Friday, August 5, 2016

A Bit Fitter

By: Diane Dean-Epps

I’m in a new relationship. And I’m married. And my husband doesn’t mind. In fact, he is very encouraging.

Now, before you think less than highly of me I want to let you know that, yes, my husband does frown upon me dating and, no, this isn’t some sort of relationship reboot where I declare my multi-decade union reborn anew.

My latest relationship is with my activity tracker known as the FitBit. Thus, no marital vows, nor state laws have been violated.   

My latest acquisition offers me the best POSSIBLE kind of relationship as there is no shaving, talking, or “I don’t know. What do you want to do(ing)? Just sharing, but the good kind of sharing involving stats and goals. There is also a tacit agreement to move it for lost it (translation: sweat) continuously.

I have so many loves in life and the FitBit combines a surprising number of them, the proverbial “top 10” of which are:

1.    I love technology.
2.    I love working out.
3.    I love accountability (a boon to any uber responsible person).
4.    I love self-inflicted competitive strategies.
5.    I love information.
6.    I love free, life-changing apps. (Think “Shazam” and how many thousands of hours it saves when you are trying to remember the name of “that” song.)
7.    I love earning non-valuable prizes and accolades like electronic badges and emailed “atta girls.”
8.    I love setting goals.
9.    I love self-improvement (as long as it’s my own idea.)
10. I love watches.

FitBit. Even its name is so who I am; a little bit fit, but not so much that I look like I’m all tendon and I need to eat a sandwich. 

I want to at least appear to be sensible enough to eat some real food. Like maybe horking down a bi-weekly sandwich, augmenting that nightly sensible salad consisting of one lettuce leaf, an anemic tomato, and a few abjectly lonely slices of cucumber all drizzled with the fragrant, if not fulfilling lemon juice. Yum! Pass the “I’ve lost my zest for life” shaker, please.

The windfall that was my FitBit ownership came about because my daughter didn’t like hers. She said she was never able to figure out how to correctly set her watch.

Initially I had one seemingly insurmountable problem: I could not, for the life of me, remember the name of which Fitbit model I had, mainly because I hadn’t purchased it. This throws a bit of a monkey wrench into the whole shebang during set-up. I must have texted my daughter a half dozen times with the ‘ole, “Now, honey, which one do I have?”

After overcoming that hurdle which activity, more’s the pity, I could not log in as an activity, I had that sucker calibrated, on my wrist, and set to “stun” in about 20 minutes.
Subsequent to my new status as a member of the “FitBit-Wearing Club” I got a bit curious about the name itself, so I launched right into the anaerobic activity that is research.

I found out the fine folks who manufacture this device came up with FitBit as shorthand for the “wireless-enabled wearable technology device that measures data such as the number of steps walked, heart rate, quality of sleep, steps climbed, and other personal metrics.”

Good call.

From morning ‘til night I’ve got that wearable technology on “go time” letting me know when I’m in a fat burning zone (decidedly different than my usual daily self-flagellation activity of noting when I’m in a fat eating zone), how many steps I’ve taken, the number of miles I’ve logged in, and how that heart rate is holding up. As an honorary member of the “ME” Generation I love these updates that are, well, all about me.

All was well…well, until it wasn’t.  

It is only when you are attempting decidedly un-FitBit activities that you may get into a bit of trouble. Such as self-tanning.

Do NOT apply self-tanner sporting your expensive wrist-dwelling device. I'm guessing everybody does this, particularly if you’re into fitness? It gets all into those insert-holey slits on the watch, and it mucks up the works.

I’m quite vigorous in my application of this product being a Coppertone-boomer who is only too familiar with the social ostracization that occurs when you are striped and orange. Though I’ve banished my Bain de Soleil days, the pain lingers, if not the tan.
There I was burning time better devoted to valuable step-logging time trying to find items to quickly clean the crevices of the apparatus. I was running around, scrubbing, cleaning, and recalibrating to the point where I was really starting to feel the burn.

Hold on.

Running, scrubbing, cleaning, and recalibrating. Sounds like valid tracking activities to me. Let me go log those in while I’m thinking of it. Maybe logging is also an activity with the typing?

Signed, A Bit Fitter and a Shade Wiser.