fat girl with a fitbit

Remember last October when I started up that exercise routine? And was doing really well and enjoying myself? And then I got knocked up and promptly forgot all about it? Yeah.

I knew I’d need some particularly powerful motivation to get back on the wagon this time. I remember from Ellie’s early days how easy it is to sit around with a snoozy, snuggly baby on my chest.

Then I came across Fitbit and was immediately intrigued. I love me some tech-geeky gadgets; even better if they come with statistics and charts and graphs. I debated with myself… it was expensive, at $100 for the fancy tracker, but I could justify that easily enough. A membership to the local rec center costs $400 a year and I wouldn’t use it every day, not to mention the hassle of having to arrange for childcare, finding a convenient time to go, etc. And I do need to lose a significant amount of weight somehow. Although I’ve yet to encounter major issues as a result of my weight, I know it’s just a matter of time. I’m still relatively young and I have a sneaking suspicion my thirties and forties will not be as forgiving on the health front.

So in short, I decided $100 was a small price to pay for the improvement of my health and clicked the “Buy Now” button.

After a month with the Fitbit, I’ve not been disappointed. It’s a huge motivator–the Fitbit is always with me. If I sit on my ass all day, it knows. And I aim to please my future robot overlords, so I’m always looking for excuses to add steps or floors to my daily totals. At first I was totally beat by the end of the day–if you’re not already living an active lifestyle, 10,000 daily steps is a challenge–but now I find I can’t sit still for very long before I have the urge to get up and do something. It’s a refreshing change compared to the no-energy-to-get-out-of-my-chair feeling I had before.

Another part of this personal project involves tracking what I eat. I’ve done this before, usually without much success. I tend to get obsessive with these things, to the point where one failure equals total failure and epic disappointment. Drama queen, me? Never. But I’m finding it’s not as difficult this time. I’m more forgiving, which I think comes from knowing exactly how active I’ve been. And thanks to Fitbit’s goal program, I realized I actually need to eat more than I thought I did… if I eat too little, my body brings my already snail-like metabolism to a screeching halt and causes all sorts of problems. So this is helpful in ensuring I get the nutrition I need so I can keep my metabolism trundling along. The best part is the food tracker that tells me how many calories I’ve “earned” as a result of my activity level on any given day. If I move more, I get to eat more–awesome.

One of the things that makes Fitbit unique as a fitness gadget is the ability to track not only your daily activity but your sleep patterns as well. In my case, it’s particularly important because we’re often up and down with Gwen at night. I was surprised to find that even on our “bad” nights I’m still usually getting a solid seven hours of sleep. Not bad for having a two-month-old!

The results speak for themselves–I’ve lost 10 pounds in the last month and I feel so much better. I have quite a way to go, but I think I’m going to be able to stick with it this time. The real challenge will come in just under two weeks when I go back to my desk job. I have a feeling it will not be nearly as easy to get my steps and floors in, but I’m already making plans. I’ll cover my current exercise routines and how I plan to stay active in a future blog post.

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i like to move it move it

Apologies for the title. Last month, I set a short-term goal of exercising every day for 21 days (thinking if I could do that, it would become habit) and I’ve kept it up for over a month with relatively few complaints. My long-term goal is to get in shape, although I really hate that term–“in shape.” I am “in shape” and that shape is a rather large circle. But I digress. Let’s just say I want to feel healthier.

Exercise and I have a tenuous relationship at best. In college I started walking 20-30 minutes a day and that was my primary exercise. I’m not sure what prompted the routine, but I stuck with it for several years (somewhat begrudgingly.) I was temporarily knocked off track (pardon the pun) when I broke my foot in September 2006, and then again when I got pregnant with Ellie. After Ellie was born, I tried to get back into regular activity using the Wii Fit but that got boring pretty fast.

So this time, I’m making an attempt to do some form of physical activity–20 minutes or so–every day. No pressure. So far that involves walking home from work or aerobic stepping on the Wii, and occasionally I’ll substitute another exercise-like activity for the usual 20-minute stint. As far as I’m concerned, if I sweat, it counts. What surprises me is that I rarely find myself thinking, “I don’t want to do this!” If anything, I look forward to the little break each day. I’ve also lost about 5 lbs, which is a nice bonus.

The biggest challenge will be keeping myself interested when winter sets in and walking outside is not possible. I’m considering a new treadmill, but we’ll see how I fare with the Wii for now. I also have DDR in the event Wii Fit gets boring. Month two, here I come!

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