You know how sometimes things just don’t go like you envision them to? Yesterday was one of those days. I had a great recipe to post but never got the time to get it up so you’d have it yesterday. And my butt. It’s not going like I’d like to to either. Yup. You read that right. My butt. After having to take almost a year off from any hard exercise (running, biking, swimming, etc. – thanks, tanked out adrenal system and thyroid) and then a month off from walking the dogs and doing yoga because I was sick with the yuck, my butt looks nothing like I’d like to to. Along with other parts of me. But I’m going to change that. If it kills me.
It’s also that time of year when folks make promises to themselves and others that they’ll get in shape. The gyms are signing up new members left and right and classes and the parking lots are packed. Stores that sell workout equipment and clothing always report an increase in sales this time of year. But do we really keep our promises? Historically as a society – no.
But some of us do. I mentioned last week that I was going to try a 30 minutes for 30 days yoga challenge and several folks signed up with me. And we’re plugging along and supporting each other and making it happen. Even on the days we don’t feel like it. And then there’s my true motivation: competition. You see, if you tell me I can’t do something or you’re going to beat me or do it better than me, I’ll be damed if I’m going to let you. And that’s where my FitBit comes in. I’m on my third one (first and second ones I killed by hopping in a pool with each of them on – learned that lesson and bought The Force, the water resistant one the next time) and they tried to take this one away from me (they recalled the model, as it was making some people break out where the metal touched their skin, but I had no problems, so I kept mine) but they would have had to pry it out of my cold dead hands.
I know there are lots of these types of gadgets out there. But FitBit was one of the very first, and they’ve had me since hello. I’m all synched up on my iPhone, iPads and laptop and connected to about 10 friends with whom I compete on a regular basis. Some of them bitterly. Like my friend Jody (the one that is so crafty and created the yellow brick road for a Wizard of Oz themed birthday party, among other crafts). She and I have both been reported (by our husbands, who ratted us out) to be running circles through our houses just before midnight (the cut off time for calculating your daily steps) trying to out-step one another. That may be a little extreme. But I rarely lost. :0)
What I love most, besides the added incentive of competition, is that I can see how many steps I’ve taken, how many flights of stairs I’ve climbed (or the equivalent if I’m walking/running hills), how many calories I’ve burned, how many miles I’ve traveled and I can also see who’s calling me on my cell phone thanks to the Bluetooth connection between the two. When I’m looking at my dashboard on their site or in the app, I can see how I slept (I love that feature), how close I am to hitting my daily goals and what the rest of my tribe is doing (and if I’m beating Jody, although it looks like Emily may be my new, biggest threat). FitBit even makes a scale that will talk to the app and upload your weight data straight to your dashboard. Jody has it and it’s pretty cool.
I can also cheer on or “taunt” my friends from the dashboard, to help motivate them (as you might guess, there’s a fair amount of taunting going on). And I can add other activities (like swimming, yoga, cleaning house (yes, really)) to my calculations for the day, so I get an accurate account of how many calories I’ve burned. Couple that with the apps that play nice with FitBit, like LoseIt, for example, which tracks your food intake for the day, and I have the full picture of what I’m doing and how hard I need to work out that day to drop the weight I want. FitBit will even help you setup a plan to do just that.
Now here’s the catch – they have a new device (actually they have a few), The FitBit ChargeHR (this one also measures your heart rate for an even more accurate measurement of your actual calories burned) that they’ve been talking about for a few months and I’ve been dying to buy it. But it wasn’t available. UNTIL TODAY! You know what I’ll be doing after I’m doing writing this post! Yup. Ordering my new FitBit. And who knows, maybe FitBit will read this post (that they have no idea I’m writing) and decide to send me a FitBit ChargeHR for free (are you listening FitBit???). So, who wants to join me and race me to my 10,000 steps a day? We could all use a little motivation, I think and some friendly competition is a good thing. Just ask Jody. And you’re welcome.