The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Product Review 014 – Fitbit Charge

Two months ago I bought a Fitbit Charge.  I was a little concerned about the 150ish dollar price tag given that there was a high probability that it would end up in the back of my drawer with all the other weight loss and exercise gizmos I’ve bought over the years, but I polled my friends and many gave it very positive reviews and I was fortunate enough to have a Costco gift card so that helped.

I have to admit that I struggled a bit with the set up, but part of that was…ahem…user error.  Once I got it set up I put it on and immediately it started tracking my steps, flights of stairs climbed, distance traveled and calories burned. When you sync it to your computer or mobile device the basic dashboard lets me put in my weight loss goals, enter my food and water intake, it tells me when I am active during the workday and it even monitors my sleep patterns.  There are a number of other functions as well like alarms and caller ID, however using these additional features can drain the battery much sooner than the 7-10 days they claim in the Fitbit literature.  I can also add my friends to my dashboard and compare steps with them on a daily basis, cheer them on and send them notes of encouragement.  You can also send a jeer to your friends which I have to admit I don’t like because trash talking people who are making an effort is well crappy in my book.

There are a few drawbacks to the Fitbit Charge like you can’t get it wet so yesterday when I was doing dishes and other chores around the house I had it off for the majority of the day so I tallied very few steps and sometimes it doesn’t acknowledge stairs, but I have found that you have do a certain number of stairs at a specific pace to get credit.

I am actually on my second Fitbit Charge as the first one was only lasting a couple of days between battery charges which wasn’t really so bad, but wasn’t what the company promised.  I was encouraged by a friend of a friend to contact the company and they were swift to respond, even on a Saturday night, and after a few simple questions to confirm my warranty was still good they sent me a new Fitbit Charge within a week.  I’m testing it now, but so far it’s gone 5 days on one battery charge and according to my dashboard the battery is about half way.

I am working on losing weight and have lost a bit on my own, but with the Fitbit Charge I am already starting to notice changes in my appearance and most definitely changes in my behaviour.  For instance I’ve started making more trips around the office instead of waiting until I had a bunch of stuff to deliver, I’ve started stepping in place while reading correspondence and I even popped in my earbuds and went for a walk at lunch the other day.  It wasn’t a long walk, but it helped boost my steps for the day and it did wonders for my self esteem.  In fact one of the most pleasant surprises was noticing just how many steps I was already getting in on a typical day and then being able to track my efforts to improve upon that.  So often I feel like I have to make a special effort to go to the gym or make time for a marathon walk and if I can’t fit that in then the day is lost.  My Fitbit Charge is showing me that every step, be it to the gym or around the grocery store is a step in the right direction.

Given the money I have spent on potions and tinctures and various doodads to lose weight over the years the Fitbit Charge is well worth the money, but I do have to admit for the average person on a budget the $150ish price tag is pretty steep.  If you are in a position to put a little money aside though I think it is a wise investment.

I give it 8 goddesses out of 10.

–  the Goddess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There Is No Spectrum Of Mean

A few months ago I was feeling like I was taking it from all sides and I felt very vulnerable.  There were days that a sideways look was enough for me to want to dissolve into a mess of sloppy tears.  It only lasted for a couple of weeks, but it got me thinking about how I treat other people and how we don’t always realize that an off handed remark or a kind hearted jibe might be all it takes for someone to reach their tipping point.

In high school I was known as the sarcastic one. The one who always had the quick retort and shut down a bully quickly and efficiently.  I didn’t realize how “good” I was at this until I got to university and people who I barely knew from high school would come up to me and say hi and that most of all they remembered my sarcasm. Even now when catching up with old friends on Facebook they often mention my sarcasm, not my humour, but my sarcasm, as the thing they remember most about me.  Of course for me the sarcasm and biting humour was a defence mechanism, a way to defuse someone before they could attack me with comments about my weight, but regardless of the reason for it, the end result was that I was mean to people.  I was mean to people who might have been acting out because of their own struggles and I was mean to people who were likely innocent bystanders hanging around the “cool” kids as a way to survive the social minefield of high school.

And so a couple of months ago I decided to be kinder, specifically I decided that I would put a pause button on my mouth.  Before saying the funny and generally well intentioned sarcastic remark that springs to mind I’m going to take a beat and consider the outcome of those words.  If it’s someone with whom I have an easy banter and an understanding with then perhaps it’s fine, but I don’t always know the kind of day someone has had and maybe my off handed comment is the last straw for them or maybe they are the kind of person who feels very deeply and my comment,  said for my own amusement and forgotten seconds later, might stick with that person for a long time to come.

Granted it’s just a little wit, it’s not like I physically hurt these people or orchestrated a smear campaign, and we know from our legal system that  different crimes have different punishments so there is a sense of one crime being worse than another, but whether I point out someone’s shortcomings or I kick them in the shin I am being mean.

A few years ago a friend hurt my feelings.  When I finally spoke to her about it her defence was that the same action had hurt someone else’s feelings more deeply and somehow I was supposed to be thankful for that.  Recently another friend who is struggling with some personal issues sent me an article and wanted confirmation that he had never been as mean to me as the man in the article was to the author.  While my instinct is to protect him because he is emotionally vulnerable I have to admit that I was disappointed and hurt.  He wanted me to assure him that even though he’d been unkind that it was not so bad because he had been less unkind than someone else.

 

What both of them failed to comprehend is that there is no equivalent of the Richter scale on these things.  You can’t say well I only got a 0.2 on the Meanter scale, but that dude, that dude lemme tell ya he was a 0.8 with aftershocks, that dude is MEAN.  There is no spectrum of mean, rather I think of it like a toggle switch, on or off, mean or kind.

I’m not saying that we can’t express our feelings or that we can’t make a joke, I’m just saying that we need to own our behaviours and if we are mean we apologize and we make amends and we don’t try to deflect blame and responsibility by pointing to those who are “meaner”.

– the Goddess

 

 

 

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Dayum Girl!

It might surprise you to know that I have about one hundred partial posts drafted.  Sometimes I get distracted, sometimes I’m looking for the perfect quote or I’m trying to find a photo to add and sometimes I just feel that my writing isn’t up to snuff and I pause to find my voice.  I’ve been sorting through my draft folder and I’ve found some interesting posts that I will be working on in coming weeks.  For now there’s this:

pull off clothes

– the Goddess

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Cheeky

I had to have blood drawn yesterday and I’m just not a bleeder apparently.

After two failed attempts the tech brought in their ringer, a lovely woman named Evelyn who I believe could get blood from a stone.

As she poked and prodded me, trying to find a decent vein I asked if it was my weight or if I need to drink more water.  She was honest and said “Mostly it’s your weight, it makes it harder to find the veins.”

I said that I am down 30 pounds and that hopefully the next time I need to have blood work done I will be down even more.

She smiled kindly and asked “Oh how much did you weigh before?”

I smiled kindly and responded “Thirty pounds more than I do now.”

She paused for a second and looked at me and we shared a  smile.

– the Goddess

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Just Something Gorgeous To Watch

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When The Moon Hits Your Eye Like A Big Pizza Pie. . .

Valentine’s Day is upon us.  For some it’s a day of fun and frivolity with the person they love and for some it’s a stark reminder that they are a singleton in a world that favours coupling.  Most years I’ve been single on Valentine’s.  I’ve talked before about how the people who love me were clear that no one would ever be romantically interested in a girl like me, so I just let the day go by and bought silly cards for friends or for my parents.  My father always sent me a Valentine, sometimes my mother does, and for a long time I just accepted that that was my fate.  You, however, do not have to accept this.  You do not have to be in a relationship to be a whole, beautiful, wonderful person, but you also do not have to live your life alone because people tell you that no one will love the fat girl.

A few months ago I got my heart broken.  Actually it was broken several times during our four year roller coaster of a relationship, but I was loved and I did love.  I am a fat girl and someone loved me.  The very fact that someone loved me and made love with me reinforced for me that indeed there are people who love women like me.  We need role models.  We need to see that, despite the opinions of many around us, we are lovable.

Today I found adipositivity.com.  There are hundreds of photos of fat people of various shapes and sizes in various poses and states of undress.  Depending on your workplace this may be NSFW, so please do be careful, but what I truly loved were the Valentine pictures.  These are pictures of of fat people and their lovers.  In reading the description of the Adipositivity Project the point is to show people of size and promote acceptance of all shapes and sizes.  Perhaps if more of us see that people who look like us have lovers and do love and are loved then they too will be open to finding love.  I often joke about being oblivious to flirting and romantic interest.  I’m not actually oblivious, I’ve just spent a lot of time ignoring these behaviours because I assumed people weren’t interested. Even now, several dates and a few boyfriends later, I can still be very insecure when meeting someone new and starting a new relationship. The same old insecurities rise up and I have to fight tooth and nail to push them back down. Pictures like the ones on adipositivity.com are not only for the education and enlightenment of the average person.  They are for the above average person, like myself, who needs to see herself and her beauty though a different lens.

– the Goddess

 

 

 

 

 

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Tess Holliday, My New Pin Up Girl

Today Tess Holliday (Tess Munster), a 5’5″ woman who wears a size 22, was signed to a major modelling firm.  She started the #EffYourBeautyStandard movement and now she is the largest woman signed to a firm. It would be nice if that distinction didn’t have to be made and we could all just acknowledge that this woman is drop dead gorgeous, but this is still impressive.

Take a look at my new Pin Up Girl:

tess 1

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tess 2

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tess 3

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tess 4

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tess 5

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– the Goddess

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I Have Done The Unthinkable!

I bought a scale.

I haven’t owned a scale in nearly ten years.  Part of me didn’t want my self worth to be tied to the numbers I saw every time I stepped on and part of me just couldn’t bear to see the numbers period.  The problem, however, is that it’s the easiest way to keep track of my current efforts to get fit.  I  can rely on my clothes feeling looser and me feeling better, but sometimes before there is a noticeable change I’ve gained a few pounds and I want to keep a closer eye on things and the scale at the gym is out in the open.

I ordered the scale from Amazon and it arrived before Christmas, but it’s still in the box because despite what I just said seeing those numbers do intimidate me.  Today I found this and I think I will post it on the bathroom wall so I can read it while I weigh myself.

scale

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– the Goddess

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Parkour Is My Passion…Stop Laughing!

I had a dream last night.  I was running a 10K marathon (or whatever you call 10K run) and it was in a mall.  I think Square One.  You had to run routes in the mall and then stop at certain points and do a task or remember the password you’d been given or whatever and then you could run to the next station which might be back or forth or wherever.  I was leaping over flower pots, down stairs, over railings, zigging and zagging around mall displays and all the time I was just on fire. It was a mix of running, Parkour and trivia and I was awesome.  I had no idea I was such a great runner, I just flew.   I didn’t win or anything, but I was a proud fat girl and I could move like smoke.
I know it was a dream, but it didn’t feel like a dream, it felt portentous.
When I watched Casino Royale, the remake with Daniel Craig, I was mesmerized.

 

I immediately read up on Parkour, it’s origins and its philosophy, but I figured I had to be thin and wiry and all muscle and so I shelved that idea.  And then someone posted this on Facebook.  It was a blog post by a woman who is fat and does Parkour.  Now she’s not my size so I need to work a bit on my fitness and strength before I join a Parkour club, but I realized it’s not impossible with some hard work which I’m willing and able to do.  I’m working with a trainer to build muscle and tone, I’m working on my cardio with water running and elliptical and adding in some yoga would help with flexibility.  I’m up for it, I’m pumped, and soon I’ll be climbing tall buildings, or at least ya know taking the stairs two at a time.

– the Goddess

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Random Thoughts On Re-Entering The Real World

The first week of September I set off on my own personal boot camp.  The first six weeks in Florida were great and while I didn’t quite stick to my original plan in terms of intensity I did increase my cardio endurance and my overall strength and I got plenty of rest which I desperately needed.  My version of boot camp was nowhere near as intense as reality tv versions, nor was it even as intense as I originally planned, but it was a positive experience and I while I didn’t drop a tonne of weight, I felt a lot more fit and there were noticeable changes in my body shape. These are shots of me in Clearwater, Palm Beach, Homestead, and Key West.

Cynthia's Phone 2014.11.25 310  Cynthia's Phone 2014.11.25 324 Cynthia's Phone 2014.11.25 330Cynthia's Phone 2014.11.25 372

  • For the last two weeks of boot camp I returned home and planned out a schedule that included walking every day and going to the gym every day.  I will spare you the suspense, this didn’t quite go to plan, in fact the original title of this post was “A Few Bumps Upon Re-Entry”.  I did join the gym and I do my crunches and running in the pool, and I even went for a personal training session, but the walking thing just didn’t happen.  As the boyfriend pointed out when we were walking the length of Key West, a 5km day I’d just like to brag, “Walking sucks where you’re overweight”.  I knew this, but I had high hopes that with my new level of fitness it would become easier.  It didn’t and while I have a long term goal of walking to the Go bus each morning, I have to accept that it’s just not going to happen right now.
  • Being back and work and in the thick of “real life” I have allowed it to interfere with my plans of being at the gym everyday, not to mention the snow and 100km winds the other day which make it difficult to convince oneself to jump in the pool when one’s natural urge is to retreat to the couch, but I continue to make positive changes.  I now have my gym clothes in the car at all times, I am pre-cooking lunches and dinners so I can grab and go with healthier choices, and I am taking more breaks at work to stretch and move about.
  • The boyfriend and I didn’t survive boot camp.  Six weeks, 24/7 with anyone is tricky, but if you’re keeping score this is third time we’ve broken up since I started this blog.  On the upside I’ll have more time to sleep and hit the gym.
  • I have fritzed my second waterproof mp3 player, well it works intermittently, so I have ordered a waterproof sleeve for my iPod.  I’ll see how that goes because the next step is to start getting into more serious money and most reviews note that the whole waterproof thing can be a bit dodgy.  I will keep trying to find a solution though since running without music is right up there with watching paint dry.
  • I have decided that boot camp is not over, it’s just a little different.  I’m trying to eliminate as many obstacles as possible to get to the gym or do an exercise video.  First up is cleaning my house from top to bottom.  I don’t mean wiping a duster across the surfaces, I mean taking it right back to the walls.  I’ve been on a de-junking quest for a while now and each round I get more and more brutal about getting rid of stuff.  This time large pieces of furniture are going out, tools, appliances, you name it.  I’ve also emptied everything out of my guest room and I am considering turning it into a yoga and meditation room.  My budget may have something to say about that plan, but it would be nice.

– the Goddess

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