Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

Weigh-in Wednesday: Sharing Health Goals (vol 1) – A Review of Fitbit Flex

The 31 Days of Writing Challenge continues. It’s Day 28 & 29 of my 31 Days of Gratitude.

* * *

log_weigh_in

One of my goals for September and October was to better my health by walking 30 minutes a day. I got a Fitbit Flex to help me with my goal and a few people have asked me about it so I thought I’d start a new series – Weigh-in Wednesday: Sharing Health Goals.

Now, to my friends reading this who run marathons and look great in your skinny little yoga pants, you can skip this post.

I want to talk to the women who spends more time in front of the computer looking for health tips than actually exercising and the mom who only runs to chase her naked toddler down the hallway and to the fellow husky mama who doesn’t want to get OUT of a size 18 but INTO a size 18. Yeah, this is for you, baby.

ba_age_5Those chubby cheeks have long been acquaintances of mine.

Okay, some background first. I have always been overweight. Like forever. I wore Sears’ Pretty Plus until I graduated to Lane Bryant. I hated it then but I got to a point in my life after I married and has a few kids where I made peace with it. This is just who I am – a plus size mama. That’s good…and bad. Good that I am comfortable in my own skin but bad in that I know I am not as healthy as I should be.

When Brian got sick with cancer, we made healthy changes in our lives but to be honest, although I was feeding him better, I would still stress snacking and eating foods and sweets that were no bueno. In September, I wasn’t feeling well myself. I was sluggish, was getting light headed and feeling slight numbness in my legs. Scary. In general, I was not feeling good. I decided it was time for a full physical and for me to get serious about my health. Besides doing it for myself, I’ve got four young kids and a husband that needs me to stick around for awhile!

After all the tests, I found that in almost every aspect – blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol – I was on the fence, border-lining between normal and too high. Some of my hormones (like progesterone) were off but that has always been the case and I was deficient in some vitamins, particularly iron and D3. So the doc has me on multiple supplements, I am walking at least 30 minutes a day and I’ve cut out white flour (and for the most part) processed sugar and sweets and eating a lot more veggies.

fitbit_1W

For this post, I am focusing on the walking.

It is recommended that every person take 10,000 steps a day for optimal health. I knew I probably wasn’t at that level but assumed I was not too far off.  I would take random walks here and there and I felt like I was always running around but I wanted to know for certain how much I was moving each day.  I read a lot of positive reviews of the Fitbit Flex so I decided to give it a try. I liked that fact that I could wear it all day, every day without giving it much thought. (Technically you can also wear it in the shower, but I take it off.)

The first day I wore the Fitbit, it was a leisurely Sunday and as the sun set I checked my numbers and was surprised to see I had only logged in 3,500 steps. I figured that was a fluke because it was Sunday. Surely during a busy week I’d be logging in closer to 10,000. Well, I was barely getting over 4,000. Ouch. That was eye opening. So for the next two weeks my goal was to add an extra 1,000. I worked on it and got up to a 5,500 average. The next two weeks I upped it another 1,000. Then another 1,000. Right now I am averaging between 8,500 – 9,000.

Revolution of Love Blog - fitbit_4W

Some days I kick it and log over my 10,000 goal.

Revolution of Love Blog - fitbit_3WOther days I don’t quite get there.

My problem is consistency. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays when all the kids are in school, I have time alone where I can walk 2 miles on my favorite trails like this one.

Revolution of Love Blog -day_23_beach1The Monterey Bay Rec Trail

 walk_1WCan you say, “Gorgeous!”

But the other days of the week I am usually running around or taking care of kids or the household and the day speeds by without me strapping on my walking shoes. On those evenings, I walk for 30 minutes doing laps up and down my driveway after the kids go to sleep.

walk_2W  Sometimes it is soothing to put on my earphones and walk away the stress of the day as the stars come out.

walk_4

Other days, I am draaaaaagging. There’s no pretty ocean to motivate me, just the asphalt and shadows amongst the trees and the chilly wind nipping at my face. There were plenty of days I was ready to say, “Forget it!” but looking at my Fitbit steps in black and white motivated me to get outside and bring that number a just a little higher.

Revolution of Love Blog - fitbit_5W

Another great features of the Fitbit is the calorie log. The same way I would over estimate my steps I would also under estimate how much food I was eating. Once I started tapping in my meals into my Fitbit app, I could see that all those little nibbles here and there added up quickly. On the plus side, on the days I did extra walking I was allowed extra calories in.

 The Fitbit also has a sleeping mode which will tell you how many times you wake up in the night or are restless. I don’t use this all the time but it is interesting to monitor now that the kids pretty much sleep the night through. (Heavenly.)

I also recently started adding friends to my profile. We are able to set a daily challenge and “compete” or offer support to one another. And I can use all the support I can get!

I will add, however, that the one negative I have heard about the Fitbit is that it does not do well tracking your steps when you are pushing a stroller. Apparently, it likes when you move your arm back and forth as you walk/run. It’s not really an issue for me since I walk alone now, but it may be something to look into if it’s a concern. That aside, I love my Fitbit and I know it has helped me stay motivated.

My goal now is to be more consistent with my 10,000 steps a day. Perhaps, going out early in the morning on the weekends when Brian is home with the kids or bringing Matthew with me on a walk on Mondays and Fridays. (I hesitate with that one because I feel like one of those people who walk with their dogs and they have to stop every five minutes so their pooch can sniff around and do their business. Picture the pre schooler version of that.) 😉

So what are the results from the last two month of walking and eating better? All the crazy symptoms are gone. My blood sugar and blood pressure are normal and I’ve lost ten pounds. That’s just a small portion of what I need to lose but it is a heck of a lot better than two months ago. I don’t think I’ll ever be “thin” but I certainly don’t mind being a healthier version of myself. 😉 And for that , I am truly thankful!!

What about you? Are you working on health goals? Or do you have exercising advice (like how to keep at it!) or healthier eating advice (like how to not fall off the wagon??) Spill, por favor!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. 😉

* * *

For more 31 Days of Gratitude, visit the home page here.

(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)

8 Comments

  • Elena says:

    Love this! I will join you on the journey. I need to get back to my pre-baby weight. I still can’t decide if I want the fitbit because I prefer to doing a kettleball workout than walking.

    • bobbi says:

      Hey, Elena, whatever works for you! Although now I am thinking about adding some exercise with weights. What is the kettle ball work out you do?

  • Maria says:

    Hi, Dear Friend! We have a lot in common. I have been overweight since I stopped growing at the age of twelve and have been losing weight, gaining it back, ect. since I was in high school. My problem is, I tend to sit around too much (usually at the computer) and eat too much. I’m addicted to Pepsi and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Diabetes 2, high blood pressure, cholestral, and colon cancer run in my family (mostly on my Mom’s side). I am so scared of developing Diabetes 2 and Colon Cancer. I already have high blood pressure, which I read is a precursor to Diabetes 2 and severe asthma, which has improved somewhat due to slightly better eating (We can thank Ed and his cooking healthy meals for us! I’m still not a very good cook.), taking Vitamin D3, and magnesium. I’d love to hear what supplements your doctor put you on. Maybe you can send me an email and let me know?

    As you know, I recently bought a Fitbit One. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this thing. It really encourages me, keeps me motivated, and I really enjoy encouraging you and other friends on the fitbit website. Also, the website encourages me to walk even more. Because I am walking a lot more, the asthma seems much better. I am only working part time right now due to my health (my asthma used to be so bad, I had to be on predisone every six weeks. Scary!). My job is at the end of my street, but it’s a very long (and busy!) street right off the main highway. I walk home from work and for extra steps, go down side streets and pray the rosary (on my mp3 player – this is my secret to walking more! Listening to something on the mp3 player) and divine mercy chaplet. My goal is at least 8,000 steps by the time I get home. I then walk laps around the apartment complex or laps in my very long hallway or living room (again, while sometimes listening to something on my mp3 player – one rosary and divine mercy chaplet usually help me get a lot of steps in.).

    Oh boy, I just shared my walking secrets with you – now you’re going to surpass me on the website, huh? LOL – just kidding! The reason why I’m sharing is because I want to help and encourage you. That’s part of my job as a friend, Mama’s helper (since I cannot be a Mom myself, I’ve been consoling myself that part of God’s plan must be for me to help other Mom’s with their children. Right??). You, Brian, and your family (and extended family, your sisters, their families, ect.) are often in my thoughts and prayers. I love learning new things about how to be healthy and sharing with them with others. I share because I’m a caring and sharing friend (Oh my goodness, I have been a teacher too long, huh? That’s one of the things we say to the children. LOL! I sound like Mr. Rodgers sometimes and make myself laugh. LOL!).

    Hope this helps you and anybody else reading this. I am thinking of starting a new blog and writing more about this kind of stuff. One of my favorite subjects.

    By the way, your walking path by the sea is so inspirational and beautiful! Ed has visited your area several years ago (His parents live in CA). Someday I’d love to visit too. I definitely want to meet you someday and your family. I think you are my “soul sister” from another Mother (another saying I heard from people I work with). We have so much in common. I bet we could talk for hours on Catholicism, praying, the rosary, Divine Mercy, organization (I tend to be very messy – when I was a little girl my Mom used to buy me books about girls with big hair with messy rooms in order to try to inspire me.), writing, snail mail (I owe you some!), photography, walking, and healthy living.

    Thank you so much for writing this post and sharing! Much love, hugs, and prayers to you and your family!

    PS. You are such a wonderful Mama and have such a beautiful family! You are so blessed! Prayers for you, Elena, and all the Mamas! I also admire your close relationship with your sisters. I have a sister too, but we are not close. It makes me very sad. Please pray for my sister! Thank you so much!

    Love you!! XOXO

    • bobbi says:

      Wow, Maria! This is quite a comment. It is a post in itself. 🙂 Thanks for all your kind words and encouragement. I love your health tips. You are doing awesome with your fitbit and walking!! My goal it to catch up to you! LOL. I think a blog about your health progress would be a lot of fun. And yes, I think you are a mama’s helper! You have a mother’s heart already and God will bring souls into your life that need your nurturing. Hopefully I’ll be able to meet you one day and chat over all these things. Until then, love and prayers are being sent your way! 🙂

  • Allison says:

    I loved reading this post. I just bought a Fitbit Flex in an attempt to take off the baby weight and get back into my old jeans! It has really motivated me to get out of the house everyday for a walk. I always thought I was way more active than I actually am. I figured that chasing 7 kids around the house and doing 12 loads of laundry a day must log at least 10000 steps, but it doesn’t. When I walk I listen to podcasts or an audio book and it helps keep me going. I am currently listening to a book called Hands Free Mama which I highly recommend. I have always had an aversion to excercise, but I find I am really enjoying this time alone and feel great afterwards. I look forward to walking beside you on this journey! 🙂

    • bobbi says:

      That’s awesome, Allison! I always listen to music when I walk but maybe I should try a podcast or audio books. This evening I went out and walked and I was reluctant to stop and go back into the house to put the kids to bed. I was enjoying the time alone. LOL. I also added you to my fitbit friends list. Hopefully this is the same email address you are using. Thanks for commenting here, Allison. It’s very encouraging to me. 🙂

Leave a Comment