5 million steps

Hope a great weekend was had by all. My Saturday was a bit lazy, but Sunday started off great due to a new 10 year low on the scale! It’s very exciting to see these little increments keep adding up. I now have less than 90 lbs to lose. That may seem like a huge number, but considering I started off needing to lose 160, I’m a happy girl.

What did I eat this weekend? Saturday morning I just had my go-to breakfast, bulletproof coffee. Its about 220 calories and usually keeps me satiated until lunch. Lunch was 4 oz of seared tuna steak and fresh pineapple chunks with Tajin seasoning and lime juice.  Sunday was a variety of healthy eats capped off with a DELICIOUS dinner prepared by Hugh. Courtesy of Paleo Leap he prepared a scrumptious Cajun Fish with pineapple salsa. Served with spicy guacamole and grilled asparagus, my taste buds were delighted.

I promised to share some of my favorite tips and tools this week. I’m starting with the one I believe has made the biggest difference for me recently. Awhile back, I posted about my new Fitbit fitness tracker. When I first got it, I was honestly shocked by how few steps I was getting most days, even days that I spent an hour in the gym. The default setting gives you a goal of 10,000 steps per day. On a non CrossFit day, I was getting 3-4K, at best. Crossfit days netted me between 7-8K. It took many, many months to start getting 10,000 a day on a regular basis. The success was made up of little changes. Parking as far away as possible from any store I went into. Doing a quick lap around any building I was going into.  Taking short walks in the evening if I was behind. By the beginning of this year, I was averaging 10K per day.

One of the fun things about the Fitbit is that you can challenge your friends to daily, weekly or weekday challenges with up to 10 participants. Seeing that I had friends that were regularly getting more than 20K steps per day was astounding to me. I had to be happy ending each week mid-pack.

Then in May, someone mentioned a feature I hadn’t discovered. The tracker counts how many hours a day you get a minimum of 250 steps. Every hour you do, a little dot turn pink and if you reach that goal for all of your hours you get a line through that day indicating success. You can set up to 14 hours as ones you want tracked. I was immediately interested. 250 steps takes only 2-3 minutes. It had been tracking this unbeknownst to me for many weeks and my average “active hours” were only about 5.

I set alarms to prompt me to get up at the top of every hour (one feature I wish the tracker had built in) and started walking once around my office building (about 350 steps) every hour. In less than 5 minutes, I was back at my desk. Doing that 8 times a day, I suddenly found hitting the 10K was easy, and I started to see an average closer to 12K per day.

I also found that the mid afternoon fatigue that has been pretty constant for many years disappeared and my time AT my desk was far more productive, even losing 5 or so minutes every hour.

The app also tracks your total steps for the last 7 days. A few weeks back, I did the math and figured out that if I walked 14,300 steps per day I would average 100,000 per week and over 5 million in a year! I’m happy to report that for the last 4 weeks, I have achieved that goal.Even more exciting, thus the reason I wanted to feature this tool first..I have dropped 16 lbs in that same time.

The ONLY thing that has changed is the increased activity. I have been eating clean and logging my food for over 130 days, but prior to the activity increase, I had dropped about 8lbs per month. That means that adding this little bit of activity is affecting my metabolism in a far greater way than what the numbers indicate.

Now, I know not everyone can leave your desk on an hourly basis, but don’t assume you can’t. Tell your supervisor what you are trying to do, and ask for the opportunity to prove that your productivity will actually improve. If that’s still a no-go, try and find a way to add those steps into your days! Walk, run, hike..whatever it takes.

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