This is it; this is the last time. I have made the decision that my current downward journey will be my last. My health goal has been a nearly lifelong struggle, and I don’t want to do it anymore. No, I’m not giving up, I’m trying to stop the vicious cycle of losing weight and gaining weight.
After a couple of years at this, I’m finally near the point where I can say that I’m maintaining. I admit I’m no expert, but I’ve been given proper guidance from my trainer and armed myself with knowledge. I also have confidence in what I’m doing through results my wife and I have achieved.
I’ve always been overweight, as far as I can remember anyway. I was teased in my early school days, but in high school I earned the friendly moniker “Big Red.” It wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided that I didn’t want to deal with health issues anymore. This time around, my wife and I decided to do things differently; we were organized, prepared, and dedicated.
While we knew getting into shape would be important for ourselves, we also did it for our kids, especially Keian, who isn’t with us anymore. Because of our loss, we understand that we can’t take life for granted; we have to live for ourselves and for our kids. When we started our weight-loss journey, one of the biggest obstacles to our success besides lack of motivation was a possible mobile addiction, which I’ve found ways to make peace with. My BlackBerry soon became the companion it was meant to be – a whole-life productivity tool rather than a source of entertainment and distraction.
Mobile communication took on a whole new meaning with our newfound drive to get healthy. Here are some of the ways my BlackBerry Z30 and PRIV helped me stay on track with my diet and exercise programs.
Eating without Cheating
Our BlackBerry calendars were quickly populated with our meal plans, with ingredients written in notes to make sure we had everything we needed (so that we could not make excuses and hit the drive-thru instead). Because of our busy schedules, food preparation has been key to our success. I regularly spend a few hours, over a day or two, at the grill, preparing various meats. We then cut them into slices, portion them out, and freeze them in marked bags. On the days we don’t have time to cook a full meal, we can still make a quick, healthy dinner. Sometimes, we would also use Our Groceries Shopping List to make sure we were in sync with what we were shopping for. In the grocery store, it’s always best to divide and conquer (while staying our of the candy aisle).
I never fully understood why people took a picture of a meal before eating; after starting our healthy eating plan I could see the benefits of using my BlackBerry camera for a quick snapshot. Perhaps it helps us be more responsible and to maintain healthy portions and choices. And the BlackBerry Hub makes it effortless to email, text, or BBM photos of our meals to our trainer, who “constructively critiques” them. For the record, and in case she is reading this, I didn’t add anything extra after the pictures were taken.
When someone suggested I should keep track of my macros, I almost responded with, “What does my computer have to do with it?” After I figured out that the person was talking about tracking how many fat, protein, and carbohydrate grams I eat, it didn’t take long for me to start using Calorie Counter Macros from the Google Play store. Having the proper knowledge helped me to plan and succeed. Seeing everything you’ve eaten in a list or a photo gallery is a powerful thing; especially when I compare eating healthy to how I used to eat. Food that was once eaten for comfort now no longer holds any place in my heart (or stomach, for that matter).
Smartphone-based Exercise: not just for Fingers
Our trainer typically connects with us through her Facebook group or directly through text message. It’s been encouraging to know that she’s looking out for me and making sure I stay motivated. As our conversations became more frequent, I could simply swipe to type my response on my Z30.
For the days when we don’t go to the gym, our trainer sends us punishments (workouts) to tackle at home. We can use our BlackBerry devices’ photo gallery to see how the exercises are done and the timer to ensure we’re doing each exercise for the right amount of time.
Some mornings I wake up at 4:00 a.m. to get ready to go meet my dedicated trainer at the gym. (Truth be told, I sometimes set the alarm on my phone for 3:50 a.m. to say that I hit snooze.) After we finish working out, I sit in my car and jot down what we worked on that session; for bonus points, I also look online for visual examples of the exercises and reference them as sources.
To help motivate us to give it our all, we also needed music to fuel us. We’d turn to Spotify, SoundCloud or even FM Radio from my Z30 to help us push through each exercise.
Everything but the Bathroom Scale
I look at where I am now, and where I’ve been. At this point I’m near the lowest weight I was years ago, but I honestly feel much different. I’m using knowledge and my tools to support me in my weight loss. The only thing I dare not use my BlackBerry for is a scale; I don’t want to crack the screen.
My BlackBerry takes away the excuse that I don’t have time to eat properly or exercise. I do more, accomplish more, with my device, and I spend less time on it. Being productive and successful shouldn’t only refer to your career; used right, it also makes you better in every aspect of your live, including your own physical well being.
About Ryan Blundell
Ryan has been involved in the wireless industry for well over a decade; currently managing technical communication, interaction design and content strategy for a Canadian wireless provider. He has previously been published on Innovation Insights, Business 2 Community, Everything Zoomer and CrackBerry.com. You can follow Ryan on twitter @ryanblundell
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