How I walked off 40 pounds using Fitbit...

Life can take some very weird turns when you least expect it.  In July of 2015, I started to realize how sluggish I had been feeling.  I was selling real estate full time and running an online stationery shop (HappyNotes and more…), in my spare time.  When you are busy all the time, taking care of everyone else including my husband and 2 dogs, and you forget the most important thing-yourself.

Walk off 40 pounds
 

Life can take some very weird turns when you least expect it.  In July of 2015, I started to realize how sluggish I had been feeling.  I was selling real estate full time and running an online stationery shop (HappyNotes and more…), in my spare time.  When you are busy all the time, taking care of everyone else including my husband and 2 dogs, and you forget the most important thing-yourself.

A few months before, I was at the Verizon store upgrading my cell phone-ugh!.  Always a long and grueling process.  They were running a promotion with a purchase of a new iPhone - you could get up to 3 products of your choice for $100.00, a Fitbit was one of the items. I was familiar with Fitbit and they appeared to be all the rage.  I tried it for a few weeks.  I thought “I am going to walk 10,000 steps a day” (the recommended amount by the American Heart Association).  How hard could that be?  Well, it is harder than you think.  I became totally obsessed with the steps and was constantly checking my Fitbit.   I was walking around in circles in the evening to meet my goal.  Yikes, I was going crazy.  I stopped using the Fitbit and decided to walk without it.  After a few months, I realized I wasn’t sticking to my walking regimen and a gained the few pounds back that I had lost.  I was at the highest weight that I could remember (154 lbs) and I knew I needed to make some changes.  I am 5’1” and that was just not healthy.

As a side note and I am embarrassed to say, I have a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and a Masters degree in Health Science.  I was a Registered Dietitian, specializing in cardiac nutrition for 10 years, I knew better, but I was letting life get in the way.  You know what I mean, we have all been there at some point.

I have always loved to cook, unfortunately, sweets and ice cream are my downfall.  I was making all kinds of desserts, sweet breads, muffins, etc for most of my adult life and of course, everything always tastes better with a lot of butter and salt.  If I could live off cake and coffee I would-although obviously this is not advised

One day in August, 2 days after my beloved miniature schnauzer, Schotzie died, I came home from work and my husband was complaining of chest pains and was having difficulty breathing.  I could tell he was hyperventilating, so I was having a hard time figuring out exactly what was wrong.  We rushed to the emergency room – turns out he was having a heart attack.  This was a very scary, yet an eye opening experience.  He began cardiac rehab a couple of weeks later.  Since I was a cardiac dietitian for almost 10 years, I felt I knew everything.  At least I thought I did.  I immediately started thinking about the healthy heart guidelines from the American Heart Association that I used to preach to my patients.  It turns out that his cardiologist recommended that he follow the Pritikin diet guidelines.  I then thought to myself – you have got to be kidding, that it so strict and really hard to follow.  Super low fat, low salt (1500 mg or less), basically no red meat, cheese, etc.  I was so afraid, he was being set up to fail.  My husband, hesitant at first, to start rehab, went full force. He has an “all or nothing” attitude and he was "all in".  I then realized that I had gotten away from following the general principles of a heart healthy diet and we needed to refocus and start fresh.  I decided that he would need my full support to make this work, so over the next 1.5 year and half, we pumped up the exercise and completely restructured our diet and our life.

Now, I am happy to report that my husband has lost over 60 lbs and I have lost over 40 lbs.  I now weigh 113 lbs. (4 lbs. less than I did in high school).  It took me a little over year to accomplish this weight loss and I have been maintaining it since October 2016.  I attribute my “new me” to my addiction to my Fitbit.  My goal is to walk 10,000 steps every day.  It was difficult at first to reach that goal every day, but once you get the hang of it and follow these important steps I about to share with you, it will be piece of cake. Although, sometimes it is hard to see the good thru the bad, we wouldn’t be where we are today, if we hadn’t been forced to make changes.  When life hands you lemons-make lemonade (sugar-free, of course).

Reach 10000 steps

Six Ways to help you reach your 10,000 step goal using Fitbit:

1.     Remember it is 10,000 steps in one day, break it up throughout the day.  Start you’re your day with a mile walk.  Then you have roughly 3 more miles to go.  

2.     Plan, Plan and Plan again.  Break your day into 3 increments, such as,
1. morning
2. middle of the day
3. evening  

3.     Get in as many steps in the middle of day as you can.  Try not to sit for more than 15 minutes at a time.  Get up and walk around whenever possible. Park your car as far away as possible when you are work, shopping etc.  You will amazed at how many steps you can accumulate by doing this.  

4.     Plan an evening walk. I always try to get in at least a mile if not 2 miles after dinner.  It is not only great exercise, it also helps you to unwind and destress.  
Important tip-try not to take your phone with you unless you use it for music. Make this a time to unplug.  

5.    Get a friend to walk with you or better yet...

6.    If you have a dog, bring him/her along with you. This gives your dog some much needed exercise, too.  Win-Win!

In the upcoming weeks, I will be sharing with some of the trial and tribulations of my weight loss and how I incorporate the Fitbit into my daily exercise routine.  How to better organize, declutter and destress your life and how to find your creative side.  

Won’t you join me? 

Aimee

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