Follow Along with My Whole30 Experience

About a week ago I mentioned that I’d be embarking on the Whole30 challenge. My 30 days officially began yesterday. I want to keep track of what I eat and how I feel but for those of you not interested, I don’t want to overwhelm this blog with food and feelings posts. For those who are interested, I’ll be keeping track on another Tumblr account with daily recaps, you can follow it HERE

I’ll link to it occasionally from Shapin’ Up and if you need Whole30 or Paleo food inspiration, check it out.

Newest Triathlon Outfit from Coeur Sports!

I’ve been feeling a bit unmotivated since the NYC Tri a month ago but I’ve got to get my head back in the game because I have one more triathlon this weekend in DC! One thing that’s got me excited is my new outfit from Coeur Sports

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Most tri outfits are…how do I put this nicely…well, they are ugly! They are often unflattering and boring. I’m happy to see that sports companies are finally bringing together fashion and function. I tried on my Coeur outfit and I’m already in love. The colors are great, it’s flattering and it’s comfortable. One of my biggest complaints with tri shorts is that they sometimes squeeze unflatteringly at your tights and waist. These don’t do this, they are tight enough that they will stay in place but they aren’t cutting off my circulation and giving me extra noticeable thunder thighs.

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The top has pockets in the back to store Gu or whatever nutrition you require during a race or a long ride. The pieces are made from the right material to avoid chafing and I think it will dry pretty quickly once I exit the swim portion of the race.

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If you’re headed to Nations Tri next weekend, look for me in this outfit! And if you’re in the market to up your tri gear, head over to Coeur Sports and get yourself a new outfit.

Fitness Tracker Review: Runtastic Orbit

New fitness trackers seem to be popping up on a daily basis. Thanks to the lovely folks at Fit Approach, I’ve had the opportunity to test drive one of the newest bands, the Runtastic Orbit.

Like many other trackers, this one tracks steps and sleep but has some fun features that other bands lack. My favorite is that it’s waterproof. You can shower, swim, do the dishes and not worry about your band getting wet. The actual device is excellent and seems like it can hold up against intense activities.

Some other trackers are a bit too fragile for my taste (and activity level) but when I wear the Orbit I’m not worried that I’ll break it (I’ve already broken three UP bands!).  The look of the band is fine. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. What I do love is that you can view the time and your steps on the device. If I’m going to wear one of these bands it might as well tell me the time. If you don’t like it as a watch you can use a clip to put it elsewhere. You also have the option of a variety of band colors so you can switch it up every so often. I do wish it looked a bit more fashionable. I’m not sure why Tory Burch+FitBit is the only brand to make a fitness tracker a fashion accessory but other brands need to get on it!

The Orbit comes with an app and the band uses blue tooth to automatically upload your data when you open the app. This is a huge plus, it takes only  a few seconds to get your data in the system. The app is pretty basic, it shows where you are against your sleep and step goal, your active minutes, your calories and your total distance walked. If I could change the app I’d make it social so you can connect with friends using the Orbit, for now though it’s just you viewing your data. You also can only scroll backwards one week to look at your data and you aren’t given any overall data, just day-to-day.

There are some functions I haven’t quite figured out yet because it seems like there are multiple Runtastic apps that you can use with the band (like a running/workout specific app). I’d prefer if all features were included in the one app to make it a bit more user friendly. I’m new to Runtastic and am not sure of how to get the most out of the band. Within one app I would add a workout tracker (so I can note if I’m cycling, running, playing tennis, etc) and a food tracker. The battery life is only about 5-7 days. I wish that it said exactly how many days were left before your battery died but instead it shows you a bunch of lines and how many are left, this isn’t super helpful when figuring out when you need charge it. It will vibrate when it’s almost dead so that’s something.

The sleep function isn’t perfect. When you’re going to sleep you press the button to indicate you are going to sleep and then you press the button again when you wake up. The tracker notes all of this time as “sleep” but obviously I didn’t immediately fall asleep upon hitting the button. You get a sleep efficiency percentage number but I don’t really know what this means in terms of my total time asleep. I think that all trackers are slightly flawed when it comes to tracking sleep (how does it know if I’m awake or just moving in my sleep?) but this one still needs work.

Overall, I think this is an excellent tracker in terms of the actual device. The steps recorded seem accurate, it makes me take more steps than I would if I wasn’t wearing one and I’m not worried that I’ll break it. Bonus points for being able to wear it in the pool! I’d love to see a more sophisticated app to go along with it and I believe there are changes/updates coming. I’m looking forward to seeing what Runtastic has in store!

Do you use a fitness tracker? Which one do you like?

Maine Vacation Recap

For the 4th summer in a row MM and I headed up to Maine with Mike & Sara for a relaxing weekend by the water. With no real agenda we had plenty of time to get away from city life, enjoying coffee on the dock each morning, runs through the woods, boat rides and floating around. Apparently the only picture I took of myself is of my legs (in my new favorite leggings- Surf Leggings by Roxy). Not pictured is a rainy day spent doing a puzzle, watching Good Will Hunting, SUP time, kayaking and jet skiing.

Sitting at my desk now, I wish I was back up there! But in other news, after today I only have two days left at this desk, then I’ll get a few days off before starting a new job! More on that later. For now, let’s just stare at these pictures and pretend we are there.

Weekend Reading: It Starts With Food (& Whole30 Details)

I’ve been seeing posts about Whole30 around the internet and it piqued my interest. After playing around on the site for a while, I purchased the book  you’re supposed to read before starting the program. I brought the book on my vacation to Maine this weekend and in two days read the entire thing and was ready to start my Whole30 journey.

It Starts With Food lays out a “clear, balanced, sustainable plan to change the way you eat forever.” The book goes into the science behind our food cravings and why certain things should be eliminated from our diets. The 30 day plan is basically very strict Paleo. While I may claim that I eat “Paleo-ish” i go through phases and I cheat. all. the. time. Whole30 is appealing to me as a way to reset my system, no cheats allowed. In fact, in Whole30 if you cheat once, you go back to day 1. They mean business.

The book is scattered with personal accounts of different Whole30 participants and the drastic and amazing way it has changed their lives. While I don’t have the issues (diabetes, joint pain, obesity, etc) that these people have, I wouldn’t consider my relationship with food the best and I want to take on this challenge and see what 30 days of clean healthy eating would do for me.

This isn’t the first time I’ve taken on a different way of eating but generally I give up and cheat. I’m hoping with 30 days set in front of me, I’ll stick to the plan. If you’re curious about Whole30 I recommend surfing the site and if you’re still interested, buy the book; it gives perspective on all the eating guidelines of the program. Unlike other “diet” books (although this one doesn’t like to be categorized as such), I like that this one has a whole chapter on how to deal with naysayers and people who tell you you’re being crazy (I get told I’m being crazy all the time and I’m still working out how to respond properly to this).

Scheduling when to do the 30 days is tough. There is always something that will come up and will throw your eating off. In the end though, we just need to make the commitment and stick to it.

I’m starting my Whole30 plan on Monday, September 1st. If you’re interested, please join me and we’ll do this thing together! Shoot me a message at ShapinUpFitness@gmail.com and we’ll keep each other on track.

Product Review: FlipBelt (plus a discount!)

Whenever I go on a run I have a small packing list: ID, credit card, a couple of bucks, keys, cell phone. All necessities and when brought along on a run, it adds up. I usually opt for shorts or leggings with a pocket but even so I end up holding my phone and sometimes my keys. This weekend I tested out a FlipBelt and it answered my running prayers.

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I’ve used running belts before but this one out performed the others. This belt tightly fits on your waist or hips and stays in place. Because it’s snug, the contents in the pockets don’t move at all. I hate noisy keys while running and this didn’t occur with the FlipBelt. The belt has a few openings to put your items in, there aren’t zippers so I thought my items could fall out but they didn’t. Because there aren’t zippers and there are multiple openings it was easy to take out what I needed mid-run without digging around. 

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I wore the belt biking and running and it was great for both. It would also be good for hikes and walks around the neighborhood.

I got the Aqua belt and apologies for my horrible workout clothing choices this weekend. I was away in Maine and apparently only packed striped clothing.

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Compared with the other running belts I’ve tried, this one was the best in terms of holding everything I needed without any bounce. I’ve already recommended the belt to a few friends and now I’m recommending it to you.

If you’re in the market for a running belt, act now and get the FlipBelt (originally $28.99) at 10% off, use code “sweat33” (expires 9/4)

Happy running!