Tag Archives: Muscle

Changing My Life With Fitbit Charge 2

Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

So it’s been a long, LONG time since I discussed my health and fitness regime on my blog…

Probably because it went down the drain and has been needing a reboot for quite a while so in this post I’m going to talk about my new fitbit charge 2, how fantastic it is, how well it’s worked for me Alhamdulillah and why maybe you should probably think about buying one too.

JUST A CRAZE?

So this fitness fitbit thing has been on my radar for the past year or so, even without a TV or taking much interest in popular culture, some things like this do creep in to my view and attracts my interest, like what’s that? Does it work? Is it worth the cost?

Especially as I keep seeing them increasingly at work, who give them out as one of the prizes for taking part in certain healthy living schemes they promote to make us extra super fit uber productive workers!

But at £120 or there about’s it’s quite an expensive bit of kit, for what is effectively a digital watch if it doesn’t work so I was going to wait and see if seems to be the real deal.

I also thought it wouldn’t help me in my current stage of getting healthy, which is trying to slim down enough so I can get out and jog without too much risk of damaging my knees or getting shin splints.

Then the Mrs went and bought me one as a present…

SO DOES IT WORK?

Short answer is yes… if you stick with it. The concept is not something new, the monitoring of in-comings and outgoings has been around for decades and effectively does the same as MyFitnessPal mobile phone app but much more efficiently as you only need to enter in your in-comings, the daily exercise grind is all entered for you when the phone updates from a bluetooth connection to your fitbit device.

By seeing your steps going up and up, as well as the number of floors you’ve done or minutes exercised etc, it gives you a real sense of getting somewhere, a tamagotchi type buzz of achievement as you hit each target and smash them and keep going onward and upward.

Now if you’re going to cheat, forget to enter in that sneaky burger or chocolate bar you had at lunch, then maybe the fitbit is not for you, but if you’re willing to stick with it then by effectively monitoring you food and exercise you will quickly see where you are going wrong, what habits you need to break and what you need to work on and it’s all available to see on the phone ap or on a PC dashboard.

It even measures your sleep pattern and asks you to enter your water intake each day, these being two areas of health and fitness people often fail to monitor.

RESULTS SO FAR

So results so far, in a month and a half of using the fitbit has been losses of 10lbs, as well as some reasonable gains in muscle mass around my shoulders and arms and corresponding fat losses from my substantial waist and the rest of my body.

If you want an idea of what 10lbs of fat looks like, see the image here, or else weigh out 10lbs of butter as animal fat is about the same mass and size as butter.

The beauty of the fitbit is that it enables you to choose your own exercise regime and then monitor the results, so if you want to push the weights, there is an option for that, if you want to run or jog, an option for that and so on and so on.

Unlike with other health and fitness regimes I’ve tried, there is no where to hide with fitbit, it’s harder to cheat and if you fail you not only see it on the scales but you can see why it is on the app or dashboard.

GOING FORWARD

I can really see myself using this for a long time to come and as I’ve lost weight, I’ve gained energy, as opposed  to feeling drained and lethargic which happens when people only diet and don’t exercise.

Extra energy I’ve been able to put into studying the deen, getting into reading al-Adab al-Mufrad as well as getting into listening to lectures and reading more about my own totally unprofessional interest in psychology.

Given how quickly the fitbit has helped me slim down I can see myself being back in the gym in the matter of the next couple of months, as opposed to 6-9 months which was my previous target and getting on those running machines to target that hard to reach subdermal fatty layers and push myself to my higher goals in gaining and maintaining a more healthy body.

A healthier body has brought me more confidence, a better relationship with my family as I’m not constantly tired, except sometimes in a good post exercise good way and finally restored my confidence in being able to Insha’Allah get my body back into shape whilst I still can given my age.

If you were like me, struggling to know where to start with getting healthy, then fitbit could easily be good for you and if you only gain the benefits I have so far, worth the £120 expenditure.

Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Gingerbeardman

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ALREADY NOTICING THE DIFFERENCE

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Umar ibn Al Khattab (radiallahu anhu) saw a man with a huge belly and said: “What is this?” He said, “A blessing from Allah.” He said, “Rather it is a punishment from Allah.”

Manaaqib Ameer al-Mu’mineen, p.200

Assalaamu Alaykum brothers and sisters,

Those who have known me for a while know I occasionally go on a diet regime, it lasts for a short time, somewhere between weeks to months, I lose some weight, I do walk a lot anyway, so I do a little bit more exercise, eat healthily ish but soon enough I slack off and my big fat reserves and and overly large waistline comes back again within a few months or at most a year.

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“So I keep eating this green stuff and it makes me healthy right?”

I’m overweight and terrible at dieting and worse at getting around to exercise, it’s not good, and it’s certainly not Islamic to be so badly out of shape but it is what it is and it’s my burden to be dealing with.

The main issue is that this has been my lifestyle for the past two decades since prior to accepting Islam and all the way through my life as a Muslim and not having done any serious exercise for so long means my body needs a lot of work on it. I’ve always until now used this as an excuse to go easy on the hardcore work outs thinking if they are necessary I can always do them later on.

I was always into rugby at school, always relied on my size and natural strength to get me through but I’ve noticed over the years this natural strength has seeped away and in reality given I’m creeping up on 40 that if I don’t turn things around soon I am really asking for a middle age and later of bad health and a likely early death.

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“I’m always trying to lose weight, but weight just keeps finding me.”

THINGS ARE GOING TO BE DIFFERENT

This latest attempt is going to be different, it definitely feels different in my head and Allah willing it will be different. I don’t know, I just feel more determined rather than just going through the usual motions.

I started eating a little more sensibly again just before Eid as I usually do, though I admit to partaking in too much cake and lots of big servings of lovely curries with the family over that time but now I’m back to sensible eating again rather than going back to bad habits and this time I’ve decided to actually listen to the experts on exercise and not go so easy on myself and my overweight, muscle puny body.

The main thing all these fitness people advised me was I need to do more of the sweaty hard stuff, one brother as well as the usual advise on making sure I do cardio also told me I need to do lots of big weights, to help burn the fat, little weights are good for toning but no good for weight loss and quickly getting my health back again.

york-weightsSo my little weights that I used every time I went on a health kick… they’ve had a makeover and now weigh approx 3x as much, gone are the long lightweight reps which seem to take forever to get results, in comes some heavy duty work with the Mr’s weights and brothers I can tell you I am already feeling and seeing the difference after just a week.

It’s only a 15 minute daily workout of tummy crushers, sit-ups and heavy weights and already I’ve lost 4lbs and I can feel my atrophied muscles coming back in a little way, but the results are enough to firm up my commitment to the new healthy gingerbeardman regime, to try to break the bad habits built up over the past 20 years and Insha’Allaah this time actually stick to a healthy lifestyle for good.

So lets see how we go this time. I don’t know why I feel different, but I do, maybe the last fried chicken burger was the one which broke the camels back… to totally mash up that metaphor.

I want to be fit and healthy within two years, tops. Insha’Allaah long before then but a little encouragement wouldn’t hurt so feel free to throw in suggestions along the way, and I’ll keep doing regular updates.

I am hoping keeping it semi-public will help motivate me more for the hard-times when the sugar and fat cravings are making me paw at the door like a junkie going cold turkey (Turkey and cranberry sandwich!), that knowing others who know me, either online or in person and know of my struggle can help keep me on the straight and narrow path to a healthy lifestyle so it will become much harder to chicken out (ummm fried chicken) when it’s no longer just a private battle of the bulge.

Before I go, here is one final Orangutan picture for good measure, it has absolutely nothing to do with me or my health kick other than I googled words around being overweight and ginger and up popped some images of my overweight ape friends here.

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