The best time to start a new habit is 2 years ago. The second best time to start is today.

In mid 2015 I was my heaviest weight ever. I was five years into a job with long commutes that involved sitting at a desk most of the time.

I started having varying health issues. Nothing too serious, but it certainly made life uncomfortable. The easiest example is heart burn beyond needing a the occasional Tums and I needed to take prescription medication to avoid moderate pain to advanced pain if I had eaten anything that upset my stomach.

In July 2015 I was interviewing for a new job. I would be working remotely from home and have more time with my family and to myself. I wouldn’t be commuting, driving in after hours if I was on call, or sitting at a desk all day.

I also decided to eat healthier. I started a few months earlier making fruit smoothies with various powders, fruit, yogurt, and water. In July I started measuring the ingredients. I also started to track my calories with myfitnesspal.

Later that month I received the job offer. After giving my notice I started taking more time for myself and going on walks. I’d try to shoot for 10,000+ steps a day. I’d walk during lunch and walk after the kids were asleep. I started to lower my calorie goals, but I would use the walks with myfitnesspal to give me additional calories to taken in.

Steps graph for the last year from iPhone and Apple Watch

Within the first month at the new job, I ordered an adjustable desk. I find that I stand more than I sit while working now. I also moved our treadmill next to the desk, but I would not use it often.

I was down 20 pounds.

Winter set in along with the holidays and I simply could not hit my 10,000+ steps with the weather. I would allow myself to go over my calorie limit for the holidays, but otherwise still stick to the calorie tracking and goals.

By April I was back up 10 pounds and was able to start walking again. I regularly hit my step goal and saw my weight go down another ~5 pounds and slowly plateau during the summer.

In early October I bought my first Apple Watch. I have only missed my move goal of 520 calories two days since I first received it. It’s forced me to keep track of movement and activity rather than just mindless steps. My walks have become more calculated and timed. I know the elevation change and length for my various routes and how long it takes me on average. This winter I’ve either hit my goals by going to the YMCA or using the treadmill.

One of my favorite walks down by the lake

I was down another 10 pounds within a few months of getting the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Stats and Badges

For Christmas I received a Weightgurus scale that syncs data with Apple Health and myfitnesspal. It measures body fat, muscle, and water weights. I’ve been weighing in every morning and using the various measurements to adjust how much water I take in, if I need an extra long walk, or if I should cut back on the snacking for the day. The scale forces me to record the weight, even on days that I’m heavier. I would have normally weighed myself every month or so. My graphs look more like a seismograph, but I can see the high’s and low’s trending down.

My graph after I switched to the new scale and weigh in schedule

I’m down another 5 pounds this month.

Today I hit 30 pounds lost. I’ve done this in my 20’s over the course of a few months by cutting out soda and unnecessary calories. That simply doesn’t work in my 30’s. Even if takes years to slowly get to a healthier body, it’s ok. It took me 15 years to put on the weight.