It started innocently enough. A friend of mine who just had her second child bought herself a fitbit, a little piece of digitized plastic that tracks how many steps you take in a day, the miles you walk, and the calories you burn. Or the lack thereof, depending.
R. swore by her little doodad; she walked and she walked and now, damned if she isn’t on week four of a couch to 5K program. She swears the fitbit got her moving.
How could a little piece of plastic with a happy face on it motivate a person, I thought to myself, tossing another handful of candy corn into my mouth.
Here’s the thing: in New York, people walk. New Yorkers walk everywhere and if we’re not walking, we’re running to the subway, hauling ass up and down the stairs. New Yorkers are like sharks: stop moving and we’ll die.
But out here in the land of cheap gas and big cars? It’s a bit like walking in LA: people do it, but everyone around you thinks you’re a lunatic. Plus the long distances between, say, where you live and where your children
play football every damn day because you’re a spineless parent who didn’t say no exercise their angelic bodies on the football pitch, necessitate driving, which is why my butt is slowly morphing into the shape of my car seat.
Besides, we are moving into the season of festive eating, which will be followed quickly by the season of omigodimturningfifty and I think it’s time that I rid myself of that pesky baby weight. The baby just turned nine, and although I hate to rush into anything, I guess I’d like to start my next decade sylph-shaped rather than car-shaped.
I swallowed my skepticism (along with more candy corn) and bought a fitbit. Not the super-duper fitbit that measures everything, even the efficiency of my sleep (It’s simple: I don’t get enough sleep. Don’t need a piece of plastic to tell me that: just look at the baggage under my eyes.)
For the past few weeks, I’ve had the fitbit clipped to my pocket and every night it syncs to my computer. It’s a little bit addictive, I have to say. A person doesn’t want to think she can be so easily
manipulated motivated by smiley faces and cheerful messages but . . . the other day I was in my office and had about 45 minutes before my next meeting. Usually I would check in on my other addiction — Tom and Lorenzo — but instead I went for a little walk outside. Added a few thousand steps to my daily total … all in search of a CHAMP! button.
I don’t know if I’ve lost any weight yet, but now that I’ve finished the candy corn (imported from the States by a visiting friend, who I’m not sure I should thank or curse), I have a fighting chance. And yes, I know I could just choose not to eat the candy corn, but that seems just silly, given that Josh went to all the trouble of bringing it from Brooklyn.
I’m going to fitbit myself all the way to fifty, I guess, but just look at that little smiling face. Wouldn’t that face make you take an extra step or two?