‘I’m so faaaaat!’ is what I tend to wail especially after scoffing down a large Toblerone while slumped on the sofa. The dog is looking pretty ‘stocky’ these days too.
It suddenly dawned on me that I have THREE beach holidays this year and I needed to take some sort of action to become bikini-ready for the summer.
I’m not a gym person – no thank you – so my fitness plan was to walk myself thin. This is how I discovered the Bella Beat – a stylish fitness tracker that gets you fit and healthy in both body and mind. I road tested it for a month and was surprised by the results.
More about Leaf Urban by Bella Beat
Bella Beat’s Urban Leaf is an activity tracker that looks like a stylish piece of jewellery. It’s wearable tech. Or smart jewelry. It looks so little like a fitness tracker that my sister complemented me on my new bracelet (shhhh!).
The leaf took 5 mins to set up. You set your goals in the app which you download to your phone. Personally, I set it at 10,0000 steps per day with 7 Hours sleep and 10 mins meditation – and at the end of each day when you sync up, the app tells you if you have reached that goal and how many calories you have burned.
I picked the urban leaf which is a grey stone colour with a silver clip (there are lots of colourways including a nice rose gold one). You can wear accessory on your wrist, collar, or neck. I liked the wrist best as it was a wrap around band when teamed with a pretty bracelet looked chic.
For activity tracking, it needs to be worn on the wrist, around the neck, or on the collar of a shirt, but for breathing exercises, it needs to be worn at the waist, clipped inside your pants. When sleeping, the preferred method is attached to the hem of your pjs.
You can read more about the way it tracks over here.
The leaf looks nothing like a typical fitness tracker
So what happened after a month of wearing my Bella Beat?
I became aware of how little I move in a day // As walk to my home office involves going down stairs, I wanted to motivate myself to get up and out, or move around more. I set my Bella Beat to vibrate if I didn’t move enough every hour and half. This became my gentle reminder to get up and move around and resist the temptation to sit at my laptop all day.
I started to meditate // The audio meditation guides in the app were a big hit with me. I started to do daily night time meditation and it quickly became part of my routine. And I felt I slept better after. Slowly, I was conscious of how much sleep I was (or wasn’t) having with the sleep tracker. I was wearing the tracker on my wrist at night – which is not that accurate – but I was too frightened to put it onto my clothes in case it ended up in the wash by mistake.
I slept better // The app includes little fact bubbles on activity and sleep. And I noticed my sleep patterns were rather hectic. I started to go to bed at a set time, and wake up at a set time each day. I slowly noticed – when teamed with meditation – I was having more deep sleep each night.
I fell in love with running (again) // Yep – you heard me right. Hitting the countryside, dog running at my side just feels sooo good. Being deep in nature with music on your headphones and sun on your face for just 20 mins was a huge rush. Also, running in the sun = early spring time tanning (added bonus). And at the end of each week you are emailed a weekly report on your process – which was my time to set my intentions and goals for the following week.
Make up free zone + sweat central. BellaBeat glimmering in the spring sun
My tips on how to make the most of the Leaf
The first thing I did when I decided I want to get fit – was go SHOPPING! I bought snazzy new sports gear to get fit in. For me, wearing nice sports clothes that make me look and feel good also make me feel more confident when I’m huffing and puffing with a big red face on the South Downs. Also, hanging out in sports clothes is so comfy.
I’ve teamed up with my best mate. We text each other every day to complain about our runs – but also to cheer each other on. She reminded me how much I love running, and encouraged me to take it up again. And boy, I have missed it these past three years.
No dieting. Ever. I can’t and I won’t. Instead, I’m trying oh so hard to not eat between meals. Which is so hard as I stress eat as deadlines become pressing – and I work right next to my kitchen. Instead, I eat 3 set meals a day that are designed to fill me up. Carbs are in. Snacking is out.
Log into your Bella Beat couple of times a day. I discovered a dog walking route that was exactly 10,000 steps. If I’ve not moved all day, then I would book in this epic walk with the dog (then happily collapse on the sofa after).
Bella Beat Pros + Cons
You don’t need to charge it – and the battery lasts 6 months
Accurate recording of steps compared to other trackers
Daily meditation quickly became part of my routine.
I’m aware how much my dog wakes me up during the night!
You can check in on the app on how you are doing over all day-by-day or month-by-month.
It kind made me excited about keeping fit again
You need to shift the Leaf around several times to get the most out of it
The leather wrist wrap was really fiddly to put on and I was worried that I might loose it off the strap.
You have to input all activities manually.
To see my daily progress I had to log onto the app.
It really made me conscious of how much I moved each day. It helped me make small but impactful changes to my daily routine. I’m not 100% ready to shove on a bikini BUT if I keep going, then by May – and my big 40th birthday party in Marrakesh – I should be at least in better shape to shop the souks.
** Disclaimer. I was given a BellaBeat to review. All opinion and photos are mine.