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
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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 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, 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)


A trip to Haymarket July 15, 2008

Filed under: Boston,Fitness,Food,Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 2:33 pm
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Just wanted to post briefly on a trip my boyfriend and I took to Haymarket.  For those of you not familiar with Haymarket, it’s basically an open-air produce market downtown in Boston, near Faneuil Hall.  It’s a bit of a Boston landmark, and I’ve been there before, but sometimes it can be a bit of a tourist trap (the most expensive produce tends to be at the ends).  There’s a lot of produce to choose from, but you have to keep in mind that most of the fruit and vegetables are right at their peak freshness.  You’ll be tempted by the prices, but don’t buy more than you need, unless you’re good at preserving/freezing/storing fruit and vegetables.  I remember a few years ago I went, and fell prey to the beauty of cheap and fresh fruit.  Needless to say, plenty of the fruit I bought went bad before I could enjoy it.

To give you an idea of what the prices are, we paid $1 for 8 peaches, $1 for 10 limes (we’ll be making limeade), $1 for a pineapple, $1 for 4 apricots, $1 for a pound of strawberries, and $1 for a bag of 4 garlic bulbs.  I think the price for 3lbs of bananas and 3 limes were also $1.  So yes, it’s cheap.  It’s definitely exciting to get such good deals, and my boyfriend and I have be getting good use out of my magic bullet food processor/blender that I got for Christmas to make all sorts of different fruit smoothies.

Another thing to note is that not all the fruit and vegetables are locally grown.  Much of the produce comes from the Chelsea Produce Terminal nearby.  The vendors at Haymarket find the best deals in Chelsea during the week and then sell them to consumers on Friday and Saturday. (read this news story for more information).

There are also stores in Haymarket that sell fresh meat, fish, cheese, and bread.  I’ve never bought anything from that group, but I’m guessing they’re good deals as well.

I’d like to think that this trip to Haymarket was also helping out my plan to be a healthier person.  We walked around and window-shopped afterward (well, I did go into Crate and Barrel and buy a $3 juicer for the limeade, a bit of an impulse buy), but we got quite a bit of walking in, and it was a beautiful day.  I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but I’ve been using MapMyRun to track how much I’ve been exercising.  Granted, most of the walking I do is to and from the subway, but I was excited to find that our walk around Downtown combined with our walk to and from the T added up to 4.13 miles.  Yeah, that’s pretty awesome!  I was also able to enter my workouts that I mentioned in a previous post.  If you enter enough information, it will give you an approximate number of calories that you burned, or the pace that you ran/walked, which I think is pretty cool.  And of course, eating plenty of fruit is a pretty healthy move.  I’m thinking if I’m craving something sweet, it’s better to eat a peach than some ice cream!

So, there’s my review of Haymarket, and MapMyRun, I guess.  I’ve got some pretty exciting news about my job search, but I’ll wait until everything is official before I post…stay tuned!


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