First, I wanted to do a quick delayed recap of our Christmas Day.
It was a fantastic Christmas Day with lovely weather – not as hot as some Christmases have been, with a cool breeze throughout most of the day! We woke up a little earlier than usual so as to start preparing for Christmas lunch with J’s mum. On the menu? A rack of lamb seasoned with garlic, herbs and mint sauce; enormous juicy crayfish grilled to perfection (given to us by J’s dad); spiced rice with pomegranate seeds and basil (unpictured as the rice was still cooking when I took pictures); potato, smoked salmon and herbs salad (recipes for the potato salad and spiced rice coming soon!); roasted vegetables (onions, baby carrots and potatoes stolen from my stockpile for the potato salad) and a leafy Caesar salad made by J’s mum. We topped it off with rose wine, passionfruit cider, beer and some fun Christmas crackers on the side.
It took me a while to get around to getting the Christmas decorations up this year. I had been playing around with the idea of a mini Christmas tree but I didn’t find any that I like to instead I chose some pretty wreaths, a piece of fake mistletoe that I cunningly taped to the top of our living room doorway, an evergreen garland and some stockings. I’m really pleased with the decorations – all of them are from either Kmart, Target or the Reject Shop – low prices but surprisingly great decorations! I always love a good bargain : )
I’ve never had a stocking growing up – my family just stuck to stockpiling the presents under the tree – but I’ve always loved the idea of creating stockings and stocking stuffers so this year I went out and got stockings for J, myself and his parents. I had a lot of fun filling the stockings with presents I thought would suit everyone – chocolates, nuts, teabags, fruit and nut bars and a couple of cool bottle openers masquerading as wrenches for J and his dad.
Before we sat down to lunch, we pulled out the Christmas stockings. J and I had agreed to put our money together for a weekend trip to Melbourne sometime this year as our Christmas present to ourselves so I wasn’t expecting anything else. But J slipped in an extra gift into my stocking without my knowing – a Fitbit Flex!!!
Remember when I listed the Nike Fuelband on my Christmas Gift Guide for Fitness Junkies? Well, another friend of ours had been talking over dim sum brunch about getting a Fitbit Flex, which is a similar item, for his girlfriend for Christmas a few weeks earlier. Everyone at the table was asking what a Fitbit Flex was and I immediately jumped in and explained how the Fitbit, like the Nike Fuelband and the Jawbone Up, counts your steps like a pedometer and provides daily fitness goals for you to meet. I added that I’ve been thinking of getting one for myself. Well, at that time, I didn’t know J had been listening but later that afternoon, while I was at work, he headed over to the store with our friend and bought me a Fitbit Flex too!
*He is the BEST*
The Fitbit Flex comes in a pretty little turquoise box, almost like a Tiffany box, and I have to admit that for me, opening and finding a Fitbit Flex inside was probably more exciting than finding a piece of expensive jewellery. Haha, does that make me sound insane? Mind you, I wouldn’t complain if anyone does decide to shower me with jewels someday!
Anyway, I wasted no time in opening the box and trying on the Fitbit Flex for size. It comes with two different-sized bands to suit all wrists, a wireless sync dongle (yes, I am childish and I laughed at the word ‘dongle’), and a charging cable. The band comes in various colours but J opted for the safe option of black and I’m glad because that would have been my choice too.
A lot of people have commented on how the Fitbit Flex resembles, more than anything, a rubber charity or concert wristband, and I have to admit that the look of the Nike Fuelband in rose gold is probably the prettiest of all the fitness tracking wristbands I’ve seen on the market so far. However, I’m pretty happy with my gift of the Fitbit Flex because it stays nice and inconspicuous on my wrist, the black band manages to look classy and goes with all my outfits, casual, fancy or otherwise, and my girlfriends and I have had a lot of fun jazzing up our bands by topping it off with other bracelets, as you can see in the picture below.
Now for the specs – the Flex battery lasts five days when fully charged – when you tap the band twice, the LED lights will light up to show you your progress. There are five lights, with each light representing 20% of your goal, and the default setting is 10,00 steps (which number you can change to suit your goals).
Five LED lights means my goal for today has been met – woohoo! Also, don’t mind the fact that my little finger is sticking out in that weird way like I’ve been trying to have tea with the Queen or something! I’ve been tapping my band and whipping up my camera to take a picture of lights as quickly as I could over and over again until I finally got a non-blurry photo!
On a side note: Whenever I tap my Fitbit Flex to check my progress, I feel a little thrill like I’m Alana from that old kids’ TV show, The Girl from Tomorrow, and my Fitbit Flex is PJ, my Computer Companion! When I used to watch The Girl from Tomorrow, I used to wish so badly for my very own Computer Companion and now I kind of feel like I’ve got one!
The Fitbit Flex also monitors your sleep at night – all you have to do when you’re going to bed is to keep tapping your band continuously until the band buzzes and two LED lights come on. When you wake up, you continuously tap your band again until it buzzes and all five LED lights flash.
Other things the Fitbit Flex monitors are water and food intake and body weight – you can also log on your weight loss goal and the Fitbit will keep track of this for you. However, you have to log all this manually and I don’t usually bother with this.
Why have a Fitbit Flex? My friend did ask me this the other day when I showed it off to her. “Don’t you pretty much have an idea of how much you’ve moved around in a day anyway?” she asked. “Whether you’ve been more or less active?” Well, yes. But I’ve always wanted a fashionable looking pedometer because I’ve always thought it would be fun to keep track of how many steps I’ve done in a day and as I found out once while participating in an office October walking challenge with a cheap pedometer that you don’t really realize just how little steps you take moving around each day until you’ve actually logged them. It’s amazing how sedentary our lives can be, especially when working a desk job in an office. Or even on a weekend – during one of my first few days wearing the Fitbit Flex, we slept in, then headed for a barbeque on the river shore with some friends. We spent most of the day there before heading over to a friend’s house for dinner and a movie. Though I hadn’t time to get in a workout that day, I thought I’d still be able to get some steps in since we were out the whole day. As it turned out… I only logged a paltry 5901 steps that day, my worst log so far other than Christmas Day itself and that’s only because I didn’t activate the Fitbit until late evening so I didn’t have time to take a lot of steps.
Besides, the Fitbit Flex has definitely motivated me to get out and start moving a lot more. The challenge appeals to the competitiveness in me and I’m determined to log in my 10,000 steps each day. As it turns out, that was a great motivator in getting me back into my fitness routine. All through last year, my fitness has taken a massive hit, motivation-wise, and I’ve only gotten back into it on and off. But I think my Fitbit Flex has been great in motivating me to get out because I know without at least going for a long walk a day, I won’t be able to log my 10,000 steps. And usually when I’m out on a walk, it turns into at least a partial run because running is a lot more interesting than a walk and allows me to cover the distance more quickly!
Another thing that has improved since I acquired the Fitbit Flex? I’m so desperate to log steps around the house that I end up doing a lot more chores than I have before. My chore productivity (and in consequence, the tidiness of our house) has improved greatly since the Fitbit Flex came into my life. J says this is a great side benefit of his getting me the Flex for Christmas. But I’ve also noticed that since I’ve started doing chores more often, he’s also pitched in a lot more with helping out so it’s obviously of great benefit to us both!
Also, unbeknownst to me, several of my other friends had also gotten Fitbit Flexes for Christmas (it was a Fitbit Flex Christmas epidemic!) so we’re all friends on Fitbit now and can view each other’s daily log and exchange motivation tips and cheer each other on.
I’ve had the Fitbit Flex for a little over a week now but I’ll be sure to post later on with a more comprehensive review on the pros and cons of the Fitbit Flex. This turned out to be a pretty long post so thanks for sticking with me until the end! : )