High-Tech Fitness?

Filed under: Healthy Parents


My husband is on a health-kick, and he wants to drag me along whether I like it or not. He’s lost some weight – has a ways to go before he’s Matt Damon, but still – he’s looking and feeling much better, and he wants me to, well – to partner with him. The problem is, I have given up on myself. But that’s another post.

For the last few weeks he’s plugged into some kind of high-tech step counter that tells him – I kid you not – how many steps he takes a day. Apparently, he’s doing well if he takes over 10,000 steps. He’s got a thingamajig in his pocket that he wears around that automatically counts them for him. He’s also got a fancy Withings smart body analyzer - you step on it daily and it automatically uploads your BMI and weight into the Withings app so your iPhone can now irritate you in a whole new way, and tell you how well or how poorly you are doing. It even measures your sleep patterns.

Change is a-foot in our family.

For example, the other morning he took out the trash. He never takes out the trash.

I cornered him on his way back up the driveway: “What’s up with you?” I said. “Why are you suddenly taking out the trash?”

He held up his step tracker thingy. “Extra steps!” he said, joyfully.

The nerve of him.

Yesterday he galloped up the steps to the second floor. “What are you? A springbok?” I said, irritated.

He smiled (abusively) and said: “Two weeks. You do what I do for two weeks, and you’ll be running up the steps too. Like a gazelle!”

Hmph. Big changes a-hoof.

So yesterday he comes back from the gym (yes, he’s going to the gym now) loaded down with all this stuff he bought at Best Buy. A Withings super-duper scale just for me, and a Jawbone-Up fuel band. Also for me. He started asking me questions, like “What’s your weight – best guess?” and “What’s your height? Your real height?” (I’m 5-foot-six-and-a-quarter, but I tell people I’m 5-foot-six-and-a-half.)

He puts the Jawbone-Up bracelet on my wrist and enters my information – my most secret details – into the computer. Then he says, “You’ve got to go with the times, Ado!” (abusively). “High-tech’s the way to go! Ha ha!”

(Now that he’s getting fit, it seems like all of his sentences end with exclamation points! But this might just be me!)

The Jawbone-Up

The Jawbone-Up

So now I’m attached to a modern-day doohickey, a handcuff that will measure my indolence. It will even measure my sleep (I sleep great by the way – I don’t know anyone who sleeps better than me – seconds after my head hits the pillow I’m out for at least 8 hours! But in today’s busy world a person doesn’t get credit for being a deep sleeper! And we don’t take siestas here in North America so – phwah!). He says to me, in a chirpy, active person’s voice, “You can do POWER NAPS! You can even program it to wake you up after you’ve had enough high-quality REM so you don’t oversleep!”

“Why would anybody do that?” I said. We don’t even own an alarm clock. “Why would a person ever want to wake themselves up from a NAP?”

He just grinned at me, and I couldn’t help but noticed he’s sporting an irritatingly healthy glow.

“You can even program it to ‘buzz’ if you haven’t moved for certain 40-minute-intervals,” he suggested.

I’m afraid. I’m not into dieting because of what happened to my mom, and I’d rather be the size of a whale than get all obsessive about how many steps I take or don’t take per day and what I’m eating and everything. That said, I need to be a positive and healthful role model for my children, not a sloth who hopes they don’t notice that she’s kinda given up on herself.

I am afraid of the Jawbone-Up band not only because wearing it out in public implies that I am an active person (I used to be, but I’m clearly I’m not – my doctor even said to me, “You’ve given up on yourself, Ado,” – I still haven’t summoned the courage to go back to see him) and because it will count the steps I don’t take. I can’t imagine taking anywhere near 10,000 steps/day! I’m worried. And on the off-chance I get into it? Will I become obsessive-compulsive like my husband (who never was before!), who just this morning told me, “If you walk around the island to open the fridge you get 12 extra steps!” and: “Why don’t you use the bathroom on the top floor? It’ll add steps!” Etc. Note: I have a lot of friends with OCD and I just do not think this would be a good gizmo for my OCD-peeps to have. Seems like it would just drive an OCD person right over the edge into full-on obsession.

I dread thinking of the world in steps. There is already so much to worry about. But I am going to do it.

“Just try it,” he said. “Just this once – try what I suggest.”

Okay, I’ll try it. But I sure haven’t gotten any steps slothing around on the sectional writing this post! Someday, I want a band that measures brain-steps. Thoughts you think. I’d get a million brain-steps/day, never mind that this is probably because I have ADHD…

So today is my first day hooked up to the doohickeys, and if I am brave I will report back to you how many steps I took on my first day. It will probably appall you, but it’s a place to start! I may even start speaking in exclamation points! (-:


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6 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. I’m so glad to read two, new posts from you! I always love reading your essays. Your conclusions are a Master Class writing. I really enjoyed yesterday’s line about the Snapple – clever and, most likely, true. But back to this post…you’re writing a novel – how’s that going? – and that requires amazing amounts of intellectual energy. So, yes, you need a gadget to measure creativity and brainpower. Until then, happy stepping!
    Twitter: novels2boardbks



  2. We will looking forward to the results.

    Shopping WAS my cardio. I can’t wait until the kid is in school, so I can go back to my fitness routine the way it should be done, w/o shortcuts.

    I can’t for the life of me think of counting steps, as you said, I would prefer to be a whale.
    Twitter: Mama_AndTheCity



  3. Oh. My. Gosh. I am like you, not a fan of working out, definitely not into fitness and would be equally terrified of that new thingy.
    BUT…I did just sign up for a gym and have my orientation today. Eek!
    Good luck to both of us! You are going to do great!!!
    Twitter: juliahembree



  4. Ado! I got a fitbit (very much like a jawbone up) a couple of months ago. I have to agree with your husband, it’s very motivating to be able to see the steps, floors, calories burned, etc. info and try to beat your numbers every day. Of course, I WANTED to try to get into shape, so I bought it for myself. I think I would have hated my husband if he bought it for me…I want him to be into me no matter WHAT I look like! Anyway, I like mine. I hope yours doesn’t make you crazy…good luck!



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