Thursday, May 30, 2013

Something for myself

Hello everyone,

So there are a lot of new and exciting things for me going on these days. First I want to start out by saying that I have lost 15lbs, and that is just from eating healthy and quitting soda. I am rather proud of that fact, because I did it despite everyone I know making fun of me for being on a 'diet' and telling me that I am 'missing out.' I am looking forward to the next phase of being able to work out and tone up a bit but I have to wait till after I see my Dr on Tuesday about my hand. I am hoping that he says I won't need a second surgery but at the same time I want it to fix what's going on now. Its is just a mixture of pro and cons for either happening so I am just waiting it out.

In order to celebrate my weight loss I decided to do something for myself, and that was color my hair. Now to some this may not be a big deal, but I didn't go with a standard color by any means. I colored my hair purple, because when I had purple hair I was happy, I like the color and I think it looks really good on me.



Aside from recoloring hair, I have also decided to write a book. It has taken me a lot of time to finally get the courage to write it, but I think it will come out well. Most importantly I am not writing the book to try and become someone famous, but instead I am writing it for me. I will try and get it published, and if it sells then it sells if not then I am not worried about it. I have nothing but time on my hands, so I figure that I could put it to use by writing a book.

I have something else exciting coming up as well, I will be meeting a fellow blogger, Danielle, you should head over to her blog, My Life According to Me. We are both participating in a Lulu And Sweet Pea's Summertime swap.

Other than that I have this new Elastic Therapeutic Tape on my hand to stop me from using my wrist as a way to move my fingers and it isn't the most pleasant. It hurts more than I expected but has made me more aware of how much my pinky and ring finger depend on my wrist to get movement. Other then that I am looking forward to the rest of the week. I am doing well when it comes to getting more activity in everyday and eating right. I am hoping to to work my way up to being able to do a full 20 min workout so we shall see. Hope everyone has a good weekend!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gypsy vs. Jawbone

In an earlier post I talked about the poor customer service that I have been receiving from Jawbone when it comes to their UP fitness band. Now I have been having back and forth conversations with them about their product because I decided to go to twitter. Here is the thing, they keep promising to get back to me with answers about why I received such poor customer service, but all I have been getting is standard prompted messages about the issues.

Now I returned their device weeks ago, and the only thing I asked was for them to look over my tickets and emails and see that I wasn't getting helped. Instead Jawbone has taken it upon themselves to open new tickets for me concerning a device I no longer own. I have told them this 4 times but because they can't seem to read they haven't caught onto that yet. 

On May 17, I posted another message on twitter, about yet another band that went bad. That was 4 bands that I got that had issues. Now I paid around $350 in gas, warranties, and the devices themselves because I want to be healthier. The first few days it worked great then it was all downhill from there. Needless to say I was fed up and let them know it. They just now responded to the tweet and even though I told them in a direct message on twitter that I didn't submit a ticket for the fourth and final band because of their poor customer service. I was pretty much blown off because they took it upon themselves to open another ticket for me. 

Once again I was emailed a promoted response and asked for information I already told them they weren't getting, because I was done. I told them that I had returned the product and the only thing I wanted was to know why their support team was unwilling to help me and put the blame on Best Buy,

Here was their first response:

"Hi Sara,
Thanks for reaching out to us on Twitter. I have created a support ticket for your partner, and a member for our Customer Care Team will be in touch shortly. Let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns. Also, feel free to respond with your partner's contact info, so we can reach out to her directly.
All the best,
Alexandra Howard"

I got this after I had already told them on twitter I no longer had the device nor did I feel the need to submit a ticket for the fourth device. So I replied to them with this:

"I'm the one who purchased both bands so I will be the one communicating with you. I don't want her to go through the same hassle I have been going through because of getting defective bands. That and your support team is total crap for not listening to the issues instead gave standard prepared responses to my issues. I shouldn't have had to put in 4 tickets to get my issue resolved and it took me going back to Best Buy to fix the issue which meant returning it and getting a completely new device."

To which they responded with:

"Hi Sara,
My name is Mina and I work on the Customer Advocacy team here in our headquarters in San Francisco.
I am sorry to hear that you had to go through so much hassle to get a replacement. I would like to personally provide assistance with your partner's band and make sure that everything goes smoothly.
If you could let me know a little bit about the issues that your partner is having, it would be very helpful. Also, please provide either the band's Serial Number or the email address associated with your partner's UP account.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I am always happy to help!
Thanks again, Sara. I look forward to resolving this for you guys!
Mina "
Now this told me that once again! I was ignored and given another email about something I don't even own anymore. I am fed up to say the least. I have worked customer service, so I know how it goes but these emails have all been the same and nothing ever got resolved. 
So, I took to twitter again cause I was just done. 
"@GypsyGothika: @Jawbone you really need a course in customer service. Stop saying you will get back to me with your standardized emails & DMs."
Honestly I am tired of them sending me generic responses that aren't going anywhere and are really a waste of my time and there is nothing I hate more then going around in circles with customer service reps. I hate that if it isn't on their script that they try and get you back to what is scripted. 
What in the hell happened to customer service? I mean when did they stop listening and start depending on scripts to tell them what to say? To tell us how to fix things even though it had been previously stated that what they were asking had already been done, and didn't work? How many tickets do people have to put in before they are finally given a solution? And why in the hell does it take 2-4 weeks to replace a product that someone has owned less than A week? Because customer service is going down the tubes that's why.
Being that I am just done. Completely and entirely done with this whole mess I replied to jawbone with this:
"I don't know what pisses me off, the fact that I get standardized messages from you all, or the fact that no one actually reads the messages I have sent. The bands were returned to Best Buy because they didn't function properly and when I tried to get help, all you guys could say was to reset it. 4 tickets I put in for the same damn issue and every time I got the same damn response. Then I took it to twitter and all of a sudden you all start acting like you cared yet I'm still getting the run around. 
I have now told your company 4 times, not including the support tickets, that I returned your product to Best Buy and went with a new brand because I was tired of putting up with poor customer service. 
I put that on twitter and suddenly you all wanted to help again but still gave me the run around and then tried to blame it on Best Buy. I'm quite tired of having the same conversation with you people over and over again. 
The bands we got either didn't vibrate at all or wouldn't stop vibrating even when in movement. You are welcome to look at my passed tickets using this same email address and you can see that your support team wasn't all that interested in helping me with the matter.
Even when it got to the point that your support staff agreed that the band needed to get replaced I was told it would take 2-4 weeks to get a new one. I had the band for about a week before it went bad so not only did I spend 129.99 on the band but I also got a 19.99 warranty through Best Buy (thank god) that is not including the 4 trips I had to make back Best Buy to replace the damn things because you all couldn't do it any faster not did you seem interested in trying to make your customers happy. 
I ended up spending close to $350 dollars on products that didn't work and that was stupid on my part. If you all want make this right then I would be more than grateful to have the $30 dollars in gas back that I had to use going to and from the store. Seeing as I can't get back the countless hours of time, there is really nothing you all can do to resolve the issue because I already took care of it. I moved on to a new brand with better customer service."
Ya it may be a little harsh but this is like ticket number 10 that has been opened and never resolved. They don't follow through with anything but "let's try resetting the band." Well that can't happen if I don't have the device which I have told your company now 4 times. 
I'm not saying that people should boycott Jawbone I'm saying we need to fix customer service because obviously its broken. I am tired of the back and forth and hope that this blog gets companies to open there eyes. Stop scripting your calls, have your people actually listen to what is being said, and if someone owns a product for less than a week don't tell them it's going to take up to a month to get a replacement. That is what kills me about this whole thing, they couldn't be troubled to pay a little extra to overnight me a new band, noooooo they said I was better off going to Best Buy, so I did. 
I hope the next response I get from the company, if I get one at all as they don't respond if it's not part of their script, is something that shows they have actually taken a moment to give a damn about everything I went through. I guess it is asking too much to be asked to be treated like a human and not a computer.
Sorry for the long rant but I felt this had to be shown, because something has to change. 


Added 5/28/13 6:14pm: This was the response I got from Jawbone with response to my email. This just goes to show how out of touch and out of sync the companies is, that they didn't even bother to tell the rep that I had returned the product.

"Hi Sara,

Thanks for getting back to us. It wasn't clear to me that you have already returned your partner's band, so I do apologize for my previous response. I totally understand how it might have come off as standardized.

Once again, we are sorry to hear that you had such a negative customer service experience and thank you for your feedback.

Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you."

Thank you jawbone for not giving a damn.

I was nominated by "My Life According To Me"
- Name your nominator and provide a link to that persons blog.
- Post 11 facts about yourself.
- Answer 11 questions from your nominator.
- Nominate 11 other bloggers.
- Ask 11 questions for your chosen bloggers.

11 Facts About Me:

1) I am a certified affiliated counselor for the state of WA.
2) I am working on my Master's in Psychology to become a therapist.
3) I am a huge gamer girl, I play anything from table top, to RPG board, computer games, and consoles.
4) for the better part of three years I slowly lost the ability to use my pinky and ring finger on my right (dominate) hand due to an injury from work. I'm currently going through Physical Therapy to fix it and may have a second surgery soon.
5) I am currently trying to get in shape and use Jillian Michaels 360 Navigation program to keep on track.
6) I like to make graphics using Photoshop Elements.
7) my left arm is covered in tattoos that are inspired by P!nk and her music.
8) I have worn glasses so long that wearing contacts makes me feel subconscious about what others may think.
9) I am engaged to my partner and we have been together for 4 years.
10) I hate shopping, especially for clothes, because it takes forever. 
11) I suffer from PTSD and have been trying to find a balance between using medication and eating healthier to keep it under control.

My 11 Questions to my Nominees: 
1. what is your middle name and do you like or hate it?
Can't believe I'm actually going to put this, Rebecca-Lynn is my middle name and I absolutely hate it. I'm actually going to legally change my name all together once I have the money.

2. where is your favorite place to go on vacation and why?
Um, I have never really been on a vacation but if I could go, it would be England because I love the culture over there.

3. what is your favorite thing to do, out and about, on your weekend?
I am unemployed, so it's always my weekend. I would have to say that gaming is my favorite thing to do, helps keep my anxiety level down.

4. how often do you workout and what are your workouts like?
I am currently working out 15-20 a day usually doing chores around the house. I have recently gotten into playing Zumba. I have to be careful with workouts because I have vestibular migraines that are trigger by to much activity.

5. what is the meal you would have as your last meal? 
If you would have asked me this a month ago I would say hands down, chicken pot pie. Now that I have started a new way of eating it would probably be Kashi Island Vanilla cereal with a banana and almond milk. Taste amazing I have it every morning for breakfast.

6. what are two of our favorite names?
Nikita and Josephine

7. what chore do you hate doing?
Cleaning the bathroom, I won't ever do it my partner has to.

8.What is your longest relationship? 
My current relationship 4 years and going strong :)

9. Do you have a favorite number? If yes, why is that your favorite number? 
13 has always been my favorite number and I always have the best luck on Friday the 13th.

10. Are you crafty? 
To an extent yes, but I do most of my crafting via photoshop. 

11. Do you or will you have kinds? How many?
I am not sure whether or not I will ever have kids. I have three cats does that count?

I nominate:

I don't have any more tags to add :/
11 questions for my nominees 
1) What is your favorite TV show?
2) Who is your favorite actor/actress?
3) What one movie could you watch over and over again without it every getting boring?
4) What is your least favorite vegetable?
5) Who is your favorite music artist?
6) If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
7) If a stranger came up and gave you a million dollars in cash what would you do?
8) What is one of your guilty pleasure songs?
9) What is your dream job?
10) If you could meet one celebrity who would it be?
11) What is one thing you wish you could have done differently?

Have fun! I know I did :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

June Sponsorship Giveaway

I am entering for my chance to win some free advertising for my blog :) click the image to find out more.



First and foremost I want to thank you for taking the time to even consider sponsoring my blog. I am new to the blogging community, but I can promise that I will do everything that I can to help promote your blog via ad space and shout outs on twitter, and other social media avenues. I am currently working on setting up a facebook account, as well as a Pinterest. You can currently follow me on:

Instagram - 9 followers
Twitter - 47 followers
Polyvore - 7 followers, 2,879 set views, & 83 set likes 
Bloglovin - new
Ebay - new
Facebook - 3 likes
Pinterest - 4 followers
Tumblr - 16 followers

I am hoping to improve those numbers over time, but it won't stop me from doing everything that I can promote your blog.

With me being a new blog, I am offering a 50% discount on all advertisements costs!
Promo Code: GypsyLynn

I also have a promo code for anyone who would like to swap advertisements, please contact me via any one of the social networks listed above and I can give you the code. The swap promo takes 100% of the cost away, but the ads are rotating so don't think that I am not showing your ad, because I promise I will.

Thank you again for your consideration!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Things I Don't Love (Hosted by: Lulu & Sweet Pea)

This blog is in response to Lulu & Sweet Pea: Click the images above to head to her blog and look around.

Recently I decided that I wanted to get into shape, because I wanted to feel better about myself. It was a choice that I made after seeing Jillian Michaels. I was also told by my doctor that working out and eating right would help my PTSD, so it was sort of perfect time. What I am not loving about the experience is the responses that I get. 

Now when I started this journey I weight 170 lbs and just overall didn't like how I looked or how I felt, so I decided to change that. Every time I tell people about it, they make comments like 'you're not overweight' or 'so now you become one of those picky eaters?'. 

First thing's first, I changed from eating processed to organic and all natural foods. It was my choice because a lot of the processed foods have pesticides in them and I am allergic to pesticides. It was a choice I made to get healthy, and so that I stopped feeling so sick all the time. Honestly, cutting out the foods not  only makes me feel better but without even utilizing exercise I have managed to lose 15 pounds. That was huge for me and I was proud of my achievement. I told people and at first they were like that is great, but then came the conversations of 'at least I still get to eat my favorite foods.' 

Here is the thing people, I am not missing out on anything at all. For every crap processed food that is out there, there is a healthier option. So with that being said, people can keep their high calorie, processed GMO, hormone, pesticide filled foods and I will continue to eat in a manner that makes me feel better. 

What I really want to say to all those people who instantly judge someone because they want to get healthy, don't get that twisted with going on a diet. I am not on a diet, I changed to a healthier way of eating and I have no intentions on going back. I count my calories every day, I pay attention to what I am taking in and what I need to make my body function at it's fullest. 

With that being said, I am not saying that I don't occasionally slip and fall back into old habits, but guess what, I am not on a diet! I am following the golden rule of Eat Less, Move More. I am currently tracking my calorie intake and burn through Jillian Michaels 360 program. It costs me 4 dollars a week but it is completely worth it. So to all of you who accuse someone of being on a diet, or being a picky eater, simply because they say they want to get healthy, stop! 

Here is why I say to stop, because a diet is something that someone does to lose weight on a temporary basis. I say temporary because people go on diets, lose the desired amount of weight and then they stop dieting. Know what happens next? 9/10 times the person gains all that way back, and why you ask? They have stopped dieting. Programs like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, and Nutrisystem are great diets to help get you down to your goal weight, but once you start these programs, you have to stay on them forever. 

It is so much easier to count your calories intake for a month, and after that you are pretty much capable of knowing how many calories you eat a day. We are creatures of habit, we tend to eat the same 4-6 meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So after 30 days (which is what it takes to form a new habit) you have trained yourself portion control so you won't always have to count calories. So! If you want to get healthy or lose weight there are a number of apps out there that can help you. Here are some that can help you if you are looking to get healthy and lose weight, and you aren't looking for a diet that once you quit you could gain the weight back. 

Jillian Michaels this is a free app when it comes to keeping track of your calorie intake. For $4 a week you can get a custom meal plan and workouts designed for your body type and learn your metabolic type. You also have the support of a great community of people. If you want to go all out and know exactly what you are burning in calories every day, then you can add a BodyMedia to your plan for free. I personally have the bluetooth band so I have the BodyMedia Fit App so that I can track my daily activity. 
                                        BodyMedia Fit App                     Jillian Michaels App

My Fitness Pal which is a free app that you can use to help you track your calories and fitness for no charge. 

My Plate which is also free and hosted by Livestrong.

So there are a lot of apps out there if you are looking to start counting calories. If you want to lose weight, then all you have to do is calculate how many calories a day your body naturally burns, and subtract 500-1000 calories from your daily intact and you will lose 1-2lbs a week without exercise, which means when you work out you are adding to that calorie deficit so you will lose even more weight. 

NutritionData BMI & Calorie Calculator is a website you can use to take your natural calorie burn. Never eat under 1200 calories a day! and if you want to lose more weight in a week simply work out more, but don't over do it. Also an important side note when you want to get healthy, take your current weight and divide it by 2 and that is how many oz of water you need to take in a day. For every 30 mins of intense exercise you do, meaning you are sweating, add 8oz of water to your daily intake. 

So, there you have it, there is a difference between wanting to get healthy and going on a diet. So please, the next time someone you know says they want to get healthy, don't look down on them, don't tell them they don't need to, or that they are missing out. Support their decision to want to eat better and feel better about themselves. 


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Possibility of setting myself back 3 years

So I went to physical therapy yesterday and my therapist said that my hand is at a place where I can start doing the circuits that JM has set for me on the app. To be honest I'm terrified of putting any weight down on my hand.

Three years ago I pulled the tendons for my pinky and right finger off the knuckle. It took them a long time to figure out what I did and over time I slowly lost the ability to use those fingers. During the time I also lost muscle in the palm of my hand and the doctor said it wasn't supposed to be that way, basically he could feel the mechanics of my hand and you are not supposed to be able to do that. Then we discovered I was born without a certain tendon in my pinky which was weird but kind of cool at the same time.

I don't want my hand to go back to the way it was three years ago or even 6 months ago. I go to do one of her circuits and get major anxiety thinking I can pull them off again. I've been told by the dr and my pt that this would be impossible because of the scar tissue that formed.

I want to get over this fear so that I can start actually like I'm getting what I paid for. I don't have much encouragement at home and I'm constantly reminded of the things I can't do.... Like make a fist or hold my steering wheel properly. I just don't know how to break the barrier, so to speak.

I listen to Jillian's podcasts, I have been listening to her books, unlimited and slim for life, I got the bodymedia to track my activity. I even got Zumba and have been having fun with that when I can. To add to my hand injury I also suffer from Vestibular migraines which can be brought on by working out, take on my PTSD and there are days where I lay on the couch and eat an entire small pizza from papa johns by myself. I also can't seem to get passed eating more then 900 calories a day unless I make some sort of crap processed food that I enjoy but shouldn't eat.

Needless to say I'm about ready to give up but everytime I eat crap I feel like crap and then I remind myself what happened at Jillian's show. She knew who I was from twitter and it made me feel great, and I decided if she could take the time to care about me and remember me from the 100s if not 1000s of tweets she gets a day I can do the same for myself.

I've never been very good at reaching out for help I've always been the one who finds the solution to the problem because I had no choice. So, I'm reaching out now hoping that somehow I can break this endless cycle of me giving up on myself. I figure if I put this out there that maybe it will help take some of the pressure off that I have out on myself because of losing my job and getting irritated that my dominant had doesn't work like it used to. All in all I just need to know and feel that I have someone on my side because while I logically get everything that is being said to me I am way better at helping others get healthy and fail at getting healthy myself.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fitness Bands & Poor Customer Service (rant)

Hello readers!

I haven't posted in awhile, because I haven't really had much to say. I have been trying to get this whole diet and fitness thing under control and it is harder than I thought it would be. I also realized yesterday that I was doing some things wrong, but you live and you learn right? Of course!

Anyways... moving on.

Lately I have been doing a lot of research on Fitness bands. I did have a blog entry about the Jawbone Up but I removed it. Now, I want to start by saying that the Up is a good product.... when it works. However if you have an issue with the Up getting help is like pulling teeth. I had my Up for less than a week and it started to malfunction. It has this timer that you can set when you have been idle too long, thing basically reminds you to get off your behind and do something. I liked that feature it was the reason I bought the band. That and it helped you track your sleep and also helped monitor your steps. Well the awesome band turned into a horrible nightmare after only a few days. My idle alarm went off every thirty minutes regardless of if I was moving or not. Naturally I contacted the customer support and went through all of that. I had 4 conversations with their customer service in a 24 hour period.

You know what they did? Absolutely nothing, all of them told me the same thing 'well it looks like we need to reset the band.' I explained that I had already done that and they said to try and reset it again and to contact them should the problem persist. 3 online sessions and one email later, I still had issues with the band going off every 30 minutes even when I turned the alarm off. It was a nightmare and a half cause I got woke up every 30 minutes. Now, when this band vibrates you can hear it, it is louder then when a cell phone vibrates, which was great until it went wrong.

So after I got no help from Jawbone, I contacted Best Buy where I purchased the product from. I finally got help! They looked up when I purchased the band and told me I was well within the 15 day return policy and that they would be happy to take the product back with no questions asked. The woman was very kind, apologized for the band and told me that when I came to return it to seek out the employe who is designated to the fitness band area to get fitted with a suitable band for me.

Well I took the band back and decided okay, it just has to be this band so I will give it another go. I get home set everything up again and nothing happened. The thing didn't vibrate at all cue another conversation to Jawbone, and two resets later I took the band back to Best Buy again and returned the thing. Now, I know that working in customer service there are times when you simply cannot help a customer because nothing makes them happy. Thing is I was happy, I just wanted my band replaced because it wasn't working, they told me that would take 2-4 weeks to receive. I spent $129.99 for a product that worked less than a week and now they want me to wait longer for a product? No thank you, I told them I would be returning it to the store and the store could deal with them from that point on.

I was so frustrated with this product, if only because I paid $129.99 plus three trips to Best Buy which is roughly about 10 dollars in gas for me because they aren't close. So I ended up spending over $150 dollars on something that was supposed to encourage me to move more. Needless to say I took my frustrations to Twitter and caught the companies attention pretty quickly. They followed me and sent me a direct message asking where I bought the product from. I explained that it was Best Buy and they said they would look into this... like it was something that Best Buy had done to their product to make it not work.

So... hold on a minute.... now not only were then just taking me through the reset process but then they proceed to blame the faulty product on where I bought it? Come on now, that would be like me saying that letting my milk spoil in my fridge is all Walmart's fault. They didn't want to take responsibility for their faulty product.

They asked me for the ticket numbers and email in which I used to communicate with their staff and just now got told that they appreciated my feedback. Now the thing that really pissed me off about all of this was the fact that no one cared. It didn't matter how many times I contacted them I got the same generic response each time, and if there is anything that gets under my skin more, it is generic prompt read responses. None of them took a moment to actually listen to the problem, none of them cared that this device was causing me stress. I couldn't get them to answer any questions outside the prompted answers or 'if you would please follow the instructions we are sure this will fix your problem.' The when all was said and done after all the emails all the online chats and all the issues their final reply was 'thanks for your feedback.'

They didn't care that I wasted nearly 6 hours of time trying to get a replacement band. They didn't care that I am jobless and couldn't afford the gas to keep going back and forth. They didn't care about anything that I had to say until I took to Twitter... then they suddenly cared, apologized for the faulty device and said they would be looking into why I wasn't helped. You want to know why I wasn't helped? Because companies have stopped training people to listen and started training them to read a prompt. I am pretty sure if any one of those associates had listened to the fact that I have an Anxiety disorder and the band was making it worse, then they probably would have acted sooner. Nope, they just kept going off their prompt because hey, they already had my money why should they care?

So, I ended up going back to Best Buy and got a whole new band all together. I purchased the BodyMedia armband because I know it works. I know it works because its the same model that they use on the Biggest Loser. At first I was like great, now I have to pay a subscription fee for the band on top of my subscription fee to Jillian Michaels, so I was stressed out. Thankfully I finally had some good news and luck on my side, because I already had a membership to JM I could just sync my band up to my account and not pay any additional money. So now I am paying $4 dollars a week to help get my butt into shape and a band that syncs with the program so I get more accurate counts for my calorie burn and so forth.

 Here is what the information looks like when going through JM website. On a side note the band will not automatically send the data to your JM app you have to sync it with your computer to get the information off. This isn't actually a bad thing because you aren't supposed to wear this band 24/7, they don't want you to exceed 23 hours a day. So, I take my band off for an hour a day to sync and charge the band at once. If you want results throughout the day I highly recommend the bluetooth version of the band and use the app to see your progress throughout the day. If you don't need fitness advice you can simply use the BodyMedia app but you have to pay for their subscription if you go without the Jillian Michaels app subscription. 

Now, I also want to let you all now that I am not saying that the Up isn't worth it, because it totally is as long as the band is working. I was thrilled with my results until it went faulty but at the end of the day I switched to a new band because I wasn't treated like a person, I was treated like a robot and felt like I didn't matter to them. Needless to say, if I know the product improves and that I wouldn't have those issues again, I would get the Up. It was comfortable, and looks like a bracelet so I didn't feel like anyone was staring at me. Sadly, that is not how it turned out, and I went with something I had more faith would work. Now, I also want to mention that Jawbone and BodyMedia are merging, I just hope the poor customer service doesn't continue when that happens.

Sorry for the long rant, but I just felt like I needed to write this entry because Fitness bands are becoming a huge thing. People want them to be fashionable and they want to know that they work. We shell out a lot of money for these things to work and to keep up motivated, so mine as well get the best quality possible right? Right! I would still like to encourage anyone and everyone who is trying to get into shape, to seriously look into the fitness bands. However, when looking into them keep in mind what you want the band to tell you.  Every band has its own perks, advantages, and disadvantages. Do your research, ask your friends, and don't be afraid to talk to sales associates. I highly recommend getting a product from a third party source such as Best Buy, as they tend to offer better warranties and if you get it from Best Buy you can get an additional 2 year warranties (mine was $19.99) and if something goes wrong you just go to the store and they replace it with a new one. That and most stores have a 15 day return policy for electronic devices, but always be sure to ask if your product falls within the 15 day return policy guidelines. Some stores will not take back an opened product.

I hope this entry helps someone!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Portion Control

Hello Readers!

So over the last few days I have been having issues with portion control, simply because when I cook it I want to eat it. When I was on Weight Watchers I remembered I used to sort out everything. Each little bag had the serving size and the points and it helped me stay on track... sort of. Soda was my biggest downfall for all my diets because its bad. That isn't an issue anymore because I stopped drinking soda and actually I have pretty much stopped caffeine altogether. Every now and then I will get coffee with a friend but other then that it is just water or water with Mio or Kool-aid Liquid, but I try to leave that stuff out.

I am getting off topic so let me get back to the point I was making. So...

Right portion control!

When I go to the store I always try to make healthy choice, buying things according to the lists that I got from Jillian Michaels. I try and buy all natural meats, organic dairy, and fruits and veggies in accordance with those lists. Thing was, I was losing money. I would end up throwing stuff away because I wasn't eating it and I figured there had to be a way to save money so I started freezing things when I got home. That got to be a hassle because then I spent all day in the kitchen chopping veggies and fruits. Now I should tell you that my dominant hand is not functioning properly, so having to use it too much causes me a lot of pain. So here I was hurting myself to stay healthy and then I went into the store one day and saw that they were having a sale on organic and all natural fruits and veggies. So I went and looked down the aisle and it was perfect, the food was cheaper it was already cut up and it was already frozen.

I stocked up I mean I must have bought about 20 bags of veggies because they were on sale 10/10. It was a great deal to hard to pass up. Then came a whole new problem.... how in the hell was I going to store 20 bags of veggies, so I just crammed them into my tiny freezer. Well then I got frustrated because I would have to shift, take out, restack, get my portion and then cram the bag back into the freezer. So that made me want to eat the food less and less.

Well my friends I was laying in bed one night, because all our best ideas come right as we are about to fall asleep. I was like... I should just portion out the bags to a serving size and that will solve the clutter. So I spent 2 hours portioning out fruits and veggies into a serving per bag, labeling them with the calories that were in each bag.

When I was done I grabbed the bags and shoved them into the freezer thinking great this is going to take up less space, and I just have to take out the bags I was everyday, this is going to be great. I was so wrong, just shoving the bags into the freeze made things worse. So, I took a moment and then it hit me... stack the bags flat. Now, I know some of you may think that was the logical first step, but I am on new meds so it takes my brain a little longer to process things. To make a long story short I went from having a total mess in my freezer to something that was easy to manage.

Doesn't that look better? Now when I open my freezer I really can just grab what I am looking for and set it aside for the day. I have also started doing this with my meats, excluding chicken because I buy that frozen. I have a weight watcher's food scale and I use that to portion out the beef and pork that I buy. I put how many Oz they are so I can just grab what it is that I want and not have to worry about portion size because it is already portioned! This makes my shopping and my day a whole lot easier. 

Now, before you all get all excited and get all upset about the plastic bags, I reuse them. When I pull my serving of veggies out I put them into a plastic container and then stick the empty bag back into the freezer to be used again. I put it back in the freezer because it will prevent cross contamination as well as make sure that the bag is safe to use again. If you want to get real technical you could probably just wash them out but I like to save time so I just fold them up and plop them right back into the freezer and its there when I need to buy groceries again. I do the same thing with my meats with one exception. For my meat I wrap them in Press 'n Seal because then I can pull that out and the bag is still clean. Again I have a place in my freezer for all my empty bags. 

I wouldn't recommend keeping the plastic bags forever, after a few uses (3-5) just because the bag could not be sealing correctly and then you have to deal with freezer burn. 

By portioning out my food, I find that 

1) I am eating healthier
2) I am cooking more meals at home
3) I am not over eating
4) I am not struggling to find my calorie intake
5) I save a whole lot of time during the week. 

Yes, it takes me about an hour or two to do all the work, but I have to take breaks so I can give my hand a rest. It is worth it, it saves of dishes because you aren't using serving cups all day long, its just really a grab, put it into the fridge and go about my day. Now this may not work for some but it may work for others. To be honest I have cut my cooking time down because I am not having to measure everything as I got it is ready when I need it. 

With meat I recommend taking out a few days in advance so that it can thaw properly. Again just find a container to put the wrapped pieces of meat into and save the bag. DO NOT CROSS CONTAMINATE! keep your meats separated, beef with beef, chicken with chicken, pork with pork, turkey with turkey.... I think you know where I am going with this. If you don't know how to properly handle meats and veggies please, please, please! take a look at a food handling guide beforehand you can seriously get sick if it is not handled and cooked properly. 

I hope this entry has helped... well anyone. A couple of hours one day will save you the hassle throughout the week. This is a great system for people who always seem to be on the go. The best part about it is, even if you forget to pull the veggies out of the freezer you can just toss them into a ziplock steamer bag frozen and you have well cooked veggies. 

Take care everyone!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Scam Alert!

Hello Readers,

I wanted to let you all know that there is a phone scam going on right now that you DO NOT want to be a part of. A company will call and say that they are calling on behalf of Microsoft and they are going to help you remove viruses and malware from your computer. They will tell you that they received and alert from their servers that your computer sent them this information. It is a lie, Microsoft doesn't have people call you to tell you about any of the reports your computer sends out and if they did it would come from their WA state office not an overseas unavailable number. They will prompt you that your antivirus and antimalware programs are only 85% effective. This is all a lie, what they really want to do is gain access to your computer to download your content, basically they are looking for any online purchases you have made so they can have access to your credit cards.

Some of you may want to know how I know this is a scam, because one the lady couldn't tell me how many computers I have in my home. Two, microsoft doesn't call people if they get a major error report on your computer, they send you a letter of recall if it is that dangerous. Three, if you regularly take care of your computer and utilize your antivirus and antimalware properly your computer is completely safe. Also these callers are reading to you from a prompt and once you say something that isn't apart of their prompt they start over. That means they don't even know how to do what they are asking you to, thus don't listen to them.

I am under the understanding that this has been going on for awhile now, but I still felt the need to write a blog to keep people warned. If they call just hang up the phone, it is not worth your time.


Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Okay To Have a Bad Day

Hello Readers,

So the last couple of days have been hard on me, not that anything bad happened, but that I started fall back into old habits. I made my favorite kind of rice and told myself that I was only going to eat one serving. I dished out my portion and put the rest in a container to have another day... ya I ate the whole box. The next day I did the same thing, told myself I had self control to not eat the whole box and made my plate of food dished out my one serving again, and again I devoured almost the whole box. So then I decided that I was going to avoid cooking, just eat salads and things that didn't require me using the stove, then I ordered a pizza. Needless to say habits are hard to break but that isn't a reason to break down and give up.

Today I decided it was a good day to start over, because that is allowed. I went to the store and looked over various products read labels and made better choices. I stocked up my fridge and my freezer on things that would be healthy and you know what? I threw out all the things from my freezer that I didn't need. I got rid of my ice cream, TV dinners, and various other, bad for you products. It felt good to get all of that out of the house and get rid of the temptation. Now I still have several boxes of my rice left but I am going to use it so that I can learn to control my portions better. It is something we all have to learn at some point.

I find that I am constantly reminding myself that I am only human and that I am entitled to make mistakes. I think as a person we often forget that mistakes happen, they are things that we cannot avoid even if we wanted to. Our mistakes help guide us in new paths and through challenges in life. My mistakes gave me the drive to finally throw away all the things that tempt me and I will tell you what it felt good.

Not only did I throw away the foods that I shouldn't but I also invested some money in myself. I bought myself Zumba so that I could be more active at home. It isn't much but being jobless and having nothing else to do I figured I could at least try something. I know most would say that I should just go outside or go to a gym, well I have another complication that has the odds against me, I get exercise induced migraines. What does that mean exactly? If I do too much exercise then my head decided it is going to hate me and cause me to go to bed. Right now I am working with my doctor to try and find a treatment plan that will help me be able to tolerate longer excises but for now I have to keep things at a low level of movement.

It sucks but I am working with what I got, so for now instead of concentrating on the 'eat less, move more' I am focusing on eating less but still staying healthy. I am trying to walk more two, and this Jawbone Up has been very handy.

That is all I really have for now, I just want those of you who read this to know that its okay to have a bad day, or bad days, bad weeks, or even bad months. What truly matters at the end of it is what you do next. Are you going to continue to have bad days and drown your sorrows in self destructive ways, or are you going to do something about it? Me I am choosing to do something about it. If you need help, guidance, or just support, please feel free to leave a comment I will help anyways I can.


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