bike on it, and sometimes it logged it as general exercise, while other times it would log it as cycling. When I ride the bike to the gym it logs it as general exercise, and when I walk on the treadmill it logs it as a walk event.

I was going to go with one that has the little dots that spin around to show you your progress, but I want actual real-time numbers displayed on a screen. I already have The Spark from SparkPeople, which has the little dots, I’m not looking to get another one like that. And the Spark doesn’t sync with Noom or Planet Fitness. It’s a nice little doohickey, but I want something that will do more for me since I don’t constantly wear my shoes. I want a watch to wear full time 24/7.

This Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband is exactly what I had in mind. It does everything that I need it to do, and it will sync on my computer, not just my phone. It’s about $146 on Amazon, and I will buy it using Amazon Smile to help the charity of my choice, which is the Gay & Lesbian Center of Bakersfield. Here are all of the things that it does.

  • Get continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate and simplified heart rate zones
  • Track workouts, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and steps
  • Monitor your sleep automatically and wake with a silent alarm
  • See call notifications, daily stats and time of day on the OLED display
  • Sync stats wirelessly and automatically to your computer and over 150 leading smartphones
  • Utilize the sizing tool in Product Details below to ensure proper fit.

This has more features, and it should sync up with Noom and the Planet Fitness app. At least I hope it will lol. Do you have one of these? Do you know if it syncs up with those apps? I would love to know before I buy this watch. Please leave a comment to let me know.

Update: I forgot something. When I say sync up with Noom and the Planet Fitness app, I mean that you can link your Fitbit account with Noom and Planet Fitness. So when I ask if it will sync up, I mean if it’s linked up to Noom and Planet Fitness apps, will it automatically transfer all of the exercise events with the link.

I checked the Noom app and it only connects with Google Fit and Misfit. Planet Fitness connects with more apps, but it doesn’t connect with Google Fit or Misfit. So I guess I have to choose which app is more important.

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Weight Loss at Planet Fitness

planetfitness1I have been going to Planet Fitness 4 days a week for a month now and I am already starting to see results. Not scale results, but I can see results in my face, my double chin is getting smaller and so is my stomach. The scale results haven’t changed because I’ve been building muscle. I don’t expect to see much difference on the scale, so I’m not stressing over it.

I am a little confused about something that I’ve been seeing on the interwebs. I went to search for the Planet Fitness logo, and I see images like these.

planetfitness_judgementzone 44073962 e18byg1 Judgement-Free-Zone-Judged-for-being-fitWhen I first started going to Planet Fitness, there was a guy in the locker room with his teenage son. I was getting ready to leave, and he was getting ready to exercise. There was a Planet Fitness commercial on the TV and I wasn’t really paying much attention, but it was one of the usual ones that play over and over with a drill sergeant. It’s this one.

He told me “You know what they are saying in that commercial? They are saying they don’t want you to exercise here. They are telling you that you can come here and hang out and take selfies if you want to.” Really? Because the message that I got was that they aren’t pressuring you to kill yourself at the gym. Hence the “No Gymtimidation” quote all over the place.

I think people are getting the wrong impression of Planet Fitness. You know what I see? I see people come in and exercise at their own pace for as long or short as they want. I see people who are happy who do whatever the heck they want without anyone yelling at them, like in that commercial.

You know what I do? I ride my bike there, which is about 25 to 30 minute ride, then get in the Total Body Enhancement for 12 minutes, walk on the treadmill for 50 minutes to an hour, get a massage, then ride home on the bike which is another 25 to 30 minutes. That’s the extent of my exercise. I see people who are using the machines and they have big muscles and no one is telling them they are in too good of shape to continue going to Planet Fitness. The day before yesterday they set off the lunk alarm because there was some obnoxious person dropping the weights and making loud noises. That’s the first time I heard the lunk alarm in the month that I’ve been going there.

For those saying Planet Fitness doesn’t let you build muscle, you’re wrong. For those saying Planet Fitness isn’t a real gym, you’re wrong. So I think if you don’t like the message Planet Fitness is sending in their commercials, go to another gym. Life is too short to act like babies. I’m serious about my weight loss. If you are serious about being a jackass, go somewhere else.

Baleaf Men’s Thermal Cycling Tights

Winter is coming, and it’s going to be brutal in Bakersfield. People in the mid-west don’t believe that California is capable of getting cold, but trust me, it can get pretty chilly in Bakersfield. That’s the main reason I stop riding my bicycle for exercise when it starts to get cold in October.

I can handle a little bit of cold weather, but not on my bare skin. When I ride the bike, I try to wear tight fitting clothes. The only bicycle clothes I have are bicycle bib shorts, I never bought the pants because I could never afford them. I prefer to buy my bike clothes online because they are much cheaper than at the bike store. You can shop at the bike store, but they are going to jack up the prices and you won’t be able to try them on. Bike Nashbar is usually reasonable, but their prices are still a bit out of my price range right now. I bought my bib shorts from them only because they were on sale. I went back to their website for the bib pants, or even just a regular pair of bicycle pants, but they were too expensive for me right now.

My next option was Amazon. I searched for bicycle pants and found Baleaf Men’s Thermal Cycling Tights Size XL for only $20. The shipping was free if I bought $35 worth of stuff, but I didn’t have that much to spend, so I paid the $5 shipping.

These pants have a few features that I was hoping for. They are tight enough for the bicycle and they have fleece inside to keep my legs warm while I’m on the bicycle. They also have a drawstring which will come in handy when I start to lose some weight from going to the gym 4 days a week. They also have pockets, not that I really need them since I keep everything in my gym bag. I don’t like to keep things in my pockets on the bike because I’m afraid they will fall out. These pockets have zippers so there’s no chance of anything falling out. The pockets are good for those times I’m just riding the bike to the mall or to Michael’s because I will have a place for my wallet, phone and keys.

This makes me so happy because I really like exercising, but I hate that I can’t exercise when it’s too cold outside. Now I have a reason to keep going to the gym this and every winter.

Update: Well, so much for this idea. Unfortunately, my calves and thighs are way too big. These pants were so tight that there was no possible way I could put them on without the seams bursting lol. It would be a shame to waste $25 on a pair of pants I would probably end up having to throw away because the seams kept coming apart. So I sent them back. I have awhile before it starts getting too cold, and I have a pair of sweats that I can just wear to the gym for now.

Noom Week 1 Weigh In

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Today was my first weigh in for week 1. I restarted my weight loss program with Noom less than a week ago, but for some reason, Noom wants me to weigh in twice a week and today was the first weigh in. I started out at 238 and today I was 234.6. I was actually 240 before I began my weight loss program, but I had already dropped 2lbs by the time I started, but I can’t count that. So as it stands I have lost 3.4lbs.

That’s good enough as far as I am concerned. You are only supposed to lose 2lbs a week, so I’m happy with 3.4lbs. I have been dieting and exercising, except yesterday I didn’t because I follow a routine now. I eat lunch at 12, then wait about half an hour before getting on the bicycle, then I try to be finished by 1:45 so I can get in the shower so I can watch tv with my partner. He likes to watch TV with me from 2pm to 5pm because that gives us time together. If we don’t, then we never see each other because of my video game addiction lol. So there is a reason for a routine.

My nutritionist wants me to follow a specific diet where my plate has 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch and 1/2 vegetables. Here are the papers she gave me which shows the plate planner, and breakfast, lunch and dinner.

plate plannerplate planner1

They don’t seem to be too bad. They are actually what SparkPeople wanted me to do, but the thing is, sometimes I don’t want to eat a specific thing. I usually only eat a Weight Watchers frozen dinner which is green in the Noom app. Hey, I lost 70lbs with the weight watchers frozen dinners, so how can I go wrong?

I will do my best to eat a healthy diet, but I can’t promise I will be able to fill a plate since I usually just eat my food from a bowl. If I eat pasta or rice and meat and vegetables, I usually mix the entire amount and eat it in a bowl. I find it better to combine everything because it puts sauce on the veggies so I don’t have to use margarine or butter. Oh and I asked her about that, and she told me to use lemon in place of butter. I haven’t tried that yet, but I have a feeling it isn’t going to be the same thing lol.

Well, I can’t promise I will eat a 3 or 4 course meal, but I will promise to do the best that I can with what I can actually afford on my disability checks. So far the best option for me is 1 weight watchers frozen dinner for $2 at Food Maxx. It fills me up and it isn’t expensive.

I don’t know if I will continue to update my blog every week like I did 2 years ago.

Getting FAT

My partner and I went to the movies today. We saw Into the Woods, which by the way was a really good movie. I had to pee so bad by the time it ended, so I went to the restroom and well, took a piss lol. When I went to wash my hands, that’s when the realization hit me that I am right back to where I started 2 years ago when I started my diet when I lost 70lbs.

I had really bad sleep apnea back then, and when I had lost all that weight, I couldn’t use my BiPap machine anymore because the pressure was too high, and I actually didn’t even need to use it for the last 18 months. The CPAP company told me I could bring it in to have it readjusted to lower the pressure, but I had it in my head that I finally don’t need it anymore, so I never did anything with it.

The year that I had lost 70lbs, I stopped losing weight in July and I never could figure out why. I was doing everything the same, I was eating the same portions and the same calories, but the weight just stopped coming off. Actually, when I first began losing weight in January of that year, the weight was coming off really fast, but then gradually it went from say for example 5lbs a week down to 4lbs, then 3lbs, then 2lbs, then before you knew it I was only losing half a pound a week until there wasn’t any weight loss at all. The weight gradually started climbing back up and I could not understand why.

You know how when you plateau, then get so frustrated that you say screw it, I’m going to eat something bad. Then once a week you start eating junk, then twice a week, then 3 times, etc. Next thing you know, you are gaining the weight just as fast as you lost it. Sometimes you just need that “AHA” moment, and that was today.

After the movies, we went to the grocery store and my partner asked if I wanted some valentine’s candy, but that is the last thing I need right now.

I have the Dr. Phil 20/20 diet that I pre-ordered in December that arrived on my Nook last week. I have been meaning to read it, but with all the Minecraft and other video games taking up all of my time, I just haven’t been able to read it yet, but I think now is the best time to start reading.

So I guess what I am saying is, this is day 1… well, perhaps since the day is almost over, I will make it day 0, epiphany day, tomorrow can be day 1 lol.

I can always do something if I set my mind to it. I have the Noom app, the SparkPeople “The Spark” on my shoe to count my steps and cardio along with a SparkPeople workout DVD, bicycle trainer and the Dr. Phil diet book. I also have the PlayStation 4 which I will save the money for the camera so I can use it to dance with a dancing game lol. Hey, all I know is the cabbage patch, it would be awesome to know more than that, I mean, not that I really go out dancing.

I have been very lazy, but I need to discipline myself because I don’t want this sleep apnea and I don’t want this fat face again. I’m done with that, so wish me luck.

EyePet with Camera and Secret Agent Clank

Secret Agent ClankMy Amazon order finally came today with the EyePet with camera and Secret Agent Clank. Unfortunately, the camera did not work with my PSP. I read every word on the box and I read every word in the description on Amazon, and no where did it say anything about compatibility with the PSP 2000. It did say that it was not compatible with the PSP Go, but that was it.

I went back to Amazon and it shows that if you buy the EyePet game with a PSP 3000 it would cost such and such amount of money, so that right there tells me that it is probably only compatible with the 3000, which I do not have. That really sucks because I was really looking forward to having that camera. I’m not willing to upgrade just for the camera, because if I’m going to upgrade, I’m getting a PS Vita.

So I went to my orders on Amazon and requested a refund. They paid for the UPS shipping label to send it back to them and I will get refunded when they receive the product.

I was more than thrilled that I had Secret Agent Clank to play with. I got my shoes on with “The Spark” from SparkPeople and rode on the bicycle while playing Secret Agent Clank for 40 minutes. The only reason I stopped was because my butt was numb lol. I looked at the time on the bicycle computer and was like oh cool, 40 minutes. Done and done! I didn’t even miss a beat while on the bicycle either. I kept riding the same speed as usual, maybe even faster. It was fun, but I had to get off the bike.

So far my experiment worked. If I play a video game on my PSP while riding my bicycle on the bike trainer, I will not even notice time flying by. I could probably ride the bike for a couple of hours without ever noticing that I’m actually exercising lol. Although, that won’t happen with my ergo bike seat. I’ll need to buy a beach cruiser seat for comfort. Perhaps if I had something more comfortable to sit on, I might be on there for 2 or 3 hours. Hey, it could happen.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and you know I will be on that bicycle for at least 40 – 60 minutes before and after dinner. I really hope The Spark has a good warranty, because that thing will be smoking by the end of the day.

The Spark of Fire Under My Ass

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This new gadget that lives on the laces of my left shoe has really lit a fire under my ass. Now I know why it’s called The Spark. Every day since I’ve had it, I’ve been walking to the store and walking longer distances when walking the dog, and I’ve been riding my bicycle on my trainer in the patio. The first couple of times it was all I could do to stay on it without dying from the pain in my thighs, but since I’ve had the Spark, I’ve been using it for as long as I can. Yesterday I only got off of it because my show was coming on. Today I woke up early specifically so I could spend as much time on the bike as I could. I was only on it for 36 minutes, but I’m working my way up to a longer ride.

The goal they gave me for steps is 6000. The first day I barely made it to the goal, the 2nd day was basically the same, but the 3rd day, well, that you can see in the image above. Of course, that’s not all from walking, most of that was from the bicycle. You see, it doesn’t just log my cycling, it considers my pedaling to be steps. My nutritionist wanted me to walk 10,000 steps per day, well, here you go.

Sometimes I buy something and feel real good about my purchase, while other times I feel like I have made a huge mistake and regret it. I am so happy that I found this because it got me off my butt and made me think about how much time am I going to spend walking today, and how much time I’m going to ride the bike today.

IMAG0747SparkPeople also sent me a workout DVD called Total Body Sculpting with Coach Nicole. The exercises look pretty good. I haven’t started using the DVD yet, but I plan on soon. I want to buy the weights first. They have workouts that are beginners, intermediate and advanced. They also give you a week planner so you aren’t doing the same exact workout every time. The SparkPeople website even has these workouts available in the list of exercises so I know what to log. All I have to do is watch the video and then when I finish, log it with the exact amount of time I did it and I get the calorie credits. Cool, eh?

So I feel so much more motivation than I did before. If I ever get to the point where this DVD isn’t working, I mean when it becomes too easy and I plateau, then I will have to buy another one that is a bit more advanced. I will also have to step up my cardio as well. Perhaps I could do the 2 hour bike ride and then 2 hours of exercise DVD. Hmmmm… I better not count my chickens before they hatch lol. We will see how it goes, yes?

So… until then…