Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Getting my Gruve on

I work out at Anytime Fitness, just up the road from my house. I love it. It is small, I can go anytime (bet you couldn't have guessed that from the name, huh?) and it is never overcrowded. And it has the best class with a great trainer at just the right time for me 2 days a week. Fabulous. Recently, they offered a deal on buying a Gruve - it was half the normal cost, and it syncs up with their website, Anytime Health. I have wanted to try the Gruve for a while, since reading about others who got them at FitBloggin' last year, and so I seized the opportunity. 

The idea behind the Gruve, which was developed by the Mayo Clinic, is that it gets you to increase your movement throughout your day. It is a little device which clips onto your waistband and tracks the calories you burn/amount you move all day long. It has a little bar that you press which lights up, and it starts at red and then goes through a range of colors during the day until it reaches green. For the first week you wear it, you are in "assessment mode" so that it can get an idea of how much you are already moving. From then on, it sets a "Green Goal" for you to meet each day, a certain number of calories to burn. If you meet your green goal for several days in a row, it ups the ante. The focus of the product is to increase your Non-Exercise Activity (NEAT), drawing attention to how much you are moving around during your normal day. If you haven't moved in an hour, it vibrates three times to tell you to get up because your metabolic rate is about to drop. 

I have been in assessment all week, and starting today should be getting my goal. It is currently evaluating my week. So far, I really like being able to see how much I am (or am not) doing. I like the graphs, and I like that it encourages me to get off my butt. I work out 5 days a week, but some days after I hit the gym, I end up in front of the computer or reading for hours at a time, resulting in very little movement. Wanting to hit a certain number keeps me conscious of that. 

In addition, the Anytime Health website has a diet tracker, where you can track the calories you consume throughout the day. Now let me say, I loathe counting calories. Or at least I always have. Yes, I know it works, I know it is the best way to track what I am putting into my body, and I know that most successful weight losers do it. But it has always felt like so much extra work and so restricting and so time consuming. Well, I gave in and am using the tracker online. Some of my tracking isn't exact right now - I made soup and just did my best guess rather than adding up everything that went in there and then dividing it all out to see what a serving size was, etc. (I cook without recipes the majority of the time, so having to measure everything I am putting in there? Yeah, I am not there yet.) But it is pretty close, and so far it is resulting in some weight loss. And it is making me very conscious of what I am putting in my mouth. I realize that at some point it won't be enough and I will have to be more exact, but for now it is good.

So that is where I am at now. I still haven't found my rhythm with the healthy living thing - I lost it when my daughter had surgery and haven't regained it since, but I am going with the "fake it till you make it" plan, and hoping that high comes back and helps carry me through. 

Oh, and reading back over this, I realize it sounds like an advertisement for Anytime Fitness and the Gruve, but it isn't. Nor is it a real product review. Just me sharing what is going on in my life. 

Hope you all have a good day. 

Monday, January 17, 2011


I have spent countless hours sitting in front of this computer, fingers poised over the keyboard, just trying to write something here so that my already small group of readers doesn't become smaller. But anything that my fingers clickety-clacked out seemed forced, or trite, or boring. I just couldn't do it. My head would fog over, I would stare into space, and nothing would get posted. 

This is actually how the rest of my life has been going as of late too. I know there are things that need to be done. Piles of laundry, stacks of dishes. Time to spend with kidlets. But it all seems so overwhelming right now that I can't even get started. 

My workouts have been kind of a crapshoot. Two or three days of making it count, then three or four of not. The gnawing knowledge that this isn't going to cut it, that I can do better, nipping at me through the fog. Sometimes it is like my mind is working, but can't get my body to comply. 

I am sure that my iron is low, that I am not getting enough sleep, that I feel run down and lonely too. The days here in Northern California are grey and cold. Maybe it is the winter blues? I don't know, but I feel like a piece of driftwood caught in a slow tide, ebbing just off the shore, not quite able to make it to the sand and stability of the beach, but watching it as it comes in and out of focus all day. I need something to grab onto to pull myself out of this place, or helping hands to get me up. But instead I am floating. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Old Year Hangover

Somehow that new year feeling has dodged me. It is elusive in a way that it has never been before. I have been reading on all the blogs about how people are loving this shiny new year, the chance to begin again to work on themselves. Some are making resolutions, some are against resolutions but are continuing in their dedication to bettering themselves. Over here? I am being hit in waves by things that are not-so-great about my life right now, both old and new. The stresses are heavy, and my resolve and determination currently belong in the light-weight division. My ability to deal in a sane, non-self-destructive way is nearly nonexistent.

In an attempt to grab onto a life preserver, I am throwing out into the blogosphere one major goal for the year. Something that will require training, dedication, and commitment. Something that I can control, because so many things right now I can't. Here goes:

For me, Morgan Joyner, 2011 will be the year of the half-marathon. No, you didn't imagine that I said that, and you don't need to rub your eyes and look at it again to be certain. I said it, and I meant it. This year I will run a half-marathon. I am currently in the process of finding which one I will enter, and researching training plans. I will let you know what I find. I am leaning towards the Disneyland Half Marathon, which has a hefty entrance fee and would be heavy heavy motivation not to give up partway through the year.

If anyone out there is reading this and has any useful advice for me concerning running 13 miles, please please please impart it here. Keep in mind that I KNOW NOTHING. I have run exactly one 5k as far as races go. And I plan on going for completion, not to win.

I will try to muster up some positivity for my next post, because it hasn't all been crap sandwiches around here - there has been a small side dish of good-times salad. Maybe tomorrow I can share some of that with you all.