Jawboned: Why I’m Giving Up My Up Move

For the past 2 years, I have been dutifully tracking my steps with a Jawbone tracker, first the UP24 and then UP Move.

As much as I liked my Jawbone, I had a lot of technical issues with it: within a few months, the mode button fell off so Jawbone sent me a new tracker. A few months after that, while clipping the end cap on, something happened and it was no longer staying on. Jawbone sent over a new end cap. Then a few months after that, the mode button fell off my replacement tracker but since they were transitioning away from the UP24, I was given a credit towards the purchase of a new tracker. I picked the UP Move and was really happy with it until the hook closure on the strap broke over the weekend. Sigh.

The quality of the trackers has not lived up to my expectations, especially considering the price. For something I wear EVERYDAY, I expected the equipment to be more durable. Seeing how it wasn’t, I had to decide if it was worth investing more money in a new strap just for this to happen again (based on historical data, the likelihood of it happening again was very high).

In the end, I decided to quit Jawbone and step tracking completely.

I loved seeing how many steps I took (I killed my goals while on vacation in Las Vegas and Hawaii and on travel days to Michigan) and how many hours I actually slept. I dutifully logged every workout and nap but then I started obsessing over it; going as far as to wandering around the house just to get those last few steps to reach my goal and, because I wore it on my wrist, I made sure to have it free so I could swing it while walking to get my steps counted.

Don’t get me started on those days when I knew I would have reached my goal but somehow came short. All those wasted steps!

And we’ve found the crux: the fitness tracker is supposed to encourage me to get active but I was acting as if my activity didn’t count if it wasn’t counted. That’s a huge disconnect.

After deciding to ditch the trackers, I feel more relaxed. Sure I don’t know how many steps I’ve taken or how many hours of deep sleep I got last night, but I also don’t worry about it either. The pressure to care and not care about my step counts is gone. Plus, I can wear my bracelets now! Life is better without the tracker.

I don’t need technology to validate me.



WeVerb14: Day 4 – Rebuild

Rebuild: What do you plan to pick up or rebuild this year?



We can rebuild her. We have the technology. We can make her better than she was before. Better…stronger…faster.

Our work is never over.

Ahem. Sorry, Daft Punk has that kind of effect on me.

So in 2014, my plan is to rebuild myself. I won’t lie – I’m not in a very happy place with my weight at the moment. Even though I carry my weight well, I’m extremely self-conscious about my waistline. I alternate between grabbing and trying to conceal the extra bulge. I get nervous and anxious when the mister hugs me and rubs my back because “The Bulge!” This is not a good way of living.

My goal is not to become skinny but to simply be healthy. I miss the confidence I had in myself when I was healthier, I miss not worrying about “The Bulge,” and I definitely miss the energy I had. My plan is simple two-step process: snack less and move more. Genius, right?

Part 1: Snack less. Since I started working from home, I noticed  my snacking grew exponentially. When I was at an office, I only ate what I had on hand in my desk so often I’d just suck it up and push through any slight craving. But now that I’m home and have access to the kitchen, if I feel even slightly hungry, I head to the kitchen for something. While I’m not sure if I can reduce the amount of snacking I do, I can at least swap my snacks of whatever’s on hand (usually toast) for fruit or small servings of cheese. Also, I’d like to inject some more vegetables into my diet just because.

Part 2: Move more. I always feel better when I’m being active, whether through sports or working out. I always run into trouble during the winter months when I don’t run and I need to find some outlet for movement. That was why I started going to the gym. But then I realized that I’m not accountable to the gym and because it was just a “weight and machine” only gym (which was why it was only $10 a month!) I became bored quickly and didn’t want to go anymore. So I quit the gym (thankfully it was less painful than that) in favor of classes where the routine changes and I’m held accountable for attending. The barre classes I’m taking are amazing and I always feel pumped after class. It’s surprisingly tough (especially on the thighs!) but I feel so accomplished when I manage hold a plank longer than before.

My plan isn’t revolutionary but it will hopefully lead to healthier habits and a lifetime of feeling fabulous.

You can’t outrun pancakes and bacon

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you. Without a dope post to read through.

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

You remember my last attempt at running the Healdsburg Half last year and how I spent the majority of the race alternating between being pumped and being miserable while pretending to run and then ultimately walking? To make up for that laughable experience, I was determined to turn in a better race this year (that competitive nature of mine strikes again) and spent the summer training. I was serious about it: I signed up for 2 races (a 5k and a 10k) and set up personal mileage goals to keep me motivated, bought a new pair of running shoes to reduce blisters (my other shoes were too tight) and even accidentally picked up fancy custom insoles (yes, accidentally). See, serious. I hit a good stride with my training and was well on the way of meeting my goal of 13 miles by the end of September, leaving me with enough time to hit 14 miles before the race. Needless to say that didn’t happen.

Even though my last month of training stalled due to weird weather systems, weddings, birthday parties, visitors, and general oversleeping, I still felt pretty good that I would be able to deliver a decent performance this time around. The morning of the race soon came and I dragged the mister out of his warm bed so he could stand around in a random vineyard too early in the cold, dark morning with a bunch of strangers. That’s love.

Trentadue Winery - Healdsburg Half

The calm before the storm.

I was very awake very early in the morning.

Soon we were off and I was feeling really good. The race directors created a new route so I couldn’t really gauge where I was in reference to the end of the race, but we did run through parts of last year’s course so that was fun. Aside from seeing what other people dressed up as, one of my favorite things about this race are the girls from Girls on the Run at the aid stations throughout the course. They were always ready with cheers, smiles, and encouragement. I looked forward to seeing them while passing an aid station and was a bit bummed when I passed a station and they weren’t there. Those cheers does wonders to a runner’s soul. At the last one, some of the girls gave out stickers to runners so I stopped to get some (also, it gave me a great excuse to walk).

hbh 2013 - stickersEnjoying my new stickers
[Source: Finishers Pix]

Overall, while my time was longer than last year (my official time was 3:16:03), this was a much better experience. I was in such a good mood and feeling my music so much that I wanted to stop for a dance break in the middle of the race. Instead, I ended up singing along to a few of the songs, but not too loudly since  I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Anywho, since I wasn’t busy bemoaning how miserable I felt, I spent my time thinking about food. Around mile four, I started thinking about how amazing bacon would be. Then somewhere around mile six I started obsessing over pancakes. Bacon. Pancakes. Pancakes. Bacon. OMGIWANTBACONPANCAKES!

Then I started singing the Bacon Pancakes song:

Do you know how distracting it is trying to run while thinking about pancakes and bacon? I was so hungry that the race felt like it was never going to end. Each step brought me closer to pancakes and bacon. I started counting down the miles separating me from pancakes and bacon around mile nine. Four miles until pancakes and bacon. Three miles until bacon and pancakes. Two miles until pancakes and bacon. I nearly lost my mind when I passed the 13 mile marker.

hbh 2013 - finishI’m excited for two reasons: 1: I’m done and 2: PANCAKES AND BACON!
[Source: Finisher Pix]

My phone promptly died shortly after crossing the finish line so I don’t have my customary post-race photo, or one of my stickers, or of my plate of pancakes and bacon from IHop. Yes, we stopped at IHop on the way home because when you’ve been thinking about pancakes and bacon for almost 10 miles, you get pancakes and bacon.

And they were the best pancakes and bacon ever.

Don’t call it a diet

Last November I embarked on an effort to get healthier. I had gained a lot of weight and wasn’t happy with that. So my plan was to go back to the gym and start cooking more and rely less on processed foods in an attempt to get my eating under control.

I started and it kind of fell off in December (the cooking; the gym thing held on). For the most part, I’ve been hitting my twice a week goal. There were some weeks where I only went once or didn’t go at all but for the most part, I’d make it to the gym. Now that Daylight Savings is here and it’s still light after work, I’m hoping to add a day of running during the week which is important since race season is upon us.

So I’ve been working out, eating more healthily, and planning my meals. I’m trying to snack on fruit more often and even reduced the amount of sugar I consume by simply changing my tea cup (I switched out my 16 ounce cup for a 10 ounce cup) and enacting a one-cup maximum per day. Before, I had been drinking upwards of 2 cups a day, which was technically 4 cups. So it’s like I cut out 3 cups of tea per day. Isn’t math fun? One of my newest obsessions has been steel cut oats. The best thing is you can make a big pot on Sunday and eat them all week long. And the even better part is you can make a big pot in your slow cooker (I have one of those now. Best thing ever!).

So far my efforts have been working. I’ve really cut down on the amount of processed meals I’ve been eating and I feel much better. Combined with the workouts, I’m feeling pretty unstoppable. I’m down 11 lbs so far (and even kept off some of the weight I lost during my church’s annual fast at the beginning of the year) and I’m about 8 pounds away from my goal weight.

There has been some happy changes to my routine so it’s been a little bit of a struggle to maintain my gym nights but I’m encouraged that I’ll be able to keep things up. I like the small changes I’ve made and after almost 5 months, they’re still in tact. I look forward to my gym nights and while trying to figure out what to cook everyday is pretty hard, I enjoy cooking (though I still have my occasional bowl of cereal for dinner).

I’ve made a lot of small changes but do feel this way is more sustainable. I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to lose those last few pounds but mostly I’m excited that I’m on the road to a much healthier lifestyle.

Where we say goodbye to Schmidty, part 2

Not to worry, I totally did not forget that I left you hanging about my surgery to forcibly evict Schmidity from his resting place in my breast. In case you don’t feel like clicking that link, in our last episode, I prepped for surgery by worrying about what I was supposed to wear and bring the day of and trying to eat as much as I possibly could the night before so I wouldn’t wake up hungry. Key takeaways: comfy clothes and Gremlins.

Anywho, the day of the operation went on without a hitch. Basically it’s a lot of “hurry up and wait.” I showed up with my mom to the surgery clinic in the morning, signed in, and waited to be called to register and get my ID bracelet. Then I waited some more before being escorted to the pre-op staging area by the nicest hospital volunteer ever. He was a Korean War vet and noticed that my listed ethnicity was ‘Korean’ (I totally saw him reading my form) and when he called me up, he started practicing the Korean phrases he learned on my mom. And he was pretty good! Great, another non-Korean person who speaks Korean better than me. We both had a good laugh and he shared a few more stories while we made our way to the holding area. He showed me to my bed and left me to myself business as I completely undressed (so much for wearing my good pair of panties, right? I know I’m not the only one who makes sure to wear her good panties at doctor’s appointments) and put on the hospital gown where your naked butt hangs out if you don’t hold it correctly. I had to take another pregnancy test, which was interesting because, remember, I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink after midnight because of the gremlin thing. Okay, it’s because of the anesthesia thing but whatever. Gremlin sounds more fun.

So I waited some more. While I waited, the nurses began to prep me for surgery, attaching several monitoring things on my body and finger, wrapped my legs with some weird pressure cuff, and inserted the IV needle in preparation for the anesthesia. For a moment my mind drifted to my Dad and how he was always hooked up to machines and wondered what he felt as they prepped him for his transplant when I was distracted by Santa Claus. I kid you not. I heard the Korean Vet say something about Santa and another hospital volunteer walked by and I thought, how cute, they nicknamed him Santa because he as a beard. That’s when I saw Santa round the corner. In full gear. I nearly died from the absurdity.

There’s really nothing to do but sit and listen to what’s going on, so I eavesdropped on the conversations happening around my bed. A few beds down, I heard a surgeon talking to a patient about his surgery and I thought he sounded an awful lot like Greg Proops. It wasn’t until my surgeon popped into my area to check up on me that I realized Greg Proops WAS my surgeon! I had been trying to place his voice since we met and I’m glad I didn’t figure it out until then and this made me glad I would be out for the surgery because otherwise I might have trouble taking him seriously.

I got word that the previous surgery was being cancelled and mine would be moved up and there was suddenly a flurry of activity at my bed. I was introduced to my “surgical team:” the RNs and my anesthesiologist (who I made jokes with about wanting to simply wake up at the end), and was prepped for the IV and then waited with my mom, who was called back by then, to get marked up by my surgeon. Then before I knew it, the anesthesiologist injected the sedative into my IV and I was pushed down the hall.

Then this happened:

There may or may not have been dancing fairies and a maypole.

The sedative worked quickly. I’m not sure how far I made it, I know I looked back at my mom as I was wheeled down the hall and I think I remember seeing some kind of operating room but I honestly can’t tell if I actually made it there or if I was remembering the clip from Brenda’s surgery on 90210. Either way, I woke up in recovery with an ice pack on my chest and a nurse checking my vitals, mumbling instructions. Then my surgeon came in and said something about something (I don’t know why they are so intent on talking to you while you’re waking up from the anesthesia).  Then I was wheeled in the last waiting room to make sure everything was kosher before getting the all clear to change and head home.

Thankfully I wasn’t in too much pain following the surgery, nothing a little ice and Vicodin couldn’t fix and I was more excited that I was able to start weening myself off the pain meds the following Wednesday. I was determined to be better since I had a date that Friday with one of my college roommates to tour Alcatraz.

Yeah, I scheduled an outing the week of surgery. I’m that girl.

But in all, I’m glad I did finally opt for surgical removal. It feels good that I don’t have to worry about Schmidty (and the scar I have isn’t so bad!) anymore and I’m believing in God that there won’t be any juniors running around either.