Thursday, 26 February 2015

Getting Back to the Gym (Well Pool)!



Image: Pixabay
It is time for me to stop making excuses about why I can’t join a gym. I’ve been through all of them...

I’ve got no time.
I’ve got Monkey to think about.
We don’t have the money.
There isn’t one that offers everything I want close by.

Well, none of those are true. There are gyms close by that offer things that I want and now that Monkey is in nursery, I get two days were I have the time to get to the gym child free. On top of that, this gym has a crèche, so I can get two hours on the weekdays that I do have free with her to get into the gym. And this gym allows children in the pool, so I can take her swimming too.

So, really, there aren’t any more excuses that I can use.

That’s why today I finally got to the gym and signed up. But let me tell you it wasn’t easy.

I’m going to be honest and say I’ve done very little exercise in the last three years. I mean real exercise. I’ve been on the Wii Fit and sure I have the Zumba game thingy for the Wii, but I’ve not gone out for runs and I’ve definitely not been swimming like I used to.

I just did 15 minutes in the pool and my arms are now killing me. It didn’t used to be like that. I used to do an hour until my arms were completely dead.

I’m not using that as an excuse to quit.

It would have been so easy to walk away from the gym feeling deflated. It would have been easy for me to just give up and decide I was never going back. But I’m not going to do that.

That was my wake up call. I’m going to get back to the gym (pool, whichever one I choose to do) and get back to the fitness levels I was at three years ago. I’m determined to get my swim times back down and stop my arms from aching so much after just 15 minutes.

Not only will I feel better, but it will do my weight and waistline some good.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

FitBit One Review: Pushing Me to Do More Exercise


Image by Lexi Gunn

I got a FitBit One just before Christmas, and it has to be the best pedometer I’ve ever bought. It may have cost £69.95, but I don’t regret it at all.

I know there are a lot of people wondering whether these small devices are worth buying. Here’s my FitBit One review to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Small, Lightweight, Good Clip

I’ve had pedometers in the past, and one of the biggest issues I’ve had is their size. They’ve been bulky, so others know that I have one. The FitBit one is small and lightweight. I even forget that I have it on some of the time.

The size of other devices has been an issue with catching, especially getting in and out of the car. I’ve lost more than I can count, and that really eats into the budget. This device is small enough not to get caught on items. The clips is also great and isn’t as likely to fall off. I do keep it on the inside of my pockets, though, just to be on the safe side. The size allows for that easily.

Automatically Syncs to Weight Watchers

Since Weight Watchers teamed up with FitBit, my device now automatically syncs. It automatically works out the activity pro points I warn, which means I don’t have to waste time doing it. In most cases, I just don’t bother working them out. But now, I can check my Weight Watchers app and see just how well I’ve done.

While the Weight Watchers pedometers do work out points automatically, they don’t sync to the app. So, that means I need to go in and add them, and I’m not that likely to do that! Yes, it’s laziness but this really works for me.

Tracking More Than Steps

The step tracking on the FitBit One is certainly more accurate than other pedometers I’ve had. But it doesn’t just track these. It tracks the amount of steps I climb, the calories I’ve burned and the amount of “very active” minutes I’ve had. I’m not sure how it works all this out—and I don’t question it—but I’m glad to see that I do a lot more than I think I do.

This little device also tracks my sleep. It’s great to find out just how much (or little) sleep I’m really getting. I don’t always track, but I’m quite amazing at the amount I’m restless during the night. This is important to help understand why I feel drained the next day.

Challenges With Your Friends

The FitBit app and dashboard gives you the option to add friends to your account. You can then do challenges between you, to see who does the most steps or who can reach their goals.

If you don’t want to take part in challenges against your friends, you can do them yourself. It’s possible to set your own goals for steps, stairs etc. These elements really push me to do more exercise. In fact, they’ve pushed me the last three days alone to walk around more just to hit my daily steps goal.

The Downsides to the FitBit One

Yes, there are certainly downsides to this little device. The price is certainly one of them. It is £69.95 through Weight Watchers UK, but they are available for different rates elsewhere. There are much cheaper versions available elsewhere. I recommend paying the extra though. Save up a small amount each month to work up the amount so you can afford one.

Another downside is the size. With the amount it costs, it’s common for people to worry about losing them. I have once dropped mine under the couch. The clip is great, and you can clip it inside clothes. It may also be worth connecting some string and safety pinning it to clothing if you’re really that worried about losing it.

I don’t go anywhere without my FitBit One anymore. It is firmly attached and has really pushed me to do more exercise. If you’re in the market for a pedometer, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Diet Coke/Diet Fanta Chicken



This has been a recipe that I’ve loved making. I don’t do it often, because I’m not the one that cooks that much in the house. However, it’s a go-to one when I need something quick, simple and weight loss friendly.

I do really enjoy diet coke chicken, but someone suggested substituting the coke with Fanta, and I’ve got to admit that it’s gives it that little extra tangy flavour. If you’re looking for something to change up your recipes, it’s an easy alternative.

So, here’s the recipe I follow for my diet coke/diet Fanta chicken. It has a bit of a sweet and sour taste, and works perfectly with rice or pasta.

Ingredients:

  •  500g chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 tbsp passata
  • 1 can of diet coke/diet Fanta (330ml if you have a bottle)

Method:

  1. Heat a large pan and add a bit of oil
  2. Throw in the chicken and onion and cook until it starts to colour
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and allow to boil
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer. The sauce will thicken and reduce to half the original volume. It takes about 30 minutes.

Alternatively, you can throw it all into a slow cooker and put it on a low heat for six hours. That’s something I do when I know we’re having a late dinner due to work.

I hope you enjoy. Writing this out now has really got me in the mood for diet coke chicken!