I thought I was doing a great job. Dutifully, I clipped on my fitbit and relished the digital pat on the back it gave me when I had walked my designated 10,000 steps or more. I was content. I was cardiovascularly healthy. I was still putting on weight.
Recently, I went to the dark side and got a Garmin. Which means that my physical make up of height and weight would no longer be the way to measure what I had burned merely dragging my carcass around all day. No, sir. Now, there would be a digital reading of how hard my body was actually working. There would be credits assigned to me for “active minutes” when my heart rate surpassed a certain threshold and there would be credit given for homeostasis, but nowhere near what I was earning before.
As soon as I strapped on the dark purple wristband, I was effectively on a calorie budget that I could not fudge. My resting heart rate is low, which is a testament to all those early morning walks and strolls around the neighbor with the dog. That is where the good news for me ended.
Exercise, I am finding, has a bigger calorie torching impact when it’s vigorous. I needed to get my heart rate up and (yuck) keep it there if I wanted to start seeing results. A sixty second sprint might get me there but squats, I have learned, will get me there and keep me there.
Today was “leg day” which is code for “it was hard to take the step down into the garage to sit and write this post and I really hope I don’t have to use the toilet at any point in the next three days”. I was sweating and my heart was pounding and the best part was the warm fuzzy, thank God it’s over feeling I got when I did my last set today. I hadn’t realized that doing the things I had already been doing was a form of phoning it in. (For the record, rolling out of bed before 5 am to do anything at all should be full credit, always).
Tomorrow, I know I will be slow out of the gate. It is forecast to be a cold, cloudy day and there will be football on. These conditions would usually spell certain doom for me, as I would have written the entire day off – effectively excusing myself from good behavior…but I am trying new things and hopefully making better decisions to build forever on. That means that I have to make good choices, even if it’s cold, or Sunday, or game day or all three things. It means that I can have a steak tonight and even a baked potato, but not a bread basket, of three drinks or dessert. Choices like that, though, they mean I might be able to do this this time. Wish me luck!