fitness · healthy living

TIU Bikini Series 2017

It’s been over a year, but I found my way back to this blog. I got engaged, bought a house, got married and adopted a dog. A lot has changed and as busy as life has been, I missed this place, so I’m back.

Although things may be different on the outside, not much has changed when it comes to health and fitness. Exercise and healthy eating have continued to be important parts of my life and I’m now gearing up for the Tone it Up 2017 Bikini Series challenge. I’ve been a TIU nutrition plan member for about two years now and I loosely did the challenge last year, but didn’t blog about it. This year I’m going to track my progress here.

For anyone who doesn’t know about the Bikini series, it’s a free 8 week fitness and lifestyle challenge with daily workouts, healthy recipes, social media check-ins and prizes. It starts April 24th, so if you haven’t signed up yet there’s still time!

As a TIU member, I was able to purchase the TIU bikini bundle at a discounted price. The bundle includes exclusive digital workouts and some awesome swag to get you ready and motivated to rock the challenge. I can’t wait to start! If you’re interested in learning more about the workouts and meal plan stop by here for weekly updates.

See you soon!






healthy living

Jawbone Up: Week 1

I’ve had my Jawbone Up for one week now so I thought I’d put together a little review of my experience so far. I know before I took the leap and purchased my Jawbone, I scoured the internet for reviews and blog posts about various trackers like the FitBit, the Nike FuelBand, Jawbone Up24 and the Polar Loop.

I ultimately narrowed my choices down to either a Jawbone Up or a FitBit Flex, however I liked the look of the Jawbone Up better. I also stumbled across a sale on the Jawbone Up v2 so I was able to purchase it for $60 (not including shipping). It was originally $129.99, which is also the price of the Up24.

Jawbone Up v2

I’ve been wearing my band 24/7. I only take it off briefly while I shower. Technically, it’s splash proof, but I don’t want to take the chance that anything could happen to it. I was a little nervous going into my purchase because I read that a lot of people have had issues with their Up band dying after about four months. I also read it wasn’t accurate, etc., etc. After a lot of googling, I realized every tracker has complaints against it and ultimately just went for it.

Here are my thought so far:

Setup: Setup was fairly easy. Download the app, create an account and you’re good to go. The problem is the directions stop there. If you want to learn about integrating apps like MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper then you’ll have to look elsewhere. The information packet that comes with your band won’t go over any of that. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to read about these things online. Also, the LED light in my band is red. I kept expecting it to turn green when charged, but that didn’t happen and only after watching a YouTube video did I realize that was normal.

Modes: The UP band has four modes: active, sleep, stopwatch and power nap. I haven’t used power nap and I probably won’t. I’m not a napper. Never have been. As far as I can tell, the step count in active mode is pretty accurate when you’re actually walking. It’s hard to tell how accurate the step count is for a run. I typically put the band in stopwatch mode so I can segment off my run. When I check the results the mileage is always off as well as the length of time I used stopwatch mode. To correct that, I use RunKeeper to add in my workout. That gets the mileage right, but I don’t know how that affects the step count in the UP app.

Meal Tracking: I use MyFitnessPal to log my meals. The app is great. It has just about every food you can imagine and it syncs perfectly with the UP app. I’m not strict about logging my meals since I’m not interested in weight loss, but if I was this would be a great tool.

Sleep Mode: This is by far one of the band’s best features. You can set a wake up time (mine is 5:00 am) and the band will vibrate to wake you up gently while you’re in a light sleep. I’ve definitely felt more refreshed waking up this way, but it’s important to note that the app will wake you up to a half hour before your designated time so many mornings the band actually vibrates at 4:30 am.

Power: My band lasts about a week without a charge as advertised, but I’m assuming that will change the longer I have it.

Wear: My band is comfortable. I think it’s pretty subtle looking. I wouldn’t wear it with a dress, but I do wear it at the office everyday. I bought isopropyl alcohol to clean it, which I do after every workout. I use a Q-tip to wash the outside and so far, so good. I haven’t noticed any discoloration and the band looks squeaky clean.

Sync: The Jawbone Up v2 plugs into your phone to sync. This doesn’t bother me, but I know some people think that’s a pain. The Jawbone Up 24, which is more expensive, syncs via Bluetooth. The syncing works pretty well, but every once in a while it fails for no apparent reason and I have to try it multiple times before it succeeds. Thankfully, this is rare.

Cons: There’s no calibration feature…at least not one I can find in my version of the band. This means you can’t calibrate your step count, which kind of stinks. Then again, I’m not sure how much that actually matters for regular steps. It would come in handy during a run though.

Pros: I’m much more aware of how often I’m moving and it is freakin hard to reach the recommended 10,000 steps a day if I don’t go for a run. I’m a lot more conscious of getting up during the day since my job is mostly sedentary. I do things like go for a walk during lunch and use the bathroom on a different floor so I can sneak in more steps. I like that I’m making the choice to be more active throughout the day.

These are my thoughts so far. I plan to write a follow up review in about a month to see how I feel then.

Are you using a tracker? What’s your favorite part?