This month I got a Nike FuelBand. It’s been interesting to see just how active (inactive) I am when I’m not looking. When I was in school, I was a healthy 71kg to a 174cm in height and had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 21. Well within the healthy range. Back then, without a car, and in the midst of the struggle that is being a student in Naija, most of my days involved walking, catching a bus, more walking and then some more walking. I also had a pretty regular regime of body weight exercises that I followed.

Over time, after graduation, I’ve found myself adding weight 1 or 2 kgs at a time. This has mainly been as a result of more food and less activity. Most days see me clacking at a keyboard and sitting at a desk for more than 6 hours each day. I have a car now so I drive almost everywhere. It’s not rocket science, magic or an unsolved mystery. Even at the same dietary intake if activity is reduced, weight gain will occur.

So back to the FuelBand. I’ve recently made a commitment to live a fitter and much healthier lifestyle (notice I didn’t say “lose weight”. I’ll come to this later) and a FuelBand is great way to be reminded about how active I need to be to see results. It works using a proprietary system designed by Nike which takes activity and motion and translates it into NikeFuel points. The more you rack up the more active you’ve been, kinda simple.

Focusing on losing weight is attacking the symptom without attacking the problem. Adding weight is not the root issue, it’s merely a manifestation of a wrong way of living. If you eat healthy (notice I didn’t say watch what you eat, food was made to be eaten not watched), exercise regularly, manage stress and build good sleeping patterns the weight has nowhere to go but down.

“What gets measured, gets managed”, Peter Drucker’s famous quote is now the mantra for fitness enthusiasts. And the principle is sound. So I needed goals. What goals would I set for myself? The first thing I decided was that while I would take note of the healthy weight range for my height and body type, losing weight would not be a goal of mine on this journey. I wanted goals that cut to the heart of the issue – an unhealthy lifestyle.

So to build a healthy lifestyle, I decided on the following goals:

1. Start an 8 week training program to run a 5k.
2. Two weeks after attaining Goal 1, start another 8 week training program to run a 10k
3. Put in 1 and a half hours of Squash court time every week for a month. Upping it by 25% every month after.
4. Cut out refined foods, restrict carb intake and eat healthier everyday. (I’ll go deeper into the metrics for this in subsequent posts)
5. Begin a strength training program either with body weights or free weights especially to counter the muscle loss caused by extensive running.
6. Participate actively in at least 1 Truppr event per week.

Now, I know that attaining the goals outlined above would only lead to attendant benefits – I’ll be fitter, healthier, stronger and of course, I’d weigh less.

That said, my target is to lose 20kg of weight in the next 3 months starting from Monday 23rd March, 2015.

Through all this, the Nike FuelBand will be my friend, telling me how active I am being, tracking my running and squash sessions (the FuelBand doesn’t do so well with weight training) and giving me the incentive to push my limits and truly get active. Already I find myself taking the stairs where possible just to rack up extra points on the Band.

Let’s see how the rest of the journey goes…

By Babasanya Craig


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