How To Be Humble

By Laura Moncur @ 10:06 am — Filed under:

I have noticed a strange pattern in my weight loss journey. EVERY time I start to see some success and talk about it here on Starling Fitness, I end up backsliding again. It has made me skittish, superstitious and unwilling to share any positive experiences I’ve had.

I think it all boils down to humility. When I post entries to Starling Fitness, I’m bragging. Somehow, that bragging is the polar opposite of the way I need to act for losing weight. I started Starling Fitness over TEN years ago and it has taken me this long to learn this one simple message.


The act of humility is the one thing that can make losing weight EASIER. EVERY time I’ve humbled myself, admitting that I don’t know everything, I have found a better way of living. The sad truth is that we Westerners just aren’t taught how to be humble. When I did a search, I found mostly religious references, which leave me feeling lost as an atheist. I did find one list on wikiHow:

Lose Weight with Humility from Starling Fitness

Their list of ways to learn how to be humble are:

I’ll be writing about these three methods of humility as they relate to weight loss for the next few days, and hopefully, I’ll be able to learn to share here without sabotaging my efforts.


Starling Fitness Walking Videos: Daybreak in Winter 2014

By Laura Moncur @ 3:02 pm — Filed under:

This morning, it was cold, but at least it was sunny and there was no wind to speak of. It was more than I could expect because the last few weeks had been dreary and miserable. After days and days on the treadmill, it was time to actually go outdoors and enjoy the sunrise, the crunchy snow and the squawking ducks.

Here is the result: Daybreak in Winter 2014. It’s a 26-minute walk that covers just under a mile, but if you’re watching while you’re on the treadmill, you can set your speed as fast or as slow as you need and just follow along.

Here is the map and basic information about the walk from Runkeeper:

Starling Fitness Walking Videos - Daybreak in Winter 2014

You can see the full map and information on Runkeeper here: Walking Activity 0.93 mi | RunKeeper


Sports Movies: I’m Not The Target Audience, And That Is Incredibly Sad

By Laura Moncur @ 8:59 am — Filed under:

I’m not a sporto girl. I have watched scant few sports movies, probably because they don’t really have any female characters who aren’t love interests. In fact, in this list of Top 10 Sports Movie Speeches, I have only seen ONE of the movies, and it was only an honorable mention.

It was League of Their Own, and honestly, the “There’s no crying in baseball,” is one of the most inspiring speeches I’ve ever seen on film. When I fell on my bike, ripped my hands open and bleeding, I thought, “There’s no crying in baseball.” When I’ve been so tired at the end of the 5K Halloween race at Gardner Village and I could barely climb that tiny hill right before the finish, I thought, “There’s no crying in baseball.” If you haven’t seen the whole thing, it’s here”:

After rewatching that speech, however, the BEST part comes when the umpire tells him that he should talk to each of his players like they’re his mother and he calls the umpire a penis with a hat on. I wanted to call the umpire worse. No, Mr. Umpire. We don’t need someone to talk to us like we’re their mother. We need to hear that there’s no crying in baseball!

I think the reason that list of Top 10 Sports Movie Speeches fell so completely flat for me is because I was never the target audience. Sports movies aren’t written for me. They’re written for over-the-hill jock boys who want to relive their past glory days. It’s an entire GENRE of movies that really just doesn’t care about HALF the population.

If find that incredibly sad. Where is the collection of motivational speeches made by women? They are RARE. Hayley in Stick It comes to mind, but her speech isn’t on YouTube. You can see part of it in the movie trailer:

“If you’re gonna eat mat, eat mat hard.” Yeah, don’t hold back. Don’t keep your best for later. Really give it all you’ve got and if you fail, fail hard. Why isn’t her speech on YouTube? Why was it so hard to find even a portion of that speech there?

The only other one I could think of was Bring It On with Gabrielle Union. Her Bring It speech is perfect. After Kirsten Dunst’s team has stolen her routine, her advice to them is spot on:

“You wanna make it right? Then when you go to nationals, bring it. Don’t slack off because you feel sorry for us. That way, when we beat you, we’ll know it’s because we’re better.”

We need more movies like this for our girls, except with ALL sports, not just gymnastics and cheering. Title Nine is not just about providing equal opportunity for girls, we need movies and inspiration for them as well. Until they do, women who could be great athletes will be lost.


How To Get Motivated To Run Every Day

By Laura Moncur @ 1:34 pm — Filed under:

“We should all do the Electric Run together. I think it would be fun,” I said, to the car full of my sister, Stacey, my brother-in-law, Dan, my husband, Mike, and my boy, Sean. Mike asked, “Is that the run where they throw paint all over you?” I laugh. No, that’s the Color Run.

“What? Do they shoot you with paintballs?” Dan asked. I answered, “I don’t think so. I think it’s colored chalk or something.” Mike chuckled, “That’s all I need when I’m trying to run a 5K, inhale a lungful of chalk dust.”

The conversation has gotten away from me and I try to steer it back. “The Electric Run is different. It’s at night and you wear glow necklaces and fluorescent clothing. They have black lights and disco music while you run. It sounds like fun.”

“Sounds great! The only problem I have with it is the ‘running a 5K’ part,” Mike is firm. He doesn’t want to participate in any run, no matter how fun. Dan said, “I’m not interested in that.” I was dropping people left and right. “I want to do that Zombie Chase thing,” Stacey replied.

“We can do that, too.” Now, instead of doing one race, I’ve agreed to do two, one of which, I’m running from Zombies through obstacle courses. “That one we should bring the trailers and camp down there before the race so we don’t have to drive so far,” I suggest. Dan agrees wholeheartedly and suddenly, I have a reason to train and run every day. Our whole family has decided to rally behind Stacey and me for these two races and are planning fun times together for them.

My butt has been on the treadmill EVERY day since this conversation.


The Only Real Failure

By Laura Moncur @ 8:31 am — Filed under:

I saw this picture on Funeral For My Fat and it helped me today.

The only real failure in life is the failure to try. From Starling Fitness

It reads:

The only real failure in life is the failure to try.

I’ve started “trying” again. I have been “trying” for YEARS. I have been “trying” for my whole freakin’ life, actually.

I wrote my first Starling Fitness entry on October 29, 2003. My ten year anniversary came and went without mention because I’m STILL trying. I’m not at a healthy weight. I’m not physically fit. Fighting entropy and my own disordered eating is still a struggle after all of these years.

And I feel like a failure.

Shouldn’t I be at goal by now? I’ve had ten LONG years to do it! Why am I still fighting this?

I may feel like a failure, but I’m not, because I’m still trying. I’m still working on it. Perhaps I will find the way to conquer this ethereal hunger that doesn’t seem to plague skinny people. The only way I can find the answer is to keep looking. Keep working out and to keep trying.


Today Is Another Day To Make Yourself Proud

By Laura Moncur @ 8:20 am — Filed under:

I saw this motivational poster on Fitness, Health, And Confidence and I really love it.

Today is another day to make yourself proud from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Today is another chance to make yourself proud.

When I am feeling like a worthless slug, I forget that it only takes a few, small accomplishments to feel like a superhero. Seriously, the difference between feeling like a complete and utter failure and a successful person is only a few minor chores:

  • Exercise for 20 minutes
  • Eat within my caloric restrictions
  • Clean something in my home
  • Do some work to get paid
  • Meditate for 15 minutes
  • Write in my private journal

Seriously, this is the bare minimum that I have to do to stop feeling like a flatulent bum. It’s such a low bar, but it is so essential for my mental health.

The saddest thing is that I FORGET! I forget that all I have to do is this small list of things to be happy. I can wallow in sadness and lethargy for DAYS without remembering that this is all I have to do to get myself out of the pit.


Why? I’ll tell you: PERFECTIONISM. My mind is wired for perfectionism and it’s not enough for it to exercise for 15 minutes. It has to do an hour of cardio and a full weight-training routine. 20 minutes of walking on a treadmill might be enough to get me out of a depressive funk, but that’s not good enough for my poor, broken mind. Because it sets such impossible standards, I end up doing NOTHING. Instead of doing the measly 20 minutes on the treadmill, I avoid exercise altogether because doing an hour is too hard.

SET YOUR GOALS LOW! Seriously, just set them low and meet them, every freakin’ day. If you do more than your goals, great, but don’t raise the bar. Keep your goals at that minimum and you just might accomplish more than you ever have done before. Be humble about your abilities, accomplish something EVERY day, and you will feel like a superhero instead of a slug.


The Pain I Endure

By Laura Moncur @ 10:34 am — Filed under:

I saw this motivational poster from Fit Facts today and it made me sad.

The Pain I Endure from Starling Fitness

It reads:

The pain I endure became the pleasure that I constantly crave.

I REMEMBER that pleasure and I miss it. When I was running before, however, I didn’t have the problems that I’m having right now. Even a long walk will make my feet ache like they never did before. My bulky and large feet, who have been my good friends all these years, have become fragile and temperamental. I have no idea how to strengthen them to be able to take the pounding that they did before.

I don’t want to injure myself, but I REALLY want to get back into running. I see that poster and it makes me feel so very sad because I WANT it. I want that pleasure of running every day. I want that sigh that I used to have during every run that said, “Yes, this is what I need.”

I don’t know how to get back there, but I want it so much that I’m willing to try again.


Fitbit Flex: A Long Cry From BodyBugg

By Laura Moncur @ 8:56 am — Filed under:

Bodybugg Back in 2005, I first heard about BodyBugg, which used a accelerometer to track body movements and make calorie adjustments for the day on a computer system. I wrote about it here:

My evaluation of these kinds of systems was pretty negative:

In the end, a piece of paper where you write down what exercise you did all day is almost as good and over $500 cheaper.

The thing is, I was WRONG. Pretty damn wrong, actually. After using the ActiveLink with the Weight Watchers system, I realized that I had been GROSSLY overestimating my exercise, even when I used a heart rate monitor. I wrote about that here:

Weight Watchers ActiveLink from Starling FitnessI said:

Since I followed the program exactly, I was very frustrated that I was only losing minimal amounts of weight. I now know why. I am such a SLUG during the day, that I was over-counting my exercise points. What I would have counted as four points, is only showing up as two points with the ActiveLink because my workday is so sedentary.

Suddenly, I realized that there is definitely a benefit to these accelerometers. The WW ActiveLink requires a monthly fee IN ADDITION to the fee that you pay to Weight Watchers to attend their meetings, so I thought I would try out a different one. I decided on the Fitbit Flex.

Fitbit Flex from Starling Fitness

Honestly, my decision to go with the Fitbit Flex was based ENTIRELY on the fact that it worked with the Lose It! app and website, and it had interchangeable bracelets in a variety of colors. It’s a silly reason to choose an exercise gadget, but if I have to wear a bracelet every day, it better match my outfit and look kind of cute. Oh, and my friend, Roland Smith, was using a Fitbit for his workouts and it seemed to be inspiring to him as well, so I was partial to that system.

After only a day’s use, I can’t really give a good evaluation yet; I’ll add updates here later. For now, all I can say is the silent alarms are the ABSOLUTE best! I set one to wake me up this morning and Mike didn’t even turn over. I was able to get up without bothering him a bit.

Additionally, I’ve set the silent alarms to go off for my snack and meal times. I’ve had great success with meal alarms and refeeding myself like an anorexic would. I talked about that before here:

The only problem with the alarms on my phone is that sometimes I’m not where my phone is, so it is chiming away while I’m working, unaware of it. By the time I notice that I’ve past my alarm time, I am starving and ready to eat FAR more than I should. In addition to that, those alarms are kind of embarrassing. I might be in the middle of a conversation with friends and the alarm goes off, disrupting everything. A silent alarm on my wrist is perfect. I turn it off, take the carrot sticks out of my purse and no one even notices.

So far, I love the Fitbit Flex, but the true proof is whether I lose weight when I use it faithfully. I did with the ActiveLink, so I suspect that the Fitbit will be the same, but I won’t know for a few more weeks. I’ll check back here and tell you how it went.

Update 01-13-14

I absolutely ADORE the Fitbit Flex. My favorite part is that it communicates with my Lose It! app, so I don’t have to worry about entering my exercise or adjust my calories. That is taken care of with the Fitbit app and syncing.

I like the Fitbit Flex more than the ActiveLink because I don’t have to pay money every month just to keep it working. They both seem to keep track of my activity as well as the other, but the Fitbit is easier to remember because it’s on my wrist, instead of hidden on my bra strap.

I LOVE the interchangeable bands in so many colors: black, dark blue, orange, lime green, aqua, slate and pink. I get a little thrill every day when I change the band to match my outfit. I don’t know why that is a factor, but I really love it.

I HATE the fastener on the bands, however.

The Fitbit Flex fastener is horrible

How I WISH for a damn buckle! That little thing that is supposed to click into the holes is just HARD to do and not that secure. Please fix this, Fitbit!

I’ve had two problems with activity tracking: crocheting and cycling. If I put the Fitbit on my wrist, there is a serious problem with crocheting (and other repetitive crafts). It will read that I burned FAR more calories than I know I did. I just take it off when I’m crocheting.

When I’m riding the exercise bike, however, I have the opposite problem. It doesn’t register a workout at all. I followed the advice of some to put the bracelet on my ankle in my sock, but that didn’t register anything either. I haven’t solved this problem yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll post here.

On another note, I found a wonderful review of all the wristband fitness trackers here:

I’m happy with my Fitbit Flex and have cancelled my subscription to the ActiveLink, but I’ll keep you posted on further developments here.

Update 01-27-14

I have not been able to get the Fitbit to accurately measure riding on the exercise bike. I’ve tried wearing it around my ankle under my sock and putting the Fitbit into a Nike+ pocket on my shoe. Neither one showed any significant workout, even though I worked my butt off.

Update 01-30-14

Well, it has taken nearly a month, but I’m finally used to the fastener on the Fitbit band. I can easily put it on now, where it would take me upwards of a minute to put it on before. I think I just needed to learn how to use that fastener and push it into the holes, or maybe the holes have stretched out and it’s easier.

On another note, I’ve heard that some people are having trouble with losing their Fitbit because it falls off their wrist. I haven’t had that trouble, but I’ll keep my eyes open for it.

Update 01-12-15

Zover Set Large L Replacement Bands with Clasps for Fitbit FLEX at Amazon.comI have been using the fitBit for over a year now and I still love it. I am excited about the Apple Watch, but until it shows up, I am happy with the Fitbit. I found some replacement bands on Amazon because I wore my black band out and wanted some new ones. These ones were cheap:

I have been really happy with my FitBit and consider it a Higher Power. I was really fooling myself when I took credit for the exercise I did, so now, I believe my FitBit, no matter what it says. I don’t even care when I don’t really get full credit for riding my bike because the app now has a way to tell it that you were exercising on a bike and it can follow along with GPS or you can enter what your stationary bike readout said.

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