A six pack for a 6 pack

As I am sitting down at work balancing between dashboards, spreadsheets, and video conference calls my wrist vibrates. I look down, “wanna go for a stroll?” flashes across my Fitbit. I look at my remaining schedule and see I have a 15 minute gap and decide to take a walk to the cafe and grab a mid afternoon coffee.

This is a new experience for me. About 60 days ago Nicki and I made a commitment to change our lifestyle and get back into shape. When I first met her I was in the best shape of my life. I was going to the gym working out 5-6 days a week. It was a very important part of my life.

That level of determination and dedication didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of hard work. The funny story is I actually made what could be perceived as one of the most foolish wagers of all time with my good friend, Eric…but turned out to be one of the most rewarding.

Long story short a year prior we were hanging out and I think the conversation went something like this…

Eric – “Hey man you got to get a gym membership and start lifting.”

Me – “I have a gym membership, I just don’t use it.”

Eric -“Why don’t you use it? You’re paying for it.”

Andrew-“It isn’t worth the hassle. I should probably honestly cancel it.”

Eric -“How about this? I’ll make a bet with you. For every day you go to the gym this year I’ll give you a dollar. That means you’ll have to go at least 10 days a month to get your money back for your membership. You succeed and I pay for your membership.”

Andrew-“Every day a $1? (This is where the entrepreneur in me goes I can make money off this.) How about instead of 120 days we make it 265 days for $300? So I could only miss 100 days. ”

Eric – “And if you don’t make the 265 you owe me $300? Deal.”

So ya pretty much I signed up for a year long commitment where the gym became my life. It was actually probably the hardest thing I ever did. There were days I didn’t want to go but had to, but most days it became a growing passion. Random fact I had gallbladder surgery in the middle of the bet and my doctor’s order’s were I couldn’t do any physical activity for 2 weeks. I still went and just walked on the treadmill.

My results? I finished off the year achieving 267/265 days. AND I got in the best shape of my life. Each day, to get “credit” I had to have the gym fill out my time in/out and sign off. Here is a copy of the signed sheets. Yes, I still have them to this day.

Fast forward 6 years. Marriage, two kids, and a completely different lifestyle. Life happened. I wouldn’t change it but the hustle and bustle made my gym commitment difficult to maintain. My excuse was no longer “it’s a waste of money” but instead things like “there isn’t enough time in the day”, “how am I going to bring the kids”, ” I have additional work to do and I don’t feel like it”, “I am in good shape for my age”, “I’ll start next month”, etc. Pair this complacency with a terrible diet and I was in the worst physical shape of my life. 34 years old my clothes didn’t fit the same, my self-confidence was low, and I caught myself out of breath often playing with the kids.

Nicki and I committed that we both would change our habits and support each other. She committed herself to a Mediterranean diet and I agreed to come along. No red meat, no sugar, no wheat or pasta, and 3/4 of our diet is vegetables and fruits. Oh and water, lots of water.

Teriyaki turkey meatballs with rice and Edememe – dinner last night.

We started to build the gym into our crazy lifestyle by going after work and on Saturday mornings and we have encouraged each other when we have small wins. Add in our friendly Fitbit reminder and we are on our way!

The journey has been so far successful. It is hard work that takes commitment and determination but it is refreshing and rewarding.

Having the Fitbit helps hold us accountable. We have a daily step goal, log our water intake and diet, and it even tracks our exercise, sleep, and heart rate. It makes it competitive and challenging.

I’m a numbers guy so here’s some cool stats…

  • 309,295 steps – approx 59 miles
  • 112,472 – calories burne

I actually have lost 15 pounds in that 60 day time frame. I don’t have a goal other than maintaining, toning, and feeling better. Yes, there are days that I look in the fridge and have a wrestling match in my mind about what I want to eat vs what I should eat but that is part of the journey.

One of the best features of the Fitbit it the heart rate monitor. It is cool to see how my heart rate changes during the day. For example let’s take yesterday. That spike at 8:15am hitting the high for the day with 142bpm was me running around the neighborhood chasing my dog for 15 mins after he got loose…that was fun. Then the activity around 5:30-6:00pm was me lifting at the gym.

I love data and analytics. It is what I do for work. And now I have the ability to live and breath it all while getting back in the best shape of my life. As a shared commitment with my wife and changes in lifestyle I am putting down the six pack and working on a 6 pack.

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