Friday, December 18, 2009

Fitbit! Better than FatBet?

So far, the answer to that question would have to be yes. The FatBet was truly motivating, and I spent some quality time with my friends who were in it with me. I don't really miss the social interaction, because everybody wants to look at my Fitbit Tracker and ask me questions! There is also a function on the website interface where you can invite friends and compare scores. I'm going to see if I can goad some people into joining me there. It's so motivating, you don't really need to plunk down the money for a FatBet. You don't even necessarily have to buy a tracker (it's $99 plus shipping), you can enter your stats and food and activities.

But the tracker is SOOOO CUUUUTE. And so fun! I'm so glad mine finally shipped. And I'm glad that they refused to send it out until they had worked out all (or hopefully most) of the kinks.

You can see how little it is--just two inches long. They keep calling it "thumb-sized" but really it's smaller. At least smaller than my thumb, and my hands aren't that big.

Below is what the readout looks like. (Sorry it's fuzzy, but it's so tiny you have to get really close. I can however read the numbers without my glasses.) You press a little button and it shows you how many steps you've taken that day. (My goal is 10,000.) You press it again, and it shows how many miles you've gone. Another click and it shows the calories you've burned. One more click and you get a little blue flower that grows as you get closer to your goal! (Shoot, I should have taken a picture of that.)

A really cool feature of the tracker is that you can put it into sleep mode and wear it to bed. There's a silky-soft cuff that you put on, and it has a little pocket for the tracker. It records your movement during the night, and can give you a pretty good picture of how well (or not) you're sleeping. Last night I got a score of 89%. I'm not sure how good that is. I was awake from 3:00 to 4:00. This morning I checked the interface online and got a very interesting chart that showed my sleep pattern during the night.

I like the Fitbit interface too. Entering your food for the day is a lot easier than using the Weight Watchers interface! And it has all kinds of little charts that automatically generate and tell you how you're doing.

The Fitbit support people are superlative. I had a glitch downloading the software--just a strange fluke that they had never heard of before--but the support people responded very quickly, and I was up and running in no time. Yesterday I even complained to them about a grammatical error. Today I got an email saying, "Thank you for noticing this and we will contact the website administrator about it." :-) [UPDATE: They actually corrected the error!!! OMG.]

So we'll see how this goes...I'll be posting more about it as I follow the program. (And I lost a half a pound already.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

Goal 5 - Attend The Nutcracker

Melissa in the ticket line

I was SO JAZZED by this you have no idea!!! ScottieDog said he'd never seen me so happy at a performance. [Actually that might be an overstatement. I was pretty darn happy at Spamalot!] It was SO. GREAT. Scott said it was certainly the best production he'd ever seen, so much better in fact that he enjoyed it thoroughly all over again.

Well hey, it's Balanchine, after all. What I didn't know is that Balanchine essentially rescued The Nutcracker from relative obscurity and established it as a Christmas classic at the NYCBallet in 1954. I had been assuming it always was--like Handel's Messiah--from day one. But apparently when it was first performed in Russia, people kind of went "meh..." Amazing.

All the little kids were great! And the mouse costumes were amazing! And the big Christmas Tree! Oh gosh... And the dancing! And the snow!

I could go on and on.

Here are some random shots of the evening:

Clockwise from the upper left: 1) the David H. Koch Theater, 2) the humongous stage, 3) Melissa by the newly renovated computer automated Lincoln Center Fountain, though it wasn't doing much at the time, 4) two big strong ladies in the lobby who do great things for Melissa's body image.

(ScottieDog has some great pictures on his iPod that I might post later.)

Then we went out to an Irish pub that turned out to be the hangout for the ballerinas and the ballet guys (ballerinos?). Several of the principal dancers came in after us and sat down at the table in the picture. But by then I was not in a picture-taking mode, being busy with my Southern Fried Chicken. It was pretty good, but real Southern Fried wouldn't have had such a crisp eggy crust on it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dammit, no more yoga!

So anyway, it turns out I have mechanical sacroiliac joint dysfunction. (SIJ) At least it's not arthritis. I decided to go get it looked at since it's been bothering me for years, and because I keep getting hurt.

But get this: the therapist says I can't do yoga anymore! Or at least not a lot of the poses. She says yoga is for mobility, and I have too much mobility. She doesn't want me doing anything with one leg that I'm not doing with the other leg. For instance, the pose in the picture is a big no-no. I wanted to say, does that mean I have to hop upstairs, but I didn't. Still wondering about that, though. (That would make for an interesting Sunday morning, because the choir loft is three flights up.)

I'm also wondering about the "yoga is for mobility" thing, though. I think there are a lot of strength poses in the yoga I've been doing. Even in the Sun Salutation. It's not for wimps.

And I can't cross my legs anymore either!!! Or stand in that cool model pose with the hand on the hip and the weight on that leg... She says I have to stand in the army at-ease position. Great. That'll look elegant.

So anyway, now I have to do Pilates instead. I changed my Goal 49 to say "Take Pilates classes," and I'm in the process of registering for one, except they have to have my doctor's approval. Bureaucracy... (Speaking of which, did you read this???? Counterbureaucracy Scary!!!)

But here's the good news: Tonight I am going to go see The Nutcracker!!!! (Goal 5) For the first time in my life!! Just one of those weird unexplainable gaps in my musical entertainment experience...

ScottieDog is all excited; he's seen it a bajillion times growing up in Chicago, but I never did except for bits and pieces on TV. I asked him if he minded taking me, but he said "God no!" He explained that it's like having your child's first trip to the zoo: you get excited all vicariously. He did say it was an awfully "girly" ballet.

Again, I have to say I would never have scheduled this, or a lot of the other things I've done in the past year, if it hadn't been for my "101 Goals in 1001 Days" project. I'll be lucky if I get 50% of them done, but just look at what I've accomplished that I might not have done! I got to see Jon Stewart!!!! And the stars!!! (The real ones.)

I'm making a very big effort to get a bunch of them done before the new year. I slacked off majorly here lately, and I have some lost ground to make up for.

I was going to try to do another December of Discipline, but I'm off to a very late start for various reasons, such as SIJ. Still, I think it's a good idea. Get a running start on those New Year's Resolutions with me!!!