Upping my step count, taking in a step challenge, finding a gym under the big yellow day star, and…gaining weight…what?
The usual disclaimers apply: my Fitbit was gifted to me, and this post is in no way, shape or form, sponsored. All of the information about my Fitbit model can be found by clicking here. To read the last update before this one, click here.
There is a corner in our apartment that looks very different now than it did a month ago. Various sets of workout gloves are strewn about, with the weights no longer collecting dust.
You can tell that we’ve been using them.
But home isn’t our only gym. We’ve adopted Vancouver, Burnaby, and New Westminster streets and parks as our outdoor spots to work out. Here’s what’s happened in the first month I’ve owned my Fitbit.
What I’m enjoying?
Making my life my workout environment
I’m going to elaborate on this more in an upcoming post, but I’ve realized the reason why I’ve failed so miserably in having any kind of gym membership is because I actually don’t like being in the gym. 30 minutes on a treadmill? In thirty minutes, I can walk part of the way from home in New Westminster to Metrotown. Standing push ups can be done on a bench or a railing at the promenade at New West Quay. And the number of “stair masters” I’ve encountered? Well, we’d be here all day. I also like to do my floor work at home on a mat. Hey man, sometimes the gym just isn’t for everyone.
The biggest difference is definitely in my stamina. We live along a hilly route, and I’d often be out of breath walking up the hills on a daily basis. These days, I get past a hill forgetting that I used to struggle! I’m also finding I can walk longer distances without things hurting. The first few times I’ve walked to Metrotown, I’ve had incredibly sore feet (and that’s even with proper shoes on) — but now, things don’t really hurt. It’s looking more and more like I can make a 15,000 step day dream a reality. (My currently daily goal is 12,500 steps a day.)
Lower body strength
Oh man, has this ever changed. Related to the aforementioned improvement, I don’t feel as much strain on my lower body while walking as I used to. I’m not quite there, but this is how good I’d generally feel when I used to run. I guess I’m just going to keep on walking…and maybe eventually start running again?
I’m getting far more sleep because I’ve managed to tire myself out more by walking and working out almost daily. I don’t do the same workouts every day; some days I’ll just walk. Other days I’ll lift weights or do floor work. (Exercise is exercise, guys!) I’ll usually go to bed between 9 PM and 10 PM on a weeknight where I have to work, and get up between 3 AM and 3:45 AM. This is a HUGE improvement because growing up I never slept more than three hours. In university, I don’t think I actually ever really slept (I had incredibly difficult bouts of insomnia) and in journalism school my health deteriorated on varying levels, which left me sleeping well…never. My current amount of sleep per night is within my goal of six to seven hours, but I’d like to keep working towards seven.
Floor work and weights
Speaking of working out, there are a few things now that I can do that I’ve never really been able to. For instance, I could barely hold a plank for ten seconds; now I can do it for twenty! I’m also able to do a few more push ups; if I’d try really, really hard before I could do five without giving up. Now I’m at eight. Going into this I had zero body strength, so five was already a stretch — you know, the “I want to die” stretch. When I get to my next update, I’d like to be able to hold a plank for thirty seconds and do ten push ups in a row.
What I need to work on…
I had a few more fall-off-the-wagon moments over the last few weeks. They included a Big Mac meal (I was so sick afterwards), half a box of 20 Timbits and a red velvet muffin (also got really sick after that) and a pulled pork and mac sandwich from Chachis (I didn’t get sick from this, but I basically ate the recommended daily sodium intake in that sandwich — so you can imagine how I felt after). I’ve learned that moderation is key here: I’ve started curbing sweet cravings with chocolate bars that break off into squares, and for every square I have, I try and have a glass of water. In my case, three squares means I have to drink a whole 750 ml bottle of water. Towards the end of week three, we invested in a food processor so I’m hoping we can make some healthier savoury options at home (salsa, hummus, etc.) and that we can stay away from all the salty things at the store! We did see some success with a chicken, broccoli and garlic noodle dish we pre-made and prepacked to eat, so we’ll continue to look for filling, low calorie meals like that.
A word about the weight…
I have a goal weight I’m looking to reach, but it is pretty flexible now that I’ve done some research and talked to a few people who, after being active for quite a while, have a very good understanding of how losing and gaining weight works. In my first update, I mentioned I’d lost a solid chunk of weight — but on weigh-in day it turned out I put on weight. I’m not sure if this is just because I had a couple of relapses food-wise, or if it’s a hormonal thing, or if I didn’t exercise enough, but I’m not sweating it. Personally, I think having lost all that weight prior is a huge accomplishment. I can live with a 2 – 3 pound fluctuation in my weight. Alternately, I’m wondering if I’ve gained weight because my muscles are now slightly more toned…hmmm….it’s an unconfirmed theory! 🙂
Let me know if you have any tips and tricks for working out! I’d love to try them.