I finally got a FitBit

Zoom in on Angle Zoom. Fitbit - Inspire 2 Fitness Tracker - Desert Rose.

All of my friends seem to have had them for years. I didn’t want to be tethered to something that monitored me every minute of the day because, let’s face it, I fail a lot of the time to reach the goals and expectations I’ve set for myself. But the last 14 months of using the Renpho with its phone app have just shown me that stepping on a scale can produce data that doesn’t judge me, it just is what it is. An expression I hate, but it works.

I bought a FitBit Inspire 2 at BestBuy this week on impulse. Well, not exactly since I’ve been looking at them online for a while. But I hadn’t planned to buy it this week, it just happened because it was on sale. It has a silicone Desert Rose band and is very pretty but still kind of annoying to have on my wrist all the time. And it seems to want to lock itself in a “Lock Water” display which is also annoying. But boy, it keeps track of a zillion things, and now I have it linked up to MyFitnessPal and Noom, so things like tracking weight, water, and exercise only have to be done once and then all the rest of the little apps have the same info. Kind of scary how smart they are. After a few days, I’ve figured out that the wrist display just shows me data and isn’t a place to actually enter it. Duh. But good to know. Another reason to be tethered to my phone with the apps.

Two things that have been interesting so far: 1) The FitBit thinks that the NuStep machine at the gym is an Elliptical and tracks my exercise accordingly. 2) The sleep data that it’s tracking is much more detailed and helpful than the info from the CPAP machine, which just tells me how many hours its been turned on, not how much time I actually sleep. I’m not quite sure what to DO with the new information, but it’s interesting.

Don’t expect to see my screen captures online, at least not often. My friend LLC in Nevada posts her FitBit step count screen on Facebook every day and I’m pretty intimidated by her faithfulness in getting exercise in, and by her willingness to put all that out there for the world to see. Because for me, Facebook is where the paths of my life cross. There are family members, current neighbors, former work colleagues, and random people I’ve met along the way who now are part of my world. What makes sense to one group is completely new to another, or else feels private being revealed when maybe I didn’t want to do that. But it gets tiring to keep track of who knows what. It’s easier and much less complicated to just be me and they can take or leave whichever parts they want.

My knee has almost buckled at least four times in the last two days. It needs exercise and then rest. Right now it has ice on it on general principles, because ice is always good. The MCL tear happened almost exactly a year ago, and it might be as good as it’s going to get. The genicular neurotomy (nerve burn) that was supposed to help reduce pain didn’t do anything except hurt at the time I got it. Mostly it hurts when I’m in bed and trying to turn over or bend the knee; this buckling nonsense happened all the time a year ago but has been better until lately. I need to have a talk with it. And probably use a cane, though I don’t want to. I don’t actually want to be a woman who needs a cane, because it makes me feel older than I am. But falling again isn’t an acceptable option, and there have been times in the last week when I was deathly afraid of doing just that.

No Gain Campaign Result

Six weeks ago I went to the gym and weighed in for their No Gain Campaign. The goal was to motivate us to not gain weight over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays when usually foods (and sweets) abound. I did a lot of crazy stuff (remember the 14 dozen cookies?) but in spite of ups and downs, I thought I’d held my own. This week was the final weigh-in. On Monday I stopped at the gym with my physical therapy referral and hopped on the scale to see if I needed to give it a few more days before it was official. Much to my surprise, considering that it was after lunch and I was wearing shoes, I’m down 3 lbs since my weight on November 18th. They’ll notify winners next week but I’m already a winner, whether I get a reward or not.

UPDATE: I won an Amazon gift card! My favorite present 🙂

No Gain Campaign

Me on 11/10/20

This afternoon I went to my gym – the one I belong to but haven’t BEEN to since Covid – and stepped on a scale, after lunch and wearing clothes and shoes. Yup. My guess of 253 was spot on and only 3 lbs more than my early morning nekkid body weight, which is the only one that counts in my book.

Why did I do this, you ask? Because they are having a “No Gain Campaign” again this year. Members weigh in this week and then again the first week in January. People who haven’t gained a pound are entered into a pool and could win personal training or massage therapy sessions or other nifty things. But mostly for me it’s making a commitment that I Will Not Gain Weight Over the Holidays.

Most years this is a bigger task, because my community is a holiday party hub, with big fancy parties scattered over the 3 weeks after Thanksgiving. There is food and wine and cookies and desserts and rich sauces on meals and more cookies. Did I mention cookies? So usually just staying even is a challenge. This year, though, in the Covid Universe, I don’t know of a single party. I have no cookies at my house though I do have a small container of Dove milk chocolate square. And a freezer bag of margaritas.

I have no plans to spend the Christmas/New Years holidays anywhere but home with the cats, who do not tempt me with their uneaten stinky cat food. My brother and sister-in-law will be here for Thanksgiving next week, but I still have another 5 weeks to go before my next weigh in. I know I can do this “no gain” thing through Turkey Day and beyond.

Me on New Year’s Eve 2019

Because as of today, I am down 59.8 lbs since January 1st which is ALMOST 60 lbs which is a nice round number of a lot of weight. I’m not blowing this. I worked too hard for it. I’m too comfortable in my body at this size to even really remember how very hard it was to be 60 lbs heavier.

The gym was almost empty and isn’t all that big in the first place. They showed me what I should be able to do easily with my knee injury, at least to start, and I am setting a goal for these next 6 weeks of going twice a week for 20-30 minutes. I have to start back somewhere and I think it will be safe. My body needs the work out. My brain needs to make a commitment and see it through. I’ll check in and let you know how it goes.

It’s been a month now

I’ve been Nooming now for one month, and as of today, I’m down 21 lbs. Yup, you read that right. Twenty One pounds in 5 weeks and 4 days.

Thursday I went to the gym on the corner, the one that I pay for every month but never visited (you know how that works), and had a fitness assessment. At my weight and with my physical limits, I knew better than to launch into a full-blown exercise plan without being checked first. I know how to use the cardio equipment and the weights, but the back, sciatica, and foot with neuropathy made it crucial to not be stupid.

They dug up the last assessment I did there, from June 2017. At the time I got on the scale in my socks; this time I stepped on shoes and all. Taking them off is too much work just for a scale. My true reading comes at home; as long as I’m consistent at the gym, it will work. But in any case, I’m down 23 lbs from 2017. My BMI is down 3 points. Percentage of body fat is down. Resting pulse rate is in the “fit” category.

Best of all was the “6 minute walk” test. In 2017, I almost collapsed half way through it. This time I made it all the way through without having respiratory distress. Six minutes may not seem like much, but to someone who mostly sits all day, it’s big.

I now have a 6- week workout plan that is very modest and doable: go the gym 2-3 times/week for 30 minutes, working up to 3-4 times/week. Walk for 10 minutes, do the NuStep for 10 minutes, and the arm bike for 10 minutes (5 forwards, 5 backwards). After that, I’m to check back for adjustments and what to add in. I can do this.

I bought a little clip-on pedometer which is easier to carry around than having the phone in my pocket all the time to track steps. I update Noom on steps at the end of the day. Instead of trying to consolidate steps, I make more trips from one end of the house to another, from one part of the church to another on work days. In fact, I make laps down to Fellowship Hall and back up to the foyer of the church and back again several times during my mornings. So I’m moving more – I was up to 7,500 steps yesterday which was amazing.

Food doesn’t seem particularly hard, though having a box of donuts outside the office door is awfully tempting. But I have grapes and clementines to snack on and have protein, veggies & carbs at every meal. No ice cream, no cookies, no chips, no wine, very little bread. I can have ALL of that if I want to, I just really don’t want them.

I sort of feel like a commercial for Noom when people ask me about it. I’ve hated people telling me about their diets in the past when I wasn’t ready to work on my own eating, so have been reluctant to bring it up on my own. Plus I’ve failed a lot in the past – lost motivation, lost focus, lost energy. But I’m not on a diet. I’m learning to eat like a normal person – because I *am* a normal person, just one that’s too fluffy. But that’s changing.

Off to the gym. Go me!

Fitness Assessment: Pitiful

Chubby LadiesI followed through on my promise to go to the fitness assessment. In a word (my word, not theirs), it’s pitiful. But it was objective and they were kind. I already know I’m fat and completely out of shape. My balance is off and my strength is minimal. Before I moved, I walked a lot to/from parking lots, out to lunch, off to meetings, up and down stairs. But now … well, now, that doesn’t happen. And my assessment showed it. I had to stop to sit and catch my breath and couldn’t even go 6 minutes walking without it. Granted, I started out going at a faster pace than I could maintain, but it was pitiful.

The good news is that there is PLENTY of room for improvement. The program they laid out for me seems minimal – but then, so did walking down a hall for 6 minutes. I’m to go 1-3 days/week and do 10 minutes on the walking track upstairs (where I can look out the window), 12 minutes on the NuStep recumbent cross trainer (working arms and legs but not weight-bearing), and 12 minutes on the arm bike, which Mom used to call the “coffee grinder” because it’s upper back and pectoral. They use it for pulmonary therapy so that should help me with my breathing.

Then in 6 weeks I check in with the fitness specialist who did my assessment. We’ll make adjustments to what I’m doing and add in weights (I hope – I like weights). This is doable. And it will get me out of the house to do something specific and focused, that I can control and that will make me feel better.

Yesterday I followed through on another commitment to myself and registered for a one-day conference in New Orleans in September for lovers of a series of books that I adore. Plus, New Orleans. This will not only be fun but also gives me an incentive for building up my stamina because there’s so much to do and see in NOLA.