I took off my Fitbit

Its been approximately 3 days since I took off my Fitbit.

First of all, I took the Fitbit off because it started glitching on me, regularly. As you all know, I started a walking challenge a couple months ago and put on the Fitbit as a way to keep myself accountable. You can read about that here.  I have one of the first generation Fitbits that just displays 5 small lights to tell you when you’ve hit each 2000 steps with the end goal being 10k steps in a day. I found this to be a very helpful tool and really enjoyed earning each light during the day.

For me, the accountability was crucial. It really kept me focused on making sure I got in every step before I laid down at night. If I had been guessing, I feel confident in saying that I would have guessed wrong at least 75% of the time. So having this little tracker present with me at all times was a big part of my success in that personal challenge.

In the last week, the Fitbit started failing me. I would walk the same distance I had the previous day but the tracker would not log the steps. For example, the block I live on is equal to 1/2 a mile. So 2 laps equals 1 mile. I can walk out and do 10 laps to get in my 10k steps and did so on a number of occasions, but in the last week that started only giving me 1,000 steps total. Or at the end of a very active day, the Fitbit would only have two lights lit up. This was very false.

I did a test to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind by installing Stepz app on my phone and carrying it at all times for a few days. The difference was noted. It was clear that the Fitbit was not accurately tracking anymore. I did a little research and really didn’t find anything conclusive to act on, as a way to fix it. So, long story short, I’ve taken it off. Eek!

I have to admit, it was pretty disappointing. I really did enjoy the confirmation and celebration of knowing I had been active during my days. I knew it made some big changes in my health and I really don’t want to take any steps backward now. Yet here I am, without my Fitbit, still being active. How can that be? Is anyone truly active if its not documented in some way? The answer is, YES!

I am happy to say that over the course of the last two months, I’ve learned how to incorporate enough activity into my day to make sure that I get my 10k steps. I have even enjoyed the break of constantly checking to see where I was on my daily goal.

For me,  5 miles generally equals 10k steps. I think most people have the same results but for me it was clearly my average for earning all 5 lights on the Fitbit. I know that if I get in 5 miles of activity a day, I’ve met my goal. My new mode of operation is to get in 5 miles and then all steps over that during the day are lagniappe! So far, so good.

My food plan: I am failing it daily

This next step on my path to health has been a total bomb. Like a huge, explosive, bomb of failure. I am not even attempting what I said I was going to do. I am, in fact, doing the total opposite of my plan. You can read about what I’m supposed to be doing here. And to read how bad I’ve been failing at this food plan, keep reading below. Oy.

A week ago I pledged to make some small changes that I hoped would result in some positive health benefits. I am here to tell you, I have not done a single one of the small changes. I mean, its like they haven’t even been discussed. I am just sitting here thinking about how I am completely ignoring them. Its like I’m in crazy town.

A little background. I started a personal challenge a couple months ago to walk 10k steps a day. My blood pressure had crept up over the years and my physical fitness was at an all time low. Oh, and I recently turned 40. I just wanted to put forth a little effort to see if there would be any payouts in return. I’m happy to report there were in fact payouts and you can read about those here. I am in love with walking!

As a next step to getting healthy, I put together a list of three small changes that I was willing to try to see if I could increase the benefits I’d started seeing from walking. They really are so simple and yet, here I am, not doing a damn one of them.

I was supposed to only eat when hungry. Well, I do actually eat when I’m hungry, so that’s a win. The problem is, I also eat all the other times of the day. Nonstop. Munching. All day. I was also supposed to not overeat. Well, I don’t even know how to explain how much food I’ve been consuming but Templeton, the rat from Charlotte’s Web is a pretty fair comparison. No kidding.

Honestly, at this moment, with my belly super full of halloween candy and my entire salad, I can’t even remember the third rule, so let’s just assume I’m not doing that one either. I am ridiculous.

These were really the easiest changes ever, in theory. Its like I’m actively working harder to not follow them now that I’ve put them out there as guidelines. Am I that big of a rebel? Am I really that self sabotaging? I am starting to believe that I am. Why would my mind want me to stay overweight? Why would I actively work to fail this part of my health plan? The answer, I’m afraid, is in the thoughts I’m avoiding by shoveling my gullet full of food.

I need to slow down. Stop rushing. Stop avoiding. Stop the perpetual poppycock and just swim around in whatever uncomfortable feeling, thought, experience I’m having, long enough to find my feet and know that I’m ok and I don’t need to avoid whatever is bothering me. I can’t control everything. I can’t do everything right. And I certainly don’t need to put those expectations on myself.

This post is purely me admitting my failure and stepping up to the plate to take another swing. Can’t stop, won’t stop. Get out of my way!

Did 10k steps a day change my life?

Update!!! I finally got to the doc to have my blood pressure checked for comparison and I’m blow away to report that it went from 146/90 to 112/68! WOOT! We checked and rechecked because we could not believe it, but its real. My bp when down that much! I will keep up this good work. I’m committed now. 

The short answer is yes! The long answer follows.

On August 3, 2018 I challenged myself to walk 10k steps a day to see if it improved my Image-1 (4)health. You can read about that here. I decided to do this after I heard from my doctor that my BP was a bit elevated and it might require medication if I didn’t make some changes to bring it down. That was all the encouragement I needed. That day I walked out and decided more physical activity was in order.

Here’s a quick background on me to give you perspective. I am and have been morbidly obese for roughly the last 20 years. Before the morbidly obese label, I was also very heavy but somehow managed to stay below 200 pounds. I was within a normal weight ranger for my height from ages birth to 9-years-old and then again from age 17-18. Other than that, I was either heavy or morbidly obese. By some miracle, I am not diabetic nor have I ever had any health side effects due to my weight. That is starting to change with age.

Leaving the doctor earlier this month and knowing that my health was completely up to me to take care of, I decided to make some changes and the first one was adding more physical activity to my life. This is something that often brought up a lot of perpetual poppycock for me in the past. I can spiral into a rabbit hole of show stopping thoughts if I don’t watch out. This time, I wanted to give it the old college try to see if it would help.

You can read about my progress here, and about the day I didn’t meet my daily goal here. Somehow, I managed to finish out the month and meet my goal of walking 10k steps a day! I am amazed. I’m writing another post I’ll link here soon about how I find time in my day to get in all my steps.

So what did I learn this month? I learned that no matter what is going on during a day, I can get in 10k steps. Sometimes that means walking in circles in my house because I’m the only parent home, or walking in circles at work while I’m on a conference call. No matter what, I can get in my steps. That feels great!

I learned that my endurance grows each day. At first my feet would pound after a day of getting in all my steps and I was often talking myself through the last 1000 steps just to feel my Fitbit signal the completion for the day, but as time went on, it got much easier to do and I now look forward to a brisk walk to keep my blood pumping.

I learned that I can often change my perspective or get a clearer head by taking a walk to think through a problem or conflict. This has improved my mood, patience, and interactions with others. I’m no longer a time bomb waiting to blow up on someone. I’m calm most of the time. I can keep my temper in check. From what I understand, this has to do with the levels of serotonin that is released by exercise. Its been a nice change for me.

I learned that I can make changes and commit to new things by just ignoring all the crazy perpetual poppycock in my head. I take it one moment at a time. One walk at a time. One day at a time. And eventually that translates into success. Its a great feeling.

I also lost 4 pounds. When I checked my weight this morning at work, the scale said 271. That is pretty great considering I did not diet at all. The only change made was to increase the physical activity during my day and it translated to 4 pounds lost. I’ll call that a win! My next challenge is going to be to continue to get in my 10k steps and change my eating just a bit. I’m only going to eat if I’m actually hungry and I’m going to work on only eating until I’m satisfied rather than eating until I’m about to pop. Those small changes will result in fewer calories during the day in a natural way. I’ll explain more in another post but that is whats going to happen in September.

In conclusion, this has been a very positive experience. I am going to keep up the walking and continue to wear my Fitbit. I’ll post my BP later tonight when I get home and can check it. Get out there and get some steps! Small changes are making big payoffs for me.

Didn’t meet goal today…queue the head games

Today was the first day that I didn’t meet my goal. I have been walking 10k or more Image-1 (3)every day for two weeks, working towards a goal of 10k steps a day for 30 days. Today, I did not meet my daily goal, and here is where I really have to fight through the perpetual poppycock that is about to try and derail my personal challenge.

If you are new here let me explain perpetual poppycock. Perpetual poppycock is the endless thought process that happens to me every time I attempt to do something different or try something new. For example, if I wanted to try eating fruit for breakfast, my thoughts would go down a rabbit hole of questions and research that would ultimately end in me never eating fruit for breakfast. In short, perpetual poppycock is the head game that my brain plays to try and keep me from being who I want to be or living how I want to live. Its obnoxious.

So here I am, two weeks into my challenge, and I’ve failed for one day. Normally this break in my progress would be the end for whatever thing I was trying to do. The thought would go something like, well I tried but now that I’ve failed this one day out of 30, I will just stop because it was hard anyway and I really just want to be healthy without putting forth any effort or trying, at all. From that moment on, I would stop walking all together and pretend that my 30 day personal challenge was not a big deal and that my blood pressure is going to come down on its own without having to work at it.

I’m going to try and keep this train on its tracks hard, and step one is posting this out for all to see, acknowledging that I need to keep going. So, check that box off! Step one to staying on track is complete.

Step two is praising myself for the steps I did take that day. I DID take 8,625 steps! That is amazing considering that before this challenge I was averaging something like 3000. Wow, what progress! Check this box off the list. Step two feels really good and I’m super proud of those 8,625 steps.

Step three is waking up tomorrow and putting on my FitBit. I am not committing to anything beyond that. Tomorrow will take care of itself if I wake up and put on my FitBit, just like I have done everything other day, and take my first step of the day. This will be important for me mentally, to continue on like its business as usual. In order to break the cycle of being a quitter, I have to take my first step, literally and metaphorically.

Wish me luck guys! I am 2/3rds through the steps of breaking through my first roadblock.

Week 1 step count: How did I do?

This week has proven glitchy but glorious. This screenshot is my first tracked 10k steps usiImage-1 (2)ng theStepz app I mentioned in my post, 10,000 steps, more like 10,000 miles, where I stated that I was going to walk 10k steps a day for a month and see if it improved my health. So far so good! Keep reading to see how my first week went. Here’s how I’m beating the perpetual poppycock and getting it done!

I’m going to try and keep this short and too the point so here is what I will go over.

  • Goal: Am I hitting my daily goal of 10k steps?
  • Technology
  • Schedule

So let’s get to the good stuff!

Goal: Am I hitting my daily goal of 10k steps?

The short answer is yes! I’m so excited to report that I am finding a way to make my 10k steps every day despite “no time” to get it done. I used quotes for “no time” because that is what I always say and how I generally feel. I work full time, have 2 side hustles (lots of debt to pay off, check out my posts about finances and how to get them under control), 2 kids in elementary school both whom have after school activities, a husband, a dog, and a house with a big yard. All of those things that take up my time are awesome and I’m so grateful for each one so I’m not complaining, BUT they do take up all of my time so fitting in fitness is a real struggle for me.

Image-1 (1)Take a look at how my week went but please make this note! I was working out some technology kinks so while my graphs don’t show that I hit my steps every day, I promise I did. I switched from using the Stepz app to using a FitBit Flex and on two of those days, it was not on my wrist for parts of the day so I missed tracking several hours. I will go over that in my next point about technology but lets just say, I am new to wearing this thing on my wrist all the time and I have proven forgetful a time or two.

As you can see, I hit my 10k steps each day, note the two days mentioned above. At first, it was hard to know if I would hit that goal each day but it is easily becoming habit and something I look forward to doing. I am trying not to become compulsive about the technology side of it, as I have a tendency to do, but for now it is helpful to keep me accountable and know if I’m hitting goal. I learned quickly that 10,000 steps roughly equals 5 miles. That seems a little overwhelming when you are starting from zero but is surprisingly not impossible as I once assumed.


As you can see from the two images I put early in this post, my technology changed along the way. I started this challenge using Stepz, a free app. It seemed like an easy choice for a number of reasons. Its free, gives me great information on the first screen, and counts steps. That is all I needed to get started. The downside to this was that I had to have my phone with me at all times to get credit for all of my steps. This is where I started to think I’d rather another way. While home I rarely carry my phone around with me. I was missing a lot of my daily steps because I would put my phone down and go about my housework.

I decided to try FitBit and went with the first generation FitBit Flex. I didn’t want to invest much and I didn’t want to get caught up in anything other than counting my steps at the moment. That might change later but for now, I’m just trying to incorporate some healthy life changes in my daily routine. The FitBit has been a nice change but not problem free.


  • It wears like a watch and allows a hands free interaction.
  • Once you’ve put it on for the day and tapped it to make sure its listening, you set it and forget it.
  • Its easy to get in the habit of wearing because it is like putting on a watch.
  • The band is rubber and feels durable. I don’t worry about getting it wet or dirty because its easy to clean.
  • It tracks steps and exercise without additional input from me.
  • The band vibrates when you’ve met your daily goal of 10k steps so its a nice celebration every day.


  • You have to remember to put it on every day.
  • It wears like a watch so if you aren’t used to having something on your wrist every day, it can be bothersome at first.
  • It costs money. The first generation FitBit Flex will run around $50 retail if you buy it new. You can find plenty of used FitBit’s around the web for much less.
  • It is an outdated technology overtime. As with all technology, by the time you buy it, engineers have made your current tech obsolete and there is something better in development. This is just life. If it bothers you, spend more money and get the new one when they are released.
  • You have to login to the FitBit app to get the actual step count. The FitBit Flex just shows blinking lights that indicate how many steps you’ve approximately taken. If you want the actual number, you have to open the app and use your bluetooth connection to get the data.
  • You have to remember to charge your FitBit. It has a battery life just like a phone. It needs to be charged regularly.
  • Its glitchy. I went for a 5 mile walk Wednesday morning and the FitBit did not track any of it. This was terrible because I had met my daily 10k goal first thing that day but was unable to see the achievement in the app or on my FitBit. I read on the web and this happens from time to time. This is a buzz kill when it happens.

Overall, I like the FitBit rather than using my phone. The handsfree experience is much better for me. I do still carry my phone when I go on long walks or work in the yard, but that is a safety measure and not necessary to track my steps. Just know that whatever method you decide on, there are pros and cons for all of them.


As I mentioned before, I have no time. I work several jobs and have a home life that demands a lot of time. This was my biggest obstacle starting this personal challenge. I could not conceive of how I would come up with enough time to walk 10k steps a day. My job is sitting at a desk and my home life involves sitting on the floor playing with kids or sitting in a waiting room at dance/gym/karate/soccer/whatever, for the kids to be done. This is not a lot of movement during the day.

I really had to dig deep and commit to this in order to make it work. These are the things I ended up doing to make my goal happen.

  • Take one to three, 10 minute breaks during my day at the office to walk. Walk around the office, parking lot, street, etc. I didn’t always do the same thing because of weather or other commitments but I always tied to fit in at least one 10 minute walk at the office.
  • Walk on my lunch break. I would spend some of my lunch break actually eating but the first thing I do is take another walk. Its amazing how many steps you can fit in during a 10 – 30 minute walk. If its raining, I will go to the mall or a store and fit in as many steps as I can while I can.
  • Walk while waiting for kids at activities. I switched gears on how I spent this time. I typically would sit and talk to other moms and dads while I was waiting for the kids but now I walk the parking lot of wherever I am. The funny thing is, other moms often join me and thank me for helping them get up and move. It makes for a fun and quick wait!
  • Walk up and down the hall, kitchen, dining room of my house before I sit down for the night at home. This one is a no brainer. Before I sit my butt down for the night, I will walk around my house until I feel that FitBit buzz, signaling my goal has been met. This seems crazy as I’m doing it but it is a necessary part of fitting 10k into my day. I have walked as many as 5k steps in my small house at night after the kids go to bed or while they are bathing. My husband is out of town a lot so I can’t leave the house and the weather is never a factor inside. I literally have no excuses, so I just suck it up and get it done.
  • Park far away. This is one of those things I always heard and sometimes did but now its an key component of my strategy to fit in extra steps during my day. And it works!
  • Walk the kids to school. I have to say, I both love and dislike this one. I LOVE the time I get walking my kids to school in the morning. We have sweet conversations and I get to hear about random things they think about or comfort fears they are having. I truly value this time, BUT I am a horrible sweater, I live in the deep south and I’m large. This combination leaves me with soaking wet hair, runny makeup and sticky skin every day as I drive to work. The easier thing would be to just use the carpool line but then I’d miss those sweet moments with them and the extra steps that really get my day going.
  • Let the kids ride bikes up and down the street or around the block while you walk in the evenings before you go in to make dinner or do homework. This is fun and they love it, too.

The weekends are a much easier, at least for me. Each weekend day, I walk 5 miles at one time around my neighborhood or park. This 5 miles ensures I hit my 10k goal that day and all other steps that day are just bonus on top of my 10k.

Here is my typical weekend step schedule:

  • Friday night my husband is usually home so I walk 5 miles around the block. The kids usually start it on their bikes with me and then I drop them at the house as we make a pass, when they tire out. If he is not home, I just walk in front of my house as they play in the yard with the neighbors or watch tv inside. I’m never more than a couple doors down at any time so they can walk out and ask me for whatever they need.
  • Saturday morning I walk 10k in the parking lot of my daughters gymnastics practice while I’m waiting for her. This takes me about 1.5 – 2 hours and that is usually how long she is at practice. I just walk in circles until she is done or I feel my FitBit buzz.
  • Sunday I repeat my process from Friday night. Sometimes I do this alone if my husband is in town and can watch the kids, but if not that is ok.

I also mow the yard every weekend and according to my FitBit that is around 9k steps itself so I get that extra workout, as long as its mowing season. In south Louisiana that is usually March – November. We like it hot, hot, hot!

Overall, this has been an awesome experience so far. My focus has been on including 10k steps in every day as a way to improve my heart health, create good physical habits, lose weight and elevate my mood. I think I’m well on my way to seeing great results for each of those things. My mood is definitely better. I’m being better with my kids and getting more time with them by including them in my exercise. To them its play time so they don’t even realize they are helping out mom and that makes it fun for everyone. I’m stopping the nonstop mental blocks and questions, otherwise known as perpetual poppycock, and doing something! It feels great!






10,000 steps, more like 10,000 miles

Walking 10k steps a day is a concept I’ve heard a thousand times. If you’ve been interested in fitness or health at all for the last decade, you’ve likely heard it, too. The basic idea is that getting in 10k steps a day boosts your health in a number of ways. It can lead to better moods, lower blood pressure, weight loss, feelings of accomplishment, etc. That is a theory I am about about test. Image-1.jpg

To me the idea of 10k steps in a day may as well be asking me for 10k MILES because I get around 3500 steps on a really good day and see no way to include more. This is a screenshot of my newly installed pedometer app call Stepz (no affiliation). As you can see, I’m a slug. I sit, a lot. It appears as though I barely move at all. I can actually affirm that information is completely correct, and disgusting. This is part of my problem.

For the last year, I have been eating as much as I want and not exercising. Its been awesome, terrible, distracting, and apparently just what I wanted to do. I’m a firm believer that humans do what they want regardless of what they say. I’ll explain that more later. It was a hard year for my family and the way I dealt with it was to be bad to my body. Admittedly this was not the best way to deal with the stress, but that is not the point of this blog. The year of gluttony has resulted in my already large body becoming larger and more recently leading me to have elevated blood pressure. I’m not sure exactly how much weight I’ve gained this year but if I was forced to try and quantify it, I would say I’ve put on about 30 pounds. Yikes! That puts me around the 275 mark and crushes my motivation, but I digress.

As part of my lifestyle change that forces out the perpetual poppycock parade of excuses and time sucking analysis, I’m going to start today to attempt to get in 10k steps a day. My only scientific measurement will be the app on my phone calculating my steps, my newly purchased blood pressure monitor and maybe a scale. I don’t own a scale though so that last one is iffy. The point is not to lose weight necessarily, but it is to try and improve my health.

Here’s what I know about exercise and here’s what I’m expecting the outcome to be. Prepare to be amazed with my smartness.

Exercise causes the release of endorphins in the body. Endorphins have a pain relieving affect similar to morphine and also create a better, more positive feeling in your body which leads to a “better mood”. All this sounds lovely. Exercise also allows blood to pump through your body faster which results in your heart getting stronger over time. As your heart gets stronger, it doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood through the body and that lowers your blood pressure. Again, lovely information.

This is where the perpetual poppycock starts to kill my buzz. As I start thinking about doing something new, the paralyzing thoughts start to pile up. In the case of including 10k steps in my day, the thoughts and questions are almost an impenetrable wall that I am standing below. Picture Jon Snow standing at the bottom of The Wall. This is what I’m dealing with in my head 24/7. Its EXHAUSTING!

Want a taste of what I’m talking about? Here you go.

  1. I sit down all day at work. How am I going to get more steps in at work?
  2. The only time I have to do this is while I’m at work. I’m not giving up time with my kids in the evening and I’m not going to get up early or stay up late because I need my sleep. I deserve to get rest. I do a lot for other people. Sleep is all I do for myself.
  3. If I do this at work, do I need to bring walking shoes to change into? Does this mean I need to go buy another pair of shoes to keep at work. I don’t really need to spend money on that right now. I probably shouldn’t try to do this.
  4. If I walk in my work clothes and get sweaty, what happens? Do people think I’m gross? Do I change into other clothes? That would take up some of my break time to walk so that would mean I walk less. What if I get my hair sweaty? Will I smell all day?
  5. Is it going to be a problem for my boss if I take a 10 minute break to walk the parking lot or around the building? Will it cause a problem for my coworkers? I bet I get fired.
  6. If I don’t get walking shoes to keep at work, can I just walk in my work shoes? I will ruin them if I do that. I can’t do this.
  7. So if I don’t get in 10k steps one day, does that mean I failed? I should just not do it if I can’t do it all the way.

I wish I could say the questions/excuses stop there but they don’t. The go deep and become tangential little porcupines of self sabotaging poppycock. They serve no real purpose and hinder me from getting anything done. Its time for change. Initiating steering panel to begin turning the titanic.

Goal: Today is August 3, 2018. I’ll attempt 10k steps every day for the rest of the month and see if I experience better mood, weight loss, more energy, and or lower blood pressure. Starting stats = 275 lbs, 159/95 bp, decent mood, decent energy.

PPFAQ: (dumbing it down so I don’t get distracted by the PP)

Q: What if I don’t get all 10k in a day?

A: No big deal. Try to get in as many as you can. If you don’t make it one day, try again the next.

Q: What if I get in more than 10k steps in a day?

A: Great! Good for you.

Q: When will I get my steps in?

A: Whenever I can. I don’t need to get them in all at once. I have 24 hours in every day.

Q: What will I wear to walk in?

A: Clothes. Shoes are optional. Clothes are optional depending on location. Use your best judgment.