So it came as some surprise when I received a Fitbit from my daughter who felt compelled, all the way from Oslo, Norway, to send this fancy pants pedometer for her manatee-of-a-mother.
When I got online to set up my Fitbit (“It takes literally three minutes,” my daughter lied) I saw that mine was one of the basic models that costs $150. I can’t believe my daughter spent $150 on a gift so totally wrong for me. At least she didn’t buy one of the more deluxe models which checks your heart rate and makes iced tea.
Mine is in a serviceable black vinyl band. It tells the time and the date. It works like a pedometer, measuring steps, but oh so much more. In addition to counting steps, it determines how many miles I’ve walked and calories I’ve burned and stairs I’ve climbed–all totally useless features for me–but my Fitbit will also measure and assess the quality of my sleep. Now those are stats I can get into.
Because my daughter spent so much money on this thingie, I felt obligated to strap it on (like I do my feedbag). She told me it would change my life, which it has in so many ways.
1. Wearing a Fitbit tells the world that, although I may look lumpy and saggy, I am a woman who takes care of herself, a gal who makes the best of what she’s got. A woman who most probably commits to daily flossing and meditation and kegels. One who moves intentionally and with a certain amount of glee.
2. I hoard my steps like pieces of eight. I get in the shower with my Fitbit, then take it off and
fling it on the counter so I don’t miss a precious step. Imagine how horrified I was yesterday when I realized, after walking seven blocks to the post office, that I had left my Fitbit charging on my nightstand. I made my husband bring me my beloved gadget because there was no way I was going to waste steps that weren’t counted. (He didn’t mind because he was wearing his Fitbit!)
3. Suddenly, it’s a good thing that I’m losing my marbles. I walk to a room and can’t remember why I went there. I walk back to my recliner, and a commercial on TV reminds me that I need to put the laundry in the dryer. I head back to the laundry room, stopping on the way to water my philodendron. And then I return to my recliner where I remember I want to wear my white capris tonight, which reminds me I need to get them out of the dryer, except they are still in the washer. Thanks to those white capris, I’ve logged 489 steps.
4. When you know you have to walk anyway, it seems so much more enticing if you can do it in your bare feet and pjs. It turns out that the Fitbit doesn’t care if you ever leave your house. You can cover a lot of miles pushing around a vacuum cleaner. You can climb a ladder to dust the top of your refrigerator or wash the windows. You can earn the Good Housekeeping Seal while reaching your Fitbit goal.
5. A Fitbit allows a Fitness Two-fer. If you sweat on an elliptical or treadmill, you accumulate steps even if you’d been on, well, a treadmill. When I go to the doctor today, I can say, “I walk 10,000 steps and I do a half hour aerobic exercise, never confessing the overlap.
6. Now it’s a good thing that I have to get up four times a night to pee. And that I sleep on the far side of the bed.
7. It’s 8:30 PM, and I’ve only walked 8,962 steps. What to do? The Heart Association says I need to walk 10,000 steps a day. So I decide to commit to my marriage. “Would you like some wine?” I ask, carefully offering to fetch only one thing. The trip to the wine cellar (which is located conveniently in the bottom kitchen cabinet next to the Triscuits) bumps me up to almost 9,000 steps. “How about a cookie?” “Oh, you’ll need a napkin.” “Let me get you another.” He is so taken by this sudden attention, that he takes my hand and walks me to the bedroom. I check my Fitbit . . . 9,882. “Score!” I yell. My husband thinks I mean something else.
8. I am told that sexual activity will impact your Fitbit stats. If you have the deluxe model, it would register a raised heart rate, I suppose, but as I’ve said, my daughter only sprung for a basic model. I don’t know if sex would show up as distance traveled or stairs climbed. I guess it would depend, wouldn’t it?
Look around. You’ll see people of all shapes, sizes, and ages sporting Fitbits. They come in all different fashionable colors and there are actually bracelets you can buy to conceal them when you go out on the town. Do you really think it’s making any of us fitter, stronger, thinner? Our forefathers cranked out 10,000 steps milking the cows and slopping the hogs before they even had their first slab of breakfast pie.
But I’m a modern girl, so I’ll wear my Fitbit and pretend that I am getting fit dusting, making love, and walking around my coffee table.
And in 2020, when I win my Olympic gold medal for the 10,000 step Track and Field event, I will, of course put my right hand on my heart during the National Anthem, but I will also raise my left hand so I can check out my steps on my Fitbit.
Copyright © 2016 Sandy Lingo, All Rights Reserved
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