A 13-kilometre walk and the most weight I’ve ever lost — I’m pretty impressed with the results.
Note: this post is in no way sponsored by Fitbit. If you’d like to know how I acquired my Fitbit, or if you need to play catch up, please click here.
What a two weeks it’s been — and what’s made it different is that I’ve started sporting my Fitbit Alta HR.
Since my last post about this little contraption, I’ve tossed out a lot of habits that I’ve realized are not the best.
LISTEN: I talk with CKNW’s Drex and Tim Dickert about the first few weeks of owning a Fitbit
The only day where I consumed less than 2,000 ml of water was the first day I wore the Fitbit. That all ended when I looked at my stats the next day, and realized how terribly I’d been treating my body. My water levels were barely anything that day; I’d hit about 400 ml (and that was more than I ever usually had) which had me embarrassed.
Now I bring a water bottle to work each day. I actually own three, but mostly rotate between two smaller ones — all I have to do is fill them up ahead of time and grab them before work. A few days into the whole ‘getting healthier’ thing, I discovered how gross water can bottles get, so on top of washing them after each use, I go in and I sanitize them every second or third use with one part vinegar and two parts water.
Eating and Calories
I’ve seen the biggest difference here. While I didn’t go over my calorie count, I didn’t realize how many empty calories I was consuming daily. Sweeter drinks (think daily servings of pop), lots of carbs (I am the queen of receiving donut bribes in the newsroom) and other generally unhealthy things (constant visits to Denny’s don’t look good on the waist line) — yeah, that definitely woke me up.
I also noticed an interesting trend about my calories: by only eating three meals a day, I was leaving gaps in the day where I was still hungry, because I was burning calories heavily in the morning. I had a theory: if I kept myself consistently full, and ate smaller portions during meals, could I manage to maintain or lose weight?
Two weeks later and my theory is correct.
I’ve now gone to meals that are around the 300-calorie mark. This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I’m feeling peckish, I only allow myself to eat fruits and veggies, or, if I must, veggies with dip. The majority of the time, I’ve been eating hummus with those veggies, which I would argue is better than eating carrots with ranch dip. All in all, I eat about six or seven times a day, giving myself the chance to graze on far healthier snacks. All my meals are now home cooked and portioned ahead of time.
At the two week mark, I’ve noticed that I can only eat smaller portions, and fattier, highly processed foods make me incredibly ill. Fully loaded veggie and cold cut whole wheat sandwiches/hoagies with some sauce and very, very thin slices of cheese (I’m lactose intolerant) have been my go-to treat. Sushi rolls with raw tuna, salmon, cucumber and vegetables are another choice if I’m feeling like I need to eat not-so-cleanly.
I relapsed once: this past Friday, I ordered a double cheeseburger and large fries from McDonald’s and split the fries with Jon at work (I got him his own cheeseburgers). Not only did that cause my calorie count to skyrocket, but I was super sick on and off throughout the day. It’s amazing what two weeks of very different, relatively healthier food consumption will do to your body. Also: I’ve lost quite a bit of weight, which I’ll talk about in the next section.
If there’s something I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks, it’s not to underestimate the power of walking. Each day in the first week, I’ve tried to tack on steps by doing laps around CKNW, and after work (if I’m not super tired) I’ve walked from Granville SkyTrain Station to Waterfront to catch the train home.
Things got a little bonkers one day, however, when I got a little cocky and chose to walk from Granville to Metrotown. I mean, come on, it’s just walking, right?
Here’s how it started: my boss has been telling me (all in good fun, by the way) that I couldn’t walk more steps than he could. I decided to prove him wrong. I’d originally wanted to walk to Commercial/Broadway SkyTrain Station, but that turned into 29th Avenue, then Patterson…and finally Metrotown.
The only time I was ever more sore was during the last Sun Run I did — and I split a foot muscle doing that run.
While I didn’t injure myself during this walk, I definitely learned to respect the power of walking: I ended up cramping for a few hours when I got home, and the next day I felt like death. But it was worth it: all of those steps added up over the week managed to knock a little more than ten pounds off my frame.
That’s right. I’m ten pounds lighter than I was when I first started wearing my Fitbit. I’m wearing my size large belt on the very last hole — I’m gearing up to buy a medium.
This all came with a lot of reaction: some people called me crazy, some said I needed to get a life, but I was also happy to see a lot of people cheering me on.
I’m prepping for another large walk (it’ll be about eight or nine kilometres) so I’ll post about that once I do it. 🙂
I’ve also started lifting weights, which the Fitbit manages to read as me doing more exercise. I’m happy that I’m not bulking up, and that I’m seeing more definition in my arms and legs. I’m just about lifting ten pounds per arm, which I have never been able to do. I’ve been alternating between cardio one day, and weights the next day.
What I need to work on
I’ve been in the throes of a weird shift: I worked from 1:00 AM to 10:30 AM over the last few weeks, which has really messed with my usual sleep schedule. I usually go to bed at around 9:00 AM, and wake up at around 3:00 AM on most days. Some days I work from 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM, which allows for an extra hour of sleep. My goal these next one to two weeks, as I go back to my original shift, is to sleep more. I usually only sleep about four to six hours a night, so I’d like to increase that to between six and seven.
Food has been a struggle for me, but I’ve been allowing myself on certain days to eat things that aren’t part of my planned diet. Sundays are usually the days for that, but I try to do that in moderation and if I do have a not-so-good-for-you meal, I add another bottle of water to my day and make sure I go out for an extra walk (usually about 1,000 to 2,000 steps).
Dealing with some of the negative comments has been a tough one. I’ve learned not to care as much, which I feel has paid off. Fortunately, I’ve been lucky to have a supportive online community behind me, and those are the comments I pay attention to. It’s hard to imagine that back in December — when I going through the most stress I’d ever been under, I was at my heaviest: 180 pounds. Today, I weigh 155. At the start of me wearing my Fitbit, I weighed 165.
I can’t wait to see what’s next! My next goal is to get to 140 pounds by the end of September.
That all being said: I like to work as hard as can at my job, but I’ve realized I’ve been neglecting my health. I’m hoping I can transpose some of the discipline I’ve had at work on my dieting and exercising habits. And hey — not long ago, I was telling myself I couldn’t. Take it from someone like me who usually spends the rest of the day lazing around and doing not all that much: if I can get off my butt and walk around, so can you.
And with that said, I’ll leave you with this post from my Instagram account.