It’s Day #2 of using my activity tracker (Fitbit) the way it’s meant to be used: to track my steps, food, water and sleep. Yesterday I hit my 10,000 steps – after an hour-long walk and talk on the phone with a friend. Bonus: I saw two shooting stars. Magical. After consuming a lot of calories early in the day, I was happy that I hit my caloric goal for the day without going over. It was a good day.
Today, my back hurts – so much so that I made an appointment with a chiropractor. I missed walking the dogs this morning, so I’ll have steps to make up today. It might be challenging – but I’m determined. And much of that determination comes from people like Mary.
Mary and I used to work together years ago. When I think of her today, I think of her gorgeous smile and positive attitude. Via Facebook, I’ve watched her transform her body over the past year and a half. And of course she’s done it with a smile on her face – and an activity tracker on her wrist. I knew when I started this blog series that I wanted to share her story. Thankfully, she agreed.
Here’s Mary, 47, of Iowa – a powerful woman with a powerful story:
When (and why) did you start your weight-loss journey?
I started in March 2014. I woke up one morning and knew I needed to make a positive change in my life. It was do-or-die time – and I want to live a long time. I have a congenital heart defect. I have an auto-immune disease called Graves’ Disease that put me on a big roller coaster of losing weight, gaining weight, losing weight, gaining weight, that really did a number on my body and made me feel sorry for myself. I then tore my medial meniscus in my knee. I used that as an excuse that I couldn’t work out and gained an additional 50 lbs. I was in an awful place – sedentary and eating whatever I wanted. I finally told myself I had to stop. I needed to do something for myself.
What approach did you take?
I knew a friend of mine had the Jawbone®. I needed something that would make me accountable for moving. I also asked my doctor to set a calorie goal for me. He said 1,200 calories a day. I don’t think he believed I would do it. I lost 19 lbs in the first month. He started to believe I was serious. I religiously ate only the 1,200 calories a day. I knew I needed to make it simple and manageable. I drink a pre-made protein shake every morning that has 170 calories in it and 30 grams of protein. I eat Lean Cuisine (frozen entreés) for lunch and dinner because the calories are already counted. I also drink Nutrie Skinne, a small shot that increases your metabolism and burns fat. It curbed my appetite, which helped my hunger pains. Since I wasn’t eating a lot, I also started drinking It Works! greens, which is 8-10 servings of vegetables that you pour into water, with minimal calories. I take fiber every day and vitamins, fish oil and probiotics. I drink a detox tea every night to cleanse my system, so my morning starts off on the right foot. I also avoid eating after 6 p.m. whenever possible.
What success have you experienced?
I have lost 83 pounds and gone down four pant sizes. I also won Wellness Champion at work and received an award at our annual awards banquet. A life-size poster of me is in our new fitness center. Being recognized was overwhelming. I started this for me, but I have ended up inspiring a lot of people, which is very humbling. To win an award like this at work, you have to be nominated by your peers. I have over 25 people on my Jawbone team – people who have purchased the Jawbone after watching my success. Having a team to help motivate me made all the difference for me. I am proud I can make an impact on the lives of others.
You told me putting a Jawbone® on your wrist changed your life. How so?
It motivates – and reminds – me to move and stay active. I will never ever be without it on my wrist. I even have two backups. I average over 14,000 steps a day. I move all the time. I have a bike under my desk at work, so I am pedaling constantly. I fidget while I am at the printer. I lift 4-pound weights during my 45-minute commute to work. I move while I’m standing at the microwave. I air-box with weighted hand gloves while I watch TV. Every movement counts. EVERY movement burns calories. I want to lose the last 17 pounds to reach my goal of losing 100 pounds. I will then weigh what I weighed when I graduated from college.
Why did you choose Jawbone® over other activity trackers?
Honestly, it was because I had a friend that had one and she liked it.
Why did you decide to use an activity tracker, period?
Because I needed something to hold me accountable and something to motivate me.
What do you love about your Jawbone®?
I love that it is Bluetooth enabled and I can track in real time. It also connects with (the app) MyFitnessPal so I can track my calories and it all syncs up together. I also love that it tracks my sleep and that it connects me with a community of folks with the same mission. It also gives you daily inspirational quotes and information. You can leave notes for your friends to tell them to keep up the good work, etc. That was HUGE for me in the beginning, having a community of friends supporting me and keeping me motivated.
Do you recommend a fitness tracker? Why/why not?
Absolutely. I cannot even imagine this journey without it. As I said earlier, I will have one on me at all times, except when I shower. It motivates me to move and keeps me in check.
What else has been important to you on your journey?
The support of my community, family and friends. Couldn’t have done it without all the love and support.
What advice do you have for others who are just starting out?
Do this for yourself. Start with small attainable goals. Move more, eat less. No matter what your age, or your fitness level, you can do it. You don’t need a gym. Walk, lift weights, move. I did this all on my own without a gym membership.
#TrackerTales focuses on people who have successfully used their activity trackers to transform their bodies – and lives. If that describes you, please contact me. I’d love to share your story here. OR if you’re like me and just getting started, fire up that tracker and join me.