The Second Wave of Fitness Bands

By Laura Moncur @ 8:46 am — Filed under:

Microsoft Band from Starling FitnessMicrosoft just announced their Microsoft Band, which, like the Fitbit isn’t a watch replacement, just an activity tracker. After seeing all that Apple promised on their Apple Watch, the only reason that I can see someone buy this is if they use a non-Apple phone and want some sort of fitness tracker that isn’t Fitbit.

FitBit Surge from Starling FitnessFitbit, on the other hand has also joined the second wave of fitness bands with their Charge HR and Surge HR. The Surge is actually a watch in addition to all the other fitness tracking it does, but it’s still about as ugly as… well as ugly as a Casio.

THAT is what the second wave (and even Samsung’s Gear Fit, which I consider part of the first wave) doesn’t get about this. We are WEARING this thing. EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY!!! It NEEDS to be beautiful because we LOOK at it SEVERAL times every day. If it’s not beautiful, we aren’t going to wear it, no matter how many heart rate monitors and GPS trackers you put on it.

That’s part of what Fitbit got right the first time. Because the Fitbit had interchangeable bands, we were able to at least coordinate them with our outfits.

Interchangeable Bands for the Fitbit from Starling Fitness

We could change their appearance so that we didn’t get so sick of the slim plastic sitting on our arms next to our watches.

Tory Burch Fitbit Bracelet from Starling FitnessBut even now, after almost a year of looking at the thing, I’m SICK of it. I’m SICK of the ugly plastic and I REFUSE to pay TWO HUNDRED BUCKS for a Tory Burch bracelet to make it prettier. That Tory Burch bracelet is more expensive than the Fitbit itself. WHY would I do that?!

Why indeed?

When Apple offers me so many design choices and even a way to change the face of my watch to display the data I want, why would I buy the Surge HR or the Microsoft Band?


It all boils down to cost. The Apple Watch is rumored to start at $349, which is a full one hundred dollars more than the others. All of us are worried that the beautiful watch we have our hearts set upon is the NOT the lowest one on the market, so we’ll have to pay even MORE.

Is it worth it?

Is the Apple Watch worth that much more? Especially if you already own a Fitbit? I don’t know about you, but I have been waiting for a beautiful watch that was digital and had countdown alarms and dual time and showed the day and date on the front screen. WAITING for years for this watch, so the fact that Fitbit has upped their game and Microsoft has jumped into the pool doesn’t change my opinion. I want BEAUTIFUL and I’m willing to pay the extra one hundred dollars and wait the extra few months to get it.


How I Feel About Soda Tax

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I saw this video yesterday and it kind of riled me up.

I don’t think soda should be taxed. I also don’t think cigarettes should be taxed. It’s hard to stop drinking sugary drinks. It’s hard to quit smoking. But I don’t want the government sticking its nose in my business. I KNOW huge corporations are trying to sell me sugar water. It’s kind of OBVIOUS. There are commercials for it EVERYWHERE!!

That doesn’t mean that I want the government to step in and tax it.

What I want is to be able to choose on my own. I CHOOSE every day not to drink sugary drinks. I VOTE every day with my pocketbook. I don’t like the idea that the government thinks it needs to make food decisions for me because the minute anyone makes a food off-limits, all I can do is think about the food that I can no longer eat. If the government were to ban broccoli, I would suddenly want to eat a lot of broccoli.

So, how do I feel about big corporations trying to stop a soda tax? Man, I hate to say it, but this time, I’m on the side of the corporations.

Via: robertreich: Berkeley vs. Big Soda I got a call… – Hank’s Tumblr


A Smile Increases Your Face Value

By Laura Moncur @ 7:04 am — Filed under:

Oh, Animal Crossing…

I get the BEST advice from you:

A Smile Increases Your Face Value from Starling Fitness

It reads:

A smile increases your face value.

Isn’t it true?! When I’m walking around with a big, goofy smile on my face, every person I pass smiles back at me, which makes me even happier and makes my goofy smile even BIGGER!

Image via: Animal Crossing New Leaf


Food Avoidance

By Laura Moncur @ 9:07 am — Filed under:

Food is everywhere.

Food Is Everywhere from Starling Fitness

All over my FaceBook and Pinterest boards. I can’t seem to avoid it. But that is EXACTLY what I need to do. I saw this quote today and it really reminded just how great Jennifer Hudson is:

Avoidance is a great tool to get away from food in my face all day long.

  • Jennifer Hudson, I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down, 2012

When I read that book, she really inspired me and I feel like I need to go back and read it again. YES! I CAN avoid food. I can scroll past those posts on Facebook. I can unfollow any boards devoted to food that my friends create. I can excise the food porn out of my life and keep my mind on the important things.

Image via: Food | Deccan Chronicle


An Understanding of Ourselves

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

This quote came up on the Random Quotes Page yesterday and I REALLY needed to see it.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. Carl Jung from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

  • Carl Jung

This is the concept of The Mirror. The idea is that the people in our lives are here to TEACH us something. There is something in everyone that is there to teach us. Some people are open, humble and teachable. Those people just see the beautiful in people, learn from it and emulate it.

Then there are the jerks like me…

I don’t see the the beautiful in people. I just see the ugly. I just see the hypocrisy. I just see the controlling nature. I just see the beautiful and feel envious instead of grasping onto it and making it my own. For me, the people are still there to teach me. Whenever I see the hypocrisy in someone, I need to look for the hypocrisy in myself. When was the last time I was a hypocrite? When I see someone who is controlling, I do the same. When was the last time I tried to control something I should just keep out of? Umm… Two minutes ago? Yeah…

If you spot it, you've got it. If it makes you mad, you've got it bad. from Starling Fitness

If you spot it, you’ve got it.

If it makes you mad, you got it bad.

That’s what my sponsor said to me and though I had learned of the concept of The Mirror, it had never been said to me so clearly and succinctly. Plus, it must be true, because it rhymes.

So, the next time someone really bugs you, get excited! This is one of those rare opportunities to find a problem with yourself and FIX it. You can’t fix that other person, but you can sure as heck fix yourself. The next time you see an ugly face in the mirror, don’t turn away from it. FIX IT within yourself and the face that reflects back to you will be more beautiful.


I Am No One Else’s Higher Power

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

This quote brought up a truth to my mind that I continually have to remind myself.

Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself. Elie Wiesel from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.

  • Elie Wiesel

One of my biggest character defects is a Controlling nature. I want to fix everything. I want to help everyone. If they would all just listen to me and do what I say, they would have an easier life.

The problem with this defect is that it pisses everyone off. No one wants to be lectured to. No one wants to be told what they are doing wrong. It just drives a wedge between me and anyone who I want to “help.” I don’t end up helping anyone, just making them hate me.

I am no one else’s Higher Power.

I think I repeat that phrase to myself several times every day. For example, when I see someone smoking too close to the door, I feel tempted to tell them that they should move. Smoking that close to the door is against the rules. It could mean that the building owner is fined. It’s kind of irritating to have to walk through a cloud of smoke on the way into the building. All of these thoughts go through my head and then I need to remind myself.

I am no one else’s Higher Power.

I’m not the smoker’s Higher Power. It’s not my job to tell her the rules. I’m not the building owners’ Higher Power. It’s not my job to rescue them from fines. I am not the Higher Power of any of the people walking through the cloud of smoke on the way into the building. It’s not my job to protect them. I’m not even my OWN Higher Power.

Suddenly, the urge to castigate the smoker is alleviated. I don’t need to tell her to stop smoking so close to the door and have that weird conversation. I don’t need to stew about her if she doesn’t stop smoking so close to the door. I don’t need to complain to the building owner about the smokers. I don’t need to waste any of that energy on them because I’m not in charge. I don’t have to “fix” it. I don’t need to “help” those poor people who are entering and exiting through air pollution.

The MOST important part of all of this is that my urge to “help” or “fix” that problem could have sent me into a binge. After an antagonistic conversation with the smoker, I might have been so upset that I all I could think about when I walked into the building was finding some food to binge on. Instead of that unpleasantness, I can walk through the cloud of smoke and be happy. I can be content. I can be joyful in the knowledge that I dodged a bullet called “Controlling Nature.”

I run into tiny incidents like that SEVERAL times a day. Before I learned that Controlling Nature was a problem for me, I had SEVERAL incidents a day that sent me wanting to eat more than I should. It’s no wonder that the compulsion to overeat has been lifted. It’s because I’m not trying to rule the world anymore.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

  • William Shakespeare, “King Henry IV Part II”, Act 2 scene 1

I had to take off that stupid crown. It wasn’t mine anyway…


It’s All Salt Water Like Us

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

At La Jolla Beach, back in 2007, I found this bit of graffiti attached to a sign.

It's All Salt Water Like Us from Starling Fitness

It reads:

It’s all salt water like us

It reminds me of the quote from Seven Gothic Tales, written by Isak Dinesen in 1934:

The cure for anything is salt water... tears, sweat or the sea. Isak Dinesen from The Quotations Page

The cure for anything is the sea… tears, sweat or the sea.

When she wrote that phrase, I’m sure she had some connection with the sea that we, desert dwellers, just don’t understand. Sure, we are awed by the sea, but it has never healed us. We just don’t spend enough time around it.

The coral sands of the desert are more like a sand blaster, wearing us down until we desiccate.

As far as tears and sweat they have healed me more than I can say.


Weight Loss Progress Sheet: Give Yourself A Star

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

Yesterday, I showed the graph of my weight loss progress, but that isn’t really how I keep track of how much weight I’ve lost. Sure, I put my weight into the Lose It! app every day and that’s how the graph was made, but that’s not the motivating progress that I use.

I use gold stars…

Weight Loss Progress - Give Yourself A Star from Starling Fitness

When I went back to Weight Watchers for the last time, I recorded with shame, my highest weight ever: 231.8 pounds. Weight Watchers gives you stars for each five pound loss and Bravo stickers for sharing in the class. So, I created this weight loss progress sheet to mark off each pound I lost. It works with WW stars, but it also works with the foil stars you can buy at any office supply store.

Click to download: Weight Loss Progress Sheet from Starling Fitness

You can see that I lost my 5% and 10% while I still went to Weight Watchers, but at pound 24, that was my last pound I lost with them. Honestly, MOST of the weight I lost at Weight Watchers this last time was because of Overeater’s Anonymous. I wasn’t willing to give up WW until I was SURE that OA would work, so I went to both meetings for months until I felt safe leaving what wasn’t working behind.

As of today, I’ve lost over 55 pounds, more than half of it after I quit WW for the last time.

There is something incredibly pleasing about putting a shiny sticker in the right spot when I have lost a pound. It makes each pound feel like a huge accomplishment, and honestly, it IS.

No matter how many stars I put on my sheet, however, I know that I am just one binge away from complete and utter failure. All it would take is for me to allow myself ONE binge and I would be right back where I was before. There would be no stopping it.

And the strangest of all is that this time around I’m not starving. This time around, I’m not exercising so much that my toenails fall off. It’s amazing how much weight my body will release when I’m not bingeing. I don’t have to exercise until my toenails fall off because I’m not eating too much. I’m not starving because I have worked through the steps and have had my hunger taken from me.

All I know is that I feel a surge of joy every time I put a little star on my progress sheet…

Overeaters Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog.


Slow Progress Is Progress

By Laura Moncur @ 12:00 pm — Filed under:

I saw this motivational poster on MotiveWeight today and I wanted to share it.

Slow Progress Is Still Progress from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Some quit due to slow progress, never grasping the fact that slow progress is progress.

Sometimes it’s hard to notice progress because you’re looking at it too closely. I know the scale isn’t the best way to look at your physical progress, but it’s the one we use most regularly. When you look at the Lose It! graph of my weight over the last month, it doesn’t look that good.

Weight Progress One Month from Starling Fitness

In fact, the weight frustratingly goes up and down. I was down to 179.0 and then it popped up to 181.4. Then it went even higher up to 181.9. Up and down. Up and down. When I look at my weight from the distance of just one month, I can see hardly any progress.

When I look at the graph of every weight I’ve logged since October 2011, however, it tells a different story.

Weight Progress for for Three Years from Starling Fitness

Sure, there are ups and downs, but that graph is pretty dramatically headed in the DOWN direction and has been since January of this year, when I joined Overeater’s Anonymous. You can pretty much tell the DATE I joined OA based on this graph alone. You can also see every time I tried and failed. Tried and failed.

It’s hard to see progress when you’re so close to it. Let yourself step away, get some perspective, and then you will see it. Slow progress might be slow, but it’s the kind that sticks around a lot longer than fast progress. Most importantly, slow progress is still progress.


Donut Nite: When Social And Food Are Synonymous

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

My neighbor is hosting Donut Nite. She’s really excited about it and handed out little flyers to everyone on the street. She has always been really nice to me and I’d really like to get to know her better.

But I do NOT want to go…

Donut Nite - When Social and Food are Synonymous from Starling FitnessThe flyer is stuck on my fridge with a ladybug magnet and I know that going to the party is good for me, but I just DON’T want to go.

Part of the reason I don’t want to go is because of the food: donuts and ice cream. Two foods that are guaranteed to give me gastrointestinal distress. I don’t want to eat them. I don’t want to go to a party devoted to them. I don’t want to explain why I don’t want to eat them. I want nothing to do with this.

But I really like her. I want to get to know her better. She seems REALLY nice and she lives just down the street. I have the time to go to the party. It doesn’t conflict with any familial or work obligations. I just don’t want to go to the party because it’s a party DEDICATED to food that HURTS me.

This is one of those striking intersections of our lives when social and food mean the same thing. It’s not Game Nite. It’s not Movie Nite. It’s Donut Nite. I don’t want to go to Donut Nite, no matter how enticing the people are. If I go, I will be forcing myself because I REALLY want to get to know the people in our new neighborhood. The social will win out and I’ll have to have those awkward conversations about how gluten and lactose affect my intestinal health. Or, I’ll have to play all those anorexic tricks and pretend to eat the food I’m not going to eat, hoping no one notices that I’m not actually putting the food in my mouth. I’m just breaking it up into little pieces or stirring it with my spoon until it melts into oblivion.

And ALL of this forgets about the fact that I used to REALLY LOVE donuts and ice cream. Before I realized they were causing me pain, and even AFTER I realized they were causing me pain, I used to love donuts and ice cream. Sometimes they are still a temptation to me. This week, that’s not the case, but if it was, then the decision about whether to go to the party would be even MORE loaded.


Why does it have to be this way? Am I making this too hard? Am I thinking too much about myself when I should be thinking about my nice neighbor, who goes to all this trouble every year? She didn’t even ask me for an RSVP. As a hostess of a very popular yearly event, I know that she won’t even care if I show up or not, but I CARE! I want to get to know her. I want to get to know everyone else in the neighborhood. When Social and Food intersect like this, I feel very pressured by my own desires and social norms.

All I know is that I don’t want no donuts…

Here’s the rub. I am scared of being judged because I don’t want to eat the donuts. The REASON I’m scared is because I’m the kind of person who HATES people who won’t eat things because of allergies or dietary restrictions. So many of them seem like they are almost BRAGGING about their inability to eat whatever it is that the rest of us are eating. I don’t want to be that person. That person is a dick.

Wil Wheaton Says - Don't Be A DickOnly a dick shows up to a Donut Party and complains about donuts.

I don’t want to be a dick. I don’t want to eat the donuts. I don’t want to play anorexia games with the food, hoping no one notices.

I DO want to meet the people.

So, here’s the plan. I’m going to the party. I’m not going to eat the donuts. I’m not going to play anorexic games with the donuts. If anyone asks why I’m not eating, I’m going to say that I’m here for the people, not the food. And if anyone is rude or pushes food on me more than two or three times, I’m politely leaving.

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