So I’m on day one of using my pocket-sized fitness tracker and boy has it been illuminating. Although not in the way I originally thought.
Setting up FitBit on my computer was pretty painless, and considering I have such an aversion to reading directions, installing things, charging things, and syncing things, you'd think I am my 90-year-old grandmother, that's really saying something. But, the process wasn't completely smooth sailing because the website had the audacity to ask me how much I weigh. I wouldn't really mind the question if I ever had an answer for it, but since I proudly don't own a scale and really just wanted to get this thing going in between work tasks, this step in the installation process gave me pause.
I started to guess at my weight, based on that one doctor's appt…oh man…a year-and-a-half ago?? (I made a note to myself to make an appointment  and silently scolded myself for being over-do). That last doctor’s appointment was a dark day because it was when I discovered I had put on twenty pounds since the previous visit, just 1.5 years earlier. Twenty pounds! At the time I was commuting almost four hours a day to an office that got monthly Costco deliveries, so I was reminded of that lame excuse  I used to make.
But back to the weight thing. I figured I must have lost some of that weight since I now work within walking distance of my apt (and often actually walk in that case) and have been diligently doing Bikram Yoga  since November, though it has slipped from my goal of four times per week. Plus, I tend to recognize myself in Facebook photos now, so I knew I’d shed some pounds. Still, I certainly am not back to the dancer body I had in college. Glancing down, I notice my thighs look a little pancaked over my chair, so I remind myself to sit up straighter and do a few of those desk exercises I always read about . I really need to work out tonight, but I also have that major deadline this week and could really use more hours at the desk. And, oh, I need to catch up with an old friend this week too because I've already rescheduled once. I should really go visit my mom at some point too, which means another day that'll miss yoga. Maybe I can just call her on my way to the studio. But then of course I'll have to go before we can really connect, but not before she manages to irritate me by asking how I am. God, I am the worst. Maybe endorphins would make me less irritable.
As I stared at the start-up screen, trying to guess at my weight, while becoming suddenly hyper-aware of how my waist band was sort of digging into my hip, I realized how emotional this one question has made me. One minute I'm setting up a fun fitness tracker in between editing a story and answering emails and the next, I'm getting down on myself for not being a better employee, friend, daughter, and yoga-goer??? Man, something is seriously wrong here—and I didn't even think I had body issues!
So instead of continuing down the rabbit hole of self-criticism and subsequent guilt and shame, I decided to go a different route. FB is going to make me a more tenacious, diligent person—and it's going to take some of the guess work of fitness that for me, clearly leads me to a dark place. So I decided to leave my desk for the first time today and go next door to the gym I never frequent to use the scale there. See, FB is already getting me to the gym and I haven't even clipped it on to my body yet. This device is a miracle! I took the elevator (it's not life-changing yet) downstairs, all the while wishing I was getting credit for these steps.
I had to explain to the buff guy at reception that I had a membership but my account was on hold because I was trying my hand at Bikram and couldn't afford both memberships, so I just wanted to use the scale but not the rest of the equipment. I felt an intense need to explain myself and suck in my stomach. Luckily, I stopped short of divulging my life story, right down to the guilt I feel that I don't see my mother enough.
He looked at me puzzled and asked if I wanted to reactivate my account. "Nope! I just want to the cold, hard truth about my weight." This made him chuckle and he let me by—little did he know I was on the verge of a breakdown.
Stepping on the scale, I found, is the easy part. All the extrapolating and self-criticizing I had almost allowed to hijack my day is the part that's got to stop. And something tells me that having a little device that keeps me aware of my progress, rather than focused on my failures, is a step in the right direction.
So I headed back to my office feeling lighter and bouncier to find that my FitBit was already charged. How amazingly fast. I clipped it on to my bra and was for the first time all day looking forward to taking the late yoga class after crossing a few things off my to-do list and calling my mom just to say “hi.” It's day one of FitBit and I'm feeling healthier already.