“I’ve got to get more exercise….. I’m sitting too much….. I’m not sleeping well….. Why am I suddenly gaining weight?” Lately, I’ve had at least one of these thoughts pretty much every day. The obvious answer to the weight gain question would, at first glance, be the first two thoughts, but even with my lack of activity, my weight has stayed pretty steady for the last year or so. I decided I needed to figure out what was going on, not because I was particularly worried about gaining a little weight, but because I was hoping my thyroid wasn’t going wackadoodle again.
That’s when I decided to get a Fitbit®. I wanted one that would track my steps, my sleep, and my heart rate, so I ordered the Fitbit Charge 2®. Unfortunately, when I got it and read the health warning on it for the PurePulse® heart rate monitoring, I decided I wouldn’t be comfortable with it. Evidently, it acquires your heart rate by sending pulses of light into your wrist. It warned against using it if you were on medications that made you photo-sensitive, if you had epilepsy or problems with flashing lights, and a couple of other things. I have migraines that are affected by light, so I decided I would return it and get the Fitbit Alta® without the heart rate monitoring instead. It probably would have been fine but I figured I’d just play it safe.
I’ve had my Alta since Saturday, and I’m loving it! It’s helping me see how active (or inactive) I am, how much I’m sleeping, and because I’m using the App to log my food, why I’m gaining weight. I’m eating way more calories than I’m expending right now! Of course, my husband’s birthday dessert didn’t help that calorie count any…. :o)
I haven’t tried to increase my activity level this week; I need to get a baseline of where I am now so when I start setting my goals to increase my activity, I don’t try to do too much too fast. I don’t want to try to do more than my body is prepared for and cause a flare-up, or worse yet, do some kind of actual damage to my muscles, joints, or tendons and then not be able to exercise at all. With fibromyalgia and exercise, consistency really is key. As my doctor has told me, and as I’ve experienced, a little every day is better than a lot one or two times per week.
As I set my goals, I’ll remember to keep them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, and Timed.
- Specific – What is it, exactly, that you want to attain with this goal? Example: GOAL -Increase the number of steps I take each day by 250 this week is better than GOAL – Increase my steps.
- Measurable – A goal has to be something you can measure. Otherwise, how will you know if you’ve met it?
- Action-Oriented – A goal is what is going to get you to where you want to be. Ask yourself what you need to DO to get there.
- Realistic – Ideally, goals will help you stretch a little to move you forward, but they need to be realistic. For example, at my age, it would not be realistic to set a goal of being a world-class gymnast. Maybe I’ll skip that one….
- Timed – Goals need to have a timeline, or we can be tempted to just keep pushing them down the road.
I’m hoping this handy little tool will help me in my quest to live well in spite of the limitations of fibromyalgia. I know if nothing else, it’s giving me information about what I’m already doing, and I can use it to inform my actions toward my wellness plan. I was excited to read the post of my fellow blogger at Periwinkle Pursuits shortly after I had ordered my Fitbit® because she said she had used hers to move toward her goals and was having good success. I’m hoping I’ll soon be able to say the same.
Do you have any favorite wellness tricks or tools? Please share!