Sunday, March 10, 2013

ActiveLink explanation

Thanks so much for the kind comments on my post about binge eating yesterday! If there is one thing I've learned while blogging about it, it's that I'm not alone. I can see that many of you relate to binge eating as well.

Yesterday was a rest day, so it was a challenge getting in 100% of my activity on my ActiveLink. Someone asked me to explain a little about how the ActiveLink works. I don't know the exact science of it, but basically, it's a little clip that you wear on your chest or waist (I wear mine on my underwear band, so it's hidden under my pants). This is what it looks like:
The little lights on there are usually not lit up like that. Each day, my goal is to get in enough activity (any sort of exercise like running, biking, walking, etc., plus daily activities like cleaning) to light up each light to get to 100% (or more).

When the bottom right corner is fully lit, it means I've reached 25%; when the bottom right and the bottom middle buttons are full lit, it means I've reached 50%. Another light would be 75%. And the top left corner is 100%. (The two that aren't lit up are 125% and 150%). When I take the ActiveLink off and set it on a flat surface, the lights will come on to show how close I am to my goal. When I plug it into the computer, the computer shows my exact percentage and how many activity PointsPlus I've earned.

The ActiveLink isn't just a pedometer--it actually measures movement from left to right, forward and backward, and up and down. It's actually been really accurate for me so far. You can see how it might get addicting to try and get those lights to come on! (Beth from Beth's Journey wrote a better explanation of it, which you can find here).

Yesterday evening, Jerry and I had a "date night", because the kids were at my parents' house. I really wanted to go get ice cream, but I wasn't even at 50% of my goal for the day. So I suggested we go to the State Park to walk the trail (it's 3.1 miles) and then if I'd reached 100%, we could go get an ice cream at McDonald's.

So we went to the park, and it was FREEZING outside. The temp said 37, but it felt a lot colder than that while we were walking by the lake. Ice cream didn't even sound good at that point--but I knew that I'd still want it when we got back to the car ;) It took us just under an hour to finish the walk, and when we got back to the car, I unclipped my ActiveLink and watched the lights start to come on.
25%...
50%...
75%...
and then a flashing light, which means that I was at least halfway through getting the fourth light to come on (so I was between 87-99%). Bummer!

I was disappointed, but not terribly so, because I was absolutely freezing. I just kept thinking of getting home and making some hot tea to warm my hands. Once I got home, put on some warm PJ's, and drank some tea, I was in the mood for ice cream again. This time, we just went to Kroger and I got a small container of ice cream to bring home and have in the warm house.

This morning, I woke up, looked at the clock, and thought, "Holy crap, I slept in!!" and I was really excited that I got so much sleep--until I realized that we moved the clocks ahead last night. Doh! I had a four mile run scheduled today, and I wanted to get it done first thing. There was no reason not to run outside, but I chose to do the treadmill. I just REALLY didn't feel like running this morning. I watched an episode of Sons of Anarchy while I ran, then I walked a little afterward until the episode was over.
This afternoon, my boys wanted to go for a walk, and of course I said yes! I am so excited that they are enjoying going for walks. We stopped at the park for them to play for a little bit before coming home. After my run, and that walk, I'd reached 125% of my goal for the day!

I feel really puffy, even though I've been doing well with counting my PointsPlus this week. Normally, I don't eat out much, but this weekend was pretty bad--I went to La Pita, had take-out pizza, a cookie from Mrs. Fields, and ice cream yesterday. So even though I've counted the PP in everything, I just feel kind of gross from eating all that. The next couple of days are uneventful, so hopefully I'll get my food back to the norm!

11 comments:

  1. So it doesn't need contact with your skin, like a heart rate monitor? That's nice! And does is it only available or work with WW?

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    1. No, it doesn't have to be in contact with your skin. Unfortunately, it's ONLY for Weight Watchers--it's useless if you're not doing their program. But I've heard that the FitBit is very similar, and that works with calorie counting.

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  2. So, are you as obsessed with your ActiveLink as I am with my FitBit counting all of my movement? I sleep with my FitBit on my nightstand and clip it to me before I get out of bed in the morning. I want to make sure I get "credit" for everything. ;-)

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    1. I sleep with it clipped to my nightshirt. Have to get credit for the potty breaks in the middle of the night! LOL

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    2. I also love tracking my sleep with the fitbit! I think that's a major reason why I wouldn't want to switch to the ActiveLink. I like looking back at my week and seeing if my high sleep nights corresponded to better decisions the next day. It would be nice if it was all in the same place, but I'd have to switch to MFP instead of Weight Watchers.

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  3. If you ever want a healthy alternative to ice cream so you can feel like you have gotten your fix, you should get a Yonanas machine. It turns frozen bananas into soft serve. But you can put other frozen fruits in it too. I love it! I definitely helps me curb those ice cream cravings, and ice cream is my go-to sinful treat.

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  4. I lost about 20 lbs before couting calories with MFP, but inspired by you I've decided to give weight watchers a try! The big counting got tedious for me. Today is literally day one (as of maybe 10 minutes ago) and I did have one question for you - do you swap your activity on a daily or weekly basis? When I counted I would work out to earn more food (I love food!) but was curious what you did since it's working for you so well?

    I know everyone is different, and I think I alreayd know which way I'm leaning :) But since you've been doing the program and know it fairly well I didn't you if you had an opinion on it. ThankS!

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    Replies
    1. I've done it both ways--for the past few weeks, I've been swapping weekly, but this week, I switched it over to daily (where I have to use my activity PP the day I earn them). I really don't think it makes much difference, though!

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  5. Sounds like that Activelink is serving a dual purpose--it keeps track of your activity, and also motivates you to hit 100% every day. I need something like that. I took care of all 3 grandkids this weekend. WHEW! They kept me jumping, more than usual. So maybe I burnt a few extra calories that way??

    I was wondering about your walk in the cold. I just read a long article about burning more calories when you're cold, (Freezing to be Thin? http://www.wired.com/playbook/2013/02/ff-cold-weight-loss/) so maybe you burnt enough calories, even though the Activelink didn't show 100%?

    I have to get off the computer now, as it's time for my ice bath!

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  6. Fitbit Flex is a band you will be able to wear on your wrist...like the Fuelband. It is fixing to be released and I can't wait(I am a calorie counter)
    Just want to say I am enjoying your blog Runs For Cookies!

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  7. You may have answered this elsewhere and I missed it....

    Have you noticed a difference in your weight since using it? I know you're maintaining which may make it hard to tell, but I'm wondering if it's something that would help me lose again.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)