Monday, March 31, 2014

Why I Like My Fitbit

This post has been loooong overdue. Basically, any post I write has been overdue. But, here's the reason. It's small. Clips to my bra. Has helped in me losing about 10 pounds. (Well, 15, if you count some of the weight I put on over the holidays that I considered temporary padding for the winter months.)

It's the Fitbit.

This little Tamagotchi-looking thing is probably the best thing to happen to keeping up motivation since warm weather and bikini-season scare tactics.

Since joining the gym in December, I was getting my workouts in and tracking my calories through MyFitnessPal. But I knew the motivation wouldn't last. Especially since buying a wedding dress in a size I could already fit into -- call me crazy, but I never believed in fearing I'd look like an overstuffed sausage in wedding photos.

So, my friend and gym buddy suggested we get the Fitbit. We could track our steps, compete against each other and whoever else we knew who had one, track our weight loss and hopefully keep up the motivation.

Once it came in the mail (a Valentine's Day from the fiance after I promised he wouldn't get in trouble for buying me a "weight loss tool"), I snapped it on and kept the default goal of 10,000 steps per day. The first day, I nailed it. Well, not so much nailed it as I was on the treadmill for a long time, fearing I wouldn't even get close. The next day, I decided to see how many steps I was regularly getting. Turned out, I was getting about 5,000. There was a lot of time spent sitting on my butt when I could have been walking or running in place or just moving in general.

Fast forward a month and a half later: My daily goal is 12,000 and I almost always nail it or surpass it. I've even gotten badges (another fun perk of the Fitbit) for 15,000, 20,000 and 25,000 in one day a few times. I run in place while I brush my teeth. I run in place in the bathroom stall at work as I'm zipping up my pants, which are at least a size too big now, and buckling my much-needed belt, which has gone from the second hole to the fourth hole.

I love getting this message.
If I'm with friends who "get it,"
I'll pump my fist in the air and yell,
Nailed it!"
I've run in place while making copies, filling my water bottle, waiting in line, doing dishes, stuffing envelopes with Save the Dates. It's amazing how much movement you can get in here and there and slowly add those up to meet your goal. The fiance thinks I'm crazy sometimes when he comes into the room and I'm just running in place.

Step count before and after
dancing to
"Yo Gabba Gabba Live!"
L.'s even gotten annoyed and said, "No ess-ser-cize, Mommy!" when I'm running in place while she's doing something else. Although, she never minds when I get my steps in while dancing along with her "Yo Gabba Gabba Live!" DVD.

In fact, the only reason I've been able to sit still long enough to write a blog post was today's "achievement" of getting a sore hip and needing to put some ice on it, in the form of a bag of frozen corn. You see, it all started last week when I was on the treadmill and I decided to see how long I could "run" for. And, I use the term loosely since I think I "run" at a very fast walking pace, just with some more bouncing to it. I ended up running a whole mile, just because I kept pushing myself to see if I could go longer.

This was a personal victory for me. I had only ever run a mile once before in my life, and it was a few weeks after I decided to try running every day. I got to a mile one day and pretty much stopped, thinking, "OK, did that. I'm bored."

Well, after the treadmill run last Wednesday, I decided to attempt it again on Sunday and, lo and behold, I could do it again! I was still at 4 miles an hour, but I made a 15-minute mile! Back in high school, I faked a back injury that got me out of the statewide physical fitness test just because I *knew* I would never be able to run a 15-minute mile. But I did it on the treadmill at 30 years old!

Well, then I got cocky. And here I am on the couch with my frozen corn after getting a half mile around my neighborhood when a sharp pain started in my hip and got progressively worse. I walked another mile or so, to get my steps in, of course, and called it quits. And here I am, writing the blogpost I've written in my head dozens on times while on the treadmill or elliptical, thinking, "how can I write this while still getting steps in? If it can't be done, I'm giving up my blog. That's just going to be it. No one reads it anyway."

Although, I hope people do read this post, if nothing else. I hope they are wondering, "Should I get a Fitbit? Or will it just be another exercise thing that gathers dust in a few weeks or months?" Well, I can't tell you what you will do, personally. I can only tell you I get motivation every single day I see my name at the top of my leaderboard with the most steps for the week out of all of my friends -- including real runners who do half-marathons and races and stuff!

And, sure, exercise is only 20 percent of losing weight and the other 80 percent is diet, but I've found that the more I exercise and want to exercise, the easier it is for me to make healthy choices when it comes to what I put on my plate so I don't ruin all the hard work I've done.