My Fitbit Impressed My Friends, Cleaned My House, and Saved My Marriage

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My daughter knows my aversion to movement.  Really, I am a pet rock.  Except for brief runs (well, walks, to be honest) to the fridge and john, I could be a wax figure in Madame Tussaud’s Museum.

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.IMG_2918

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 IMG_2910gal 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 IMG_2915nightstand.  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.IMG_2880

5.  A Fitbit allows a Fitness Two-fer. If you sweat on an elliptical or treadmill, you IMG_2878accumulate 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.


All steps earned while walking to the bathroom last night.

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?

To wear over your Fitbit when you go dancin'. From Etsy.

To wear over your Fitbit when I go dancin’. My daughters bought it from Etsy.

redLook 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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  1. First of all, you had me at pet rock. I have been known to walk in place while watching TV, just to get to 10,000. The wine trick is new though!

  2. OK, You have convinced me. I will get a fitbit. I am so tired of my sister and my niece bragging on FB about how many steps they’ve made or what challenge they conquered. My biggest challenge right now is, Netflix of Amazon Prime. Let you know when I’ve walked enough steps to get to New York City. Can’t wait to get there so I can SIT and watch a broadway Play!
    Another winner, Sandy!!

  3. I love the accompanying pictures, Sandy! :)

  4. This is a hoot!! And it’s so true! Next you will need a Spire which tells you when you’re stressed or that you haven’t taken a deep breath in the last five minutes! That’s what I got for Mother’s Day!! I loved this piece!

  5. Such a hilarious post! I have conveniently “lost” my Fit Bit and don’t want to waste steps looking for it! Everyone is going to relate to this one!

  6. For the love of god. I laughed so hard reading this my students were wondering what was so darn funny! Thanks for my Friday Funny!

  7. Haha!! My favorite section is #3. I find myself offering to run down to the basement fridge to grab another bottle of milk, and the like – all in an effort to build on my steps! Have you found yourself doing laps around your kitchen @ 11:30 PM yet?

  8. I run around the house at 11 o’clock at night to get more steps. although I rarely get to 10,000 it at least motivates me to walk more.

  9. I have an app…..S health on my phone, does same as fitbit….even measures my steps while in my purse…..and sends me encouraging messages during the day letting me know how many more steps I need to have a successful day….So I guess I will need to walk back to the other end of the mall and purchase that Coach bag I Saw! Not! But I do recall at first feeling like I couldn’t disappoint my S Health thingymabob.

  10. Every word of your FitBit saga is true to my heart! I’ve been known to earn climbing badges by delivering clean laundry one stack at a time. My family just doesn’t understand how satisfying it can be to carry 5 clean washcloths up two flights of stairs!

    • I am laughing, Theresa!

  11. I have also jumped, I mean stepped, on the Fit Bit bandwagon. This little device can be a source of pride or guilt. My husband walks all day at work and comes home with 13,000 steps. I love him anyway.
    My one complaint is that I entered my actual weight when setting up my account. The DMV doesn’t even know my actual weight. Then I realized this number would show up on my weekly email update. I had to go back and change the number. What if the Russians hacked my gmail account? You know how obsessed the media is these days with email.

    • My Fitbit thinks I weigh 140 pounds. Only my doctor knows for sure. And, honestly, they can have my credit card numbers and bank account–but don’t reveal my weight!

  12. You never cease to IMPRESS me!

  13. This is utterly hilarious! Fit Bits are very dangerous in the hands of someone with OCD. Everything has to end in round even numbers before I retire at night or I can’t go to sleep.

    • Oh, no! Don’t get up in the middle of the night and walk into an odd number of steps!

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Sandy Lingo

Life itself is the proper binge.  - Julia Child

A writing friend said that when she reads my writing, she always wants a second helping.



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