Closing my rings in 2020

I set myself a challenge at the end of last year. I wanted to see if I could fill all three activity rings for every day in 2020. 😅 I didn’t tell anyone about my little personal challenge, but… Well, take a look:

Screenshots from the Apple Fitness app showing every month of 2020 with all three activity rings filled.

At the start of the year, I thought it was going to be easy. I even increased my daily move goal in February to give myself more of a challenge thinking I’d be able to be out exercising with friends, or at the gym every day. 😬 Of course, 2020 had other plans, and I nearly failed a few times during the various lockdowns. The thought of completing my little personal challenge did help to get me out of the door on days when the temptation was to stay home.

The specific numbers on my move goal aren’t that important as everyone burns calories at different rates, but I started the year at 500 active calories per day and upped it to 700 per day in February. I left the exercise and standing goals at their defaults. My move goal, combined with the requirement for 30 exercise minutes per day means that I can’t close all rings without doing some intentional exercise, even if it’s only a brisk walk.

So, a successful 2020 for health and fitness then, right?

Unfortunately not. I wrote about struggling with my weight again back in February, and things have trended consistently in the wrong direction throughout 2020. I’m terribly overweight again and feel awful about it. I’m so disappointed in myself.

The truth is that despite this little challenge, the latter half of 2020 has gone really wrong in terms of health and fitness. Yes, I got out of the house and exercised for at least 30 minutes a day, but I also ate too much. Way too much. I could blame it on several things, 2020 has given us all plenty of excuses to choose from, but the truth is I knew I was eating too much and didn’t stop myself. Every few weeks I’d say “Right, that’s it, back on a strict diet” and then a few days later there’d be a loaf of bread in my shopping basket again, and my bread consumption is always a great indicator of whether I’m paying attention to what I’m eating.

I’m not going to try and do this challenge again in 2021. I completed my 2020 challenge, and I’m happy about that, but exercise is a firm and sustained habit at this point and it’s not where I need to concentrate my attention. What I need to focus on in 2021 is my eating. I feel the weight on me with every step I take, and I dearly wish I could get back to where I was back in 2018.


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