Make yourself a cuppa kids, I’m going to get pretty personal! About two years ago a myriad of weird ass symptoms popped up and coincided with with a rapid pile on of extra pounds. Nothing too crazy town, especially considering I was a bit on the underweight side when this all began, but enough to see me pack away a few pairs of skinnies to the bottom shelf, if you know what I mean.
Initially I didn’t connect the two and put my expanding ass down to middle aged spread (you know I’m 35, right? OMG!) and a disgustingly indulgent lifestyle filled with free-flowing launch booze and press packs brimming with Lindt. As for the symptoms, they where weird and vague and I was too busy to pay too much attention to anything really. At least until the pain got bad. Oh my lawd, did it get baaaa-yad! I was basically the mooier version of Dr. House, hobbling through my day hopped up on a merry mix of Grandpa, Adco-dol and Diet Coke. ‘Cos a biets got bills to pay, right?
Anyway, because this is my blog and not some stupid blerrie Woman’s Health article I can tell you I didn’t go to my doctor like a responsible grown up and get my shizzle checked. Instead, I googled my way through the medical section of the internet and convinced myself I had arthritis, sciatica, hypothyroidism and possibly a phantom pregnancy. I then took responsible adulting to the next level and popped off to my family psychic who used to be a nurse (‘cos that’s as good as a doctor, right?) who took one look at me and was all ‘Girl! There’s something wrong with your ovaries. You get thee to a gynae like ASAP’.
So, long story short, I discovered I had a big ole ovarian cyst. The little bastard (I call him Basil) was leaking oestrogen into my bod and causing a myriad of kak including a shooting pain down my leg when he pressed up against a particular nerve. Fun times! So much fun actually that I almost plakked my cyst scan up on Facebook to throw myself a pitiful Cyst Shower with a gift registry at Lush as a payback for all the kak boring baby showers I’ve had to attend in the past.
Anyway, backstory in the can, let’s fast forward a little. I’m now on the mend and almost back in my old jeans (obviously the weight aspect of the whole terrible experience is the only thing my vapid little nature cares about!) but getting there has been hard, yo. Like sooo hard! I used to be that girl who could klap a croissant for brekkie elke dag and it didn’t make a dent. But, to temper the fact that my hormonally-imbalanced bod was storing fat like a boss, I suddenly had to watch everything I put into my mouth and get a li’l extra kilojoule burn going with a 40 minutes of exercise five days a week.
Initially, it was miserable. MIS-ER-ABLE. And I so want to tell you that this resentful feeling soon passed and I morphed into a Sweat 1000-loving kale muncher. But the fact is I’d still rather lie on my back than go for a run. However, running is something that’s now become part of my routine – even though I no longer haaaave to as my metabolism is almost back to normal. While I don’t always love doing it, I love that I do it regardless, if that makes any sense at all. I also get a kick at watching myself get better at it, even if it is at a snail’s pace. (No lies, guys! I’ve done trail runs where I’ve watched grannies power walk past me as I jogged!)
Anyway, because I’m an obsessive A-type, I just luuuurve me some tracking and analysing and this is where FitBit comes in. Before, I’d been using Strava and MyFitnessPal to log my runs and kilojoule intake but now the FitBit Alta, the ‘most stylish’ of the brand’s line up, has replaced both apps. Yay for minimalism!
I was given a teal FitBit (thanks FitBit team!) and I love it but let’s get bullet-pointy on the plus points ‘cos I’m running out of steam and want to binge read The Daily Mail before bed.
Why do you want a FitBit Alta?
- While the Alta doesn’t feature a heart monitor it magically* manages to track your steps. Apparently you’re supposed to do 100 000 day but, for me, this only happens if I’ve murdered Canal Walk or gone for a run. Speaking of which, it’s a real joy to run with as it’s GPS tracking is much more accurate than Strava’s while the kilojoule counter is more conservative. While I like to manually log my runs (and by this I mean use the app to hit ‘start’ and ‘end’ as you would with Strava), I like that it also auto-senses when I’m being especially active. (The other night it logged a half hour of drunken dancing as cardio!) I also like that it stores all your info for a week and you can then transfer it to the FitBit app via Bluetooth when it’s convenient so you don’t have to run around with your Bluetooth turned on all day for it to work. As far as the battery life goes, you can only have to charge it up once every five days.
- The Alta also assisting with tracking your kilojoules but this isn’t automated ‘cos it’s not 2035. You have to actually log everything you eat via the FitBit app that the device links to on your phone. Same goes for it’s water monitoring aspect. I get about a litre and a half day on average and that’s only ‘cos I consider Coke Zero as H2O but please don’t do the same or you’ll totally end up with cancer.
- Did you know the Alta also monitors your sleep? You can read up on that over here as it’s kind of complicated.
My only gripe? I don’t know why but FitBit insists on counting calories as opposed to kilojoules. You can set it to measure your height in metres as opposed to feet and your weight in kgs vs pounds but you can’t get it to consider kilojoules? What the hell FitBit? Does this machine know how many times it’s scared the crap out of me, thinking I’ve got a measly 400 kJ left to blow on supper as opposed to 1 600? Being forced to times or divide everything by four is super annoying and mind bendy and kind of makes me feel like Leonardio in Inception, what with having to mentally shift the parameters of my universe, but hey. This is the only frustration I have with FitBit. Everything else gets a big thumbs up.
So, to wrap and recap, the FitBit Alta’s replaced two apps on my phone, made me more aware of moving, does a boss job of tracking my runs and now I can get back to earning a free coffee via my medical aid. I could easily afford to buy my stupid blerrie double cappuccino but you have no idea how much I love running for it. To me, a coffee that’s paid for in sweat will only ever taste like victory!
*Okay, okay. I’m sure it’s not magic. There’s probably science behind it but I don’t care about it. I like knowing the things I own can do what and not how it happens.