Four years ago, Nicole T., a 32 year old stay-at-home mom and psychology student in Denver, CO, should have been feeling great. She had just lost 115 pounds by joining a gym and counting calories with a notepad and pen, but she was having a hard time with her new body. “I had a lot of loose skin from losing so much weight and it really got to me mentally,” she says. “I felt like I should have looked like a supermodel and I didn’t, which was tough to get over.” Discouraged, she fell back into old habits and her weight started to creep up again.
Things started to improve with her self-esteem when, two years ago, Nicole had surgery to remove the extra skin. “That really helped me mentally,” she says. “I felt great about myself and had never been more confident.” But then a move knocked her off track even more. “We relocated to Hawaii for my husband’s job. I felt like I was on vacation and I started eating like I was on vacation,” she says. “I was living it up and happy, but I also kept putting on more weight.” After gaining back 45 of the pounds she’d worked so hard to lose, Nicole knew she needed to stop this trend in its tracks.
To do that, Nicole decided to lace up her sneakers and hit the road. “I started walking a little bit around my neighborhood with my husband as a way to get back into an active lifestyle,” she says. “We were curious how far we were walking, so we each got a Fitbit Flex.” Soon Nicole and her husband were competing with each other to see who could get more steps. “I’d find myself moving more in the house,” she says. “I would have to take the trash out or run upstairs for something and was excited, because I knew those steps were being counted.”
It wasn’t just her husband who benefitted from Fitbit trackers. “We would go hiking with our kids and tell them how many steps we were taking,” she says. “They loved it, and I loved knowing that we were giving them tools to stay healthy as they get older.” These days, Nicole is using a Fitbit Charge HR. She has lost 25 pounds, and has no desire to stop moving. “Before I had a hard time living mindfully, but with Fitbit I’m aware when I’m not moving,” she says. “There are days when I look down at my wrist at 6:00pm and I have only taken 600 steps. You think you move more than you do, and eat less than you do when you don’t track it.”
Nicole’s Advice for Others:
Make exercise a time to reconnect
“My husband and I like to go for walks in the evening and we do it without our kids,” she says. “It’s a time for us to chat about life and catch up with each other.”
Rethink what makes up a meal
“I used to think that to count as a meal it needed to be a dish like macaroni and cheese,” says Nicole. “Now I just pick something from each food group and turn that into a meal. So it might be a veggie, some fruit, dairy, and nuts and that’s my lunch.”
Think outside the gym
“Before my Fitbit Flex, I’d go to the gym, work out for an hour, then come home and sit around for the rest of the day,” she says. “I’m now so much more aware that you can’t just exercise and then do nothing the rest of the day. You have to keep moving!”
What’s helping you reach your health and fitness goals? Offer your tips and advice in the comments below, and share your success story with us!
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.