Activity trackers are one of the biggest fitness trends right now. Michael Luke and I are big Fitbit fans. I’ve had my Fitbit Flex for sixteen months.
During that time I’ve traveled more than 1,300 miles earning myself the New Zealand badge.
When I ran the St. Jude Half Marathon last December I earned the Hiking Boot Badge for achieving more 35,000 steps in one day. It may be a while before I top that one.
It’s fun to earn new badges and to see how my daily steps compare to all my friends and take part in the occasional challenge but for 15 months that all it was… FUN. Oh, and until you have experienced it it’s hard to describe the joy of your tracker vibrating as you hit 10,000 steps.
Occasionally I would lose a couple of pounds but before I knew my weight would go up a few more. My goal was to get back to my weight that I was at before getting pregnant (in 2011). For four years that has been my goal but the closest I ever came to reaching it was within four pounds and that was three and a half years ago when I was walking with my friend Kalli three to four days a week.
Last month when I stepped on the scale and saw myself a full 10 pounds heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight I knew I had to do something. It’s easy to blame it all on the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day) but honestly the weight gain is because I wasn’t being kind to myself. I let all that food take victory over me.
Now I know that 10 pounds is really not that much weight and even at my weight a month ago I still fit in the normal weight range for my body height and age. But it was on the upper end of “normal” and I knew I could treat my body better. Something had to change.
Over the past year I had occasionally used my Fitbit to count calories and each time I had lost weight. I never did it more than a couple of days though. Sometimes, I’m on the lazy side and it was just too much trouble for me to enter all the ingredients in each time I prepared a meal and often times it seemed easier to calculate a meal from a restaurant than a meal cooked at home.
This time I did some research in the Fitbit forums. I knew people had success losing weight with their Fitbits I just had to figure out what I was doing wrong.
What I Was Doing Wrong
I knew the answer all along but reading through the forums I confirmed what I already knew.
I HAD TO COUNT CALORIES!
I discovered though that the majority of people used a third party app to count their calories. Determined to make it work I tried a couple out. I finally ended up going with My Fitness Pal.
My Fitness Pal has an extensive data base of food… including Young Living protein powders. Another perk is that it tracks your fat, sodium, sugar, and carbs, and protein intakes. And the best part is that it syncs with my Fitbit app so that as my steps and activity increase throughout the day the amount of calories I can consume increases. This is my motivation to move.
I’m 4’11” so if my goal is to lose 1/2 pound a week my base recommended intake of calories in the morning is around 1,200 to 1,300 calories. To me this is depressing. We see all the nutrition information on food labels and everything is based off of a 2000 calorie diet. I felt like I was being short changed 700+ calories a day. In the beginning I basically threw myself a pity party because I WANTED MORE. It’s not my fault i’m so short.
Here’s the interesting part though as I began to count calories and monitor my serving sizes I realized that 1,200 calories was enough for me. At the end of the day I was satisfied. I also realized that the more steps I took and the more active minutes I had during the day the more calories I earned.
I learned to use this to my advantage. For example, if I was going out to eat and wanted to enjoy a fried chocolate pie I made sure to reach my 10,000 steps that day and eat lower calorie meals earlier in the day. This helped me bank extra calories so that I could enjoy my dessert guilt free… and that I did!
Fitbit keeps up with my calories burned vs. intake letting me know if I’m above/under/in the zone. I don’t have a lot of self control and have always had a hard time resisting sweets at the end o f the day. But I am a rule follower. Give me guidelines and I will stick to them. That’s where calorie counting in huge for me. If I don’t have enough at the end of the day I won’t let myself splurge because I have worked so hard to stay within my budget.
I find myself checking my Fitbit more during the day now. I want to know how much I’ve been moving. If my step count is low by lunch I know that I need to PLAN time to move during the afternoon. It’s now my goal to hit 10,000 everyday. I no longer refer to my tracker to see how far I am falling short that day but instead to see how much more I need to move.
Fitbit also tracks your water intake. This isn’t a feature I use every day but I need to. On the days that I do I do a far better job of reaching the recommended amount of water. I know some people aren’t fond of drinking water all the time. Adding Young Living Essential Oils is a way I add variety to my water. My favorite right now is to add a drop of Peppermint Vitality essential oil to my water bottle. The Peppermint helps to curb my appetite… and keeps my mouth tasting great. It’s also fun to flavor my water with citrus Vitality oils like Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, and Citrus Fresh. There are wonderful benefits to adding citrus oils to your water… take a few minutes and do a little research.
I’ve been moving, counting calories, and drinking water for a month now. My calorie intake is set to allow for half a pound a week and over the past month I’ve already lost 3 POUNDS! I’m so excited. I feel empowered, motivated, and encouraged. I KNOW I can reach my goal if I keep this up. My goal was set all along but what I really needed was a plan.
I plan to keep doing everything I’ve been doing and start to incorporate more exercise and strength training. Even though I’m moving I haven’t been running as much as I used to. Imagine the impact I could have if I combined calorie counting with running.
So tell me… do you wear an activity tracker? Are you actively using yours to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight or do you find yourself wearing yours like I how I did mine in the beginning? What goals do you want to achieve with your activity tracker?
For more Color Transformed Family follow me on:
Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.