Big Mama Blog

The heart of the matter – Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor Giveaway

Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor Giveaway.

Right after Christmas my friend Michelle came to visit and we were having a big discussion about all things exercise and diet. And, ironically, we continued to outline our fitness and health objectives through a dinner of chips, queso, and fajitas. But Michelle had a lot of great tips because fitness is kind of her hobby. As opposed to me. Fitness is more like my job that I don’t like but have to go to anyway because I enjoy food. Anyway, I told her that I was going to be reviewing and giving away various fitness and health related items on the blog after the first of the year. And she immediately said, “Oh! Are they sending you a Polar watch?” I said, “What is this Polar watch you speak of?” So she showed me hers because she is disciplined and doesn’t leave home without her running shoes and workout accessories. And she explained that it monitors your heart rate, tracks your workout, tells you how many calories you burn, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, lets you know when you’re burning fat. I’m all about the burning fat. So I spent the last few days of December desperately hoping for this Polar watch that I’d never even heard of but now felt like my life wouldn’t be complete without it. You can imagine my excitement when the nice UPS man knocked on our door one day in mid-January and delivered my very own Polar FT7 heart rate monitor.

It comes with a strap that you wear around your chest while you work out and I worried it might annoy me, but it’s actually comfortable and I got used to it without any problems. Of course I was highly motivated by the need to know how many calories I was burning and if my fat was melting away. Sadly, I usually feel like a run should burn at least 1500 calories and that is not the case. And the Polar heart rate monitor confirms this. But I love it anyway because it helps me make the most of my workout and the EnergyPointer feature lets me know when exercise shifts from fat burning to fitness improvement. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. Now if I could just figure out how to burn 1500 calories during my morning run.

You have a chance to win your very own Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor. All you have to do is leave a comment letting me know if you track how many calories you burn when you work out. And don’t forget to take the fitness pledge:

Here are the official rules.

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
The sweepstakes runs from 2/8 – 2/14.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.

Also be sure to visit the Inspiration to Fitness page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews, get great fitness tips and find more chances to win! You can also click on the Best Buy image at the top of my blog to view a calendar of all the Inspiration to Fitness content. Good luck!

Best Buy does not sponsor, endorse, approve, or have any responsibility for this promotion.


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Inspiration to Fitness – Week 5

Has it been five weeks of fitness already? This has got to be some kind of personal record for me. Especially the time I’ve spent all aboard the healthy eating train. A train with limited carbs and raw almonds as my most appealing snack option.

Although I do give myself weekends off. I’m happy to announce that this weekend was filled with crispy beef taco plates, fajitas, queso, and guacamole. And the people said AMEN.

And I think that’s the key. I can make myself mind over matter the junk food addict who enjoys Gummie Sours Lifesavers and Sonic tater tots during the weekdays because I know that I get to take a break on the weekends and eat the foods of my ancestors. Assuming my ancestors ate a lot of Mexican food. Which is really highly unlikely since they were Sicilian and you never hear anyone talk about visiting Sicily for the guacamole.

As for working out, I keep waiting to LOVE it and feel all those endorphins and all that other fitness propaganda that people spew. And it hasn’t happened. I love my playlist. I love the way I feel AFTER a workout is over. But the actual running part? Not a huge fan.

But I’ve found a lot of good workouts on Pinterest that I can do in the comfort of my living room on the days I just can’t get out the door because it’s too cold or too warm or too rainy. Can anyone tell me what we used to do before Pinterest? How did I find recipes or cute clothes or obsessively daydream about all the ways I’d like to redecorate my living room.

It’s a wealth of workout suggestions that I’ve incorporated to mix things up a little bit.


Source: iowagirleats.com via Melanie on Pinterest

Because man (or woman) cannot live by running alone.

I think that’s in the Bible.

And here’s the other gem I found on Pinterest that I look at every time I start to lose my motivation and gaze longingly at the couch.


Source: via Melanie on Pinteres

Just last week someone told me my face looked a little thinner and I wanted to give them a prolonged hug. It was a good reminder that just because I don’t see results doesn’t mean things aren’t changing. I just see myself everyday and so it’s hard to tell.

But I know I feel better and isn’t that what really matters? Just wait until I’m sitting by the pool this summer and everyone comments on how healthy my heart looks.

It will be totally worth all the sacrifices.

* Don’t forget to check out the Best Buy “Buyer’s Guide” and leave a comment for a chance to win!

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Beauty is skin deep – Personal Home Microderm Abrasion giveaway

I think it was sometime a few years ago when I looked in a super-magnifying mirror for the first time in a long time. And I didn’t like what I saw.

Where did those wrinkles come from? What were all those dark, splotchy places on my face? Why was I an idiot who spent my high school summers teaching swim lessons and neglected to wear sunscreen because I wanted a nice, tan face?

The sun damage piper had come calling, and it was time to pay. Or time to find some products with a sufficient amount of retinol. It was also time to buy a large sunhat, SPF 150, and sunglasses that covered my entire face.

I can’t even talk about the summer after I had Caroline when hormones caused me to develop what appeared to be a mustache on my upper lip but was really just a series of dark patches from the sun. It was a dark time. Literally. A kid at the pool concession stand might have called me “Sir”.

Anyway, ever since those days I have been slightly obsessed with discovering the magic elixir of skin youth. I’m a sucker for anything that promises a glowing complexion and the ability to turn back the hands of time. Even though, let’s be honest, even Cher couldn’t figure out how to do that. I’ve tried the organic oil cleansing method. I’ve tried retinol. I’ve tried every brand you can imagine. I’ve tried petroleum jelly.

I’ve finally come to love the combination of facial cleanser with electric face brush and some retinol. It’s removed a lot of the dark places on my skin and helps it have more of a glow. But I was so excited when Best Buy sent me the PMD- Home Microderm Abrasion Device. This microdermabrasion device features body and facial caps for wide-ranging use, suction that promotes blood flow to help renewal, and recovery creams (not included) that penetrate your skin. I’ve always wanted to try microdermabrasion but didn’t know if it would be worth the money, and so I couldn’t wait to try this. Unfortunately I had to wait a few days because you can’t use it within 48 hours of using retinol or alpha-hydroxy on your face. I use a lot of both of those things.

I tried it last week and loved it. My face felt so smooth and soft, and it easily absorbed the face cream I put on afterwards. I’m not sure what improvements I will see over time, but it looks promising based on my first use. I’ll let you know.

The good news is you can win one for yourself. All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is leave a comment on this post letting me know what skin care products you love the most and whether or not you’ve ever tried microdermabrasion. Here are the rules.

Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 2/1 – 2/7.

Also be sure to visit the Inspiration to Fitness page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews, get great fitness tips and find more chances to win! You can also roll over the Best Buy image at the top of my blog to view a calendar of all the Inspiration to Fitness content. Good luck!

Best Buy does not sponsor, endorse, approve, or have any responsibility for this promotion.

_____________________________________

Today the LifeWay Women are doing a special webcast with Kelly Minter at 11:00 a.m. (central time) to celebrate her new Bible study on Nehemiah. You can click here for the link. Rumor has it there will be special guests, music, cooking, prizes, and more.

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Inspiration to Fitness – Week 4

So last week I mentioned that my playlist is what’s getting me through my workouts.

But I didn’t know that Caroline was going to be sick last week and miss three days of school. So those days turned out to be completely unproductive. And I think that’s one of the hardest things about working out. It seems like something always comes up that changes up your schedule. I’m sure more disciplined people press on through, but I’ve never pretended to be one of those people.

The good thing is I’m motivated to get right back on the horse or the pavement or whatever this week. It just goes back to how much better I feel after a good workout. I can tell a difference in my mood and outlook. And hopefully I’ll eventually feel a difference in my jeans.

Here are the songs that are getting me through right now:

1. Sparks Fly by Taylor Swift

2. Stronger by Mandisa

3. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson

4. Gunpowder and Lead by Miranda Lambert

5. Tokyo by Imagine Dragons

6. All My Fountains by Chris Tomlin

7. Breathe by Michelle Branch

8. P.Y.T. by Michael Jackson

9. Love on Top by Beyonce

10. Walk this Way by Run D.M.C.

So those are my songs. Some of them are old standbys that I’ve had on various workout playlists over the years and some of them are new additions that I might hate in the next month.

But, for now, they keep me moving. And, in the words of Martha Stewart, that’s a good thing.

What about y’all? Any good workout songs you’re loving right now?

I’ve also decided I need some better running socks. I’m thinking about getting these from Lululemon.

Or does anyone have a better sock suggestion?

Socks and music. This is what my life has become.

Have you entered my Perfect Portions Scale giveaway yet?

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An ounce of prevention – Perfect Portions Scale giveaway

So here’s the hardest thing about trying to eat healthy. Well, not the hardest thing because that would be all the not eating of the cookies and the chips and the bowls of queso and fresh flour tortillas that are an inch thick, but it’s all relative these days.

My biggest issue has always been all these recipe sites or Weight Watcher guidelines that tell you to eat 4 oz of lunch meat or a 6 oz chicken breast. How am I supposed to know that? Am I some sort of food mathematician? Am I supposed to have some kind of unagi that helps me sense the weight of four slices of ham?

Because I don’t have that.

That’s why I was thrilled to get the Perfect Portions – Food Scale with Nutritional Calculator from Best Buy. It instantly adjusts your food’s nutritional facts to your portion size with its food scale and nutritional calculator in one. A touch of a button shows you how many calories are in food and also tracks the sugar content.

See? It does all the hard work for you. Then all you have to do is enjoy those three delicious and totally filling slices of turkey breast with a side of four carrots and an apple.

Maybe for fun I’ll make a big bowl of queso and put that on it or a cheeseburger from Whataburger. It might cause the thing to blow a fuse, but I wouldn’t really do that because I am committed to healthy eating.

The Perfect Portions Scale has helped me so much because it gives me an accurate count of the calories I’m consuming and the nutritional content of all my meals. For someone like me†who doesn’t like to think about those things or use some kind of old-fashioned weighted scale, it is SOLID GOLD. †If you’re trying to make some healthy lifestyle changes, this scale may be just the thing for you.

While you’re at it, take the pledge!

The good news is that you have a chance to win†a Perfect Portions – Food Scale with Nutritional Calculator†for yourself.

To be entered for a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post letting me know how much thought you put into portion size and what you eat during the day. Do you measure? Do you obsess? Or do you eat an entire sleeve of cookies and call it a serving size? Not that I’ve ever done that.

Anyway, here are the rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
The sweepstakes runs from 1/25 – 1/31.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.†

Also be sure to visit the Inspiration to Fitness page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews, get great fitness tips and find more chances to win!† You can also click on the Best Buy image at the top of my blog to view a calendar of all the Inspiration to Fitness content. Good luck!

Best Buy does not sponsor, endorse, approve, or have any responsibility for this promotion.

_________________________________

On a different note, I wrote a post about some of my favorite quotes from books over on Pioneer Woman’s Entertainment section. You can check it out here if you want to.

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