I'm a self-proclaimed couch potato: a stay-at-home mom, a freelance writer, and a bookworm who is perfectly content to curl up on my couch for hours at a time. None of my favorite activities particularly lend themselves to fitness, and between back to back pregnancies and small children running around the house, I didn't feel particularly led to do anything to change it. I ate healthy...most of the time. I exercised...occasionally. And as I turned the corner to thirty, my weight started to reflect it.
I'd fought a losing battle with my weight most of my life, but after my fourth child was born, it was worse than ever. Finally, I decided I was going to do something about it. I started with moderate exercise three days a week and a healthy eating plan. It was working, albeit slowly. I gained muscle, lost some of the extra weight I was carrying around, and started to feel more confident in my own skin--but dropping more than five or ten pounds seemed impossible. Weight loss stalled, and over the holidays, I put back on most of what I'd lost.
For our anniversary, my husband picked me up a fitness tracker - and it was life-changing. Suddenly, I could see exactly how inactive I was on an average day. The days that I sat around on the couch, accomplishing virtually nothing, I could see exactly how few calories I was really burning: a baseline of just 1600 calories per day if I didn't ever get up and get moving. It also gave me a good, hard look at just how many calories I could put away during a standard lunch session: way too many for my own good. No wonder I couldn't lose the weight!
I became addicted to seeing the pretty green lines when I met my goal each day. I loved watching the numbers go up as I hit my step goal, calorie burn goal, and stair goal every day. Staying under my calorie goal was important, too: there was something about watching that line turn red that kept me on track even when I would rather have been munching away.
Slowly, my body started to reflect those changes. Within three months, I was down more than twenty pounds. I felt better about my body and had the energy to tackle my daily responsibilities more efficiently. I still spent more than my fair share of time behind my computer--as a freelancer, without the computer time, I don't get paid. The rest of the day, however, I was up and moving more. 10,000 steps per day became a regular accomplishment rather than something that I only dreamed of. Even better, I had to buy a new wardrobe, because none of my clothes fit right anymore.
While personal motivation certainly played a role in the process, my fitness tracker helped me get my life back on track and find a new, healthier me. In short, here's what the fitness tracker contributed to the process:
I still wear my fitness tracker daily, and I still have a slight addiction to seeing those green lines when I accomplish my goals at the end of the day. From a confirmed couch potato who would only run if a bear was chasing me, I'm signed up to run a 5k with my husband: lots of steps and plenty of fun while we're doing it. I've found a new addiction to fitness, from finding new ways to meet my exercise goals to pushing hard to see what my body can do next. It's a new, active lifestyle, and I've got to say, I can't wait to see what comes next!
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