Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On the run.

I've been in a weight-loss slump for the last year. I haven't gained any back (thank goodness), but I haven't lost any, either. I needed something to get me going again - a jump-start. A kick in the (still larger than I'd like them to be) pants.

Enter the Fitbit.

The Fitbit is a high-tech pedometer that tracks steps, distance, stairs, calories burned and activity levels, then syncs the information via a base station to a website. The website then shows graphs and charts of activity through the day, and can also be used to track food, weight and health stats. There's a social aspect in that you can Friend others with Fitbits, and keep track of their information via a leaderboard - who walked the most steps, was most active, etc. It will even track sleep patterns, though I haven't used it for that (yet).

Mr. Awesome and I got Fitbits about two weeks ago and have since turned into walking machines. Our goal is to walk at least 10,000 steps a day, but we've exceeded that by thousands every day so far. We see it as a competition of sorts - who can walk the most during the day at work, can we be at the top of the leaderboard - and that keeps me motivated to want to walk further.

It's also what is making me want to take up running.

I've never been a runner. In high school, I avoided physical activity of that sort like the plague, and have never run more than a couple hundred yards in my life that I can remember. That is, until the last few days.

Gradually, as we walk on the trail near our house, we're inserting short bursts of running. "To the end of the fence!" "To the scoreboard!" "Make it to the big tree - not this big tree - that big tree up there!" Over the last few days, as I've been able to run in these short segments and realize that I'm not gasping for air or tripping or keeling over in pain, my self-confidence has grown and I am coming to believe that yes, I can be a runner.

Last night, I ran almost a quarter of a mile in one stretch. I wasn't fast, but I made it, and when I reached my goal point (a light pole somewhere on the trail) I almost cried.

I can't wait to do it again tonight.

If you have a Fitbit, befriend me at http://www.fitbit.com/user/234NVL. If you don't have a Fitbit, consider getting one. It's changed my life - I really don't think it's too soon to say that.

All this new activity requires proper fueling for the body. Lately, we've been eating a lot of salads for dinner.

I'm planning on starting the Couch to 5K program in a few days. I'm optimistic - for the first time in my life I can actually picture me not just slimmer, but active and physically fit. This is really exciting - I'm going to be a runner!

2 comments:

  1. You should blog more about your weight loss journey and new journey to being a runner. It really is motivating!

    I do have an activity question. Do you know how many steps you were doing before you got it? The amount you have done is two weeks is amazing.

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  2. Hi Becky! I plan to write more from here on out - promise!

    I can only guess how many steps I did a day before the Fitbit - I'd say around 3 to 4 thousand at most, and that was on a good day. Now, I really try to get more. I'll write a post about some of the things I've been doing, but one of the biggest is taking the long way to the bathroom. I drink coffee and water, so I have to go a few times a day. Instead of going straight there and back to my desk, I go the longest way I can - up a floor then back down, then up another staircase and down then to the bathroom. One trip this way, there and back, is almost 1000 steps.

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