I can’t remember fit

I think I was in the 9th grade, the last time I could run the bleachers, or do the suicides in basketball (run from one side of the court, to the free-throw line and back, then half-court and back, then the next free-throw line and back and finally the other side of the court and back.  You did NOT want to be the last kid back on that exercise.

After that, I’ve pretty much done a job that involves a desk and usually very long hours.  I’ve succumbed to middle-age without much grace, and with almost no thought to how the pounds have crept up over time.  Two or three pounds a year can really add up over a couple of decades.  Now, here I am, forty-seven and seriously out of shape and over weight.

I’ve given up soda once again.  26 days clean.  It’s definitely an addiction.  I’m down 8 pounds or so by rearranging my food intake mildly and removing the soda.  Not nearly enough.  I need to get back to the rowing machine, which I’ve talked about before.

The reason I’m talking about this all again is because my amazing wife just got me an interesting anniversary gift and I have to decide (her words) if I’m going to keep it or return it.

She got me a Fit Bit.  For those of you who don’t know, it’s a glorified pedometer and sleep tracker.  According to the videos I watched on their site, I can also track my food.

Well, I already have a food tracker on my phone. It was free.  Something called Lose It!, which I find to be meh, and frankly annoying to use.  Not that the site is negative or hard to use, I just really dislike tracking my food.  Face it, when I eat out, especially fast food, I know I’m screwed.  I’ve managed to skip the McDonalds breakfast for weeks now and eat things like Greek yogurt, boiled eggs, a couple slices of cheese.  Way different from fast food, far fewer calories, cheaper and not laced with heart-attack amounts of sodium.

Is that really a good breakfast?  I don’t know.  Lunch at work is usually so psycho I could go from nothing, to fast-food to a rare decent meal.  Dinner is usually very healthy and balanced as I eat at home and the wife is an amazing cook.  Tonight for example she made this amazing roasted tomato and pepper soup.  Add a grilled Turkey and Cheese sandwich and a side of cut, fresh veggies and I think it was pretty okay.

But I need to make a decision about this Fit Bit.  Is it worth the hundred bucks price-tag?  Has anyone used one?  Are there any success stories out there that tell me I should keep this thing, or would I be better off doing something different.

Of course, I’m not being very successful as it stands today, so trying something like this may be different enough to be successful.  I’m skeptical and worry I’ll just run the thing through the washer.

Let me know your thoughts.  I have a doctors appointment today that will let me know how I’m doing, what my cholesterol and my sugar levels are this round.

I just wish I didn’t hate exercising so much.  Loathing and hatred.  Vitriol and unabashed disdain.

I may be a wee bit cranky about the whole thing.

Let me know what you think about the Fit Bit and I’ll slog through the rest.

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  • I don’t know much about fitness, I’m perhaps closer to the opposite side of the issue to yourself, John (I think I’ve gone from ~11-12st to ~10st over the past year or two – at 22!), but I did pretty much give up soda (well, fizzy drinks as we call ‘em in England. Or ‘pop’ which sounds stupid), and I’ve not had more than maybe a 500ml bottle of cola in, um… two years, maybe? This is me going from drinking a 2L bottle in two days (if that long) to nothing. Started drinking more(!) tea and moved back to fruit juices a bit more.

    But remember, diet drinks like Diet Coke are bad. Bad bad bad. I think you’re more likely to gain weight if you drink them or something, because of the effect they have on you. Another mistake I think people make is thinking dieting will cure all. You have to balance it with more exercise, too. Oh, not eating anything won’t help, either.

    There’s plenty of things you can do, though. Ride a bike on weekends, go for walks, go to the gym, work out at home, just generally be a bit more active – say, go out into the garden to do yardwork or something a bit more than you do.

    But just be careful, there are a lot of snake-oil merchants out there trying to get you to sign up to their next big weight-loss thing, and chances are it’s either a complete load of rubbish or just won’t work for you.

  • I have learned to love exercise, and that’s been one way for me to get around my terrible eating habits, but…

    I try (operative word) to keep my food as close to its origin as possible, and I find that rule to be the best for eating healthy and getting full. I keep fruit and nuts around for sweets or snacking. One of my favorite treats is dates + dried figs + flake coconut (unsweetened–you have to hit bulk at a place like Whole Foods to get it) + almond butter in a food processor. Make bite-sized bits out of them and they are a handy snack when you’re craving something sweet.

    Sounds like a possible solution would be for you to sit with Kathy and come up with some whole, healthy foods that are portable.

    You end up learning to love things that sound terrible, like iced unsweetened tea. Chrissy reminds me every time I dig for ice cream that she wants me around to take care of her when she’s deep in Alzheimer’s,

  • Here’s the thing – these things help if you have a tendency to be compulsive. For example, if my pedometer doesn’t say at least 6 miles on it at the end of the day, I am very unhappy. I wear it; I check it; and I move. If I forget it or can’t figure out where to attach it (not a problem you are likely to have since you probably don’t wear dresses that often) then I am also very unhappy. If you can set a goal and then get obsessive ab out it, then you’re golden – keep it!

  • I’m creeping right up on 45 and know just what you mean about the the pounds sneaking on. I don’t think the Fit-Bit would work for me because like you I despise tracking my food intake. Probably for the obvious reason which is if I don’t track it I am less aware of how much and how poorly I eat.

    My wife and I tried a low carb diet a couple years ago and I managed to lose 50 lbs without too much effort just by changing my diet with very little exercise. The low carb thing worked for me because I’m a bit of a meat-aholic I have a fairly stressful IT job for a financial institution so I go to work, sit down and barely move for hours at a time. My wife actually added exercise to her daily routine and has kept it up ever since. It will probably come as no surprise that my 50 lbs is back and her 100+ is still gone. She uses a pedometer and sort of obsesses about it, working to get her 8000 steps a day. I guess if you can work yourself into a routine the FitBit might be helpful. I suspect that I would use it for a while and then let it collect dust.

    I’m trying to get myself back into a low carb mode and am going to try hard to get myself into an exercise routine. Hopefully the exercise will make it stick this time.

    My doctor has suggested some sort of group thing like weight watchers for some accountability. However, I suspect I’d rather pull out my own nose hairs one by one than attend a weight watchers meeting. (At least until I find the Cynical/Cranky/TechieGeek/SF weight loss group.)

    Good luck though.

  • I looked at the website and the best thing I can see about it is the sleep tracker. Obesity and sleep apnea tend to be linked in a horrible each causes the other way. If you are self pay (like I am) a sleep study starts at 1500.00. I am seeing a home sleep study for 100.00 and thinking I am going to get one for my hubby.

    The other bits… I think you will probably end up liking at least some of them and finding them useful and/or motivational. It’s kind of a cool gadget-y thing but don’t expect the calories burned to be really accurate as it does not have a heart rate monitor. Calories burned is probably only a useful tool if you are also accurately and consistently tracking calories consumed. If you are anything like me, that will probably never actually happen. :P

    If it were me we were discussing buying it, I would also be curious about how it’s 3D motions sensor viewed/tracked…. well never mind. I don’t actually know you well enough to discuss that.

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