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Fitbit Success Stories: Adam Webber

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Introducing Fitbit Success Stories, a recurring feature on the Fitbit Blog. You’ll read inspirational and personal stories about Fitbit users who have achieved amazing things as a result of their Fitbit tracker, diet, exercise, and sheer ambition. To continue with the momentum of American Heart Month, today’s post is from Adam Webber of the SF Bay area is especially timely. Read on for one amazing story.

My name is Adam Webber. I’m 33 years old and I live in Fairfield, CA in the San Francisco Bay area. In April of 2013, I set a goal to lose 100 pounds. This is my story of how I did it.

I had reached 255lbs. Like most people, life happened. I was eating cheap, easy-to-get food and never had the time or desire to exercise. I put on a lot of weight shortly after the birth of my son. He was born six weeks early and with two congenital heart defects. He spent 10 long weeks in the hospital before coming home.

Before & After 100lbs new

My wife and I commuted daily to the children’s hospital in San Francisco and often stayed overnight. There was a lot of comfort eating and even more sitting around. Several months later, we (my wife and I) made the decision that if he needed to eat a heart healthy diet and exercise regularly [when he's older], we’d better be doing the same. In April, we purchased our Fitbit Ones and an Aria scale.

As a starting point, I saw my doctor for a physical. My cholesterol was 240. My blood pressure was 150/120. My body fat percentage was 50%. I started getting active. I started improving my diet. I began walking one mile per day. It was all I could do. I began doing something I had never done before: counting calories. I quickly learned that I needed to burn more calories than I take in. I set a daily calorie goal of 1,500 and was burning about 2,500.

Then the journey really began. I lost 16lbs my first week. I was so excited! Then week two happened, and I plateaued for three weeks. I stayed determined that I was going to lose the weight. I increased my walking to three miles a day. I remember thinking how hard 8,000 steps were. But, I sweat through it and eventually it got easier.

8,000 steps turned into 12,000, then 15,000, then 20,000. I was eating 1,600 calories and burning 3,200. Instead of just walking, I was jogging 5 miles and running 20 floors of stairs. The weight was coming off. It was so exciting! I was losing about 10-12lbs a month. Sure, I had plateaus and months were I only lost a few pounds. But every day I looked at the scar on my sons chest and was reminded how important this was.

8,000 steps turned into 12,000, then 15,000, then 20,000. I was eating 1,600 calories and burning 3,200. Instead of just walking, I was jogging 5 miles and running 20 floors of stairs.

I ran a 5k race every month starting in August. I remember being down 32lbs my first race and still feeling like I was going to die. I finished that race in just over 34 minutes. What an achievement. I was so fired up! The weight continued to come off, and then: the holidays. I gained 10lbs back with each holiday. But I kept burning twice as many calories and I was eating every day.

For me, I had to look at my Fitbit dashboard and see that I hit my daily goals. I wasn’t doing a “diet” or New Years resolution. I was making a life change. The holiday weight came off, and I continued to lose. In November, I began counseling with a nutritionist. It was an awakening experience to hear that at my fitness level, I should be eating between 2,100-2,400 calories. So, I increased my calories by a few hundred calories each month. Coincidentally, my level of fitness increased too. I was now able to run 6 miles in an hour and 50 floors of stairs. When I was eating 2,000 calories, I was burning 4,000.

adam webber family

Things were changing. I was changing. In September, I was down 50lbs. In December, I was down 75lbs. I was able to stop taking my cholesterol medication and my blood pressure was normal. My cholesterol is now 165 and my blood pressure is 115/75. I donate platelets every two weeks. My son needed blood transfusions and platelets to recover from each surgery. It meant a lot to be able to healthy enough to give back.

I did most of my daily walking and running on a nearby bike trail to where I live. One day on the trail, I was interviewed by a reporter for the local newspaper who was doing a story on the actual trail. My story and photo made it onto the front page. People started calling me “inspirational.” As a result, I’ve had at least a dozen people I know decide to start eating healthy and get active.

I get asked all the time how I did it. It’s simple: I counted calories, started eating clean (made all my own food or ate things with minimal ingredients), and exercised every day. On February 13th, I achieved my goal. I lost 100lbs in 10 months. I now weigh 155lbs and my body fat percentage is 17%. I can comfortably run 9 miles in 90 minutes. I’m now averaging 30k-35k steps per day. I commented on a Fitbit Facebook post and they asked me to share my story. Although, my Fitbit One was not my reason for losing the weight, it was the reason I stayed so focused on my goal. Looking at the app on my phone throughout the day made me push just a little harder.

Things were changing. I was changing. In September, I was down 50lbs. In December, I was down 75lbs. I was able to stop taking my cholesterol medication and my blood pressure was normal.

My plan is to continue living this healthy lifestyle. I plan to run my first 10k race this April. And I begin training for my first half marathon in March. I am goal-setting to run my first full marathon within the next three years.

My wife is down 85lbs so far. She shattered her leg a few years ago, which limits her to about 6,000 steps per day. We are doing what we set out to do: be an example to our son. He will never see Mom and Dad eating fast food. Instead, he’ll see us eating lean meats and lots of fruits and vegetables. I’ve completed this whole journey while being a stay-at-home dad and coordinating/completing all his therapy and doctors’ appointments. He was with me for every mile in the jogging stroller. So yes, he’s become quite accustomed to long walks.

Is what I did that amazing? I don’t think so. I think it’s something that anyone can do. It didn’t cost a lot of money, but it was a time commitment. We gave up some things like TV and high-calorie foods. But, it was so worth it. It’s really something anyone can do. But it has to be more than a “want.” You have to decide to do whatever it takes and make it an everyday, lifestyle change.

31 Responses leave one →
  1. fit bit new user permalink
    February 24, 2014

    Great story. I’m so glad you shared it here, it’s inspired me to also move forward on my journey and realize that every step does count!

  2. Lynda permalink
    February 24, 2014

    What an inspiration you are! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Tracy Russett permalink
    February 24, 2014

    I found your story to be very similar to mine. Although I have different reasons for wanting to loose the weight, the approach I have taken starting a couple of months ago is almost identical. I’m only a little over 2 months into my journey and down about 20 lbs. Thanks for sharing your story, I found it to be quite inspirational. Hopefully in 10 months time I will be able to do the same for someone else.

  4. Andy S. permalink
    February 24, 2014

    Congratulations on your success, thank you for sharing.

  5. Anonymous permalink
    February 25, 2014

    What a lovely story. Good for you and your wife. All the best to your family!

  6. JoAnn permalink
    February 25, 2014

    Good for you…it has made me hit my walking goal everyday. Keep up the hard work of exercising. Great story!

  7. February 25, 2014

    A really great story and you know what: I found some parts of me in these words.

    On May 30th last year I suffered a heart attack. At this time I was just 40 years old and felt really lucky. As I am living in a mid-sized town in Austria help was at me soon and after getting a heart stent I left hospital after just 5 days.

    From then on my firs goals were: walk 20 minutes, eat healthier, drink more water and change my whole attitude towards living (eating, sleeping,…) . And just like you I had this one point in my “getting well”, when everything just clicked. I wanted to lose 4 kg (9lb) until the end of 2013, just to get below 220 lbs. Well on January 1st I had lost 44 lbs and was feeling healthier than ever in my life. Today I weigh 55 lbs less than on the day my heart said stop.

    Part of this was accomplished with my fitbit one. It was motivating to see my dashboard and how I was improving from week to week. But you know what? You are running over 30k steps a day? I still have some work to do, to reach that. You set a new goal for me :)

    I have heard my body’s message and changed almost everything in my life. And every day when I am doing my workout or am just measuring my blood pressure I am reminded that I have to take care of me and my heart. But whenever I see these green bars in my fitbit dashboard I know that I am on the right way.

    Wish you and your family all the best and much more of what you have already reached: health!

    • Kim O permalink
      February 25, 2014

      “I have heard my body’s message and changed almost everything in my life.” What an inspiration! I am at that point in my life, too. It’s amazing how motivating (and affirming) those green bars can be, isn’t it? :)

      Happy trails!

  8. Chemchik permalink
    February 25, 2014

    Congrats to and your wife. It takes a lot to accomplish while your son is ill.
    I hope you give your wife the time and encouragement to achieve her health goals too!
    It’s got to be a healthy family. God Bless

  9. Brandi permalink
    February 25, 2014

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. February 25, 2014

    Great story if success and motivation! Just started using my fitbit last Monday and so far I love it! Every little but truly does help.

  11. Donna Riegel permalink
    February 26, 2014

    Wow! Just when I needed some inspiration to get back on track , I find Adam Weber’s success story while checking my weekly fitbit report. Good for you Adam & congratulations to you and your entire family!

  12. Cynthia permalink
    February 26, 2014

    Great story! You’re so right…anyone can do this if they have the “want” and commit to doing it everday – like you said – a life style change.

  13. February 26, 2014

    I love hearing wonderful stories of people taking charge of their lives and becoming committed to good health. This is so important in light of the overweight, under exercised situation in our country (USA) which leads to increased incidents of poor health.

    You all are amazing and inspirational! I’ve been wearing my Fitbit for a couple of months now and love how it challenges me to pick up the pace a bit and move just a little more than yesterday. Each and every step counts because it is one more step than I had before I took it. Yeah, simplistic, but think about it!

    After all, we are in charge of ourselves, are responsible for our own actions or inactions and our own behaviors and attitudes. Let’s all keep on moving!

  14. Barbara permalink
    February 27, 2014

    You are an inspiration! Congratulations to all your family!

  15. February 27, 2014

    Congrats and thanks for sharing your story. I made a commitment to average 15,000 steps per day with my Fitbit Force in 2014, so I am REALLY impressed with your 30-35, 000 daily steps!

  16. February 27, 2014

    Thanks for contributing such a fantastic post. I am really happy while reading each and very blog of your. So please keep sharing such type of blogs.

  17. Norma Jean permalink
    February 28, 2014

    That little boy is so lucky to have you and your wife. What an inspirational story; thank you so much for sharing it.

  18. March 1, 2014

    Adam, well done and thanks for sharing your amazing story. I know that you may not think that your story is amazing or unusual but it is and it is exactly what others need to hear in order to get out there and make the life changes needed to get them to the health and fitness goals they have set and need.

    I was really interested to hear the part that the Fitbit One played and am so glad that it allowed you to set and reach your daily goals.

    You really took ownership of your goals and really hit it out of the park.

    Do you still use your Fitbit one for training to keep you trim and healthy? Have you moved onto any other Fitbit tracker at all?

    We like to review the tech an gadget side of activity trackers on our website over at http://www.smartfitnesswearables.co.uk but it is SO great to hear the real life success stories.

    Great to hear that your wife is doing so well also. Well done to you both.

    Can you update this post with some feedback in a few months to let us know how get on keeping off the weight?

    Best to you all and hope to continue to hear great things from you :)

  19. March 25, 2014

    What a great journey and what great disapline you have.
    Congrats!

  20. Carol permalink
    March 25, 2014

    It’s good to hear stories like yours where you are committed to long term health. Enjoy your healthy family!

  21. puneet permalink
    March 25, 2014

    your are an inspiration Adam….Great going

  22. Chanique permalink
    March 26, 2014

    Truly inspiring!
    Thanks for sharing your story. I will be using a lot of your tactics to tackle my challenges for weight lost and running.

    Thank you again for sharing! :)

  23. Sheila permalink
    March 26, 2014

    What an inspirational story!

  24. Virginia G permalink
    March 26, 2014

    Wow! Incredible! A lot of times i hear cant do it life is to hard right now i’ll wait. But in the midst of your battles you fought hard! Very inspiring-i’m motivated to push myself more! Thanks :) God Bless you and your family stay strong

  25. Cyndi permalink
    March 27, 2014

    Great Success! Thank you for sharing. Although I am still on a journey to lose weight I do check my Fitbit multiple times a day and try very hard to achieve my 10,000 steps. There are nights that I walk around the bed so that I can get those last few hundred. When my eating comes in line I will see results.

  26. LaurieTX permalink
    April 1, 2014

    Thank you for sharing your inspirational story!

  27. Sue Statz permalink
    June 1, 2014

    I have just had my fitbit for 9 days. I needed something that I had control of. I just received my 50 miles badge today and I can’t tell you how your story wants me to try even harder. I AM turning 60 in april and with the help of people like you I know I can loose the 30 pounds that I need. I feel that this little band that I wear everyday is my reminder that I and you can do this. Best of luck. Canada

  28. June 4, 2014

    So inspirational. I love my fitbit and it will be traveling with me on my El Camino trip across Spain which begins Sunday, June 6th. I will be logging my steps in my blog http://www.juarezway.blogpost.com. Follow my journey…

  29. Nette permalink
    June 12, 2014

    Adam, you and your family are an inspiration! You’ve given the facts which most of us know but find accepting a lot harder. My cousin recently had heart surgery for a congenital defect that is genetic from our grandmother’s family and it pushed me to do something about my own health and weight. I have only had my Fitbit One for 3 weeks but within the first week I realized that it’s not just tracking what you do but changing what you eat and what you do in a day. I’ve started walking in the morning and at night as I sit at a desk all day. The morning walk boosts my energy and gives me a clear head to start the day and the evening walk clears my head for a good night’s sleep as well as working off calories I’ve consumed during the day. I started doing a 15 minute workout in January and now I am up to a 1/2 hour after I have finished my evening walk. Friends have other types of pedometers but I think $99.95 is a bargain for what I have gained with my Fitbit. I’d love to shout it from the rooftops – GET A FITBIT – YOU WON’T REGRET IT! It’s not just a pedometer, you get a tracker and a consultant in one.

  30. mike permalink
    June 28, 2014

    Great Job !! Just got my flex fitbit hoping for great results also.

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