Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Fitbit Flex - Review

I thought I'd do a review of my Fitbit Flex; I've had a fair few people ask me "is it worth the money?" and "what benefits do you get from it?" - all will be answered to the best I can. If I miss something out, just comment and I'll answer!!


What is a Fitbit?
A Fitbit is an activity tracker that tracks predominantly your steps and distance you have travelled. It also includes how many calories you have burned and how many minutes you are active for.

There are several different types of Fitbit's varying to prices - which suit different needs.

(To see which one best suits you, go to the Fitbit website here and find out!)

I have a Fitbit Flex, I originally bought mine with a pink band but decided to get a cute floral one on eBay - I'll touch on that later!

What compelled me to buy one?
Peer pressure if I'm honest. A lot of people at my previous job had them, and with all the running around I was doing a lot of people said I should get one. I was amazed when I did, I was walking more then 6 miles a day, and that's without doing any additional exercise. I was hitting 15,000 steps regularly and became slightly obsessed with getting the 20,000 step badge at one point. 

Has it had a benefit?
Definitely; its made me more aware of how much I move and if I'm moving enough. If I'm having a lazy day at home I always try to at least do 4,000 steps a day to try and keep my step count up as much as I can. It definitely helps with my weight loss as well with the app as it tells me how much weight I've lost since a certain date. There is also a food tracking and water intake logs on the app too, its definitely helpful for people who like to keep a good track and record of everything.
One of the key features which helps me, is the sleep tracking; I'm a terrible sleeper, and sometimes I don't realise how restless I really am, which explains why I'm always so tired sometimes! It definitely helps give me a good insight to what I'm doing when I'm not aware.

How does it work?
The Fitbit Flex is a wristband that goes on your non-dominant arm, inside the wristband is a little widget that wirelessly syncs to your phone using Bluetooth. If you tap it then 5 little dots will appear. My step goal is 10,000 so each dot represents 2,000 steps I've done - once you hit 10,000 all 5 dots will show and your widget will vibrate once you've hit the goal! It's really as simple that, you can check your exact progress of steps on the app.

How accurate is the Fitbit? 
I'll be honest, unless you move your arms the exact same amount as you move your legs then your fine. The reason I opted for the flex is because I do tend to wear a lot of dresses so the Zip or the One didn't really appeal to me at the time. I noticed this particularly when I was pushing my brothers wheelchair - I did an hour of wheelchair football (which is a lot of running!!) and my fitbit said I had done 4 steps... I don't really believe that. I have looked at purchasing a clip for when I wear jeans and skirts for my Flex as it may give me a more accurate idea of how many steps I had actually done. However, it is pretty accurate considering it is on your arm, so long as you aren't lifting anything!

Pros & Cons?
Pro's are that it makes you more aware of your daily activity and what you are really doing. You can change the wrist bands to cool designs, which are available from Amazon for relatively cheap prices. Its a handy little device, and I tend to forget I even have it on me. Has a really good charge life, normally lasts me a good 4 days before I need to recharge. I also love the food logging and water intake - particularly as I have a bad habit of not drinking enough water!
Cons for me is the accuracy as mentioned above. It does sort of bug me a little. It isn't as such an issue for me, but I'd also like to have a Fitbit I can wear whilst swimming as the Fitbit flex is recomennded not to get wet - so I feel like I lose some of my active minutes when not wearing this for swimming.

I'd like to upgrade to another Fibit at some point towards the end of this year as I would like to have the flights climbed segment as well as I do tend to use stairs a lot - I'm not overly fussed on the Heart monitor Fitbits though! We'll see!

I hope this was helpful for those debating or contemplating a fitbit!

You can Purchase a Flex or view some of the other Fitbit's Available on the Fitbit Website

Fitbit - Flex £79.99

However, I bought mine from...

Wednesday, 15 June 2016


Okay, I wanted to discuss about changes - particularly body changes.

If you follow me over on my Instagram then a week or so ago you may have seen a post where I posted a picture of my current tummy area; and how I've noticed changes over the last year. Over on my personal Facebook I also posted a comparison of my body from August last year (roughly the same weight I am now, as I gained back weight and now losing again) with the same picture.

Let me apologise for my just got out of bed look on the right....
Left is August 2015 at around 15 stone 11.
Right is June 2016 at 15 stone 12.
I definitely feel and somewhat look like I'm back to this shape, if not a little smaller round the waist this time. I also feel proud to say I've been corset training free for a year and a half now (no more tightlacing, phew!). I'm currently without a tape measure so I'm unable to see if my waist is smaller or not or if it just looks smaller to me.

So, what have I done this time round different to weight loss last time? Last time was purely just running/cardio exercises to burn as much fat as possible - this time round I'm lifting weights and really working on lots of strength exercises as well as my cardio. I'd say I've got a much healthier balance this time round. I'm also a pescetarian/vegetarian this time and have noticed I've got 'less' bloating in the stomach area. I have however, gone on the contraceptive pill and a side effect is bloating - so keeping a very close eye on this, and for weight gain.

I've also noticed that my belly button is... well less like a line. My tummy was creased at my belly button when I was 25/30lbs heavier so that was definitely a visual victory and encouragement to carry on - the sit-ups and crunches must be working!

A non-scale victory out of this all, is my confidence. Despite all the drama I've had from August to now I'm still feeling more and more confident (I'm even wearing more lower rise underwear - I only own 2 pairs of high waisted knickers for THAT time of the month!)

Have you done a comparison of how your body has changed? You don't have to be losing weight but it can be super interesting to see how your body changes over the years and as you grow up!

What is a non-scale victory for you? - To me these can be just as, if not more important then a scale victory!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Day 5 Food Diary - First Pescetarian Diary!

As you may know from my previous posts that I am about 90% Pescetarian now which means I have a vegetarian diet (I do eat dairy due to needing calcium Doctor's orders) and I eat fish - I only ever eat meat every now and then!

I decided to treat myself on this day as I wanted a breakfast I didn't have regularly and I had a massive craving for a bagel...

New York Bagel Plain - 230 Kcal
Smoked Salmon Trimmings (60g) - 132 Kcal
Reduced Fat Houmous (16g) - 38 Kcal

8 Seafood Sticks (blitzed) - 138 Kcal
Dijon Mustard, 1 tsp - 15 Kcal
Sainsburys Mayonnaise, 1 tbsp - 128 Kcal
5 Ryvita Crackerbread - 95 Kcal
Salt and Vinegar Walkers Crisps - 130 Kcal
Tamarind & Red Lentil Curry - 131 Kcal
White Rice, 1.2 cup - 249 Kcal
Tesco Mini Naan Bread - 129 Kcal

200g Seedles Green Grapes - 132 Kcal
I only went 46 calories over my daily intake but with the calories I burned from my 2 mile run the overflow was covered! In total I consumed 1,546 calories and burned over 600 with my running and my Hi-iT Training that day also. 
So far I haven't really struggled with my new diet, and I am reaping the benefits of living and eating healthily again, I'm having more energy and definitely feel like I'm not as fatigued as I was. I'm not getting any stomach cramping anymore and I'm definitely getting my 5 a-day fruit and vegetables more regularly again - I definitely regret taking time away from my healthy living, but I think if I didn't gorge on the pizza's like I did then maybe I wouldn't be as appreciative now about how well the healthy living makes me?!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Dealing with an Injury

Now as you know I've only returned to my running and healthy lifestyle within the last couple of weeks, but during the time I took away from it all I still had a pretty bad ongoing injury from around mid-late July 2015.

So how did I deal with it?
- Well, I made a HUGE mistake last year; I left my calf, tried to carry on as normal and just whacked on some Deepheat after a workout (my room smelled like the aftermath of a rugby players changing room - that is how much Deepheat was used...). However, this time round I've taken precautions, I've had sports massages, I've been using a foam roller, I've used the Deepheat only when its really needed this time, and I've also learnt some strength exercises to help the muscle. 

What effect has your previous injury had on your uptake of running this time round?
- It has definitely had an effect on how I view my fitness this time, and how I need to condition my body as despite all its been through, I'm not wonder woman. I do think I have a lot of work to do with my calf injury as I do still have a couple of twinges when I sprint (which is rare, but still poses a problem) and and go for a reasonably long distance (normally above 3km).

Have you had any new injuries?
- Touch wood, not yet. However, I do feel a little more prepared if I do have an injury this time round. I feel like I know what I need to do, and what I need to find out to help my injury in the most positive way, whatever it may be.

So how do you prepare for an injury?
You can never truly prepare for an injury - but you can prepare yourself mentally. Make sure to have a positive outlook on the situation and do plenty of research.
For myself and my calf injury, I have been working on doing more strength exercises and stretches before and after a run to ensure my calf can strengthen up; particularly if its niggling a little bit. 
They always say prevention is the best cure; and to be honest its true. You can never really avoid having an injury, it its going to happen it will, but if you can prepare yourself, and try to not let it get you down in the dumps then that is honestly the best thing you can do!

What is the biggest struggle?
I know for me, its knowing I can't go for a run, or I can't do a specific activity if it is going to aggravate my injury - and that drives me mental. I hate being told I can't do something, let alone my body saying "please no, let me recover!!". And that is generally what takes a knock on my positive outlook, but I tend to start writing a recovery programme, and focus my energy on getting back to what I can do and by not aggravating the injury and recovering properly I can get back to running sooner!!

What have been your problems with injuries? And how have you learnt to recover and deal with that injury?

Monday, 2 May 2016

Sorry, sorry, sorry!!

I know it has been absolutely forever since I have posted on here (8 months!!!!) and I'm totally sorry. I'll be honest with you the last 8 months have been turbulent. So much has happened and within that whole mess my fitness and healthy eating totally took a backseat... which I completely regret. Instead of writing an essay I'll bullet point the reasons;

- I started my new job which took me a 4 hour round trip to get to, and healthy eating turned into eating comfort food as my job was stressful and emotionally draining (of which I'm no longer at this job)
- I got with my boyfriend (now ex) and again, I ate more pizza's in them 6 months then I would normally consume in a year (I feel ashamed of myself).
- I wasn't in the mood to blog as all my time was spent elsewhere other then at home - and when I was home I just wanted to sleep and curl up in a ball (and occasionally watch the rugby!)

However, after possibly the worst month going I decided that enough is enough... and I'm back!!! 
I have taken up my running again and my healthy eating. I'm going by the quote of "my body is a temple" and I'm really living by it. Now I'm also back in the dating game, I want to shape up not only for myself but for others. If I'm confident in my body then other people will love me for my confidence. 
So where do we lift off again?
8 months ago, I had lost 30lbs of weight from April to August - my lowest weight was 15 stone 6lbs, and I gained back 12lbs which has taken me to 16 stone 4lbs. 
This time around, I'm going to have less of a full focus on how many calories I consume and focus more on the fitness aspect. I'm still going to log my food, and watch my portions but I'm going to up my fitness.

I've already achieved a new Personal Best after one weeks return to running which I'm super chuffed about. I managed to do a 2 mile run in 30 minutes 12secs on the Friday which if I'm honest I was disappointed as I wanted to do sub 30. However, by the Sunday (2 days later!!) I managed to do a 27 minutes 46secs 2 mile PB!!!!! (Picture on the right is proof, you know what its like now days - no proof, it didn't happen!)

I have also got a FitBit! I have a basic little Flex, but it does the job for me! I don't have many friends on my Fitbit which I would like more of, but it does help me to make myself aware of how much I'm really doing a day - it definitely makes me want to get my steps up and boss my 10,000 step goal!

Also, I'm now predominantly a pescetarian (a vegetarian but I eat fish!) I may eat meat every now and then but my diet is now focused around the veggies and fish. It's definitely been an interesting change, but so far I don't miss meat!!

I think we are pretty much caught up! I'm still going to do the odd post on here, there won't really be a set routine as to when I post as it depends on my new job and how much time I have to post - but you can keep in contact with me over my different media's and follow my journey - details below!

MyFitnessPal - EmmaVictoriaaa
MapMyRun - Emma Victoria
FitBit -
Instagram - emmavictoriaa95

It feels good to be back!!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Whey to Go! - Team Sky Protein Smoothie Review

I want to seriously apologise for my lack of posts! I've been without my laptop for a good couple of weeks which has meant I couldn't post (bar my 3 month overview which I did via my brothers iPad).

However, I now have a laptop that doesn't give me second degree burns and the fan which actually works now - happy days! Back to a somewhat normal service... I have also started a new job, which I'll do a post in regards to settling into and how I've coincided with living healthy and transitioning into my new job.

Anywho, I thought I'd do a review of the Team Sky Protein Smoothie's which I've been having recently in regards to helping with building muscle and muscle recovery post-workout.

So far I've only tried the Pineapple & Coconut and the Raspberry & Blueberry smoothies.
Pineapple & Coconut
I did struggle more with the Pineapple & Coconut to drink it down quickly (having protein in the first half hour post workout helps with the muscles, according to a few friends who are gym junkies); I don't know if its because of the taste, or it could just be me. But it was drinkable and it actually was okay once you sort of got used to the taste... It was nice that I didn't get the chalkiness of the whey protein in the P&C smoothie, that it one of my hugest pet hates. I could taste the whey protein, but it wasn't the only thing I was tasting. (I'm not a huge fan of whey protein, but I have been told by my ex who is a rugby player and my personal trainer that I do need to use whey protein to help with my muscles now). After drinking the smoothie, I did go online and see some of the reviews and some said it tasted like a non-alcoholic Pina Colada - I wouldn't quite go that far, however it did have a hint of pina colada about it.
Raspberry & Blueberry
I then went on and purchased the raspberry and blueberry smoothie as I wanted to have a bit of variety - I managed to knock this one back pretty quickly which I was surprised with! This one was more chalkier then I expected, however the taste was super scrummy! I couldn't taste the whey protein as much, but as said before it felt more chalky in my mouth. I did enjoy this smoothie and would happily drink it regularly! Some people found this smoothie a hit/miss sort of one, some weren't keen on the taste. I found it a tad sweet, which suited me to the ground as the smoothie was my breakfast anyway!

Ingredients (info obtained via Google)
Pineapple & Coconut - 165 kcals

Water, Whey protein* (Milk), pineapple juice* (16%), Apple Juice* (3%), Coconut Water (0.5%), Stabilsers (Pectin, guar gum), Natural Colouring (Safflower concentrate, Lemon Concentrate), Sweeteners (Sucralose, Acesulfame K), Acidity regulators (Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid), Flavour.
*From concentrate
Raspberry & Blueberry - 142 kcals
Water, Whey Protein* (Milk), Apple Juice* (3%), Raspberry Juice* (3%), Blueberry Juice* (1%), Stabilizers (Pectin, Guar Gum), Natural Colourings (Carrot Concentrate, Hibiscus Concentrate), Sweeteners (Sucralose, Acesulfame K), Acidity Regulators (Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate), Flavour, 
*From Concentrate

Overall marks out of 10
Pineapple & Coconut - 7/10
Raspberry & Blueberry - 9/10

I'd totally recommend these for people starting out with protein shakes/smoothies like myself. I did try another make and it could of just been a bad bottle but it made me feel a bit quesy. Its always good to remember with these things, it depends on the individual; taste, what workouts your doing etc. Make sure you do plenty of research to see what works for you. 

*This post was not sponsored and the products featured were purchased with my own money. All opinions are my own and are not paid for me to say.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Weight Loss - Month Three

First of all... Sorry for the lack of posts. My laptop isn't useable at the moment as I'm waiting for it to be repaired (bloody technology) so I'm having to write this on my brothers iPad (I'm struggling if I'm honest writing on this so sorry for typos and grammar mistakes!)

Today I'm posting about my third month of living healthy and my weight loss progress. As said before, not everyone has to be wanting to lose weight to live healthily, it may be that you just decide you want to - however for me I want to lose weight, as I'm not, personally feeling healthy at the weight I started at...

So far I have now lost a total of 1 stone 6lbs

I took a 9 day break in the middle of the month - I was feeling very low and just wanted some time off. I didn't go crazy and managed to keep my weight the same by still recording and not going over board. In a way, it helped me to refocus and realise how much I want this, how much I'm dedicated to getting to s healthy weight for me and for my fitness to be paramount. I now have a long term goal in mind which I'm working to which is helping me even more!

For the last week I set myself a challenge to start using my local outdoor gym which is free... I'm so glad I have as I'm throughly enjoying it! 
I wasn't for the middle 2 weeks of the month. But for the last week I've been mega happy and pumped up!

Oh my god sit ups.... My abdominal area is absolutely killing me!!!!!! I can definitely start to feel the benefits of sit ups, but Jesus no pain no gain really is what is getting me through the muscle repairing stage and adapting stage. 

Week One - 3lbs
Week Two - stayed the same
Week Three - stayed the same
Week Four - 1lbs

Week four I had my female issues again and I'd only restarted the thursday before which meant I had 5 days to get back in track. I'm feeling really good after some time off and my body is getting so much stronger and durable... I'm beginning to feel progress in my body!!