Count me in. I am now a part of the latest craze…yes, I am a member of the “band.” You know what I’m talking about. On my wrist, I am proudly sporting a pink vinyl band with blinking green lights, alerting everyone that I have joined the fitness movement. (It’s either that or I have been kidnapped by a funky group of Martians from outer-space who handcuff their prisoners in pink, green, tangerine, and baby-blue bracelets.)
I, however, at least that I am aware of, have not been captured. Instead, by my own choice, I am wearing this bracelet for one reason, and one reason only, to become a bit fit. I needed it. I wanted it. I got it. Yes, I practically begged my husband to buy me a fitness tracker for my mid-50’s birthday present. (And that’s as close as you’re getting to learning my real age. I don’t want the Martians to put me out to pasture just yet.)
So why, you may ask, did I so desperately need one of these newfangled gadgets? Did I want to be cool and fit in with my other banded girlfriends? Was I optimistic that that my health and fitness level would improve just by wearing one?
Yes, yes and sorta kinda. You see, I did want to be a little more “with it” by donning my new accessory. I mean, gosh, everyone in my circle is wearing one. And by having a fitness band, I could compete online with many of my peers and family members who also owned one and had befriended me via the tracking site. It made it all worthwhile to be able to beat Dottie (finally!) in the daily number of steps or challenge “fit-oholic” Gerry in mileage tracking. I relished the opportunity to taunt and tease Tricia who constantly set her status as inactive (i.e. lazy). There was a whole new online fitness world out there, and I was quite ready to conquer it.
My participation with the “band” developed at a rapid rate. More miles, more steps, more movement. In fact, I was even earning online badges—whatever that means. It seemed like my Girl Scout days never ended. I was soon awarded the mile-high badge, giving a whole new meaning to the mile-high club (culminating with a different ending, thank goodness). I was secretly overjoyed with my badges and vowed to do whatever it took to earn more and more. My tracker became my new best friend.
Day in and day out, the “band” counted my steps, my miles, and my sleep cycles, too. This little gizmo kept track of my heart rate and, believe it or not, was designed to log my calories. Thankfully my fitness band couldn’t calculate my weight change unless I plugged in some sort of scientific algorithm to adjust the calories from my morning kale-mango protein shake (a good girl) and those from the McDonald’s double-cheeseburger I inhaled at lunch (a bad girl) with my twenty minutes of exercise walking to the local Dunkin’ Donuts (a very bad girl). Sound like I was stepping in the wrong direction? Yes, and it got much worse.
As a matter of fact, it seemed that my tracker couldn’t count on me anymore. My fitness program started to slip and slide. It was all over the place. Not only was I eating more and more – I was constantly hungry – I tried to compensate by exercising harder and longer with increased steps and miles. It was a vicious and hunger-driven cycle. And that’s when it happened.
I fell off the wagon. You see, although my new toy encouraged me, it also pushed me over the edge. No, I’m not talking about mentally, at my age I don’t need any help with that, but instead in a physical sense. I tried to rein in my calories while still kicking butt against my online friends, and I took it too far. I crashed.
And boy I paid the price. My limbs ached. My core was crying in all its nooks and crannies. Visits to the orthopedic doc were weekly, and my masseuse knew my credit card number by heart. My muscles hated me, absolutely hated me. In fact, I was so sore that I could barely get out of bed some mornings. I guess I wouldn’t be beating Dottie after all.
So, call me a quitter. Call me a wimp. Call me a fitness tracker dropout. Trust me, being in the “band” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I think I’d rather be a groupie.
I’m a recent empty-nester, mother of three twenty-something sons, a dog owner, wife, daughter, sister, neighbor, and friend. I enjoy reading, writing and walking. My new mantra is living in the moment. Life is so precious.