The (Lion) King & I

“Looks like the winds are changing.”

“Ahh.. Change is good.”

“Yeah, but it isn’t easy. I know what I have to do, but…”
— The Lion King

Once upon a time, if I wasn’t feeling well, I curled up on the couch and watched The Lion King. That was it. I didn’t cook, I didn’t tidy up around the house; to be honest, I barely moved from my spot, unless I had to. While The Lion King is still my favorite comfort movie, the winds have changed, and so have my rituals.

Recently, I was discussing fitness and overall health with an old friend of mine; we were busy talking about what keeps us motivated to stay active, and I couldn’t stop myself from absolutely gushing about my Fitbit. It was during that conversation that I realized just how much this tiny little device has influenced my everyday life. For the last year or so, I have worn it every single day. From the moment I get out of bed in the morning, until the moment I lay down at night, my Fitbit is, (literally), attached to my hip.

Some of you may be wondering at this point, what I’m even talking about, so before I go any further, let me explain what a Fitbit is. Basically, it’s a fancy pedometer: it counts my steps. Yes, you can go to the store and buy a basic pedometer for about $10. I tried that myself, but I wasn’t impressed; the cheaper devices are not very accurate and don’t provide enough information. What is it that makes the Fitbit so amazing? For starters, it syncs to my phone and puts all of the data it collects into an easy to read chart. At a glance, I can see precisely how active I’ve been. That little bit of information has changed my life.

Health experts recommend that adults get in 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day. When I first started using the Fitbit, I could easily go an entire day without reaching 1000 steps.

Before the Fitbit, I knew I wasn’t as active as I needed to be. I knew I was lazy and that the only way to describe my lifestyle was “sedentary”. The Fitbit took that information and gave me hard, visual evidence. What I saw shocked me. Like I said, I knew I was lazy, what I didn’t know was just how lazy I had become.

Adding the Fitbit to my routine was simple, all I had to do was wear it. It counts my steps, including flights of stairs and translates that into miles and calories burned. Once you sync the device to the website or your phone, it puts all of that info into a lovely little chart that shows you everything you need to know. It will also sync up with other apps, such as My Fitness Pal, so you can see your calorie intake and burn all on one page.

There is one other feature that I find particularly effective, even though I am slightly embarrassed to admit it: green smilies. When you hit your goals for the day, you get little green smiley faces next to the ones you reached. It’s a lot like getting that gold star at the end of the school day, and I often find myself doing laps around the house or even the grocery store just to make sure I get my smiley for the day.

I realize that this post probably sounds an awful lot like a product plug, but it’s not. This post is about change and just one of the ways I motivate myself to keep pushing. Change isn’t easy, (especially when you feel like the whole world is against you), but it can be done and now, I’ve got proof! I can’t say that I’ve spent the last right years fighting; in truth, the majority of my fight has only been in the last year and a half, but I wanted to show you where I started.

This was me in 2006.

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Here I am in 2011.

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And finally, this is me now.

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Keep fighting!

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