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DirectLife Activity Monitor GIVEAWAY! (including coaching!) November 22, 2010

So you know I am pretty much in love with my DirectLife activity monitor as well as the awesome individual coaching I receive from Coach Jen. She has encouraged me, nudged me, checked up on me, and helped me to keep up with my activity goals. And I know that it has made a huge difference in my health and weight-maintenance life.

Well, the DirectLife folks are pleased that I’m pleased. And they have offered a free activity monitor including a year’s worth of individual coaching to one of my lucky blog readers!!

This is, hands down, the best giveaway I have ever had the opportunity to participate in. It’s HUGE, people! You think a box of ice cream is cool? Well, how about a year of Coach Jen (or one of her colleagues) and the best little piece of jewelry you can own???

Here’s how it will work. This prize is worth so very much more than a random comment. It’s going to take a little effort. This is what you need to do to be considered for this awesome prize.

  • Follow DirectLife (@directlife) on Twitter, and tell them, “I want to win an activity monitor from @foodiemcbody because…” (finish in 140 characters)
  • Visit the DirectLife website and determine if you think it really is a good fit for you. I don’t want to gift this item to anyone who is going to put it in their sock drawer and forget about it.
  • Then you have TWO ways to convince ME. You can record a 2-minute video, or if you are camera shy, write a 250-word blog post on WHY you think a DirectLife activity monitor with coaching will improve your health and life, and why we should choose you. Things you might include: Have you ever tried an activity gadget before? Why do you want this one? How do you intend to reach your daily activity goals?
  • Link to this post on your blog and/or your Facebook page.
  • Post a link to your video or your blog post in a comment HERE. If you do not have a blog, you can email your 250-word statement to foodiemcbody AT hot mail dot com.
  • ANYONE IN THE WORLD is eligible to win this prize! No geographical restrictions! How cool is that.
  • Deadline: Monday, December 6th, 2010 at midnight PST. I will review all entries after I get back from Las Vegas.
 

Vacation: Holding the Moon September 1, 2010

Filed under: good things — Susan @ 11:46 pm
Tags: , , , ,

We had a fantastic vacation last week, an extended family reunion (21!) in Yellowstone National Park. Wow what an amazing place. I’d driven through there about 30 years ago for maybe a day or so, but never really took the time to explore it all. Of course, not even in a week could we explore even a fraction of its awesomeness. But we were able to do a significant amount in a week. It was humbling and great to see the bison and elk just roaming about. My kids even saw a grizzly bear (I missed it). There was a lot of hiking, there was absolutely NO internet or cell phone or texting or even room-to-room phones! So if we wanted to make a dinner plan, we had to trek around to 6 other cabins which were spread all over, and do it like I guess they did in the Way Olden Days.

The food situation was less than ideal: either a 7-11 type store, a high school cafeteria-ish place, or a fancy expensive restaurant. Except for the fancy restaurant it was very very low on fresh produce. Ugh. I ate a lot of meat and other stuff that I had not touched in years (bologna! M & Ms!)

Meanwhile, we hiked miles and miles, and saw some beautiful terrain. I was very curious about how it was all going to turn out. I had decided I’d be okay with gained a couple of pounds, which I usually do on vacation, and that I’d settle back down.

But it was the same! (my weight) Imagine my surprise. And it was another little period of exhalation, of really understand that I have this down, pretty much. It’s internalized. I make good choices. I stay active. I relaxed. It’s all good. As a vacation should be. Wheeeewwwwwwww.

Here’s a couple fun shots.

ma, it's a bison!

bull elk

a little close

boiling blue water

rainbow over Lower Falls

 

Gadget Love May 22, 2010

Y’all know I am somewhat of a gadget freak. I’ve tried to swear off buying any new ones but when Phillips DirectLife contacted me and offered to let me test-run their activity monitor, who was I to resist?

And now I am pretty much in love with this little thingie and all it comes with. Once my four month trial dries up I might just have to continue the relationship on my own.

Before, I had a Bodybugg because I got all intrigued by that after watching the Biggest Loser contestants wearing it. And I liked it pretty much. But I never ended up getting the individual support they promised because they do it by phone. The “coach” and I played phone tag like 4 times but I am very hard to reach on the phone.  So after all the phone tag I gave up. Also, you wear the BB on your arm and it always felt like a blood pressure cuff to me. (bad connotations) It got sweaty a lot. It wasn’t a big deal, but it wasn’t the most comfortable thing ever. Also, I felt like it almost gave TOO much information. So. After a while I sort of abandoned it.

Enter the DirectLife! I like it because it’s simple. It’s a little plastic white box smaller than a matchbox. It’s very light. It’s WATERPROOF! (I took it in the pool today!) You also have three choices of how to wear it: around your neck on a light cord, in your pocket, or hooked onto your bra or other piece of clothing. So it’s very versatile. I like wearing mine around my neck if I don’t have a pocket.

How does it work? It measures your micro-body movements so it calculates if you are walking, running, whatever. MOVING. Which is basically the point of activity. It probably does not have the same physiological precision of the Bodybugg, but actually, I do not care. My husband pointed out that you could “cheat” it by just holding it in your hand and bouncing it up and down, but dude, that is just cheating yourself. It’s like doing the Wii Fit from the couch. Yeah, you COULD, but do you really want to do that??

So I love the simplicity, the ease of wearing it. When you take it off, you plug into a little USB device on the computer. This turned out to be 100% easier than BB too, which was always having glitches and technical difficulties and causing me to re-install the software every five minutes (can you say ANNOYING?). So I love it. It goes right to the site and tells you your activity output by the day. You see the hills and peaks from the most active times. Then you can see the details from each hour, which is addictively fascinating to me. (WOW that’s when I took a walk at lunch! That’s when Shannon and I climbed up Lombard Street! That’s when I… ohhhhh. SAT AT MY DESK motionless for four hours.) It’s GOOD. And yeah, another great accountability tool.

But I didn’t even get to the best part yet. The best part is the fabulous, awesome, mindblowing coaching!!!!! I was assigned a coach named Jen. I was assuming that either I’d never hear from “Jen,” or that she would send me some one-sentence sound bites like, “Good moving today, Foodie!” But NO. I got an email asking about my goals and if I had questions. I sent her an email back. She looked at my activity for last Sunday. She noted that I was rather inactive between 2-5 and 6-8.

I said, “Welllllllll, I was taking a nap at 2, and then a shower (didn’t realize it was waterproof!) and then my show, I didn’t have a pocket and didn’t want the necklace on, but darn I was VERY active!” So she clued me into the waterproof and clip-on-bra thing. (um, in my case, clip-on-Spanx) She read my blog. She had such thoughtful things to say about my return to more than full time work, my fitness frustrations, my schedule, EVERYTHING.

She has emailed me EVERY DAY THIS WEEK. And they’re not just stock emails. They’re totally personalized, thorough, and all about me me me and MY situation. It has been so amazingly, astonishingly supportive and helpful. She’s also sent me some awesome PDF articles about various things we’ve discussed, New York times article about the hazards of sitting, etc. Just SO HELPFUL.

So I am over the moon about my little gadget and about the amazing support I’ve received from DirectLife’s coach Jen. They are a lot simpler than Bodybugg but in my mind that is a good thing, a very good thing.

 

balance balance balance balance November 7, 2009

moom_balance01O.M.G.

I am so so very excited about all the new WW stuff happening. Yesterday I was offered YET ANOTHER meeting!! (so next week I will be leading THREE) I have so much to do!! I have to take the online training course for At-Work meetings, run to Office Depot and get some things in which to Haul Stuff Around, and answer a ton of emails and make a bunch of phone calls and PREPARE for yet another meeting topic (yeah, this happens every week!) and make flip charts and and and!!

PLUS I have to find time to eat, work out, be with my family, teach THREE online writing classes which are still ongoing (my other life), including teaching for THIS incredible project, edit and publish my section of a literary magazine, host a fundraiser this afternoon for a mayoral campaign in my city, get some writing of my own done (other than this blog) and tomorrow I am participating in the World’s Longest California Roll Sushi Challenge. Wheewwwwwwww!!!!!!!

I did go to a Nia class this morning. Which helped my sanity quite a bit. But as I was leaving the class I got a text from my spouse who reported he was in the E.R. after falling off his bike and injuring his shoulder and HIS HEAD. (I tried very hard not to flash on Natasha Richardson at this moment). LUCKILY he had a negative brain scan but he is now in a sling with a torn shoulder ligament and some dislocation. Owie.

It’s all good. It’s all wayyyyy good. But when it rains (even goodness) it pours, you know?? Zipping off now……….

 

 

Exercise as Pleasure, Not Punishment August 23, 2009

3388196563_528db7559eIt was not too long ago – less than a year – that I viewed exercise (or “activity” as WW likes to euphemistically call it) as painful, something to be dreaded and endured. Even though I was going to a personal trainer twice a week, I rarely did anything on the other days. And I often could barely get through my workouts. Sometimes I cried. Sometimes I threw up (I am not kidding). Sometimes I acted like a total whiney wimp so my trainer would have mercy on me and go easy on my poor pathetic self. It wasn’t pretty. I’d also use exercise as a tool to flog myself when I ate too much. Again, NOT pretty.

But things changed when January 2009 and this blog and my diabetes diagnosis rolled around. I knew that I was going to have to step it up or my body and health were in for big trouble. So I upped the trainer to 3x a week, and started myself on the Couch-to-5k running program. It was not so easy at first, but eventually my 60 second runs turned into two minute runs, then three and five and fifteen minutes. Around that time I actually began LOOKING FORWARD to working out. Once I began working out 5-6 times a week, I began feeling that endorphin rush that I had believed was a mythical state of being. I started feeling happier and more energetic. I stopped wanting to take naps every single day.

For many months, I felt like the longer, the harder, the better. I would go to the gym and go at the elliptical like a mad woman. All this was good. I got a lot stronger. I lost weight. All good!

But I started thinking, how the heck am I going to keep this up when I am sixty years old? Seventy? The idea of it made me feel kind of nervous and worried.

Not long ago, a friend of mine brought me to a Nia class for the first time. It was really one of the most unusual exercise experiences I have ever had. I was not sure what to make of it. I sort of mocked it but I had to admit that it made me feel good, and after that class, I really wanted to do it again (that’s always a good sign!). So yesterday I went to my second class. It was even better than the first one. I enjoyed it so much. The teacher had fabulous dimples (I am a complete sucker for dimples) and kept using words like “juicy” and “gooey” and “yummy.” She was just like that – yummy! and really happy. At the end of the class she put on this song called “Dream” and she was singing along with it really loudly and joyfully, just like you sing in the car with the windows rolled up. I mean, she really belted it out and it was so great! I did not have the guts to belt it out along with her, but it was great to hear.

Today I went to another class, at another place. This teacher was super graceful, elegant and willowy and just beautiful to watch. (that’s her in the photo above!!) She was so cool. The other two Nia classes I went to both made me want to laugh out loud (I did, actually) but today’s class had me almost crying in parts. I got really emotional and lump-in-throat as we were moving around. But in a good way.

If you look at the Nia website, one of the testimonials has this woman saying she used to pump iron and such, but now all she does is Nia and she is in super amazing shape. And I had to think, WOW, could you really be in such awesome shape from something that is so much FUN? It does not seem possible. And this is something that seventy year olds can totally do. And thirty year olds.

But I also did not think it was possible to lose weight while eating yummy foods like cheese, brownies, birthday cake and Prosecco. And here I am, doing just that.

It’s made me rethink all the ideas I had about “dieting” and “exercise.” Maybe it doesn’t have to be torture. Maybe the secret is that it CAN’T be torture.  :-)

 

 
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