In June 2015, Amanda L. of Chambersburg, PA, hit her heaviest weight at 281 pounds. When her doctor diagnosed her with liver disease caused by being overweight, she decided it was time to make some changes. With the help of a Fitbit fitness tracker she started counting steps, and today, at age 35, she's lost nearly 100 pounds. Prevention has her story of what it took to reach that 10,000-step benchmark every day.
Hitting 281 pounds was a wake-up call. I knew I had been gaining weight, but I hadn't realized how much. I was having pain in my knees and other medical issues when my doctor recommended a liver biopsy. I was diagnosed with nonalcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, and my weight was to blame. That was the final push I needed to do something differently.
I pretty much never exercised before. I have a dog, so I'd take him on short walks, and I did walk around a bit at work, but I ate whatever I wanted, whatever tasted good. I visited a weight loss clinic where I learned helpful tips, like switching to whole grains and packing healthy snacks for work so I wouldn't be tempted to stop for fast food. I joined a gym and started walking more. I couldn't do much more than 5 minutes on the bike or the elliptical before I was breathing heavily, but I slowly built up endurance. Now, I can do 45 minutes on cardio equipment.
A friend of mine told me about her Fitbit and how she used it to track what she ate. After doing some research, I bought the Charge HR model, which could help me count calories, steps, estimate how many calories I burned, and more. What I didn't realize was that it was going to be hard to hit 10,000 steps a day. "Oh, that's easy!" I remember thinking. But then I'd start walking and realize it's not easy.
So I started finding small ways to add steps to my day: parking in the farthest corner of a store's parking lot, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, using a different entrance at work so I had to walk farther to get to my desk. I walk to my local yoga studio instead of driving. If I'm walking to an appointment, I'll leave 15 minutes early and do an extra lap.
To see Amanda's exact formula for reaching 10,000 steps a day, click here for the original story!