Friday, 14 November 2014

I Need a Fitbit Support Group

While vacationing in Newfoundland this summer I experienced a sensation like never before. It wasn't the thrill of viewing the majestic icebergs for the first time nor was it the glee of getting up close and personal with the puffins. 

No. My true excitement was saved for that wondrous first time my Fitbit vibrated with enthusiasm to inform me of hitting 10,000 steps. There was something almost magical in the knowledge that five miles was not only an attainable goal for this otherwise chronically underachieving fitness wannabe, but a surpassable one. We had been together for only a couple of weeks at that point, my Fitbit and me. I had decided to purchase it at the end of June after first guinea pigging one for The Husband as a birthday gift a few weeks earlier. Watching him slowly descend into the psychosis of the Fitbit-obsessed was more than enough incentive to join him in this crazed madness. I simply couldn't let him outdo me when it came to the most basic of human motion....walking. So I bought one for myself just before our early July sojourn out to the east coast. 

It was comical to witness the competition that commenced between me and my spouse. He would continually lament and constantly complain that given my shorter strides, it meant that I was covering far more steps in the same distance than was he. (This is the only time in my entire life when being under five feet tall was viewed as having an athletic advantage.) While my wristlet was blinking the ominous five lights indicating that I was oh so close to the daily goal, he was still stuck back on the wannabe four. Our travelling companions even joined in with the rivalry. Twin Son's Better Half decided that she was absolutely on board with my totals, even though she has about six inches on me. Far better to achieve my 17,000 steps in a day than The Husband's 15,000. That was the trip where Fitbit and I became fast friends and truly one with each other.

In short, Fitbit is my latest obsession. It is the perfect device for the Type A who has trouble sticking with a realistic fitness program. It pushes me to the treadmill or for a walk or run outside. Those 10,000 steps hang over me like the Sword of Damocles. I must walk, I must walk. It sends me helpful little reminders when I am slacking or slightly short of my daily objectives. It understands and calculates the differences in my movements. It tracks my horrendous sleep patterns. If I find that I am slightly deficient in my totals, I walk up and down the stairs in order to achieve maximum "stepage." I get positively giddy seeing that walking through the candy aisle at Walmart gave me 1,000 steps. There exists a tremendous sense of balance in that knowledge. How could anything that encourages constant motion be bad?

My parents were totally intrigued by the rubber bands adorning our arms. By August, they had both purchased Fitbits and were well on their way to joining in with our mania. My dad has taken to walking the halls in his building, while mom tramps around the apartment as she chats on the phone. She has taken to calling me with updates on her totals. Yah. Like I can't beat a seventy-something when it comes to walking. (I have yet to surpass that crazed bitch.) All of this follows their daily workouts that they have duly increased in order to boost their totals. My dad lost 10 pounds in his first month with the gizmo without changing a single thing in his diet. They are travelling at the moment, but haven't neglected to call on a regular basis to notify me as to their progress. It seems that a cruise ship is the perfect place to foster good Fitbit habits.

This week, the unthinkable happened. My Fitbit died. It simply stopped working. Only six months old. It is true that the good die young. Is it possible that I did this? Did I overwork it? Could it simply not keep up with my new fully active lifestyle? The people at Fitbit were gracious and apologetic. After determining that the battery was indeed faulty, they have shipped me a new one gratis. But until it arrives, I need to discover a different motivation for my daily activity. I feel naked and lethargic. I can't seem to get myself off  the couch to do anything with the same verve or spunk. Until Fitbit returns, my workout world is lifeless and colourless. It is truly sad to discover how important the positive reinforcement of a little black rubber band is to me. I miss the lights. I miss the vibrations. I miss the camaraderie. I miss the competition with The Husband. Fitbit has turned my every step into an over-achievement. 

Come home soon.

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