Kyle Seth Gray

Kyle Seth Gray's blog. Usually writing about tech, personal experience, but now leaning more towards health and fitness.

Dear Apple

Dear Apple,

There is more I can say as to how the Apple Watch has helped me.

Shortly after getting the Apple Watch, I actually went through one of the toughest and darkest parts of my life.

I felt alone, afraid, and constantly weary of my future, and if I should even have a future. If I should carry on.

In a stupid way, my obsession with technology and my love for watches did catapult me towards caring about the Activity rings, and by proxy, exercise and daily activity. I no longer stayed in bed doing nothing - I seized the day, got out early, and found passion in exercise that really lifted me up from where I was.

Thank you to all my awesome friends, Brianna for getting me into running, my Spin instructors for putting up with me, and my friends in person and online to encourage me to bike. And all my followers that put up with all of my cycling posts.

And now, here I am. Alive.

Click here for more of my posts on the Apple Watch.

365

A year ago I attended WWDC 2016

During that week, I met awesome people, and learned about new features coming in watchOS 3: Namely, activity sharing on the Apple Watch. It was a feature I used heavily on other fitness platforms: keeping up with friends who also had the same fitness device, and competing with them on achievements, exercises, and even just plains steps.

I was just over the year mark on owning my Apple Watch, and while I did fill my rings semi regularly, I wasn't too serious on completing everything.

(I could go over my fun injury again or my addiction to running but lucky for you! I've already written those posts.)

I started to get serious about it, and just basically wanted to beat my previous move goal streak of about 90+ days.

So I did.

By the time the 90 day mark rolled around, I just kept going.

And going.

And here I am now, and I've hit 365 days on my Apple Watch.

365 days of hitting my move goal. Early morning workouts before sitting in a car or bus for hours, a 21 mile bike ride before a plane ride, getting out and doing jumping jacks in the middle of a long car ride. So many better and new habits formed by just closing those darn rings.

The strange motivation I get from gamifying my fitness is obviously just one part of it. I built healthier habits by getting up early, eating right, and making the gym/biking a regular occurence. One of my favorite things was going to a spin class every morning before school and work at the begining of this year.

Overall, as I've said before, I'm amazed at what I've accomplished with my personal health. This post is just an high level summary, and I'll attempt to go into more detail as time goes on and on, but it comes down to a simple thing:

I was a scrawny, sports hating kid who never really liked being active. I thought of gym as a chore, and even found ways to get around it in high school (I took my 'gym' requirement online. Yes. That is a thing).

Now I get up at 5:00 AM every day, and either go to a gym, cycle, or if I have a different schedule, find a way to workout. I've worked out in crappy hotel gyms in Mexico, walked a couple of miles when I had no equipment, and even just ran up and down stairs a few times. If you find the right motivation, you can do things you never thought you'd enjoy. Because I definitely have.

Two Years With Apple Watch

A year ago, I wrote this:

I thought that with me owning my Apple Watch for 1 year now, I would add up some totals regarding how much I've done.

I thought I would follow the same format as that post, and provide more stats:

  • Since I got my Apple Watch, I've walked 9,608,040 steps.
  • I've walked/ran a distance of 4526 Miles.
  • I cycled 1998 miles
  • I burned a total of 438,746 Active Calories. (That's 662 glazed Dunkin Donuts)
  • Ruined 8 pairs of headphones, including two EarPods and two pairs of Jaybirds.
  • Took out 2 iPhone 6's, I'm on my 3rd right now. First one got dropped on a mountain, second one got ruined by sweat.
  • Still rocking the same Apple Watch I got on day 1.

    Day one with my Apple Watch Day 366 with my Apple Watch Day 730 with my Apple Watch

Last year I told myself I wanted to "up the ante" with my cycling efforts.

Last summer, after realizing I still couldn't run as much as I used to, I went out and bought a bike. It isn't a top of the line road bike: it's categorized by Sirrus as a Fitness bike. However, it got me addicted. I used it to commute all of fall semester - 14 miles round trip every day. And on weekends I would check out all the awesome trails around Utah, as well as cycle throughout Utah Valley. I've biked all the way from Provo to Salt Lake a few times, (~55 miles), and as summer is on the horizon, I'm biking every single day if possible.

The biggest thing about the Apple Watch is the encouragement it provides me to be physically active. There's a plethora of different achievements you can get, including event-based awards. You get awards for hitting your Move goal every day of the week, month, and for continuing a streak. The visualization of all your data, and being able to look back and compare previous workouts, really helps a lot in short term and long term motivation.

As it stands today, as soon as I got to the gym after work, I'll have hit a 300 day move goal streak.

The Apple Watch as a motivational device has been priceless to me. Two years ago, I wasn't out of shape by any means, but I definitely wasn't physically able to accomplish what I can now. I remember when I first got my Watch, I would run a bit here and there, but getting to a higher goal of ~800 active calories was hard, and wore my body out. Now, my move goal is 840, and I'm hitting it every. single. day.

Obviously it takes more than a shiny computer to make a change in your life, but I can definitely say that the Apple Watch has changed mine. I often wonder what 2-year-ago Kyle would think if I saw what I was doing these days: cycling 20 miles per day on the weekend, spending about an hour at the gym every morning or evening, and consistently and steadily hitting my goals.

I'm really glad I got the Apple Watch, and I love the Activity Ring based motivation system. It really works for the way I think, and It's encouraged me to keep moving, stay active, and live a more 'fit' life.

Kyle Health - Apps

Your smartphone can be very useful along any part of your health journey. Having a constantly connected device in your pocket at all times can assist with you tracking your health. Both Google and Apple have built in applications, Health.app and Google Health, that assist in bringing apps together to monitor stats such as your daily calories burned, your weight, the amount of protein you've consumed, among a slew of other data. In this post I'm going to cover just a few of the many apps I use to help me live a healthier life.

Read more –>

Where I got started

I wrote up a monologue post about what health means to me, and how I got started with my whole focus on it.

It's definitely a narrative more than anything, but it is me. And I feel like it does express my weird thought process in regards to being more healthy.


Look, I definitely was never ever a natural at this. If you saw pictures of me just a few years back, especially near the end of high school, I wasn’t the crazy athletic kid that took an extra PE class. And I wasn’t one to be involved in school sports either. When I first started college I dreaded the idea of anything sports related, and having to do yet another type of exercise class.

That’s the biggest thing with health. We all should take care in measuring it, maintaining it, and keeping it in high regard. But it can seem overwhelming. A task no one really wants to worry about. But, unlike a hobby such as reading, your favorite sports team, or keeping your morning routine simple, health is different – it’s a requirement. If you woke up tomorrow and didn’t eat, you’d feel terrible. And you’d really eventually die if you ate nothing but those nasty little pumpkins things that we get around halloween but during the rest of the year everyone realizes are a terrible idea.

I kickstarted my own personal journey into health about 4 years ago. It never was a single, streamlined process. It had its starts and stops, and times where I thought it was too much to handle, or that microwaveable dinners were cheap and convenient, and dammit I was going to take advantage of the sales Stouffer’s had.

Four years ago I got into running. Mainly because a friend of mine wanted to get back into their running habit, and, being a good friend, I said “Sure, I’ll show up at 6 am and we can go running.”

Running is what started it for me. After you run, you kind of naturally learn towards those 6 eggs or so that you eat afterwards. And while buying eggs you become curious about the avocados, decide to go to a place like Sprouts, and then suddenly you’re making protein smoothies with avocado, blueberries, and about five different types of ‘all natural’ boosters. And when your run and track it, you realize that the bag of chips you’re craving to dig into a good TV show with aren’t really worth it considering how dense they are.

This whole beginning post is somewhat of a self monologue to where and how I got to where I am, and I’ll do my best to more clearly define the actual health habits I have. Know, however, that it could very well be anything, from a new store you find, a type of food you learn to enjoy, to figuring out how many calories are really in that delicious scone at the bakery you frequently find yourself at… health can be something you find yourself focusing on just after one little habit. And that’s a good thing.

Health Status

This year begun with me focusing on being more active, and maintaining a healthier life style. It was one of my goals to be a healthier person, alongside some fitness goals such as running my first half marathon (which I did 3 times), running my first marathon (postponed until my leg gets better).

I’m surprised in myself at how far I’ve come. Last year around this time, I was very inactive, discouraged from exercising, and ate mainly whatever I bought at the grocery store. It wasn’t super unhealthy, but seeing how I now react to different foods or just trying to hit calorie goals, I am amazed at the progress I’ve made. I'm glad I got off that route as well, because I definitely could've ended up being a 180 lb 22 year-old, going through that "oh hey... I can't eat whatever anymore" phase that everyone always talks about.

I also had started tracking caloric intake in April of this year, and have been somewhat on and off with it, but I definitely am more able to make better decisions with my diet. I’m way more active, thanks to buying a bike in August, and using it to commute to school 6 miles away, 2 times a day, 5 times a week. And I feel great.

One of the biggest thing I realized, especially when trying to keep my same Activity Goals on my Apple Watch, is how easy it can be to find places to exercise, and find time for it. I could never imagine the Me I knew 3 years ago to actively try and find a working cycling machine to use on vacation, or trying to find a gym to go to when I visit home in Arizona, but here I am. I’m trying my best, and I feel like I’ve succeeded, in not only maintaining a healthy way of living, but making sure to be consistent. And I credit a lot of that to my Apple Watch, but I’ve also made a lot of progress in my own mind and when I think about different aspects of being fit.

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