Losing Weight With Apple Watch (Check-In #6)

Once or twice a year, I have some pretty major back issues. Sometimes if I catch it in time with my heat pad and the right meds, it goes away quickly. Most of the time, that’s not the case. This is what my fitness record looks like when my back incapicitates me:

The days with the three circles completed are the ones where I met all my fitness goals. If you look closely, on July 1st the outer circle is not quite complete. My “Move” goal is set to burn at least 620 calories a day. Due to back soreness, I was unable to complete that goal on that day. There’s an award on the Apple Watch for working out, standing up and moving at least 12 times a day in 12 hours, and hitting your calorie burn goal every day for a straight month — in other words, filling all three rings every day for a whole month. I thought July was going to be the month that I got that award. I did not expect my back to sabotage me on day 1. By July 3, I was using a cane to get around the house. Can you tell that on July 7 I finally got some good meds from the doctor?

I’m back on track now, but unfortunately have an MRI scheduled for next week to see if we can figure out once and for all what’s actually wrong with my back. I’ve had this problem for years. It could be due to my arthritis, or it could be its own issue. Who knows? Honestly, I don’t expect the MRI to tell me a whole lot.

The weird thing is that during those incompleted circle days, my weight loss seemed to kick into overdrive. The chart clearly shows that I was burning less than half my normal calories per day due to no exercise and limited ability to move in general. However, I was sticking to my 1500 calorie per day diet plan in MyFitnessPal.

Now that I’m back on track with my cardio routine and able to move a lot better due to muscle relaxers, steroids (relax, the legal kind that fixes inflamation), and prescription strength Advil, I’ll be interested to see if this is a pattern. Do I really lose more weight if I just diet than if I diet, eat a little more per day, but bring the net calories back down to 1500 by exercising? Or is it simply that my body has just hit a new phase where it’s burning fat more rapidly than it was? Is it due to my conscious effort to reduce carbs in the last couple of weeks?

Awful back issues aside, it’s amazing to witness all these good things happening to my body. Every time I go to the doctor for whatever reason, they’re amazed at the difference even from the last appointment. My belts are all on their last holes. I’m going to have to either go clothes shopping soon, or I’m going to have to start punching more holes in my belts. My weight has now gone down to 219 — a full 30 pounds lighter than when I started this endeavor.

I have to admit than when the back trouble first started, I felt like it was a little pointless to wear my Apple Watch, since I was obviously not going to be meeting my fitness goals every day. I was completely wrong.

When even picking up a cup of coffee can send your back into horrible spasms, having all your messages, calls, and emails on your wrist is extremely convenient. When it takes 20 minutes to get in the right position to get out of bed without excruciating pain and your phone is not even on the same floor of the house, having a connected device strapped to your arm can literally be a life saver. This was probably the worst my back has ever gotten, and the Apple Watch made it a lot easier to communicate with people and do things I needed to do around the house without having to get in an awkward position to dig my phone out of my pocket or struggle up or down the stairs to get it from another level of the house.

So maybe this post is more a testament to the non-fitness things that Apple Watch has helped me with. It’s not my iPhone on my wrist. It’s more like my personal assistant that allows me to, for the most part, not even worry about where my phone is in the house or whether or not I left it on the mantle or the charging dock. I was very thankful for it this last week, more than ever before.

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