Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

The Fitbit saga

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While we were in Green Bay visiting the big truck company the executive in charge of safety  kept parking a long way away from various destinations.  He said he was doing that to accumulate more steps.  We probably looked confused, so he fished out of his pocket this little black electronic thing that tracks his steps, the number of flights of stairs he climbs and other things that add to his activity levels.  He said he knew it was silly but he liked to see how active he could be.  I asked how many steps he usually took in any given day.  He said somewhere between 10,000 and 13,000 depending on his schedule.

Right.

He talked about discipline in several meetings that we attended.  He’s retired military so he knows a thing or two about discipline and it’s a hallmark of his management style.  He says it takes discipline to follow safety rules every time, every day, every mile driven.  It takes discipline to make sure you get enough sleep before you begin your driving shift.  It takes discipline to pull off and rest when you’ve reached the maximum hours of service allowed.  It even takes discipline to call in when you know you’re not fit, for whatever reason, to drive.

I liked that concept, and I admired him for recognizing and taking care of himself even if it just meant parking far away from the lunch reservations on a cold windy day when it would have been more comfortable to park next to the door.  I’ve parked out at the end of the parking lot at work for years for exactly the same reason.  Sometimes it’s the only exercise I get aside from walking the stairs up to my 4th floor desk.  But I had no idea how many steps I walked in any given day.

So I bought myself a little black electronic Fitbit.  The first day I tossed it in my pocket and didn’t think about it till I got home.  Lounging on the couch I pulled it out and realized that in an entire day I had only walked a little over 2800 steps.  Sure I climbed 8 flights of stairs.  But still.  I handed it over to my husband for inspection and that’s the last I thought about it that night.

In the morning I looked for it on the coffee table, on the dresser, up in the cubbyhole in the kitchen where I keep my work badge.  It was nowhere to be found.  I searched the pockets in my pants, checked under the couch, and finally gave up as time was ticking and I was going to be late for work.

Well darn.

That night I searched some more to no avail.  It was garbage day the next day and husband put the garbage out after I went to bed.  In the morning I hauled the garbage back from the curb and went through all the stinky bags just in case the Fitbit got caught up in newspapers or magazines or who knows what.  No luck.

So I figured it was really lost and I was bummed.  How wass it possible to lose something without even getting up from the couch?  I felt old.  I had no recollection of getting it back from my husband.  He had no recollection of what he did with it after he looked at it either.  I swear we need someone to follow us around and pick up stuff we leave laying around in random places.   Later in the week I got a Fitbit update in my email.  It said it hadn’t been used since the previous Monday and it had a sad face to make me feel even worse.

My husband must have felt bad too because he went out and bought me a new one!  Over the weekend he was entering the new data into their website, getting me all set up to get back to work when he noticed there was a way to see if the Fitbit was syncing with the laptop.  And as he watched it did.  The website said that if you lost the Fitbit (apparently I am not the only senile Fitbit owner out there) you could take your phone or your laptop around to places it might be and check to see if it synced.  And if it did it would be within 15 feet.   The laptop was sitting on the coffee table.  Right next to the couch.  We looked at each other and started to laugh.

Then we tore the couch apart.

In addition to the fork and the spoon and several really gross pieces of random crud there was a little black electronic thing between the cushions.  Resting I guess, getting ready to count steps and flights of stairs and calories used.  Back into my pocket it went.  Sunday Katie and I walked over 5000 steps.   (She says she knows she had that many because wherever I go she goes.  Naturally.)   Today, back at my desk it’s down a couple thousand.  Obviously I sit too much at work, but isn’t it good to have that gut feeling validated with real numbers?  And I did 11 flights of stairs today.

So far.  There’s a load of laundry in the basement just calling my name.

That’s my Fitbit saga.  I’m going to try not to put it in the laundry or lose it in a restaurant or the couch cushions again.  I’m going to try to install some discipline and get my feet moving.  Even when I’m at work.  I’ll be interested in finding where I can add steps in my daily life.  I bet it won’t be that hard.

But 10,000 to 13,000 steps a day?  Now that’s going to take some real discipline.

 

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

15 thoughts on “The Fitbit saga

  1. You know I’ll be hoping for some updates on the gizmo! Let me know if you’d recommend it!

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  2. Loved this story, Dawn! I can totally relate to losing something without even trying 😉 I used to lose entire stacks of class copies when I was teaching. I had a place for them, but always put them down somewhere more convenient. And then had to have the class help me find them 😉
    The new iPhone OS has a step tracker built in. You can cheat it if you’re not on the newest phone (I know this because I am not, and I checked 😉 ), and I’ve had a good time seeing how many steps I do. It’s compelling to have some numbers to put to my day, and does make me a touch more self-competitive. Do you think we get extra step counts for walking in the snow?

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  3. I had a pedometer called a FitBug that I got from my health plan and I wore it faithfully. I like that it tracked my steps and seeing how few I took encouraged me to take more. Well, we were on an extended vacation this past summer and I went to take it off my shorts (I wear it at the waistband) and it wasn’t there!!! I retraced my steps to the campground bathhouse, but never found it. I was so sad. When we got home both my husband and I ordered pedometers.

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    • Hi Marsha! It’s good to know the FitBit might become addictive! How many steps do you get in on an average day. Should I really expect to be able to do 10,000?

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  4. I always wanted one of those, just to see how many steps I take in a day. I know I’m over 10,000…gotta be, for sure, right?

    I was thinking about getting one for my dad for christmas, but he’s such an exercise overachiever, I fear he would walk the ENTIRE day 🙂

    Glad they added a ‘special feature’ to help you find yours!

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  5. I have to make an effort to do 10,000 if I’m just relying on daily activities. That’s when I go for a walk. Or today – shovel snow. It really makes you aware of how much activity you get (or don’t get). I leave it in my robe pocket so I have it the minute I get up, then transfer it to whatever I’m wearing for the day. Rarely do I forget.

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  6. that is why I dread winter – for me it means no walks or very limited ones. Thanks to my stupid Sjorgrens – going out in the cold even with hand and foot warmers is risky – heck I just about get frostbite going near the freezer at the supermarket.

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  7. Good for you, Dawn! I have to admit that without Sarah I’d probably only walk between house and truck these days. It’s that cold. And even Sarah doesn’t like her pretty little feet getting iced up, so our walks are mighty short. Hoping for a break in the weather — and dreaming of an indoor fitness center for dogs. Wouldn’t that be cool? I’d love a gym here in Northport with jumps and hurdles all set up for dogs. I’d be willing to run the course with Sarah every day.

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  8. I’ve Thought about getting one of those, but suspect it would just increase my guilt over not walking more. Wonder if it would prompt me to get up and move around? Hmmm.

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  9. Great story, Dawn! I’ve had pedometers, but they never seem to work — that, or I’m REALLY lazy. Perhaps I need to get a Fitbit and attach it to Dallas’s collar, just to see if he’s getting the right amount of exercise, you know!

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  10. I’ve been considering one. Maybe for Christmas. I think I walk a lot. And my pups keep me on my feet but I’m also sure my perception and reality don’t match.
    Maybe you need to put a tile on your Fitbit. I am tiling EVERYTHING. Lost it is the slogan for my life. Glad it turned up.

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  11. I’m so glad your story has a happy ending! I had a MOVband and I was doing so well, getting in all my moves for the day, and one day I was out mowing the lawn and the little thing that does all the counting must have popped out somewhere because when I finished mowing and went to remove the band prior to showering, I noticed the slot where the little device goes was empty. I earned a lot more moves trying to find it, but it’s either been mowed to pieces, driven into the ground and buried, or still floating around out there somewhere.

    I should replace it (it’s only $30 with no monthly fees), but I found an old pedometer and I’ve been wearing it this week, working my way up to 10,000 steps. We can do this. 🙂

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  12. I had to laugh when I read “fork and spoon and several really gross pieces of random crud”! LOL! I’m afraid to see what may be hiding in my couch.
    Great story. I hope your FitBit helps you start reaching some of your goals.
    Since Katie has twice as many feet as you, does that mean she walked twice as many steps? 😉

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