It has been almost six months since I started my quest to lose weight … and I have actually gained 10 pounds. As I write this, I can hear the game show buzzer sounding off. What went wrong? I have gained 20 pounds since starting my new job last April. Previously, I was concerned that my new job had caused weight gain due to a sedentary work life sitting at the computer. This was getting serious, and I felt it was important to analyze what went wrong.
Suddenly I had a moment of clarity. It wasn’t the food I was eating, but the lack of activity in my life that I needed to work on. After all, I do eat very healthy. I sprinkle quinoa on scrambled eggs whites like it’s fairy dust, and add healthy fats such as chia seeds and avocados to my salads. I know how to eat, that wasn’t the problem.
So, I decided to purchase an activity tracker. After all, this tracker did look like a nice fashion accessory, which drew me in from the beginning. “Wow!” I thought. “This device can track how many steps I make and also how many calories I burn in a day! This is great!”
My new tracking device not only records and monitors my activity, but it sets goals to help me stay motivated. Even better, the device vibrates to let me know when I have met my goal each day – which provides positive reinforcement.
My goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day, which is a little more than four miles. My plan was to begin going daily to the Hendricks Regional Health YMCA to get my steps in. Whether it’s walking on the outside trails or using the treadmill, I needed to start using the facility to reach my required activity daily. This idea changed my exercise schedule from working out three times a week to walking each day and continuing my weight training three times weekly.
During my first week, I successfully met my goal, but quickly realized how difficult it is to get 10,000 steps in. Additionally, after looking at my reports from the device online, I realized that I still needed to be mindful of my healthy eating goals.
That is when I came to the acceptance that if I really want to be healthy and lose weight, I just have to give up eating as much as I want. Yes, I always ate healthy. However, 3,500 calories of humus is still 3,500 calories no matter how you look at it.
So now, I have begun looking at a new goal. It’s not to lose weight. It is to just do the best I can every day with the knowledge I have. My tracking device helps give me the information I need to make healthy choices each and every day.
Member of the Hendricks Regional Health YMCA Advisory Board
Lael is a 33-year-young wife and mother of two currently living in Brownsburg, Indiana. She is a proud volunteer and member of the YMCA, and firmly believes in the organization's mission.
Lael is a social worker employed as a Victim Services Specialist for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Additionally, she is a sociology graduate stuent at Indiana University School of Liberal Arts. Lael also is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, and currently serves on the Indiana Chapter's public policy committee.
When she is not being a wife, mother, social worker, volunteer and student, she enjoys exercising, gardening, going on nature walks, talking on the phone, and has recently taken up cycling for a hobby. We are thriled to have Lael as a guest blogger as she chronicles her journey to better health!