Remember my previous review of the FitBit Flex? Well, after tracking my stats for a couple months, I confirmed the magic number I need to strive for every day:
I bought my FitBit Flex so I could compare activity levels between “normal” life….and “remodeling” life.
“Remodeling” life means I working a 50-hour work week at my normal job….and then putting in another 30+ hours on evenings and weekends doing physical labor: cleaning, painting, scrubbing, repairing, etc. I’m always in motion.
During Remodeling, we aren’t home in the evenings or on weekends, so all our household stuff has to be done during the daytime (while I’m working) so instead of relaxing and resting during quiet time (when all the kidlets are sleeping), I’m cleaning house, washing and folding laundry, preparing meals for the next day or two, organizing supplies for the evening’s project.
I’m not doing any type of exercise program, I’m simply constantly moving and being active.
During Remodeling, I can eat Carl’s Jr EVERY day…and I do. I can eat donuts on the weekends and drink soda and get a daily Starbucks, too! And drink champagne and beer. And I won’t gain an ounce. I can maintain 124 pounds while my pants get looser and looser. I can see more muscle tone and I love it!
Anyway, according to my FitBit, I was averaging about 11,000 steps a day during this period. And it was so easy to do.
“Normal” life returned and I was anxious to see how it compared to “Remodeling” life. “Normal” life means I’m still working my 50-hours a week, but I’m not active beyond those hours. I spend my down time on the couch or at the computer browsing Facebook, Pinterest, reading Blogs, reading the News, watching stupid videos on YouTube. Simply put- being lazy. Resting. Relaxing. Unwinding.
“Normal” life means watching what I eat, too. I have to consume less than 1,200 calories a day to maintain my size. No Carl’s Jr, no donuts or sweets, no soda, no champagne or beer. I stay away from Starbucks. And it’s a struggle.
I lived my “normal” life for about 6 weeks then spent some time really looking at my FitBit stats. Turns out, “Normal” life barely gives me 6,000 steps a day. That’s just over HALF of what I consistently put in when we are remodeling. And that was my wake-up call.
If I want to live a less disciplined lifestyle- at least from the standpoint of what goes in my mouth- I have to be more active than “normal”. I need to strive to maintain 11,000 steps on a daily basis.
I started small and simple: just keep active, keep moving, be busy. No sitting down unless I really needed to. I should be constantly moving, not sitting on the floor or at the table in the playroom- stand up and move around the room. It means less time unwinding at the computer during downtimes. It means not getting lost in my DVR during quiet time. It means putting away the folded laundry, not just folding it and leaving it there for the kids to grab later.
When the kidlets and I would go outside- I used to just relax in a patio chair, or leisurely mosey around the yard. Now I do things like wash windows or change the dog water or weed the yard….I walk with a purpose, I make it an activity.
During quiet time I take care of laundry, or dusting, or cleaning windows, or doing deep cleaning of things like window screens, door jambs, floor trim, cabinet faces, walls, etc. Anything other than sitting on the couch or sitting at my computer.
This was going well! And then the first weekend hit. A doomed weekend. Our first-ever girls weekend…. just me and Riley.
My plan for this trip was to get caught up on scrapbooking, which meant sitting at my laptop for 14 hours each day, doing NOTHING physical. I’d be lucky to get up and go to the bathroom- or grab something to eat! Riley wanted to go with me so she could 1) feed me and 2) make sure I got outside a couple times a day for walks on the beach.
It turned out to be a good thing…. because that Saturday, I only had about 2,500 steps by noon….and that was after a walk to the grocery store to get a quart of clam chowder for lunch!!! We went for another quick outing later to grab some Fish’n’Chips across the street. But at sunset- that’s when she dragged me out for a long walk on the beach.
Check it out:
Yep….all those blank bits- that’s all sitting on my arse time. Starting at 6:30 am and ending at 11:30 pm. Only getting up occasionally to go potty, and maybe grab a drink or a bite. A brief outing at noon, a more casual outing at 5, and a seriously long and active walk from 7:45-8:45. I was pleasantly surprised I ended the day with 8,570 steps. I mean- LOOK at the lack of activity there!!
Sunday started off with a similar pace, I was up at 6:30, moving around to make coffee, then sitting on my butt all morning. At 11am we decided to go to the beach. See that blip of zero activity between the yellow bars just before noon? Yeah, we were sunbathing. Then we headed up the beach for a lonnnnng walk. We would have walked longer but Riley was getting thirsty and I was getting sunburned.
Back to the condo just before 1:00, we started packing up our stuff, then headed out just after 2pm for another beach walk. Another blip of sunbathing, then we walked back to the condo to load our stuff in the car and drive home. Driving is the long inactive chunk around 6. OH- and there’s a stop at Costco that is unaccounted for (I took my bracelet off while we were driving so it wouldn’t count any steps on accident). So that’s another 2,000 steps probably!
But do you see the step count for the day? Over FIFTEEN THOUSAND!!??
That was wake-up call number two. It was so easy to go for those walks. They weren’t long walks, they were just walks. We walked at a decent pace, not a lazy pace, but not a race-walking pace either. And I was hooked.
If a couple short walks on the beach can get me THAT MANY extra steps, why am I not going for walks at home?
So I did! Monday evening when I took the girls to karate but needed to wait 45-minutes to pick up Trevor… normally I’d just waste that time driving back home or sitting at the martial arts school. Sometimes I’ll try to be more active by leisurely shopping at Fred Meyer (which counts as steps). But this day- well, I loaded a Couch to 5K app onto Brooke’s iPod Touch, popped in some headphones, and walked the neighborhood around the martial arts school. Yep- I spent 30 minutes doing a walk/run routine. And the most amazing part was when my FitBit Flex buzzed me during that walk to let me know that I’d already met my 10,000 steps. 12,695 steps for the day!
The next day, Tuesday, I kept active (well, except for during quiet time). I did my fitness class that night- and during class, my FitBit Flex buzzed me to let me know that I met my goal. 11,359 steps for the day!
The following day, Wednesday, I wasn’t about to stop. It was also my birthday and I had indulged in Starbucks and Cinnabon for breakfast, and we had plans to go to Red Robin for dinner. Guilt was setting in. During my quiet time I ran the Couch to 5K app. And at 7:45pm my FitBit Flex buzzed once again! 11,010 steps for the day!
Now that I’ve seen how easy it is to get in 10,000 steps a day, I really have no excuse not to. And now my goal is to have my weekly graph looking like this:
Instead of this:
Fast forward a few weeks and I’m keeping up!
Weekends are hard because we tend to live a fairly sedentary lifestyle relaxing after our 50-hour workweeks. But during the workweek it’s ON. The feeling that I get every day when I hit my goal- by simply keeping active and moving…. and all the health benefits related to that simple goal…..truly amazing. I’ve got this!