On My Own

I am on my own for two months. Two long months.  I knew it was coming. Amanda, my trainer, didn’t just get pregnant yesterday, so I knew it was coming,  however I didn’t prepare myself.  I am on my own.

Our last session was Friday, and she made sure that she had an Endurance workout, a Strength workout and an Stability workout ready for me. I have them and can rotate weekly or every other week. Provided I get myself to the gym.

See.. that’s the problem.

I have been, for want of a better cliche, “off the reservation” for about 3 weeks.  Once it hit me that I wouldn’t have a trainer for 2 months, I seemed to put myself on a training and dieting vacation.  Even before I had my final session with her! Certainly it didn’t help that I took a mini-vacation during that time, and while I didn’t go anywhere, a friend came to town, and for some reason in my head, that is like a light going off saying “EAT EAT!”  And boy did I.

My monthly weigh-in for August was on the 6th. I have since gained 5 lbs.

See that’s a vacation!

June 2009 is what I use as my starting point with Amanda as that is when I got serious and went from once a month to twice a month sessions. Since then, weighing in every month, I have never once had a gain.  There have been times when there was barely any movement, but at least it would go down a little. I have never had a gain.  So I am a week away from what would have been my September weigh in and I am up. Up. Up. Up.

I am pretty angry at myself as well as those pizzas and donuts I have eaten, but I really only have me to blame. They were all innocent, really.

So what do I do? What are my alternatives? Amanda had offered to hook me up with another trainer, but I decided to apply the saved training money and pay off a little debt. I spent the September training money without a thought of that debt. Oh well.

I have talked to one of the women who Amanda trains and we talked about checking in with each other on Tuesday nights since we both tend to workout at the same time. Okay, that’s nice. That will get me there on Tuesday. What about the other days of the week?

I am thinking about making a purchase (I guess with October’s training money??).

The SportBrain

Quite a few years ago.. maybe about 2000 or 2001, I bought something called a Sportbrain. In fact I looked it up on line and was intrigued to see they are still around.  Or back in business, more like.  Here is the link:


Their site doesn’t seem to be very informative and just glancing at it quickly I am not sure I wouldn’t even know what it is, if I hadn’t had one 10 yrs ago.  It was like a pedometer that you wear on your waist band. At the end of  the day you set it on abase with a phone line and it dialed in your information and loaded it on a website. It gave you graphs on your step count, how many steps and what time of day you were most active, etc.  I liked it and found myself doing anything to increase my step count. I would get off of work at 11pm and come home and walk until about midnight and then put the brain on the station and wait for my numbers.  I liked it and it got me moving.

So looking at their site now, for $99 you get the Sportbrain.

The SportBrain monitors: Steps (whether you’re walking or running) Distance, Calories, Speed, Pace, Heart rate (when used in conjunction with a compatible Heart Rate Strap) .

The strap is 29.95 and to use their website (which from what I can tell is the only way to read the data is 14.95 a month.  When I had mine 10 yrs ago, they didn’t charge for their web access and I think they lost a lot of money and basically had to close down. My sportbrain was usable for about 3 months I think.

My past experience with the Sportbrain makes me wary to go that route again. It also makes me question what to do.




The Fitbit looks like a clip and you can put it on your waistband, in your pants pocket or in your shirt pocket.  It comes with a wristband to wear when you are sleeping. It monitors steps taken, miles, calories consumed, calories burned. It also will monitor your sleep – how long did you sleep, how long did it take you to sleep, how many times you woke up and for how long. That information really intrigues me.

Like the Sportbrain, your Fitbit Data is downloaded, more or less, and you access a website to get the the read out.  Then general information is free to access but they do offer a premium membership which seems to give you a personal training session (over the phone one assumes) and more indepth information. That premium membership is 49.99.

The Body Bugg

Price seems to vary but about 199.00

When I mentioned the Fitbit to Amanda, she had never heard of it, but told me that she is trained in The Body Bugg and I know I have seen signs for it at the gym.



This one has an arm band so you wear it around your upper arm. All day long.  Apparently they came out with a second smaller version because people were finding it too big and bulky under blouses, etc.  It seems to so all the things that the Fitbit does. You get 6 months web support (with 3 options to renew (9.99 for month to month, 49.99 for 6 months or 79.99 for 12 months). You also get one personal phone training session. Oh and your online information is accessible by iPhone, iTouch or Android.

Also when I was googling Body Bugg I came upon one called GoWearfit which, investigating further, turns out to be the Body Bugg (same company) just a different name. Not sure why.

Oh and this site tells a little review of the BodyBugg:


So those seem to be my choices.  I tend to be leaning towards the Fitbit due to the lower purchasing price.  However free web access worries me that they will crash and burn like the Sportbrain originally did.  My trainer is a fan of the BodyBugg but do I really want to fork out $200 on this? The $99 is much easier to swallow.

I have tried to find Fitbit reviews on line and haven’t found any. I did go to their twitter page and saw that they were responding to people who were having problems, and they were offering to replace their devices.  So does that mean that it is a small company that really cares about their customers, or a small company that might be giving away their product and putting themselves out of business.

It’s a quandary and I wish I knew what to do. By the time I make a decision, little Charlie will be born and his mom will be back to work cracking her whip at me to get on that Bosu.

What to do… what to do…



So last night I was done working out at about 6:30. My new workout is quicker because I am now alternating upper and lower body days instead of doing full body on strength days. That’s good…

I had to stop at the grocery store before I went home because I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of grilling out in the 109 heat index, so I needed to buy something different than the meat I had taken out of the freezer.  I started walking over to the meat counter which meant going through the bakery. By the donuts. I stopped.

I was casually looking at what donuts were left, when a little kid, about three, walked up to me and said, “ahfahkna’flhnahl”.

I shook my head as if to say “I have no idea what you just said”.

So he responded with “sdgagaafhahfh”

At that point his older brother, about 6 yrs old, came walking up. I said to him, “I have no idea what he is saying to me.”

The Sixer says “Yeah, I don’t either”.

“So you don’t speak ‘little kid’ either?” I asked.

He shook his head.

I started to grab a donut (or two) and the little 3 yr old looked at me and as clear as a bell said “GO AWAY”.

I looked him “I can’t.. I am getting some donuts”

“GO AWAY!!!!!” he yelled again.

“Calm down,dude” I said and walked away, bag of three donuts in hand.

It wasn’t until after I got back in my car that I started to wonder. Was there even a kid there? Does my guilty conscience look and talk like a three year old boy?

After realizing that possibility, I was glad I had those three donuts to comfort me.

Who am I? Why am I here?

Monday, August 2nd would have been my Dad’s 100th birthday.

Wow. 100.

I was the last of his four children, the second of his second family. My brother and I were later in life kids. My dad was just about 2 weeks shy of his 51st birthday when I was born.  He only lived for another 5 years after that, dying of cancer at 56.  I was 5, so I guess you could say I didn’t know him well. Now, at 49, I can still say that.

Growing up, he was always a mystery to me.  A picture on a wall. Whether it’s true or not, I always had the feeling that we weren’t suppose to talk about him.  When he would come up in conversation, I felt relief. Maybe someone would say something.. that secret something about him, that I have always wanted to hear. To finally crack the mystery that is there.  I never knew what it was, I just felt I would know it when I heard it. Does that make sense at all?

My Dad had two older children. They both were old enough to be raising their own kids while my parents were raising us.  My sister is someone I don’t know. She and her family lived out of state and after my dad died, I guess there wasn’t really a connection there.  My oldest brother lived near by, but was raising 5 kids of his own.  Once his kids got older, and my brother and I did as well, we didn’t see them much. I always thought that sometime I would be able to set down with my oldest brother and maybe he could crack that mystery of my dad for me.  Unfortunately he did about 9 yrs ago and so that conversation went unsaid.

Five years ago, after my mom died, our sister sent a condolence card and said to write if we wanted to know more about our dad. So I did.  She sent a very nice letter and the one thing she said that stuck with me was that our father didn’t like Jello because it jiggled. That makes me smile. I have no like or dislike of jello, but if I like anything about it, I think it is that it jiggles.

I have old family photos hanging in my hallway. Most are black and white. Hanging there I have a baby picture of my dad that my sister in law gave me after my oldest brother died, and then also a copy of my dad’s graduation picture. I often find myself looking at these pictures, wondering if I see myself in there. Am I in those eyes? Is that my nose? Is there any me in there? Is there any of him in me? Who is this person who for so much of my life has just been a picture on a wall?

I have a picture of myself at about 1 year of age, or so. I look at that. I look at his baby picture and there is no doubt that I am him. He is me. I am part of that mystery.  See for yourself:

My Dad:


Maybe I am crazy but those two people seem to have the same forehead. The same eyes. The same weird head shape. Maybe there is a little crack in that mystery after all.  And maybe it just adds to the mystery as well.

I still don’t know what his sense of humor was like. Is my dry sarcastic nature from him?  Was he an optimist? A pessimist? Or maybe a realist.. as I often claim to be, but probably am not? Did he make friends easily? Could he make small talk easily like my brother, or did he fail at it, by over thinking it, like I do?  I’ll never know the answers to those questions, and that’s okay. Maintaining some mystery is okay.

So I am 49. When my dad was 49, he  had two grown children with kids of their own. He was married to his second wife, and had a two year old son. In two years he would have a new daughter, and five years after that, he would be dead.

At 49, I am single, have never been married (don’t want to be) and have a brother, two nieces and three cats. In seven years, I will be 56 (!!!!), and as you can tell by the exclamation marks, that doesn’t seem very far away. Seven years.  Frankly, I don’t want to be dead in seven years. Suddenly, thinking of all of this, makes it seem much more important to get healthy. In shape. Lose weight. Be more Fit. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER SUSAN.

I might not always know who I am. I might not have any idea why I am here, but I do know that I want to be here longer than seven more years. That’s the bottom line.  I have to get back on task. Back at it. Paying attention. Get it together. I can at least imagine that my dad would want that for me. Maybe it’s him that is saying “GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER”.  No, that sounds more like my mom!

Two short notes:

1- Anyone know where the title of this blog post came from?

2- I still have the dress that I am wearing in that picture of me. In fact it is being worn by my Chatty Cathy doll. And to bring it all back to my dad… my Chatty Cathy doll is the only toy I have left from my childhood and it was given to me by my Dad the Christmas before he died. She looks a little crazy and she hasn’t “chatted” for about 44 yrs, but she’s still here!

Thanks Dad. For the doll…and the mystery.