Using circles to get fit


I love circles.  Some of my favourite things are circles

My wedding and engagement rings

The rim of a glass full of gin

My favourite plate from Barbados

A mug of tea

A glazed ring doughnut from Krispy Kreme

Wagon Wheels

Chocolate Digestives

All circles.  All on my favourite lists.

But this week something else has joined the list, something I hadn’t even heard of until Sunday.  The day I got an Apple Watch.  I know I know.  Don’t hate me, I know people are generally hated when they show off a new Apple product and I get that, really I do.   In my defence I didn’t buy it for any of the features you might think, but for all the lifestyle stuff.   And because earlier in the week my gorgeous white watch had been pretty much written off by the jeweler I took it to ask about a service.   It doesn’t work and when she took the back off it was obvious why, it was water damaged and would need an estimate ahead of repair from the manufacturer.   Then two days later my Fitbit fell apart.  Literally.   It had started to “go” a few months ago so I got in touch with Fitbit (who have amazing customer service by the way) who promptly sent me another (a refurbished one, not brand new but that is fine) and I have put it somewhere so safe I can’t find it.

Both things coinciding with my deciding that trying to lose weight by cutting out my favourite circles was a lost cause.  Again.    That in eighteen months my gorgeous eldest will be walking down the aisle and I don’t want to be the one in the brightly coloured tent at the other end of said aisle so I need to start walking more.   Having a Fitbit had motivated me to focus on how many steps I took every day and was great at spurring me on, and helping me try and beat friends and family members in weekly challenges I joined.  But it was all about the 10,000 steps.  People talk about having to do 10,000 steps, like it is the magic number, and I guess it is.  But for somebody who works from home and has to sit behind a desk for 10 hours a day it is an impossible goal most days.  Which means on the days you don’t achieve that magic vibrate notification on your wrist you feel a bit deflated.   Failure on five days of the week is not the best of motivators, though it has shown me how if you have the time to put your mind to it you can use it to focus.

Plus I never quite got to grips with having to charge it before it ran out mid walk, or how to wear it with my watch.  Both on one wrist?  One on each?

So with both of those no longer working it came time to look for an alternative and Jonnie frequently whispering very loudly “get an Apple Watch”.  I spent ages searching on line for a white watch I liked (I really like white watches, I have no idea why but I don’t want a metal one) and couldn’t find one, other than the Apple Watch.   With its “breathe” app.  How funny that the blog post I wrote last week was about taking time each day to do just that.  To really focusing on breathing.   I did a bit more research and Jonnie made me watch the watch (is that even a phrase?!) part of last year’s  Apple event where they showed you all the fitness stuff it can help you with.

Aside from breathing.

Like being able to go for a walk and still track your miles thanks to the GPS.

You can play music on it and still leave your phone at home.

You don’t need to carry your phone to make a phone call or receive a text

It is waterproof

And the circles.

Activity circles.   One for Move, encouraging you to do that throughout the day; one for exercise, half an hour every day; one for stand, making sure that every hour you stand up and move for a minute.   Each of those targets is shown as a circle and as you complete them throughout the day the circles close.    It was no longer about getting in 10,000 steps, it was about doing all those things throughout the day.  Not about power walking 10,000 steps in a couple of hours and then sitting down with a packet of biscuits and Netflix for the next eight hours, but about doing things throughout the day to reach the target of three completed circles.

A trip to the Apple Store and I was sold.   I am not really interested at the moment in the fact that I can read email on it, or tweets, or be notified when somebody likes one of my Instagram pictures.  That is all incredible technology and I am sure over time I will love those features (and being able to stop putting my phone in my bra as I never have a pocket)  but right now it is all about being able to leave my phone at home when I go out for a walk and the activity circles.


Throughout the day the gentle reminders had suggested I stand up, walk for a minute and also go for a walk.   With each one the wheel moved a bit closer around.  I found myself checking how many more I had to do and when I wasn’t sure a slight last minute change of early evening plans would allow me to go for a walk I remembered my green circle and made myself go out for half an hour as soon as I finished work (big mistake.  Walking past people’s houses at 6pm as they cook food that smells way more exciting than the thing you have thrown together to eat later on).

Seems I can walk a mile and a half in half an hour and complete my green circle.   Yet I was still only on 6,000 steps.  A fail by the Fitbit standard, but my new circle standard a success that makes me want to now see if I can do it every day for a week.

Which is, quite frankly, some kind of miracle.

Anyone for a celebratory Hobnob?

Photo of the cuppa and biscuits is from Worthy of Elegance’s collection on Unsplash

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