I was super excited when FitBit announced the release of the FitBit Blaze. Not only does the battery last longer than any other FitBit, but there are on-screen workouts from FitStar! I wrote about this awesome find way back in September and I still find it super cool! In fact, I subscribed for a year just a few weeks ago because I wanted more. My FitBit Blaze was delivered last week and I’ve been getting to know it – inside and out!
I went back and forth on the purchase of this FitBit Blaze because of the cost. But, after running the numbers quite a few times, I decided to go for it. It was my gift to myself for losing more than 60 pounds. I deserved it! Last week, before it arrived, I hurt my back by working from the chair in the living room. So, I wasn’t able to use it when it got here. Not for tracking exercise anyway. Believe me, I put that sucker on as soon as it was setup!
It took about a week for my back to heal, which felt like forever, but I’m back at it. When it got here, I felt renewed motivation run through me. I couldn’t wait to show it off!
What Do I Like About the FitBit Blaze?
It’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be but it’s not a bad thing. The first thing I had to do was turn off the call and text notifications. My phone is rarely quiet and I didn’t want to have to charge it every day. Besides, I’m never really far from my phone (unless I have to be) so it was pointless to have those features active. I’ll turn them back on when I need to, like when I’m in session with my therapist or at an appointment; just so I don’t miss anything that may be important.
Anyway, moving on. The band is made of different material than my ChargeHR, which is good because it was starting to irritate my skin. Unlike the ChargeHR, though, you can get different bands for it, which is awesome! I love that I can see everything on one screen instead of having to tap or press a button to see all of my stats for the day. Not that it takes a lot of time to do it, but it just makes things more efficient for me to have everything on one screen.
It also tracks your workouts and you can set the workout you’re doing from the device. For example, you can choose either running, biking, weights, treadmill, elliptical, or workout before you get started. With my ChargeHR, it would log my run/walks as being on the elliptical instead of walking or running. I guess it really doesn’t matter but it always bugged me that my workouts weren’t logged properly.
If you feel like joining me on this never-ending journey to good health, by all means do! Here’s how:
Six months ago, today, I learned I had type 2 diabetes. It wasn’t the best news, by a long shot. I realized that I had 2 choices: live with it or change it. On August 1, 2015, after 3 or 4 days of sulking, I decided I had to change it. I’m very fortunate to have such a strong support system in my family and friends, but, even so, it wasn’t always easy. I had my 6-month check up today – here’s how it went.
My Initial Diagnosis
Back on July 27, 2015, I went in for what I thought was a routine check up. Needless to say, I was shocked when I learned that my A1C was 6.8, which meant I had type 2 diabetes. My doctor immediately started me on Metformin and I was, for once, at a loss for words. It was one of the most difficult days of my life, but it was also a chance for me to make some changes. And, that’s exactly what I did!
What’s Changed For Me?
Every damn thing! Well, almost everything. I haven’t given up my iced coffees from Dunkin’ but you already know that. 😉 I’ve been a member of Lose It! for awhile but I only used it sporadically. Kinda like when the mood struck sort of thing. On August 1, 2015 it became, and still is, a constant in my life. I renewed my premium subscription and entered my stats from my doctor’s office. From that day on, I never missed a day logging my food. I also changed my food and the way I eat. The first thing I did was cut out sugar. Well, most of it anyway. I stopped using sugar in my coffee and I became very aware of the grams of sugar in my food. I stopped eating white carbs and went to whole grain instead. I learned that corn and lima beans turned to sugar when digested, so I haven’t had any since before July 27. My food became a top priority for me and now it’s just a habit. I measure every single thing. Yes, I took some heat for this by some people in my life, but, guess what? It didn’t matter then and sure as hell doesn’t matter now. I still measure certain things even though I’ve been doing this every day for 6 months. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Back in July, I weighed in at a whopping 278.6 pounds. My A1C was 6.8 and I was put on Metformin for type 2 diabetes. Well, as of this morning, my weight is 222.8 and my A1C was 5.4! That means I no longer take Metformin because I don’t have diabetes! It also means I’ve lost a total of 55.8 pounds. According to my doctor, my A1C is better now than it’s ever been! How’s that for kicking some ass?! YEAH!
When I first started this journey, I wore a size 26 and they were kinda snug around the middle. I was under the very misguided perception that bigger clothes helped to hide my weight. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking there! Anyway, I now wear a size 18 comfortably and prefer clothes that accentuate my figure; not hide it. I was in a 4X top and now I’m in a large or 1X, depending on the style. Oh, and check this out – my feet have gotten smaller! Yeah, I know you’re think how the hell does that happen?! But, here’s what happened. I used to wear wide width shoes and now I don’t. You’d be surprised at where your body carries weight; places you probably never even thought about, like your feet.
How’d I do it?
Hard work! I never gave up and there were plenty of times I wanted to. I gave up a lot but I refused to give up everything. I started logging everything that went in my mouth and I bought a FitBit Charge HR. From there, I made healthier choices and moved a hell of a lot more than I used to. I had to cut back on my work for a while in order to focus more on myself. That was difficult for me because I love my clients, my work, and I hated dumping the financial burden on my husband. But, I had to look at it like this: If I died, he’d have that burden anyway. So, I figured it was better for him to shoulder this burden alone for a few months than for years. I recruited friends and family to exercise with me: walking, hiking, etc. I didn’t limit my exercise partners to just other people. My fur babies got recruited, too. Digger loved it immensely because he got to sniff and pee on everything every day. I even started running! It wasn’t much and I didn’t do it well, but I still did it. Digger was the one I took on my runs because he could keep up. My poor Mocha is getting old so I don’t take her on runs.
The Physical & Mental Struggle
Weight loss isn’t all physical. In fact, I think it’s more mental than physical because the mind is a powerful thing. Yes, my body was doing things it hasn’t done in years or ever, but my mind was trying to change old habits all at once. I’m a self-sabotager from way back so my mind definitely doesn’t always work to my advantage. This time, however, I couldn’t afford to sabotage myself. So, I informed my therapist of what was going on and we put together a plan. I’m not going to say that I followed it closely or that it worked all the time. What I will tell you is that it was great to have a plan to refer back to when things got hard. Believe it or not, I had the hardest time separating myself from the clothes that were too big. I didn’t want to lose that safety net but, eventually, I let go. I donated a large bag of clothing to Goodwill and it felt amazing! In December, I guess in preparation for the New Year, I decided to go through my closet and see what was there. Ya know, for someone who always said she had nothing to wear, I certainly had a lot of clothes. During my closet clean out, I boxed up a lot of stuff! Once I got over my phobia of donating clothes, it felt like a huge weight was lifted off of me. I’ve had to buy clothes here and there but I mainly wear my workout gear. Hey – ya never know when an opportunity is going to present itself and it’s best to always be prepared. I currently only have 2 pair of jeans but that’s more than I had when I started this journey. I’m not in a big hurry to run out and buy clothes because I loathe clothes shopping and I’m still losing weight. No need to spend money on clothes I’m not going to wear long. The people closest to me have started calling me “skinny”. I’m not skinny by anyone’s definition, but, compared to what I used to be, I can see why they call me that. At first, it was difficult to accept the compliment because I’m not used to being complimented on my appearance, but now I love it. Why? Because I earned that shit! For the first time in my life, I’m actually happy with who I am and what I look like. We all have this idea of who we are and we try to live up to our expectations and often fall short. Well, that’s how I am anyway. It’s no wonder I felt like such a disappointment most of the time. But, that’s all changed now. I don’t feel self-conscious about my appearance like I used to, I’m not considered a shut-in anymore, and I’m all about activities that get my heart pumping.
What I’ve Learned
The most interesting part of all of this is what I’ve learned about myself. I’ve always considered myself a strong person but I didn’t realize just how strong I was until I began fighting for my life. And, let’s face it, that’s exactly what I was doing. I’m still doing it. I’ll never stop. I’ve also learned that I can make healthy choices and still indulge every once in a while. Can I still get 2 and 3 large iced coffees a day from Dunkin’? Uh, no way! But, I can get one a day or even a small and medium on the same day. It’s all about compromise – not giving up. Dealing with sagging skin isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be either. I remember, way back when, I used to think that having sagging skin was no better than being fat because I still wouldn’t like how my body looked. I’m happy to report that I was so wrong about that! I have sagging skin now and it doesn’t bother me. Why? Extra skin doesn’t carry the health hazards that extra weight does and because I feel good about myself. Oh, and if you’re like me where you crave chocolate or sweets, give cashews a try. Seriously. I eat them when I feel a sweets craving and it takes care of it without all that nasty sugar. My journey isn’t over by any means but I’ve made great strides in the last 6 months. I still have about 40 pounds left to lose before I hit my goal weight so be sure to stay tuned for more!
I live on flat land so I have to drive a good bit before I reach any hills. Fortunately, there’s a hiking trail about an hour from me that I visit frequently but it’s nothing like being in the mountains. Last weekend, we took a much-needed day trip to the mountains for some hiking, fall foliage, and good ol’ family fun. I rolled out of bed at 3:10 am on a Saturday and we were on the road by 5:30 am. It was a long day (it was close to midnight before we got home), and I was exhausted, but it was well worth it!
We drove the 4+ hours to Garrett County, MD, which is as far west in Maryland as you can go, and we took in some amazing sights along the way. Our destination was Deep Creek Lake and the magical mountains. Deep Creek Lake is very special to my husband and I. We’ve been going there almost every year since 2002 and it never disappoints us. It’s something we look forward to every year.
Anyway, this trip was incredible for a lot of different reasons. First of all, I was 30 pounds lighter so that made hiking that much more enjoyable for me. I wasn’t winded, tired, or sore and I smashed my FitBit goals for the day.
Here are some awesome photos from our trip.
We had an amazing time and I can’t wait to go back next year! Where is one place you like to visit annually?
About a year ago, I saw a segment on The Today Show about fitness trackers. They claimed that they make people gain weight instead of motivating them to lose it. Well, I have to say that my FitBit motivates me every single day in one way or another.
Before I get into how I’m motivated by my FitBit, here’s the video I was talking about.
I participate in a weekly challenge and a weekend challenge so I’m always competing against other FitBit users to see who can get the most steps. Believe it or not, I’m a very competitive person so I don’t like losing. When I first started this journey a few months ago, I was coming in last but I’m not anymore. I’m not coming in first place….yet….but I’m working my way to the top of the leader board!
All the Pretty Colors
This one is kinda stupid, but I love seeing the colors change on my dashboard. When the colors change, I know I’m making progress and that makes me happy. I want to see the colors change. Sometimes that means stepping up my game, which is ok, because it benefits me.
I love collecting all the badges I earn for reaching certain milestones. It’s a visual reminder of how far I’ve come and it also encourages me to beat my best badge. Since I achieved the Sneakers badge for walking 10,000 steps in a day, I’ve set a goal to surpass that by walking 15,000 steps in a day. I haven’t reached that goal yet, obviously, but I’m working on it.
So, there you have it. If you don’t have a FitBit, I highly recommend you get one. I’ve managed to talk my mom, sister, and a few friends into getting one and they love it. Not quite as much as I do, but it’s pretty close.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” ~Jim Rohn