One step at a time

Good morning!

So I got an activity tracker. It’s a long story, but the gist of it is that we got one for one of my besties and I thought it was a brilliant idea, so I got one too. I know what you’re thinking, “Laziest woman in the world, why are you wasting your money?” 

I’ve never been a fan of exercise. Everybody knows that. I have spent quite a bit of time avoiding it actually. In recent years though, I’ve been trying to get my act together and be more active. So here I am in 2015 with an activity tracker masquerading as a person who gives a damn about the inches on her waistline.

Let me tell you why I like this device: it makes it all count. Because I’m prone to sloth, there are times when it’s hard to get motivated to even get the bike out from the balcony, let alone go for an actual bike ride, for example. Because my Fitbit tracks the activity from the time I get up in the morning, I’m not starting from zero by the time I have an opportunity to ‘exercise’.

The common goal for a step count is 10,000 steps a day. When I first got it, I put my goal as 5,000 because I didn’t know how many steps I did – I didn’t want to get discouraged. In the first few days, I smoked that goal. Then I went to 8,000 and soon enough I was getting close to that, so I decided to go whole hog and try to get 10,000, so I could push myself!

Here’s how my Fitbit has been working: by the time I get to work in the morning, I have 1,000 steps logged, half of them from my all-over-the-place method of getting ready in the morning. T-minus 15 minutes to walking out the door: oh, I forgot to pack my lunch (kitchen)…dammit, where’s my red shoes (my bedroom)…ack! my hair (washroom)…where’s that thingamabob (living room)? Hey, is Kidlet ready? Um, what IS he doing in his bedroom (Kidlet’s bedroom)? Vitamins (kitchen)! Hmm…did I put on deodorant (washroom)?

Basically, being disorganized is a very active lifestyle!

This continues on throughout the day at work too…walk over to the printer waiting for my printout out…oh wait, I never did hit “print” did I? walk back to my desk, hit “print”, walk back to the printer then walk back to my desk. Rinse and repeat 10 times a day = 500 more steps. My daily flask of tea? Go to the kitchen at the back of the office to put the kettle on, get sidetracked with gossip, come back to my desk, forget to put the kettle on, go back, put it on. Get back to my desk, forget the kettle was on, go back to refresh the kettle, go back to my desk. Remember the kettle, go back to the kitchen then come back to my desk with tea…another 300 steps logged.

With the Fitbit, all the unintentional exercise counts. By the very nature of how it works, it’s very forgiving. For me and how my mind is wired, it works. It doesn’t judge my lazy days. It tells me, “Hey, you didn’t do exercise on purpose today, but you still logged 3,000 steps! Good for you!” Now, having said that I’d have to be asleep or completely immobile to log 0 steps a day, so it does reward very minimum effort. For me, though, I plan to not do less than 5,000 steps a day, so that’ll keep me moving.

So what’s the point of this? The point is that I’ve become much more active since getting this tracker. It validates the things I’m doing right and pushes me to do more. Because I had to be out the door early and was busy at work and didn’t take my lunch walk, by the time I came home last night, I had only logged 2,000 steps. I got my butt out for an hour of walking around my neighbourhood. The tracker tells me I walked 4 km. (Really? Who is this person?) I came back home, exhausted, invigorated and excited. Checked on my step count: 8500? Seriously? WTF! I didn’t even meet my goal. I wasn’t even mad. I did more than I would have that’s for sure. I tried walking on the spot, but after about a few hundred steps or so, my thighs were NOT amused, so I gave it up and passed out forthwith!

Anyway, long story short, I’m slowly changing my lifestyle to a more active one. One step goal at a time. For me to do this whole thing is a reflection of how I live my life. I really just am doing the best I can. I push myself when I want, but I also cut myself slack when I need it. I don’t want a perfect life, I just want to be happy and comfortable and healthy.

*******

Steps taken while I was typing this post? 0
Steps as a result of writing this post before work and now I have 10 minutes to get out the door: 1,000 😛

Have a great week, folks!

Vikera

PS. With all this walking, I’m going to have even more AMAZING thighs by the end of the year. EEEEK!

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It’s the courage that counts!

[Yes, you’re in the right place. I’ve changed the look of the place. This is the third time in 17 months that I’ve given the joint a new look and feel. I will try to restrain from tweaking it every day (but I can’t guarantee) and let the new look sink in.]

One of my besties had “It’s the courage that counts” tattooed on her body. It’s how she lives her life and the more I live, I realize how much that is true. It’s not always about where you’re going, it’s about what it takes to make the steps to get there.

A friend of mine (I’ll call her Walking Mama) began working out “to lose the weight and not feel so bleh every time I had to put on clothes” and what happened next changed everything. She had been doing her daily walks in the neighbourhood and was approached by a woman who had admired her perseverance and dedication to her exercise programme. They had a conversation, she shared her experiences and she never gave it a second thought and kept on walking. Some time later, Walking Mama was approached again – it was the same woman, who was now 45 pounds lighter. It seems her pep talk and demonstration of strength had inspired someone else to make a change.

Now, Walking Mama is amazed by these chain of events. I get it. When you choose to do something personal, you never think about who is watching and how your actions will manifest itself in someone else’s life. She went for her walks when she actually didn’t want to, when it was raining, when it was too hot, when she was tired, when she just couldn’t be bothered – that is strength. We live in a world where every little thing you do can be found on social media – all efforts big and small must be pointed out, given a spotlight, and acknowledged. What I find funny is that despite that all, no one REALLY knows how hard it is to put one foot in front the other and keep going, so it’s always a shock when someone understands.

This is why this piece touches me. Walking Mama had been posting pictures over the course of her transformation and she received a lot of encouragement. We watched, in pictures, as her body changed and her smile got bigger and bigger as she achieved her goal, yet, we were not there at 5 am cheering her on or watching her do what we wouldn’t do ourselves. We don’t know the real struggle. This woman did. This woman was up in the morning and saw the whole thing as it unfolded and saw the true demonstration of strength.

Funny, that’s the thing about courage and strength. It’s rarely private.

People have the potential to be strong and brave, but sometimes they just need to know that it can be done. We are always on the lookout for someone to show us it can be achieved. We are bombarded every day by images of six-pack abs and toned bodies, but it seems unrealistic to the average person. We don’t have personal trainers, we don’t have home gyms or unlimited time on our hands. What we do have is an hour to walk in the morning before the husband, children and the sun get up, what we have is online workouts we can do while the children play in the yard, what we have is a quick trip to the gym on our lunch break instead of frittering the time away surfing the internet.

It’s easier and more convenient to do something when you have all the tools available and someone pushing you to do it. It’s not easy when you have to be creative to work towards what you want. That is where the strength is. That is when the courage is needed: pushing through and past the exhaustion, the laziness, the hurdles. To see someone exhibit that kind of courage consistently IS inspirational and motivational. Hell yeah!

So we press on. We put one foot in front the other. Sure, we fall off the wagon, but then the next morning we get up and keep going towards our goal. One foot in front of the other. We start again despite our setbacks because it’s the courage that counts.

V