Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

My newest obsession: Getting in shape January 22, 2012

Filed under: Fitness — Stephanie @ 9:15 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A lot of people made new years resolutions.  Many centered around getting healthier.  And I’ve decided that I’m going to jump on the bandwagon.

I guess the other big resolution a lot of people focus on is getting a handle of their finances, paying off debt, etc.  I’d like to think I have the money thing under control.

So, getting fit.  Getting in shape.  Losing weight.  Eliminating muffintops.  Whatever you want to call it.  I’d like to think I’m ready to tackle this.

I’ve set some goals.  There’s a weight goal.  I’d like to be closer to 125lbs.  I also want to go to the gym at least twice a week (to start).  I want to be stronger.  I want to be able to jog/run a 5k and finish in the top half of the results (the times I’ve done 5ks have been jog/walks where my time is on one of the last pages).  I want to eliminate the chubbiness around my middle.

Okay, I have a lot of goals.  Maybe too many all at once.  I’ve gotten all excited about getting into shape before, only to burn out and end up wasting having a gym membership (a scandal for the personal finance world and the fitness world alike!  Luckily I don’t have a horribly high membership fee…but still!)

But as you know, there’s one thing I love when it comes to personal finance:  tracking websites.  And the same holds true for my new fitness goals.  Yes, tracking has failed before, but I think I’m gaining motivation and momentum by having accounts at so many places 🙂

I joined LoseIt.com after a few people told me how much it was helping them lose weight and control what they eat.  They also have apps for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch as well as Android (and apparently on other gadgets like the Nook and through the Amazon App Store), if that’s more your thing.  I don’t have a smartphone, so I’ve stuck with the website.  What I like about this site is that it gives you a calorie budget, and you can track your food and exercise, and it has a pretty comprehensive database of calorie content (for food) and calories burned (for exercise).  It even has Wii Fit exercises!  You can add friends on the site and for mutual support.  And you know how much I like sites where you can earn badges (like Payoff.com), and this site awards you badges for accomplishments, like sticking with the site for even a few days  (little stuff to keep you motivated), to losing 10lbs, to working out multiple times a week.

What else am I using?  Well, work is again sponsoring a website that encourages you to get in shape.  I’ve formed a team with my coworkers, and we’re going to be competing in the weight loss, exercise, and pedometer steps categories.  We’ll be tracking our progress in those categories.  I like having a team with my coworkers, since we’ll be supporting (and nagging) each other to eat healthier and get some extra exercise.

The rest of my websites are connected to my iPod Nano.  One of the cool features of the latest generation Nano is that it has a Nike+ sensor/pedometer built in (no shoe widget required).  So I’ve been able to track my runs and steps (recorded as Nike Fuel) through their online sites.

I’ve used MapMyRun on and off for a few years.  So one thing I’m excited about getting back to using it is that it will sync with my Nike+ runs and record them automatically.  So that makes things easy 🙂

And lastly, I joined Earndit, a site that syncs with many of the tracking services (like Nike+, Fitbit, and others) and allows you to earn points, which you can spend on rewards.  I like earning points and rewards!  They also have challenges sponsored by fitness-related companies from time to time with prizes available to the best scorers.  And even if you don’t have any of the supported devices, if you have a smart phone, you can earn points by checking in on Foursquare when you go to the gym!

So, yes.  I’m using a lot of different websites.  That’s how I roll.  But other than using a million websites (and posting inspirational images/informative posts on Pinterest), I am committing myself to the habits that will get me towards my goals.  Watching what I eat, replacing unhealthy food with healthy food, going to the gym for cardio, weights, or yoga a few times a week.  Walking to nearby places instead of driving.  The little things that can get me to where I want to be.

I’ve also made goals to reward myself for good behavior.  Like buying myself a FitBit Ultra after my Nike+ running log says I’ve gone 50 miles this year.  I’m not there yet, but I’ve heard really good things about the FitBit from others (like Elizabeth and Kristen), and it also works with the websites I mentioned above.  Basically I like data.  So the more data, the better.

So, what do you use for motivation or tracking your weight loss/exercise/fitness?  Are you members on any of the sites I mentioned (want to be friends with me on there)?  Do you think I can actually get in shape this time?  Or am I starting out too intense and will just end up lying on the couch eating ice cream?  The past few weeks have gone relatively well.  Only time will tell.  I’d love to hear about your fitness techniques!  Please share your advice!

(FYI, I’m linking to all these sites merely as recommendations.  I am not being compensated in any way for mentioning them.  Though if they’d like to give me some free stuff, I’ll take it 😛  and then of course I’d update this disclaimer)

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11 Responses to “My newest obsession: Getting in shape”

  1. As someone that knows you and being in your position at one point in my life, sleep is also a very important factor. You should try to get 7-8 hours a night and not eat 2 hours before bed. The more regular sleep you get you’ll also not start weird eating habits as well. I look forward to encouraging you!

    • Stephanie Says:

      Thanks for your advice and encouragement! I have heard (and also seen from past experience) that keeping bad hours (staying up late/waking up late/not sleeping enough) is bad for the body (and the mind!). Will try to go to bed at a reasonable hour 🙂 Routine is key!

  2. Emily Hunter Says:

    Great kudos on working on becoming fit and getting in shape! 🙂 You can definitely do it with all of the tools that you’ve put into place – when I’m needing the inspiration and the calorie counting and community and badges, I tend to use Sparkpeople. They’ve got one of those close knit sorts of things going on, but what I really love about them is the fact that they have most of the calorie and nutritional info already on hand.

    • Stephanie Says:

      Thanks for the kudos! I’ll have to check out Sparkpeople…though maybe I shouldn’t add TOO many more websites to the mix 😛 I fear that if I join too many sites, I’ll end up just going crazy and not sticking to any of them 🙂

  3. Annelise Says:

    Ooohhh…I will look into EarnedIt.

    I want to try GymPact, but I have to wait until they come up with an Android app. Alternatively, I guess I could use Stickk but the temptation to cheat would be too high, I think.

    • Stephanie Says:

      GymPact seems pretty cool, though I guess I can’t do it without a smartphone. And yeah, Stickk is more self-regulating, right? And they donate to someone you hate? I don’t know how I would feel about that. Too much pressure, or maybe a desire to cheat on my goals!

  4. Kevin McKee Says:

    The best way I have found to hold myself accountable to my fitness goals is blogging about it and working out with a partner. With those two things combined, I know I’ll stick to my workout.

    Diet, on the other hand, is really hard. I’ve tried tracking stuff on smartphone apps, but I just don’t do it often enough and it’s very hard to figure out what to put in for a home cooked meal.

    • Stephanie Says:

      I might end up blogging about my progress (depending on how people feel about that). As for working out with a partner, I still haven’t really done that. My boyfriend is way more in shape than me, so any outdoor activities don’t work out well 😛 I’d love to find a person to go to the gym with.

      And the diet side, I’ve been just trying to be more aware of what I’m doing and trying to find healthier alternatives. And so far, the website isn’t perfect when it comes to homecooked meals, but I usually can find a suitable stand in for tracking calories.

  5. Julia Says:

    I’ve been doing Yoga Journal’s 21 day challenge on socialworkout.com. The automatic goals set up for you are to practice once a day, meditate 15 minutes a day, and eat one vegetarian meal a day. I’ve also added goals to get to bed on time, not be late for work, and eat healthy lunches. Tracking my progress is great motivation. I will check out some of the tracking websites you listed, too. Map my run and Nike are especially appealing.
    Julia

  6. I think your goals to get in shape are fantastic, and also very achievable. Being healthy has such a positive impact on all other aspects of life. It can make you want to go on a financial diet and get rid of debt, improve family relations, and even help you find the motivation to improve work situations.

  7. belowhermeans Says:

    I’m trying to shed some pounds and get toned up too. I learned about myfitnesspal.com from Money Rabbit and after tracking calories for a couple weeks, I see why I haven’t lost anything! Sunday was when I really began a concerted effort. I’d love to keep up with your progress.


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