How Fitbit is changing Jason’s life… 10,000 steps at a time.

Author: Jason Terry

Hello friends. It’s Jason again with another Blue Gurus blog post. This story took some courage to write because it’s even more personal than normal. I hope you enjoy it, and if you use a Fitbit, please comment or contact me directly to join me in the Fitbit community so we can walk our tails off together.

My story begins on April 21st, 2017. I woke up at 3am that morning feeling like I couldn’t breathe and I had some pain in my chest. It turns out that it was an unfortunate combination of allergies and acid reflux, but it could have been so much worse. And it was one of those life wake-up calls… the ones that teach you that you only have one life to live. And that nothing is guaranteed. It was scary. At the time, I weighed the most I’ve ever weighed in my life and I knew I had to make some real changes. And the changes needed to be life changes, not just a diet.

I’ve lost substantial weight a couple of times in my life. At 46, it’s definitely more work than it was in high school and in college. But I’m on the path, and my new Fitbit Alta HR is a critical part of my journey.

I started walking.

Fitbit Alta HRI’ve heard plenty of stories of people in their 70s that walk every day to stay in shape. So I committed to walking 10,000 steps a day. This number represents about 5 miles of walking per day.

I rarely got anywhere close to 10,000 steps per day previously. (I’ve worn a Fitbit for a couple of years.) My job is primarily a desk job because I work on a computer most of the day. I would usually get home with around 3,500-4,000 steps. And I was tired because I was carrying too much weight and not exercising enough, so I would eat dinner and relax for the evening. Ugh.

The first week that I focused on hitting 10,000 steps per day was eye opening. It was the week of May 1st. What surprised me the most was that it really wasn’t as hard as I thought to get to 10,000 steps. Simple things like choosing to park across the parking lot, or getting up every hour during the day for a water or bathroom break made a big difference. I was getting home with closer to 5,000 steps. And then all I had to do was a 30-45 minute walk.

A walk in the park.

We live right next to Shawnee Mission Park. There’s a great path I follow that is a one hour walk from my house, through the park and back. It’s a little over 3 miles. For me, 3 miles is around 6,500-7,000 steps. So I started doing that walk after dinner every night for a couple of weeks. I was easily getting to 10,000 steps a day and starting to feel a bit better. I wasn’t losing weight, but I wasn’t feeling any soreness like I did the first week, and I found myself walking a bit faster and a bit longer. And I loved being outside walking in the park. It cleared my brain. And it gave me time to process daily issues and listen to great music on Spotify.

I love music by The Chainsmokers. Their song “Something Just Like This” is my personal anthem. I could walk for two hours to that song. Trista has complained about me shaking the house with the subwoofers in our basement when I play that song too loud. (To be clear, she is very supportive of me in this effort.)

It’s Social.

Kandy Meehan at Home Rental Services has been a client since the beginning of Blue Gurus. I work closely with her daughter Caitlin when I am there. Caitlin offered to join me with her Fitbit to compare daily steps as my accountability partner. Awesome.

There are various ways to compete with your walking friends in the Fitbit app.

Workweek Hustle is the total number of steps walked from Monday through Friday. At midnight on Friday, the steps are tallied and compared and the winner gets a badge and kudo notifications.

The Weekend Warrior challenge is the total number of steps on Saturday and Sunday with another badge for the winner.

Caitlin and I started talking about and comparing our daily step counts when I went into the office. And then more of the team started getting involved when Jennifer joined us. Then Kandy. Then Oretta. Then Caitlin’s husband Brad. Then David. And recently Joshua. It’s now a team thing involving most of the company and it’s helping to keep me accountable more than anything else I’ve tried in my life. And the interesting thing is that it’s positively impacting the culture at HRS.

People are walking at lunch. People are taking their kids on walks in the evenings like never before. And when we’re very close at the end of a weekly competition, I’ve heard things like, “don’t make me do laps around the living room and kitchen again, it scares the dogs!” It’s not just my life that’s being changed or impacted with healthy exercise and improved discipline. This is the ultimate win/win for me… helping myself while helping others. Wow. (Thank you HRS… love you guys.)

It’s Working.

Jason at Mic's HouseI’ve been doing this for 7 weeks now. I am stronger. I regularly hit 13,000 steps a day and have had 3 days in 7 weeks over 20,000 steps. I’ve done quite a few 5.3 miles walks in the park. I’ve lost 16 pounds and I am starting to see it in pictures. It’s early, and I have a long way to go, but it’s a really good start.

For the week of June 5th – June 11th, I had the following statistics:

  • I hit my 10,000 step goal every day during the week
  • My best step count day was on Sunday with 20,321 steps
  • I walked 94,419 steps during the week, about 43 miles
  • I burned an average of 5,448 calories per day. (With a 3,000 calorie diet, that’s at least a 2,000 calorie deficit every day. That usually equates to losing a pound or two a week.)

Join Me

If you have a Fitbit, I would love for you to join me on this journey. The most important part of this is going to be the ongoing discipline of maintaining this lifestyle change. It’s already becoming a habit for me, but every person involved helps. Comment on this post or send me a message if you want to connect in the Fitbit app.

And thanks for reading our stories. It means so much to us. And after reading this, if you decide to get involved, you will be part of a story that ends with me losing 65 pounds. From the bottom of my heart… thank you.

Fitbit Stats for the week of June 5th, 2017

 

3 replies
  1. Jim Schneider
    Jim Schneider says:

    Go Jason GO!!!!

    I got my Fitbit One in January 2013, just before the first of two major surgeries that I would have that year. I credit the motivation of my Fitbit with my speedy recovery and healthier lifestyle ever since.

    I am at the place where I get downright cranky if I don’t get 15k steps in daily… It takes some determination and effort and I do occasionally fall short… Nevertheless, I do believe it is a worthy endeavor and know that my Fitbit Obsession has made a major contribution to the quality of my life… I’d be very happy to add you to my Fitbit list…

    Reply
  2. David Carey
    David Carey says:

    Jason, you are a true friend and an inspiration to me every day! Keep up the great work, and let me with the challenge on occasion!

    Reply

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