On November 28, 2014, I had a new activity tracker - a Jawbone UP24 - and a new weight loss goal. My target when I started was to get down to a weight of 250 - that meant losing right at 90 lbs. in one year. Almost 51 weeks to the day, I can say - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
Along the way the UP24 died and I ended up replacing it with a Fitbit Charge HR. The combination of two different activity trackers also meant the use of two different apps for about half the year. I continued to use the UP app since I had my initial history in it. At times I wish I still had a Jawbone tracker as I liked the smart coach feature in that app.
Along with those two apps, I switched over to using the Runkeeper app to track my runs and have found it to be a good app overall, providing nice feedback during activities. I also started using Spotify to have some music to listen to during runs and invested in some wireless earbuds. For a brief period of time, I also used Matchup.io to give me some challenges to keep me motivated.
I also managed to work my way up to slow but steady runs of 12 - 15 miles per week. Combined with all the traveling I’ve been doing with my daughters for their soccer events, I got to do runs in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, all of which were fun for getting out and just hitting the pavement. That is, until I injured my leg in mid-September. Based on the symptoms, I’m thinking a stress fracture. Hoping to get back to running in just a couple more weeks. Amazingly, I really do miss it.
Besides the weight change, I lost 10 inches in waist size in the jeans I wear and 8 inches for dress pants. Probably the bigger change was in my shirt size though. I was able to wear 3X, but had just started pushing into having to buy 4X shirts. I’m now down to 2X and very close to being able to buy and fit into an XL. This also means I can shop in the regular men’s shop instead of big & tall.
From an activity standpoint, a year ago I was barely getting 1,000 steps in during a day and it was far too easy for me to get winded with the slightest exertion. Now I do 10,000 steps easy and have no trouble taking part in all kinds of physical activities. Overall, just way healthier than what I was.
All that said, I am still considered obese and my running pace is quite slow. So there is still a lot of room for continued improvement. With that in mind, I’ve set my next goal in terms of weight loss (I’ll announce it when I reach it). I’m also hoping to participate in some run events during 2016 assuming I can get back to running on a regular basis. Depending on schedule, maybe a 10K around March and then a half marathon sometime next summer (although the guys from Rock 92 were talking about doing one in the fall and I may want to be a part of that).
Thanks to everyone who has noticed the changes during the past year and said something about it. Between all the gamified features of the apps I’ve used, the feedback from people I meet, and the ability to measure progress with the activity trackers, they all helped keep me motivated to stay with it unlike previous efforts.