Confession: I follow Chris Brogan. I listen to what he has to say, and often interact with his followers. Last year, though, Chris got on a health kick, and I started getting, well, bored… You see, Chris is a great business coach, and he speaks at many key events. He’s got the experience the big guys are after, and the little guys can’t afford as a one-on-one. But he shares – a lot. I don’t always agree with what he says, but he garners a great deal of respect from me.
Then he started writing about weight loss and getting in shape. And I wanted to reach out and give him a slap. Because, honestly, if I wanted training on getting in shape, I’d be following blogs and visiting the sites of fitness mentors. I thought Chris’ latest topics were ridiculous because they had nothing to do with the content I expected to read from him. Then it struck me… I followed Chris because of the unexpected.
Face it, there are thousands of professionals out there who can tell me what the textbook told them. I’ve neither the time nor desire to have someone translate coursework for me. I’m book smart.
I had been eyeing the Fitbit Flex for some time – my family got me one for Christmas. And it all just clicked. Within three days I was hitting a 10,000 daily step goal. Within a few weeks I was joining challenges. Soon after I was hosting month-long challenges via Matchup. I started eating better (still plenty of the same stuff, just in more balanced portions), and I really did look forward to my daily walks. I suffer from severe allergies and a few other things, and the simple act of walking has helped me better deal with the symptoms. I sleep better, and my dog is happier because she gets to participate on a more regular basis.
I remember all those exercise shows in the ’80s. Many of them were just glorified “walking in place” activities. It just never sunk in, but now I know. The basic act of daily walking can help you lose weight, experience symptom relief, sleep better and be more productive. For me, it’s not about working longer hours, but rather getting more done in the same amount of time. I’ve lost several pounds (I’m a woman, don’t ask me how much), so I also move around more easily.
Embracing the Fitbit also encouraged me to dust off the Wii Balance Board and use my feet to cycle across islands and fly to land on targets. I don’t trust my “Wii Fit Age”, but it still feels good when I’m told it’s 15+ years less than my actual 45.
Using an activity tracker is more than just counting steps. Being conscious of what you’re doing to and with your body goes a long way toward finally finding the right balance. Fact: I don’t diet. I still enjoy all the little things, including a few beers on nights out. I simply focus on maintaining the right “out” vs what I take in.
There are plenty of trackers out there – some are very basic, while others are designed for fitness junkies. I chose the Fitbit because of its ease of use and open API, which allows third-party apps and services to connect (for example, I use MyFitnessPal to log what I eat because of its extensive database). I opted for the Flex because I’d never remember to clip on a unit in the mornings, and didn’t want a bulky device. There are also thousands of wristbands, lanyards and other “holders”, which means I can mask the tracker to match whatever mood I’m in or attire I’m wearing.
Fitbit now also allows you to connect more than one tracker to your account, so I can opt to wear a clip on for activities that will be read better “from the hips” rather than the wrist.
I waited four months to write about the Flex. I wanted to make sure I was going to stick with it before encouraging others to take this simple step to increase productivity and overall healthy living. I didn’t want to write about something that I may be prone to give up not long after my story posted.
They say the most successful business folk sleep more and take more personal time. I still get urgent calls after hours, and sometimes am woken up due to a website emergency, but getting back to that desired place is now much, much easier.
So, Chris was right. We should all stop making excuses and start living the life we deserve. Being conscious of my habits and getting the blood flowing every day is helping me do that, and more.