Big Brother is Watching you… Introducing my FitBit

That sounds far ruder than it should. No no, don’t leave. I can explain!

My FitBit is a bracelet. You wear it 24 hours a say and it records every move you make. Did I mention that you don’t take it off?

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I ought to quantify a little bit further. I’m not on some kind of electronic security tag, but have bought a device which is designed to track just how much I actually move in a day. It’s like a pedometer in bracelet form which also synchs to my laptop wirelessly, and monitors how I sleep. All this monitoring then gives me some very pretty graphs and is trying to tempt me to hand over an extra £40 per year for even prettier graphs. For a numbers nerd like me, that is really rather tempting, but having just paid out £80 for the device, the graphs will have to wait. For now.

Why is this useful? Well, after much moaning (on here, on Facebook, to my husband) about being on a low carb diet, I chucked it all in, ate some cheesecake and downloaded MyFitnessPal and just went in for the balanced 1200 calorie diet with a decent recording of exercise. But the exercise needed to be recorded properly (read: without me cheating) so when biking & walking, I have the free app Endomondo linked into My Fitness Pal which records my route, calories & hydration needed. Then for general movement and BMR I have this funky little bracelet that tells MyFitnessPal exactly how many steps I’ve taken, and how active I am at any particular point during the day.

Essentially, I have no way of cheating. This is good. Because I diet like a child gives up sweets.

So how did I offset my measly 1200 calories with exercise today? (The more you move, the more you can eat. It really is carrot on a stick!). Well, the kids and I rode the bikes to and from school (430 extra noms), then after school we did an hour and a half at the roller disco hall where we opted in for the 30 minute lesson. I can officially stop! Without falling on my arse! And we started going backwards. And yes, I am just as happy that I can go backwards as my seven year old is. I don’t care. This is progress! I am one tiny wobbly step closer to derby! And, to top it all off, 90 minutes of whooping about, crouching, balancing on one leg, playing catch with beach balls and making snakey backwards moves burnt off 1200 cals! Result!

And just look at how happy they are!

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I’m not going to mention that my thighs feel like the Spanish Inquisition has had a team building day out on them. If they were possibly hurting, that would be because of the skating squats we were doing all in the name of ‘balance’!

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Becoming ‘Ruby Doom’

There. I said it. I’m hell bent on getting into Roller Derby and the first step towards that is naming myself (and learning to skate without breaking bits of me – I’m still a bit nervy. Four weeks on, my elbow is pretty much in full working order, but it takes 6 weeks for 50% of the bone to reform, so I’m not quite there yet – if I fall over now, I’m essentially buggered).

But I needed more progress than the hour each week of practice we’re getting alongside the kids – the kids are getting better weekly and TinyPants is becoming a little wheeled hell raiser (I’m so proud!). I tried to get LSH to come out skating on Saturday night, but he wasn’t keen. So instead I’ve moved forward mentally with a name. It had to have a link to the hair – I’ve had red red red hair for coming up on two years now and it’s become something of a trademark.

Link this to some of my more morbid tendencies (hence the Ruby Gloom reference) and I got it.

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With my adventure time nails, freshly dyed pillar box hair, I present to you Ruby Doom – fresh meat in training. Mother. Teacher. Insufferable geek. Future loyalty card holder for A&E.

I’m going to steal a Yoda line here without a trace of shame:

Do, or do not do, there is no try.

And with that, I’m ready for another week. Bring it on life.

#fiveminutefriday Jump! Because I’ve not learnt to be a grown up yet.

The premise is simple: We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that is post on the Lisa Jo Barker’s site at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Go.

I am a walking disaster. Or at least that’s what I’m told. To put this in context, over the past 18 months I have slipped a disc, dislocated my pelvis, broken my elbow, and concussed myself two separate occasions. I’ve Lao managed to give myself a few chemical burns from various hair dye and removal products which weren’t quite as successful as hoped. So this along with a couple of black eyes and a fat lip and some other minor injuries sort of suggests that I ought to lay on the floor and stay still. Don’t move. Try not to get hurt again.

But I don’t. If I’m honest, I get off on doing stuff that’s a bit outlandish and a bit dangerous (a bit. Not mountain climbing, or base jumping… Although that does sound fun…). But roller skating does it for me. Riding a mountain bike down a really steep hill, although I’m not so keen at going up. Swimming in deep water and knowing I can’t reach the bottom. LSH says I am in no way allowed a longboard. But of course what he doesn’t know…

I long for the summer when I can roll down hills with the kids, and climb trees.

It turns out, I am in fact a ten year old trapped inside a 33 year old’s body. And this ten year old is getting her skates on and practicing her moves to try out as fresh meat in roller derby in 12 months. All I need now is a name. Because even fresh meat needs a name. Frankly my Facebook friends need to let their imagination run a little freer!

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If it looks like fun, yes, I’ll jump.

STOP

Not destined for starlight express – the downside of skating.

Some days my brain doesn’t quite remember the age of my body. At 5’10” it’s rather a long way to fall and when on roller skates and trying not to fall on TinyPants who has just whizzed through my legs and lost her balance it’s even harder!

In short, I fell on my arse. Or rather on my hand, then my arse. I pretty instantly knew something wasn’t right… Elbows shouldn’t feel like that. Perhaps removing the wedding ring might be an idea… I’m sure it’s just bruised but let’s just get it checked out…

So here I am sitting in A&E explaining to various medical staff that I’m here because I was prattling about on roller skates and fell over. Cue giggling about me having a mid-life crisis and a trip to X-ray…

Edit: turns out I’ve fractured my elbow and the future for me holds several weeks in a sling… I may have to raid the fabric drawer for something a bit more attractive than this hessian thing tho.

It was fun for the first hour…

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Mum, your roller skating is epic! Oh yes.

Saturday has officially become family day. We will no longer spend the day deciding what to do, ending up actually spending half the day slobbing out then spending a fortune on soft play because of our lack of inspiration. We will have a plan. We will spend rime together. We will have fun!

It turns out that now we’ve swapped our gym membership from the posh club to the local council run one (half the price, but way more child orientated), we not only have unlimited swimming and the kids swimming lessons included and entrance to the local soft play, we also have the weekly roller disco included!

Now, in September I was confined to several square feet having been stuck on crutches for months after dislocating my pelvis and knackering several discs in my lower back. This has meant a long slow recovery to being able to do anything that verges on exciting and we started off slowly in January with a weekly swim on Saturday mornings. While tiny pants had a swimming lesson and beanpole went playing on the diving boards with the long suffering husband, I’ve been able to devote my time to treading water watching them all and hiding in the steam room when, after lessons finish they bring out the giant inflatable for the pool. (Total kudos to the swimming pool though for knowing how to keep hundreds of kids supremely happy for several hours)

Over the past few weeks, we’ve stepped this up a notch by taking the kids to the roller disco, which considering my advice to avoid any kind of impact sport perhaps is a little foolhardy, but as long as I don’t fall over, I’m good. Actually, I’m more than good. I’m having a total ball. This has in a few short weeks taken me right back to going to the roller discos at our assembly hall as a teenager and racing around on skates trying to impress the boys. And to top it off I’m doing something that has totally impressed the kids – they never knew mummy was a skater (I’ve not mentioned that I learnt to skate fast because as a drunk teenager, you don’t care when you fall over after getting air over the speed bumps in the road….).

But this time, we have the added bonus of it returning my legs back to me from the wibbley mess that they have become. In the past year, the lack of movement combined with some serious comfort eating have not done me any good. The gym is not my friend – I dislike the walking balls of testosterone that gaze lovingly at themselves (and each other?!) as they lift heavy things and make faces, I equally dislike the twiglet women who spend hours on the stepper and clearly spent their school life playing netball or athletics.

To add to the excitement this week, I bought my first pair of roller skates since I was 14. Not the roller blades or quad skates that the kids now have with big plastic buckles and shell, but bright blue retro 80s skates. Comfy skates with laces. Skates with bright yellow wheels. Just looking at them makes me happy.

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