Years ago I used to keep a stash of Snickers bars in my freezer for just a time like this. I’m wanting sugar. Chocolate. Some thing high in sweetness. In the last few years I discovered that eating chocolate contributed to my migraines. Once I stopped eating all chocolate (even chocolate as icing on a cake) my migraines were a things of rarity. This was a miracle considering at the time migraines were debilitating my life.
Today, I rarely buy a candy bar of any kind. Except on those rare – exceedingly rare occasion when I buy a bag of Gummy Bears – the Haribo brand – because they remind me of my childhood – spending 3 years in Germany in the mid 1960’s.
I like them because I can eat just a small amount and tuck them away. 10 Gummy Bears and I’m satisfied. Mostly.
I discovered another “just a small amount” in Starburst Minis. I love them. No unwrapping to enjoy a chew. Little “chick-let” sized bites – but in this case – a handful of a few is not enough. I eat a few. Grab a few more. And in no time – if I’m not being mindful – I’ve devoured 300 calories of those yummy things.
And so the “mother voice” inside my head tells me I can not buy them when I see them at the store because my self-control mechanism does not seem to work with Starburst Minis.
I just said NO to them again as I passed them by in the grocery store. And again at the CVS drugstore. Sadly – I must keep saying NO.
No one warned me that when I turned 60 I’d discover I was hardly moving throughout a 24 hour period. Ok – I might have been warned but I apparently didn’t pay attention.
My friends were starting to get those running devices to monitor their exercise. I listened as they extolled their benefits and wondered if it was for me. I’m a hip almost senior. At least I think I am! I love learning about new gadgets but often discover that after the initial newness wears off, it lays in the top drawer of my nightstand. Somehow they don’t all fit into my life.
Enter the Fitbit. I ordered it. Strapped it on and downloaded the app. I used it mostly as a watch and slowly I realized it was teaching me new things.
I’m a sluggard – but now I’m moving!
My day is very sedentary – and without any encouragement, I can easily get less than 1000 steps in a day. I work from home. Waking up, I step through my house to the kitchen for breakfast, sit down for a bite and my freshly brewed iced tea. A few more steps away, I take a seat in my chair with my laptop on my lap. I’ll sit like this for hours until I realize its lunch time. I’ll get up for a short bit, maybe run out to meet my girl friends for lunch – but I’m driving across town to meet them – then back again for the afternoon of work, sitting.
The solution? Once I started to wear my Fitbit, I had it telling me at ten minutes before the hour – that I needed to move. I needed 250 steps. I get up, stretch. Do a few jumping jacks. Or I walk through the backyard. I get my steps in without much effort. I LOVE this feature.
I’m burning calories once again
In addition to the hourly reminders to move, I have a goal to keep. I’ve started at 5,000 steps. Yup, its a low goal. But for a gal who was getting less than 1,000 most days, this IS progress. Its one step. I’ve tried to start the day by walking 30 minutes through my neighborhood – or if I don’t have time in the morning – I’ll try to get out in the late afternoon before it turns dark. Because my neighborhood is hilly, I’m getting “floors” credited to me along with burning calories. How do I know? My Fitbit tells me so!
Weight Loss – I’m more careful about my calories
This is a work in progress. The Fitbit app tracks my steps, my level of exercise and will track my food intake if I take the time to document what I’m eating. Do I want to add 16 chips to my food intake diary? No….which is an incentive for me NOT to eat those chips. Instead, it tells me when I’ve overeaten, when I’m “in the zone” and when I’ve not eaten enough. By the end of a week, if I’m being honest with my calories and followed the app – I lose 1 pound a week. Win-Win!
I feel better.
Except when I’ve overdone it and my muscles are aching from renewed usage, I feel better. I move more easily. Exercise produces endorphins – and I’m happier.