In this post, I’ll share with you how I lost 10 pounds in a month with my FitBit. It’s easy, it’s fun, and the weight loss is pretty much effortless.
But first some background… A year ago, I decided to finally quit dieting. Dieting sucks. Nobody should ever have to diet. And most diets don’t work.
Like so many moms, I had been trying for years to lose the extra 30 pounds of baby fat after I had Kate in 2007. Over and over, I’d go on a restrictive diet, lose the weight, and then gain it all back and then some. (Read my post on Why I Ditched Low Carb.)
So from January until May 2012, I did Matt Stone’s RRARFing program which helped me to normalize my metabolism. I got my body temperature up to a steady 98.6, day in, day out. (You can read more about my experience with Matt Stone’s plan here.)
I didn’t worry about my weight — I just wanted to be healthy. And it worked. Since I got my body temperature up from the low 97s to 98.6, my energy is now through the roof, my insomnia is gone, and I jump out of bed when the sun comes up. I’m like my in-laws now (who I always used to joke had more energy than me). I run around all day and I have energy to spare.
When I was RRARFing, I asked Matt about exercise. He said, “Don’t exercise until you fantasize about it. I laughed and said, “That will NEVER happen!”
But lo and behold, it did happen. It took about 9 months. Around January of this year, I started thinking about how much I want to go skiing and swim laps and ride my bike. I wanted to go hiking and pick up the kettlebell. I just wanted to move and sweat!
So I started slow… just walking for a half hour in the morning. I worked up to an hour. And then I started doing the kettlebell and started swimming laps again.
One day in April, I woke up one morning and said to myself, I am ready to lose this extra 30 pounds.
You know, you can SAY you want to do something, and waffle around… but you’ll never actually do it until you are REALLY ready.
Finally, I was ready.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” — W.H. Murray
So right there and then I committed to lose the weight. It wasn’t so much about losing the weight as it was about getting active and getting in shape. I wanted to be able to climb flights of stairs easily, lift heavy things and just get a lot more physical activity.
You see, I have the most sedentary job on the planet. I work on a computer 12-16 hours a day and I work from home. I don’t even have to walk from the parking lot to my office.
The Gamification of Exercise
Seems like most people have turned exercise into work these days. And it should be play! When we were kids, riding bikes and swimming and going on walks were all things we did for fun.
I have figured this out about myself: I am the type of person who doesn’t like to do anything unless it is fun. If it seems like work, it’s drudgery in my mind and I’ll do anything to avoid it. I’m the queen of procrastination! (Isn’t that funny, seeing how I am also a classic Type A Overachiever/Workaholic. I guess I’ve figured out how to make work fun! In my mind, it doesn’t feel like work.)
If I can make a game out of it, I’ll do it happily. With the FitBit, I can easily keep tabs on how much exercise I’m getting (or not getting). It motivates me to get more steps and be more active.
This is why I love the FitBit so much it turns getting in shape into a fun game.
How I Lost 10 Pounds in a Month with My FitBit
Here’s how I did it.
1. First of all, I got a Fitbit.
2. Next, I set my goal to walk 10,000 steps every day.
This is very hard for me to accomplish, since I am extremely sedentary. As I said, I typically work 80-100 hours per week sitting in front of a computer.
Since I got the FitBit, I know what my goal is so I get out and walk first thing in the morning. Because I’m watching those steps, I end up walking a lot longer — typically about an hour — so I can get my steps in.
I don’t make my goal every day. I’m not strict about it. I just do the best I can.
3. I also do other exercises. I ride my bike, and sometimes I swim laps.
My goal is to do 10 minutes of kettlebell every day. I don’t always make it but I do it as often as I can.
I tried to do 20 or 30 minutes of kettlebell but I didn’t like it. I get antsy after 15 minutes. I can do 10 minutes of anything, though. And 10 minutes of kettlebell per day equals 70 minutes per week — a little better than doing 3 20-minute sets per week. It works for me.
4. I also started eating less. On the dashboard on the FitBit website, you can select a level of calorie deficit that you want — from easy to hard. Then all you have to do is enter what you eat each day.
All I’m doing is trying to create a calorie deficit. My problem was I was eating a lot more and I had become a whole lot more sedentary since I started working from home. Looking back on it, when I had a corporate job, I was probably getting 3 or 4 times more exercise just from going to the office, going to meetings, etc. And I wasn’t cooking for a family (I was single) so I just didn’t eat as much.
I also got the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale so I can automatically track my weight.
All you have to do is stand on the scale in the morning and it will track your weight and body fat — it syncs automatically with your FitBit dashboard on the website. (You don’t need to use the Aria scale — you can just enter your weight manually. It just makes it easier.)
I know, weight’s not everything — measurements are more important. But you can track those too in your FitBit dashboard.
I want to say that I don’t try to be perfect with this. I do find that I’m eating a lot less — and I’m not hungry.
What I Eat
I eat WHATEVER I want. I do not count calories or carbs. That NEVER works for me because I feel restricted and then I want to binge. And it’s not sustainable anyway. I don’t want to spend my life counting calories or avoiding foods I love. I eat what I love now, I just eat less of it.
All I do is enter what I eat into the FitBit dashboard but that is it. Then I just stay under the limit. At the end of the day, I know whether I can have a little ice cream or another glass of wine.
And this really motivates me to be more active. I don’t mind doing an extra 10 minutes of kettlebell if I know I can have another glass of wine and a couple chocolate chip cookies.
YES! Ten minutes of kettlebell will get you that. Kettlebell probably burns more calories than any other exercise. Even more than running. You burn 20 calories every minute doing kettlebell swings — so 10 minutes = 200 calories.
Again, it’s not about the weight loss, it’s about getting more active and getting in shape. For me, it helps to motivate me if I have a goal (10K steps a day) and I have a way to track it. Rewards help, too. You don’t have to cut out the desserts. If you are too strict with yourself, you’ll end up quitting. A chocolate chip cookie here and there is going to keep you in the game. This is not about being perfect — it’s about keeping your eyes on the prize long term.
Speaking of rewards, when I reach my goal and am back in my pre-baby jeans, I’m going to go on a shopping spree and buy all new clothes.
Since I started using my FitBit on April 9th (just 6 weeks ago), I have lost an inch on my bust, an inch on my waist, 3/4 of an inch on my hips, 1/2 inch on my arm, and 3/4 of an inch on my thigh. That’s a total of 4 inches.
I’ve officially lost 13 pounds since I started this on April 9th. That’s a steady 2 pounds per week. (I actually lost the first 10 pounds the first month.)
I’ve also lost 5.3% body fat. Hooray!
And I’m almost halfway toward my goal.
Upper Arm 12.5
Upper Thigh 23.25
Upper Arm 12
Upper Thigh 22.5
I promise to post my before and after pics in an upcoming post.
My New Treadmill Desk
As I write this, I’m walking on my new LifeSpan treadmill desk. Along with the FitBit, this is playing a HUGE role in my effort to get more active.
I got up this morning, made some coffee, got on the treadmill desk and started checking emails and checking things off my to do list. The next thing I know, it’s barely past 9 am and I’ve already logged over 6,000 steps. It takes me about 2.5 hours to get 10,000 steps walking at a slow pace — about 1.2 to 1.5 MPH.
Two and a half hours may seem like a long time to you, but it flies by when you are working. You’re going to be working anyway, why not work out at the same time?
I’ll be writing a whole ‘nother post about the treadmill desk so stay tuned.
I’ll also continue to post my progress on the blog.
Writing this post actually keeps me accountable so thanks everyone for reading!
Want to Join Me?
I was thinking we could do some kind of challenge… what do you guys think? Are you interested? If so, comment below and tell me what kind of challenge you think we should do… A FitBit challenge? Let me know — I’m up for it!