My Electronic Jailer

No, it’s not locked onto my ankle (I thought that was a nice look on Lindsay Lohan but it tends to work better with Christian Louboutin’s, which are a tad out of my budget.).

Rather than lock onto my leg, my electronic jailer is firmly attached to my bra, where I conscientiously clip it first thing in the morning. It’s a chirpy jailer, greeting me everyday with an upbeat “Rock On!” And, “You Can Do It!” That’s the last nice thing I hear from it, though, because the rest of the day it is coldly counting how many steps I take, how many hills I climb, and how many calories I burn. My electronic jailer, aka my Fitbit, has the steely resolve I lack, and makes me feel incredibly guilty if I’m slacking off.

See what I mean? Man oh man…

Hey, just kidding. My Fitbit doesn’t really lecture. It does something worse, setting my own conscience on fire. Until I got my Fitbit, I thought my dog had the lock on making me feel horrible if I wasn’t jumping up first thing in the morning to walk her. Ha! The Boo, who is damn good at the pathetic stare, mind you, doesn’t compare to knowing that my steps are heartlessly being counted.

Consider this. There was a day not too long ago when I actually had to (gasp) work. All day long. I was tethered to my laptop, sweating a deadline. I wrote, I rewrote, I scratched my head, I played the occasional game of Bejeweled Blitz, I went to the garage for several diet sodas, I tossed my first draft and started again, I went to the kitchen to make a quick lunch, but that was about it. At the end of the day, would you like to know how many miles I had walked?

.34 miles.

Apparently mental gymnastics are not tracked by my jailer.

Did you know that doctors recommend you walk 10,000 steps a day? That pitiful third of a mile clocked in at about 680 steps. I know this because my Fitbit had me dead to rights.

I got my Fitbit at the end of October last year, because I’m compulsive enough that I knew an electronic jailer would actually get me moving. And it did. Here are some stats that I’ve racked up in the past six months:

  • 1,808,797 steps
  • 802 miles
  • 4,982 stories climbed (I live in the hills where it’s impossible to walk without putting in a fair amount of vertical effort)
  • Sneakers worn out: two pairs
  • Pounds dropped: 7
  • Jean sizes dropped: 1

I am NOT an athlete. Never have been. Never will be. So I am awed by what I’ve accomplished. The fact that Fitbit synchs with your computer and tracks your stats – plus you can compete with friends to see who walked the most each week – I find really motivating. Because I’m type A, neurotic and compulsive.  And although I complain about my Fitbit, it works. (Although it doesn’t get to go with me on vacation unless it’s a hiking vacation – everyone deserves a break now and then.)

You won’t find pricy Christian Louboutin’s on my feet. You will find well-worn Adidas, though. Can’t get 10,000 steps a day in when you’re wobbling around in six-inch heels, you know.


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