November 17, 2014

Fitbits, Crackhead Boxers, and Being Sedentary

I'm pretty sure that smile is mocking me.

I haven’t considered myself an active human being for a very long time. I know I was a pretty hyper kid, for the most part. Sitting still was one of my greatest challenges when I wasn’t in a classroom setting. (There is a time and place for that sort of thing you know!) My mom always knew that a true punishment for me was to force me to stay somewhere and be still. Since I have my own kids now, I am not sure who truly suffered more when I was forced to stay on a certain piece of furniture or in my room for any length of time. I know for a fact I gave her plenty of hell as she made good on her threats. I also know how exhausting that can be as I am now raising a smaller, maybe even more persistent, version of myself. Reading wasn’t difficult for me, but I never read for pleasure because that required a good amount of sitting still. Although I was terrible at that particular skill as a child, I am excellent at it now.
Seriously. I can, like, out-sit the best of them! Part of me is excited for my next illness or surgical procedure because of all the sitting and lying down that is a part of the recovery process. I had a colonoscopy a few years ago and gained a whole new appreciation for the outpatient procedure. The staff usually works 8-5 and they get regular breaks and lunches. They are usually in good moods and not stressed out about being on their feet for the past 12 hours and never getting the chance to either feed or relieve themselves. They are more open to making small talk and bringing you those blankets from the magical warming oven. That thing is a gift from heaven and we should all take a moment to thank the person who came up with that idea. If you happen to wonder what to get me for Christmas, a magical box that makes things warm so that I can wrap those things around me is pretty high up on my list right about now.
I guess it’s good to know that I still have the same attention span as I did in my youth….I just got away from my point of this post!
What I am trying to do is share with the world that I recently got a Fitbit to track my everyday activity. (Why do we now feel so compelled to share this crap with the world? I can probably count on one hand the number of people who might remotely give a damn about this. But share, I must!) I just got the basic model called a Zip so I could clip it to any part of my person and get on with my life. (A rubber bracelet would have annoyed me to no end!) I saw this purchase as a way to track the number of steps I take in a day and give myself small, manageable goals to increase them. Basically, I need to trick myself to make any significant changes in my life.
I’ve been told I’m stubborn, but you’ll never get me to believe that.
They say the average person should take 10,000 steps a day, which ends up being about 5 miles. I feel like I am a pretty busy person, and I’m sure that I still am. However, a lot of the things that keep me busy are things that don’t end up forcing me to move much. (Have you seen that video of the sloth trying to cross the street? I think I’m a lot more like him than I am most of you!)
Apparently, the number of steps I take on average each day places me in the dead center of what most people consider to be ‘sedentary.’
Yes, I’m very proud!
I was certain I moved more than your average pregnant woman on bed rest, but I guess I don’t. I’m pretty sure that whoever can see the data on my Fitbit probably assumes I am part of a royal family who gets carried around on piles of velvet pillows while shirtless bohunks feed me grapes and fan me with palm leaves and…where was I going with this again? I suddenly have a new appreciation for my metabolism and I am not quite sure why I don’t weigh so much that they have to remove one of the walls of my home to get me out of it. As ‘busy’ as I am, it’s clear that not much actual movement is required to fold laundry or cook dinner or wash dishes. Yeah, pretty much most of the things I do in a day involved standing in the same place. There are always those moms who use their kids’ soccer practice as an opportunity to take a brisk walk with a couple of friends. In case you haven’t picked up on it by now; I am not one of those moms! I don’t like walking with other people because my legs don’t listen very well and it takes concentration to not trip over my own feet and keep up with the pace that the other person clearly prefers. I hate to feel like I am slowing someone down. I don’t like to walk alone because….well, because I DON’T LIKE TO WALK. I cannot stress that enough.
I love that I can see firsthand where I need to improve myself. I don’t love that I’m not exactly sure what I want to do with that information. Now that I know how little I actually move, I am way more curious about how many steps other people take in a day. David is a UPS driver. He is moving ALL DAY LONG. How many steps does a typical UPS driver take in a day? I can assume it’s a lot, but I really want to know how many. I am tempted to clip my new toy onto my youngest daughter. The kid seriously never stops moving, with the exception of when she is in class at school. It’s scary how much that one is like her mother. How many steps would the Fitbit count during a cartwheel? She does those things all freaking day. What would happen if I were to clip the Fitbit to the collar of one of my boxers? (Not just any of them, but the youngest one that we affectionately call ‘The Crackhead.’) How many steps does it take to get into a playful scuffle with the other dogs or to chase the dot of a laser pointer? How many steps does it take to walk in enough circles to decide on the perfect place to take a crap? No WONDER my dogs are in such good shape!
I’m pretty sure that whoever could see the data collected on my Fitbit would then think I was a crackhead. Who goes from being sedentary to numbers that are off the charts? And where does one get the pills required to make that happen?
For today, I am hoping to achieve the number of steps that would put me about halfway between what would be considered ‘sedentary’ and the ideal 10,000. I need to embrace my newfound love for yoga pants and athletic shoes and use them for more than just sitting at the table and drinking coffee. Am I the only person in the world who didn’t know how awesome yoga pants are? It’s clear that I should come out from under my rock more often and take a look around.
The world still has a few things to teach me, I guess.