Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fitbit on My Shoulder

When you start out in life looking like this...

(I'm the baby that looks like she was fattened up for a sacrificial dinner...and from the look on my face I look a bit worried, like I see myself turning on a spit.

What the hell?  What was my mother feeding me?  I look like I was created in a sausage factory!  That can't be from breast-feeding!)

...you embark upon a never-ending quest to avoid looking like that ever again.

I didn't look too bad in my youth (though I didn't realize it then), but the weight has crept on over the years.  I am on a mission to get back to how I looked then, and when I say "youth," I am talking my 40's!  I will settle for that.

So I am always looking for something to help me either lose weight or maintain the weight that I have.

And exercise is supposed to help with that, right?

One of the things that I did to facilitate weight loss was to purchase a Fitbit

For those of you not aware of this little device, it's a pedometer that not only keeps track of how many steps you take each day, it calculates calories, tells the time and even gives you a little smile.  Mine is a basic model.  There are some that have all kinds of bells and whistles, such as telling you what you weigh at any given minute, calculating your body fat and telling you to call your mother.  If you wear it to bed, you get extra points for Restless Leg Syndrome. 

Once sinc'ed in with your computer, it also communicates with you and gives you a report at the end of the week on how well you did.  More on that later.

It has become fairly common knowledge in the fitness world, that walking 10,000 steps is the most desirable number of steps for keeping fit, so I thought this little device, unobtrusively hooked onto my bra strap, would tell me how I was doing.

What I didn't realize was...once you invite the quick fix, a certain kind of evil enters your life.

Oh, I know it looks benign, friendly, even.  Look at that smile.  But there is evil lurking there.

That little Fitbit sitting on my shoulder has become like a monkey on my back.  I know the expression "Monkey on my back" implies an addiction of some kind - and it is.

If I forget to put it on and find myself somewhere without it, I break into a cold sweat. There I am at the mall walking around and suddenly realize I forgot my Fitbit!  Oh, no, what's it going to say?  I'm going to get a bad report!

But it's worse than that.

I'm like "The Thing With Two Heads."  

The Fitbit is like having another little head, an evil one, attached to my shoulder.

Yes, folks, it talks to me.  Not audibly, but it KNOWS when I don't have it on. 

I will get a message on my phone reminding me. 

Or even when I do have it on, it lets me know how I'm doing. 

"Only 5000 more steps.  You can do it!" 

And that's when I'm done for the day and sitting in a chair with a glass of wine watching an episode of "Naked and Afraid."  So then I think I should get up and start running in place, so I can get the Fitbit to give me kudos when the goal of 10,000 steps is reached- "You Nailed It!  Good Job!"

That little device sitting on my shoulder also inspires guilt.  I reach for a bowl of ice cream and I can feel it cringing, disapproving, that little smile turning into a grimace of disgust. 

"You're not really going to eat that, are you?"

Hubby and I were out walking the other day and stopped at a Top Pot Doughnuts, your "I-cannot-walk-by-this-shop-and-not-buy-a-doughnut" kind of doughnut shop.  But later when we were resting at a wine bar, your basic "I-cannot-walk-by-this-wine-bar-and-not-get-some-wine" kind of wine bar, I checked my steps and calories and felt guilty.  As I was drinking glass of wine number two and saw that little Fitty (that's what it demands I call it) said I had expended 1470 calories, I knew I didn't deserve that calorie count.  And that little device knew it!

But the Fitbit is also unfair!

If I go to the gym and use the elliptical or the rowing machine or the stationary bike, Fitbit doesn't approve of that and doesn't calculate anything as steps.  So I spend 90 minutes at the gym and only get credit for about 2000 steps, a far cry from the 10,000 it demands of me.

It's also upsetting when I get the weekly report of how many steps I did each day.  It might look something like this.

Monday                 10,070 steps.    "Way to go, Rosy!  You nailed it!"

Tuesday                  5,423 steps.    "Better lay off the TV!"

Wednesday                    0              "Rosy, what the hell happened?"
                             (I forgot to put it on that day!)

Thursday                10,147             "That's better, Rosy, you had me worried!"

Friday                       7,856             "I saw you eat that ice cream. 
                                                     You don't really deserve this calorie count!"

It's like being in a horror movie!

And here's the thing. Do you realize how long I have to walk to get those 10,000 steps?  An hour and a half! 

Who has that kind of time?

I know I am retired, but, folks, I'm busy.  I have to get dressed every day, brushing my teeth takes time, I don't even know the last time I washed my hair, there are movies I have to watch, I need to keep up with my TIVO, books are calling to me, I need to write this blog, go to the gym, go to the library, fulfill my volunteer obligations, Happy Hour with Hubby... and I need a day off once in awhile...

You get the idea.  How did I get myself into a situation where I am craving the approval of a little blue plastic device attached to my bra strap?  I have now managed to add one more stress element to my life.  Keeping my Fitbit happy.

But I will say that walking has its perks. 

It is, in fact, my favorite way to get exercise.  I love walking around Seattle, enjoying the neighborhoods and taking in the views.  It also affords some alone time with Hubby.  We walk, we talk, we hold hands, no distractions except the lovely scenery and each other.


And when we do that, I kill two birds with one stone. 

I make Hubby happy...and my little Fitbit very happy. 

Gotta keep little Fitty happy!

And maybe I will lose those pounds I've packed on since I was in my 40's.

That would make ME very happy!

But until then, I will continue my quest to try anything I can that will help me lose weight.

Got any cool gadgets I should know about?

Thanks for reading!

See you Friday
"Naked TV"

(I'm not kidding!)

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  1. Hi Rosy, I enjoyed your blog. I am a fellow Fitbit Fanatic. I kept nodding my head as I read - it is really is true. I freak out if I forget to clip it to my bra and have to talk myself down off the ledge (only a 4 inch one!) to accept that it is only one aspect of my get healthier mission. I like the FitBit friends aspect although I can get a little dismayed when my friends outwalk me every week!! We have a little fun with the challenges and comments though - it's just that they all know when I have succumbed to my "I don't feel like going out in the rain/sun/snow for a walk!" I also blog. You can catch me at http://boomerspotofgold.blogspot.ca/ or my one on health at http://100gone.blogspot.ca/

    1. Thanks for your comment, Eileen. I checked out your blog and enjoyed it. I left you a comment but want to reiterate that it takes awhile to get used to retirement but once you do you will never want to go back!