Tuesday, February 9, 2016

This is a Test. It is Only a Test...

Well, I did it! I took the plunge and got myself a 
Fitbit Charge. Well, in reality I actually bought the "Flex" first but I didn't realize it didn't have a display. So I spent all of my after supper hours making that exchange, then dealing with syncing my new Fitbit to the computer. That is a story unto itself. More technical difficulties that the Fitbit help centre could not help me with (their answer was to return it to the store, but eventually I figured it out on my own). Another three and a half hours of my life eaten up with technicalities. But that is not the story I am here to tell. This is a story about my "control day" (it may become a control "week", I have not yet decided) as I dip my toes into a lifestyle of healthier choices.
The Fitbit stats from my first day are a tad skewed due to the four hours it was out of commission while I made my exchange then tried adding and syncing my new "Fitbit Charge" to the Fitbit dashboard. Even without that four hours (which most likely would have been spent sitting in front of the computer or television anyway), I managed to hit 8,679 steps. The "goal" is 10,000 steps per day and since I have already logged 707 steps this morning (and all I have done is get ready for my day), I think I may have hit the 10,000 mark before yesterday drew to a close.

My statement that I don't sit idle throughout the day is a true one. I have my Fitbit stats to prove it. The fact that most of those steps were considered "light" intensity, only a small percentage were "moderate" and none at all were intense is duly noted. We may have daycare dance parties and Patty Shukla "shake and move" songs instituted into our days more often.

I must admit that it was the sleep log that piqued my interest the most. I consider myself incredibly blessed to be able to log the sleep hours that I do. Sleeping is my all time favorite activity. It's crazy but it's true (I have visions of falling asleep on the couch in my room, then ceremoniously climbing into bed running through my head as I type). I fall asleep at the drop of a pin but I don't sleep through the night often. My stats for the past two nights are: "Awake 4 times; 24 times restless" and "Awake 2 times; 21 times restless". Time to fall asleep (both nights): 0 minutes. Sleep efficiency (for both nights) is 90%. I knew it! I am a pretty efficient sleeper. But I do have to wonder if adding more intense physical activities could improve that efficiency. Hmmm...

Then comes the calorie intake. I set a goal to lose ten pounds so my Fitbit tracker tells me when I have exceeded my calorie intake for the day in order to achieve that goal. I have already consumed 37% of my allotted calories for the day and all I have logged is my breakfast smoothie. Yesterday, I should have stopped eating halfway through my lunch. Obviously I didn't, so if I want things to change I obviously need to eat less. Or move more. Or a combination thereof.

This Fitbit isn't really telling me anything I didn't already know but it is making a game out of it. Do I want to exceed the goal of 10,000 steps? Yes! Am I encouraged to add a little high intensity into my steps? You betcha! Would I rather move more or eat less? Maybe a combination of the two. I like eating. Not quite as much as I like sleeping, but I often seek happiness within a can of Pringles. I don't believe in deprivation. But given a choice, I would choose sleep over food.

I may just need to start going to bed at noon in order to achieve my food intake goals, but if I move a little bit more maybe I can afford to stay awake long enough to see me through my work day.

I see a glimmer of hope here. I know I need to work a little harder at achieving my "optimum health goals". I don't have a retirement savings plan. My retirement plan is to work. I don't want to work forever, thus I really don't want to live a long, tired existence. Therefore, am I subconsciously sabotaging my own health in order to live a shorter life? Sounds like a depressing thought but it is there. The truth is, I quite likely will live to whatever age I am destined to live. My choice is: Do I want to live a long, healthy life? Or a drawn out meager existence, fighting the effects of the sedentary lifestyle I have adopted?

I may have to give up writing in lieu of a morning exercise routine. Maybe moving in the morning will inspire better writing material. I am not sure what the answer is but I know it is wise to ask the questions.

This is a control week. This is a week where I take note of what I am doing presently and question what should change. I hope this Fitbit challenge is exactly what I need to start to make a game out of moving more and eating smarter.

This could be the week that changes me. If I allow it. But for now, I need to fool myself into believing "This is a test. This is only a test ..."

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