Fitbit Surge Review from a Fitbit Lover

The Fitbit Surge has been out for a while, I know. Google Fitbit Surge Review and mostly what comes up are reviews from tech sites. I thought I’d give my own review, as a diehard Fitbit lover!

Photo from

Photo from

I’ve been wearing a Fitbit of some kind for years now. I started with the Ultra, moved on to the One, and bit the bullet last year and bought a Surge. I ended up getting a Best Buy gift card from work and since I normally don’t shop there, I figured I would just buy a Surge. I had been wanting one anyway.

I should note up front that I do not wear my Surge every day. I wear it for workouts only. I am just so used to my One, and I think that the One is actually more accurate for the step counts. I’m also afraid of breaking the Surge screen or something stupid like that. I work at 7-11, so there are lots of things that I could possibly bang into. I just don’t like taking the risk I guess.

The big selling point of the Surge is that it has GPS in addition to the heart rate monitor. I already own a Garmin and a Polar heart rate monitor, but thought it would be pretty handy to have them both in one gadget. It definitely is! Since I’ve had it I really haven’t worn my Garmin much. It is an old style, big and bulky. While the Surge is also on the large side, it is considerably smaller than my old Garmin.

Obviously what most people are buying the Surge for is the GPS. I love tracking my runs and being able to just get out and go and not really have to plan a route ahead of time to make sure I get the right distance. I will say though that sometimes the GPS is off. I don’t know if there is just too much interference sometimes with traffic or weather but I have been out and knew that my time and distance weren’t matching up, only to get home and find that parts of my run were missing (mostly at the beginning of my run. I do wait to turn it on until I get outside, so I don’t know why this happens! I would say that 95% of the time I don’t experience GPS problems. I have also worn my Garmin and Surge together and they were both pretty close, like within .01 mile.

The heart rate monitor is another great feature. I haven’t really tested it out to see if it is getting exact numbers, but I figure it is close enough. I don’t need to be super technical about my workouts. I don’t even really look at my watch when I’m running! I like to look at the data after the fact and see how I’m doing. It tells me whether I’m in the fat burning, cardio, or peak zones. I use it to see how I’m doing with my runs. Am I working too hard? Or not hard enough? I can just look and see afterwards and try to adjust next time. The one pictured below was uphill for the first half, so I was working pretty hard.

Run in Fitbit Dashboard

You can also track workouts so they show up labeled in the Fitbit dashboard. There are options for run, hike, weights, elliptical, spinning, and yoga. You just pick the one you want, start the timer, and go. That makes it really easy to see the different workouts in your dashboard to analyze and compare.

Fitbit Activities in Dashboard

While I love Fitbit, there are some things about the Surge I don’t like. I feel like the step count is less accurate than the One. I think being on the wrist just doesn’t track the same. I have also had issues with the battery. Sometimes I leave it around and after only using for one or two runs it doesn’t have any charge at all. I usually leave it plugged in and charging now so that doesn’t happen to me. That is also one of the reasons I don’t wear it all day. I wish there were a medium size. The small would have been too small for me, but the large is almost too big. The price was pretty steep too! But I didn’t end up paying full price.

I think thats about it! Like I said, I love Fitbit. The products are great and the customer service is pretty great too. They have replaced 2 Ones for me and they certainly didn’t have to. If you are looking for an alternative to Garmin or other GPS sport watch, or just looking to try out a fitness tracker I say go with Fitbit. They’ve been doing it longer than most and they do it pretty well.


Weigh-in and weekly workouts

Last week 125.8 pounds, 26.5% body fat

This week 126.6 pounds, 25.5% body fat

I haven’t been weighing every day, but I did check in on Wednesday, and I was under 125 then. Whatever. That makes it sound like I’m mad, but I’m not! It is just going to do whatever it wants. And then there’s the part about workouts, too.

I’m not real excited to post about my workouts, because of my knee. I haven’t even worked out since Wednesday. I don’t really know what to do, so I’m just going to take it easy until my knee doesn’t feel weird anymore. It still does.

Sunday I did 8 miles in 1 hour and 14 minutes, 9:15 pace. That is when my knee started bugging me. The run was kind of annoying too. I don’t know why, just in a bad mood I guess.

Monday I did 4 miles on the elliptical in 30 minutes. I did weights too, deadlifts, hammer curls, shoulder presses, leg curls, leg presses, and calf raises.

Tuesday I ran 5.32 miles, 52 minutes/9:44 pace. This was in Fort Union and basically uphill for the first half and then back down. It was probably not a good idea to follow through with this run, but I did it anyway. And my knee was still a problem.

Wednesday I did the elliptical again for 4 miles and 30 minutes, then weights. I did squats, kb rows, quad curls, and back extensions.

So that’s it. Totals – ran 13.32 miles, elliptical 8 miles, workout time 4 hours, 16 minutes. Not that great. I’m just trying not to let myself get too down about it and just go with it. I can’t change it, and honestly its better to get sidelined now than while doing marathon training, IF I get that far.

I’ve still been trying to eat well and only when I’m hungry. I am especially trying to be careful to just eat enough, since I’m not working out as much. We’ll see what happens this week. I may try to go for a short run this morning and see how it goes. I don’t know. At the very least, if I’m not running and lifting this week I’m going to try and get into some yoga. My body could use it anyway.

Food Budget Week 1

I’ve decided to start doing the Food Budget again! I did this a couple of years ago, aiming to keep under $125 a week for our family of 3. I’m going to comb the sales flyers for the stores I like to shop at each week, attempt meal planning, and try to just buy what we need. I’ll recap what we bought each week.

This past week we shopped at Costco, Harmon’s, and Sprouts. I’m adding the 1st – 9th together for the first week of the year. We spent $208.12 and went shopping 3 times in those 9 days. This week is high, but hopefully we’ll get it a little lower next week. Here’s what we bought:

Half of our grocery haul Week 1


  • Acorn squash $2.46
  • Organic apples $3.00
  • Avocados $3.75
  • Organic bananas $2.63
  • Bell peppers $3.96
  • Blueberries $3.00
  • Brussels sprouts $3.99
  • Cilantro $1.19
  • Clementines $5.99
  • Cucumbers $1.00
  • Garlic $1.38
  • Grapefruit $1.50
  • Green onions $.79
  • Kiwis $2.04
  • Baby romaine $2.50
  • Onions $1.77
  • Oranges $3.98
  • Organic russets $2.50
  • Power greens $3.99
  • Serrano pepper $.09
  • Spaghetti squash $4.48
  • Grape tomatoes $5.00


  • Organic butter $7.99
  • Sliced havarti $7.99
  • Sliced swiss $8.99
  • 3 quarts of kefir $5.00
  • Cottage cheese $7.50
  • Fage $6.49
  • 1 1/2 dozen eggs $3.99
  • Sliced ham $6.59
  • 1/2 gallon milk $2.99
  • Baking powder $1.79
  • Yeast $6.99
  • Bread $3.69
  • Organic chicken stock $11.99
  • V8, tart cherry juice, and apple juice $12.49
  • Bulk cumin $3.00
  • Buckwheat flour $4.79
  • Amaranth $8.99
  • Carob nuggets $4.40
  • Fish sauce $3.99
  • Flax seed $1.34
  • Grapefruit juice $4.49
  • Millet $3.39
  • Soy sauce $2.29
  • Teff $6.99
  • Organic diced tomatoes $6.49
  • Corn tortillas $2.49

I went 372 days without drinking alcohol!

So in late 2014 I decided I was going to abstain from alcohol in 2015. All year, not one drop. And I did it! I was getting to the point where I was just drinking too much. I wasn’t enjoying my life for so many reasons. I was fat, out of shape, unhappy, not really doing anything and had no goals, no direction. I had no drive and was just slogging through each day. If I was going to change anything, it had to start with alcohol. I knew I wanted to get in shape and lose weight, and more importantly start caring about life again. None of that would happen while I kept drinking.

It was so important to me that I actually change and not just keep saying that I wanted to, but not do anything different. I was stuck in that cycle of saying, wanting, wishing, but not ever having the courage to make it happen. But I knew that I had to follow through this time. I knew that if I didn’t, I would just continue the cycle and stay in that bad place. I would never change. I knew that I had to do it, so I just decided that it would happen – that I would do it no matter what. There was just no question about it, I was quitting drinking.

The most important part was that I wanted it, badly. I had spent too much time wishing for things to be different. I had to make it happen. And I knew that if I just stopped drinking alcohol then everything would fall into place and things would start to change. And I was right! I made the plan to work out more often than not. 6 days a week. Weights and running. Simple enough and very effective. You can see just how effective in my weight loss story. Somehow I found the patience and will to just stick with it. It didn’t take long for me to just forget about drinking. I was no longer hungover, feeling like total garbage. It took a while for the sadness to go away. But the more I took care of myself, the better I felt. It took the first half of the year for me to start feeling really good. It just solidified my decision and resolve.

I started thinking about drinking again as the year got closer to an end. I couldn’t decide if I would just keep going without alcohol or start to incorporate it into my life again. There are so many reasons not to! But in the end I decided it was more important to try for some kind of balance in my life with alcohol. Plenty of people drink too much, all the time. Plenty of people drink too much occasionally. Then there are the people who drink sometimes, don’t have major issues with it, and just live life without any extra judgement. That is who I want to be, and who I know that I can be. If I learned anything in 2015, it is that I can do anything that I want to do. I can’t rely on excuses anymore. I either want something, or I don’t. I will either do, or not. I don’t have to hold onto the old stories that I used to tell myself about who I used to be. I can finally forgive myself and move on.

I don’t know what else to say. I’m so happy that I decided to quit drinking for a year and reclaim my life. I am so proud of myself!! I didn’t realize how much I was missing out on. I don’t ever want to let that happen again. I hope that I won’t.

Anyway, all that to say that I drank a beer today. A 10.2% 16 oz. beer that a customer at work gave me. Because he wanted to be nice. So I accepted the gesture and drank it. It gave me a great buzz and the world didn’t end. It was all very confusing and liberating LOL I appreciated the gift I gave myself even more because of it. And I will continue to believe in myself.

Thats that, I suppose.

Venting about my knee

My knee has been acting up on the last couple of runs. I felt it on my 8 miler Sunday and then again yesterday. Its pissing me off!! So here’s whats randomly going through my mind:

  • I worked too hard last Thursday when I ‘raced’ 5 miles.
  • I’ve been running too much overall, even though my body felt really good up until now.
  • I will probably never be able to run a marathon 😦
  • I have 4 races in the next 3 months that I’m signed up for, will I be able to do those?!
  • I can take some time off of running, but I don’t want to, and I don’t know how much time I’d need.
  • I really should get in to see a doctor.
  • I really should get a trainer so I can avoid injury, but have NO idea where to start looking. And is that a guarantee I won’t get injured? I don’t think so.
  • Maybe I should take low weeks every 4 weeks instead of 6.
  • I don’t even know if my knee is ‘hurt’. I feel it when I run, but it isn’t painful. I just always back off because I’m taking it as a warning sign that something isn’t right.
  • I really should get in to see a doctor.

Ugh. Well I guess from here I will take some time off from running and just do elliptical instead. I didn’t feel my knee until a few miles into my run though, so maybe low miles are okay? Maybe I’m just running too many days a week. This happened before when I was only running 4 days a week though.

It makes me so mad. I am doing SO good!! All I want to do is run and be healthy, and I’ll seriously be pissed if I can’t end up running the marathon this year. I think I will just give up for good if it comes to that.

Okay, vent over. I don’t feel any better though!!

Weigh-in and Workouts

The weight and food:

Last week 126.4 pounds, 26% body fat

This week 125.8 pounds, 26.5% body fat

Down .6 pounds, up .5% body fat. The body fat does that, but last month I actually saw 25.5% a lot, so I’m thinking it will go down soon. I’ve decided to once again stop weighing in daily, so I won’t know what is happening as much. I’m okay with that. Things are probably going to be pretty slow in the weight loss area and I think it will be more annoying to weigh daily anymore. I may even go a month without weighing again like I did last April.

This week was two extremes. The first half was just way too much food, well treats, really. I was just eating a lot of empty calories. And not feeling great either! I guess I was testing the waters. I don’t like doing that anymore. So hopefully I’m over it. The second half was much better. I started eating better, eating less, having a lot less treats. I’m feeling a lot better, mostly mentally. I feel more in control, and happier about my choices. This week I’m going to be more strict about my mealtimes, only doing breakfast, lunch, and dinner and no snacking in between. I’m also going to stop having dessert every night and go for alternate nights. I’ll have fruit on the other nights. That should help to start moving the weight loss along again.

My workouts this week:

Sunday was a very cold 8.51 miles. The temp was about 10 when I left with a feels like of 1 or zero. So cold! I had bought some gear to keep me warmer the day before though so I was set. The trail was packed down with snow and ice so I had to be careful. I felt pretty good up until mile 7 when I started to tire a bit. I did it in 1 hour and 20 minutes for a 9:20 pace.

Monday was 3.02 miles, 28 minutes, 9:14 pace. Easy run followed by weights. I did deadlifts, hammer curls, quad curls, kb rows, and calf raises. I guess I’m trying to up my strength game a little. I got back up to 80# in plates on my deadlifts!

Tuesday was 5.04 miles, 48 minutes, 9:38 pace. Still snowy and icy on the parkway trail, and an orange air day. I tried not to work too hard.

Wednesday I tried out the treadmill, which totally sucked. I did a slow 2 miles and then said eff this, and did 1 more elliptical mile. I just didn’t feel good on the treadmill! I actually felt kind of dizzy, and I was going slowish, so I don’t know what was up. I hate the treadmill though. I also did weights. DB romanian deadlifts, shoulder presses, and skater squats.

Thursday I did another 5.26 miles. Since it was the last run of the year I got it in my head to just push it and go as fast as I could. I finished in 44 minutes for an 8:18 pace! That’s pretty damn fast for me. I was struggling the entire time though, so probably too fast. But I just pushed through even though it was damn hard. I wished it wasn’t that hard, but I just have to face that I’m not that fast LOL

Friday I was feeling incredibly sore from the last two days! I could barely do the floor touches in my warmup. I got in 3.08 miles, 29 minutes, 9:24 pace. I really just took it easy since the day before was so hard. After that I did weights. Squats, DB rows, calf raises, and quad curls.

Saturday I did nothing!

Totals – 27.96 miles, 6 hours 20 minutes working out

You can see I’m still mostly just doing lower body. I have been trying out more upper body stuff, like the hammer curls, and I’m less afraid of the mountain climbers in my running warmup. I tried pushups the other day but those are still out, because of my bicep actually. I don’t know what is wrong with me, but I am going to have it checked out sometime soon. I added one more mile this week and my schedule will stay the same for two more weeks. Still working my way up in miles, slowly but surely.


How did my year go?

2015 has gone by FAST. Like, really fast.

My biggest accomplishment this year was abstaining from alcohol! When the year first started, I was hungover and feeling like crap. Physically and emotionally. I had been on a cycle of drinking too much for too long and I wasn’t really into my life, at all. I wasn’t doing anything I enjoyed or doing anything in the way of self care. So yeah, that change has improved my life by leaps and bounds! Ditching the booze has led to so many other GOOD things…

I lost over 25 pounds. And kept it off!! I started the year weighing 152.2 pounds and sitting at 37% body fat (according to my scale). Today I’m 125 and 26%. And I’ve lost about 15 inches too. I lost weight and kept it off all year, and that has only happened once or twice in my life before. I hope that I’ll be able to keep it off for good this time.

I consistently worked out all year. Weights 2-3 times a week, almost every week. I think I kind of took a month off in May when I got sick and fatigued and didn’t have the energy for anything extra. But besides that I’ve been running and lifting most days of the week, every week. It feels amazing!! I wish I had kept better running records but for a few months I wasn’t wearing my Garmin or Fitbit, so I don’t have a real mileage total. What I have on record is 537 miles. So I ran about 50 miles every month (except May).

I paid off my car! I’m debt free. That feels so great. But I still need to work on saving more and spending less.

Other highlights of the year:

We saw Alton Brown live! I’m so glad we did. He is so funny and smart. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but it was awesome.

I won an iPad in Vegas. I just won a raffle, and it was an older iPad, but I never win anything so that was cool.

I went to two Jazz games! I had never been to an actual game, and they were both pretty good. One was basically seats almost right by the court, and the other was in a Budweiser suite. I wasn’t drinking beer, so I preferred the court-side seats lol

We only got to go camping twice, but we caught a lot of fish! We still have fish in the freezer, ha!


So, I’m happier, healthier, and debt-free. I did everything I wanted to do this year 😀 Well, I could have gone on vacation or camping more, but oh well.

I’m thinking of what goals I want to set for the coming year, but I’ll do another post for that.

How was your year?!


Last week 127.2 pounds, 26.5% body fat

This week 126.4 pounds, 26% body fat

So this week I lost .8 pounds and .5% body fat. Again, I was weighing in the last 3 days under 126, but had another big holiday meal yesterday and it went back up LOL Oh well. That should be the last of them! And things can be more consistent now. I am all cookie-d out now I think. There were sooo many treats here yesterday, and I tried them all! And no regrets or feeling guilty, just going to keep going. Like I do.

Other than my big meal last night, this past week’s food has been pretty boring. Except for my burger on Friday night at the Copper Onion. It was amazing! I chose salad instead of fries, and shared some of the sides we got which were brussels sprouts and shishito peppers. It was all so good and I cleaned my plate. It might have been too big of a meal, but it was so good and I hardly ever get to go there. We also went for pizza at The Pie, but I just had salad and 2 1/2 slices there. Didn’t go overboard.

All of my other meals have just been regular food. And I’m doing pretty good not snacking and doing balanced meals. I was surprised to be 125.4 a couple of days ago! That means what I’m doing is still working 🙂

This week’s workouts:

Sunday I did 5.15 miles/48 minutes/9:16 pace.

Monday was 3.31 miles/31 minutes/9:22 pace. It had just snowed big time and it was so beautiful out on the parkway! I hate taking my phone with me, but maybe I should start to take pictures LOL I skipped my strength because I had shoveled snow for about 2 hours that day!

Tuesday I did a bunch more shoveling. After work I did 4 miles/35.5 minutes/8:52 pace.

Wednesday was 3.04 miles/28:50 minutes/9:29 pace. After that I did weights. Deadlifts, hammer curls, leg curls, shoulder presses, and calf raises. I think I did like 8 sets of deadlifts! I tried to hit it harder than I have been lately.

Thursday I ran 5.27 miles/50 minutes/9:27 pace. The first half kind of sucked, but after that it was okay. It sounds lame but I have such a hard time with my shoes sometimes. If they aren’t tied perfectly they feel so awkward. I hate it.

Friday was 3.03 miles/27 minutes/8:58 pace. I also did lots of squats, 92! I started at 50# and then worked up to 100#. I was feeling that yesterday! I also did kb rows and quad curls.

Saturday was a rest day 😀

I think I’ve covered it all, so just going to do it again this coming week. I’m pretty sure I’ll hit my mini-goal of staying under 126 (for next week’s weigh-in). My other goal is to just keep running and stay injury-free.



Weigh-in and workouts

Last week 127.4 pounds, 26% body fat

This week 127.2 pounds, 26.5% body fat

I think its funny how I can be weighing in at 126 for 3 days in a row and then jump back up for my weigh-in day 🙂 Oh well. Technically I still did lose .2 pounds. The jump back up might have something to do with the giant meal I had last night?! We had friends over and had a feast. So much food! I didn’t eat much the rest of the day so it all evens out, but I think having such a big meal must make me a little bloated for a while. Not pictured was the dessert plate that was just a bit smaller than the dinner plate LOL


Besides yesterday, I have been working on regular meals and eating just enough. I think I’ve been doing pretty well. Also trying to get in more veggies with meals, which has translated into a lot of lunch salads. It seems to be working this week. As I said, I was down to 126.2 at one point during the week. I’ll be back there soon enough.

This week’s workouts were very minimal and I even skipped a day. It was a down week that was much needed! I was getting on the verge of burnout I think. So just 3 mile runs and 2 strength workouts.

Sunday – 4.06 miles, 9:32 pace. My notes say that I hated this run because I was feeling so worn out!

Monday – 2.09 miles, 8:42 pace. This was a quickie before weights, I think I just wanted to get it done so I really pushed it! My weights workout was deadlifts, shoulder presses, and split squats.

Tuesday – 3.04 miles, 9:35 pace. I was incredibly sore from the lower body work on Monday!

Wednesday – I skipped my workouts this day. Just too tired. I think it was needed though, because I felt tons better on Thursday.

Thursday – 3 miles, 8:43 pace. It was super windy outside and there was lots of crap flying around LOL I felt it in my mouth when I was done :/ BUT the run was great! Fast, but my heart rate wasn’t in peak according to the fitbit.

Friday – 3.05, 9:33 pace. This was a nice and easy one.

Saturday – Another rest day 😀

This coming week I will just keep on doing the regular meals and tracking my habits. My mini-goal is to get to 126 pounds, so I hope that I can swing that this week. My running will be back up to 25 and then 27 miles per week before my next down week. I’m feeling like I’m back in business and ready for it!

Total miles run – 15.25      Total time working out – 2 hours 41 minutes.

Make it a great week!

A day of junk

Sunday was not a good day eating wise. I don’t know what was going on, really, but I way overdid it and ate a lot of stuff that I didn’t even really want to. It could probably be classified as a binge, honestly. Although there was not any kind of crazy thoughts or panic or major emotion with it. I’m not dwelling on it, not proud of it for sure either. I guess it happens and I’m looking at it as more of a learning experience.

I ate all kinds of stuff, including cookies, candy, popcorn, pizza…I even kept eating when my stomach was uncomfortable and full. It didn’t really give me pleasure but I did want all of the things that I ate. It isn’t even like I’m depriving myself of any of it. In fact, I think there might be too much of it around and happening in my day to day eating! I definitely didn’t enjoy it.

I was surprised at some of the reactions I physically had. I could not sleep well at all. All night I tossed and turned! I was so tired in the morning and all day yesterday. I felt like my body was overheating too. And all yesterday I was so thirsty and my stomach was kind of in knots. I ate my normal meals but really it took all day for me to feel normal again. I was not expecting that at all.

The scale went up almost 2 pounds, and I’m sure it will inch its way back down soon enough. But I really don’t want to be working hard and be taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back. Instead of punishing myself or something silly like that, I’m just going to really dial in my focus on the habits again. I do want to continue to make progress so I’m just going to keep trying.

There is another thought, that maybe it is just time for a ‘diet’ break. I wouldn’t really think that was true since for most of the year I’ve just been losing a small amount every week. It isn’t like I’m dieting hard and losing 5 or more pounds every single week. But it could just be time to not worry about it and try to maintain what I have lost for a while.

Anyway. Just going to keep going and do what I do 🙂