The Back Story
Disclaimer: This is what has been working for ME! So just a bunch of ideas for you to form your own plan 😁 Either way there’s some trial and error but it will flow better with time!
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On August 4, 2020 I was at a training for a new job and in the therapy gym there was a scale. I hadn’t really checked my weight for a long time because I didn’t really think about it much. I had been traveling for work and leisure and just constantly on the go. That day I did get on the scale and oh man I didn’t like what I saw and honestly couldn’t believe it! So from that day forward I vowed to walk 10k steps a day for 30 days to get more active and start LOSING WEIGHT. Well, today is day 200! (2/22/21)
Since I get questions every once in a while about why I do it, how I do it and tips to get all the steps daily I decided to write a blog which is different from my usual travel blogs but hopefully helpful and encouraging to someone!
Why am I doing this?
Well, initially I was only doing it to lose weight. That’s is. As the days and weeks went on I started to really reflect on my lifestyle and how sedentary I had actually been. Yes, I explore, travel and stuff but I also LOVE to eat and try different foods, none of which would be considered as healthy! I do know that this is something that I love so I am not necessarily stopping but I am trying to be more aware of my unhealthy eating. At this point it’s limited to 1-2 days a week, preferably 1 and basically weekends as a treat and not an everyday habit. This is partially to stop wasting so much money also.
Do I take weekends off?
Nope. I have started to walk 10k steps a day numerous times before and always failed because I took a day or two off which turned into weeks then months off haha. 😳 I have learned that taking a day off does NOT work for me. It’s all or nothing basically. So yes, I walk on weekends, holidays, rain or shine. No days off since 8/4/20!🙅🏽♀️
How do I find the time to get all of the steps?
Early on in the pandemic I was doing home health Occupational therapy. This consists of driving all day basically. I would get out of the car to walk to the patients homes then right back to the car. Then I came home and sat around all evening documenting & watching TV. In other settings like nursing homes I was able to get more steps simply while working and that’s the case again now in the current setting that I work in on MOST days. But on my off days it’s up to me to get out and get the steps on my own time. Time that I would prefer to use snacking & watching movies on the couch haha 🤷🏽♀️
So on my work days I usually start the day walking for about 15 min when taking my dog out. Then while at work I try to avoid sitting when I can and will get steps. Then at lunch after eating I will go outside (usually) for a 30-45 min walk in the neighborhood. Then by the end of the day I am at 10k just going back and forth in the center and working with patients. Then when I get home I will go on another 15-30 minute walk with my dog so I usually end the day with around 13-14k steps.
On off days such as weekends I will either go walking in the morning in my neighborhood or go to a trail. I get it all done at once and it usually takes me 1h 20min of basically non stop walking (unless I have my dog who I have to make more stops for). So for example if I get out at 8am I’m done by 9:30ish and then the rest of the day is free/extra steps. If I have plans for the day I’ll stop at 8k then just get the rest throughout the day.
Did I actually lose any weight?
Yes. At this point I have lost 12.6 lbs but slowly. More so in the beginning because I had also changed my eating habits then I started eating a lot again ha so I stopped losing but now I’m losing weight again because I have changed my eating habits once again with the intentions of making it a long term change this time. So basically when I was eating out every day I stopped losing weight (duh) but didn’t gain any because the walking was keeping it maintained. Now I eat out 1-2 times a week and I am losing weight again. Salad for lunch and cooking dinner every evening.
Have I noticed any changes in my overall health?
Yes. My blood pressure is good (I try to maintain less than 120/80. High BP runs in my family and my goal is to try to avoid it with the ultimate goal of not having to take medications related to BP and cholesterol) I have more energy and feel less lazy, weight loss in a healthy way and I’m sleeping better at night. Probably because I’m so tired from all the walking haha 🙏🏾😆
I check my BP at least once a month. This is a monitor that I have used before 👉🏾https://amzn.to/2MpoIMA
Did I ever want to give up/ how do I stay motivated?
Yes. Many times I said that I am taking the day off but the next thing I know I’m on 7k steps and walking the final stretch! It always feel like an accomplishment when I fight the urge to give up and do it anyway. I stay motivated by thinking about what could happen if I stop and what will happen if I don’t. If I don’t stop my overall health will benefit.
What if it’s raining outside or really cold/hot.
I figure it out. If I’m at work it’s easy because I can just walk in the building. I can walk at home, go to a store or the mall or wait until it stops raining to go outside. If it’s just sprinkling (a little) I’ll just walk outside anyway. It’s just a little water lol. When the fires were crazy here in CA I tried to avoid walking outside so I went to the mall. One could probably go to the gym on a treadmill when they are open. There have been times when I managed to get all of my steps in my apartment. All of them. It’s boring but possible.
What have I learned overall?
Overall I have learned a lot about myself and have been able to reevaluate WHY I want to walk 10k steps a day. The why went from just to lose weight to so much more. Now it’s to still lose/maintain weight, be more active, decrease chances of hereditary health issues (high BP) and that I can’t take a day off because I won’t start back lol. Overall I am still learning how to make this a lifestyle instead of a short term thing. I am also aware that skinny does not = healthy and overweight does not always = unhealthy. BUT the way my genetics are set up, being overweight definitely increases chances of having a heart attack, stroke among other health issues. So I will do what I can in hopes of avoiding those things.
Oh yea, What about the gym?
I hate the gym. Haha seriously. Even before the pandemic I didn’t like going because of the germs and people 😆 Nothing against people who enjoy going to the gym but it’s not for me. I like walking because it’s free, outside (usually) and peaceful 🤗☺️ I’m not paying for something I won’t use 🤷🏽♀️ I also wouldn’t benefit from using a personal trainer because I need control over myself lol and I don’t like people telling me what to do haha
Why I literally can’t skip a day at this point
Like I mentioned before I can’t even take a day off now because my body craves the activity and I just can’t sit still until I have reached my goal. Like physically and mentally CANNOT.
#1 This is not part of a “diet”. Although initially it was just that. I am now learning that diets are very short term so this needs to be a lifestyle change. Walking is now part of my everyday life indefinitely. Adding more vegetables is too lol I’m not a health fanatic, Vegan or anything like that. (Nothing against health fanatics and Vegans lol) I’m still eating and drinking the things that I like but in moderation.😁
2. It’s not always easy. I am definitely a couch potato. I can sit in one spot watching movies all day. No, like seriously…one spot all day. I love to snack, I love junk food, fast food, eating takeout, sodium, sugar, wine, Margaritas, don’t like cooking hahaha you name it. Why must the bad stuff be so good 😩😩😩 So this is not easy for me but something I need to do for my current & future health. And at times I want to be like Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries hahaha (Name that movie😁)
3. Park as far away from the store as you can. I just drive past people waiting for a front spot, get out and go in the store while they are still waiting. Don’t get me wrong I do understand that some people need to park close for various reasons but I don’t so I park far away. I also park far away from the entrance at work.
4. Break it down if you need to. Two 30 minute walks and one 20 minute walk or whatever works for you. Roughly 11min of non stop walking is 1000 steps.
5. Walk more in your home. You can get up during commercial breaks, between shows or pause it. Or walk in an area where you can still see the TV.
6. I have thought of every possible excuse and have found ways around each one of them for 200 days in a row! So personally I have no excuses.
Too cold- I get over it and end up warming up as I’m walking.
Raining- I’ll go anyway if it’s a light sprinkle. If it’s pouring I’ll walk when it stops, at a store, the mall, at home.
Too hot- I’ll go super early, prior to sunset, stores, mall, at home.
Snowing- Haven’t really had to deal with that but I would assume that I would walk at work or home, store, mall. I did live in a place where it snowed for 3 months but it was before my waking goals haha
Don’t feel good- Yes I even go when I don’t feel good and you know what, I usually feel better when I’m finished.
7. I use the app Pacer and I love it! But I have to remember to keep my phone on me at all times to track the steps. iPhones automatically track your steps in the Health App too. And many people have a watch to track their steps.
Pedometer (haven’t used it but an idea) 👉🏾https://amzn.to/3uuDuD2
Reasonable smart watch (haven’t used it but an idea) 👉🏾https://amzn.to/3aOn7sW
Apple Watch (haven’t used it but an idea)👉🏾 https://amzn.to/37N0X8K
8. Get a walking buddy if you want to. Personally I don’t because it’s not my thing but some people may be more motivated with a buddy! Not saying that I won’t ever walk with anyone but I don’t wait until someone is free in order to walk. If that makes sense.
9. Like I said before IT IS NOT EASY and it took me multiple tries to finally get to the point where it’s a habit.
10. YOU CAN DO IT!
GOOD LUCK 🍀🤗