So the saying goes, writing is a solitary craft, and yes…most of the time it can be. What they don’t say so much, is most of your time will be sitting on your butt.
I guess with the recent amount of death circling writers and podcasters I have been thinking about health and getting the most out of life. Yet even before all those terrible events, the passing of another birthday does give one pause.
It is time to realize that I can be better—not just with writing, but with also taking care of myself. It’s not about about fitting into a smaller pair of jeans, but it is about taking care of myself, and just feeling better in my own skin.
So, for my birthday I asked my parents for a Fitbit. I’ve been noticing for awhile my friends and colleagues getting on board with tracking what they do and eat. Being that I have discovered a love of numbers and spreadsheets, I was prepared to give it a go.
Now, I should say honestly, I have tried various things before, but literally after a week or two, I have fallen back into bad habits. This time however, I had my husband Tee Morris, to work with me.
So after talking to friends, the recommended Fitbit device for best accuracy was the Fitbit One. It’s a little pricy at $99, but for that you get not only the device, but access to their website, and the app. Honestly, you would pay way more for a gym membership.
The Fitbit is tiny—like seriously half the length of my middle finger. It comes with a clip that you slip it into, and then pin under your clothes. Tee wears his in his trouser pocket, mine I clip to my bra strap. You wear it all day and it will track how many stairs you climb (the first goal is at least 10 flights) and how many steps/miles/calories you burn. (First goal is at least 10,000 steps a day) You can also slip the Fitbit into a strap to wear on your wrist at night, and it can track your sleep.
From there you can (and probably should) log food on the app or the website.
And then…well then you fall into numbers. I also learned a great deal about my self. Even though I was doing 30 minutes of exercise on the elliptical, I was suddenly made aware how little I was moving around the rest of the day.
Soon I found myself parking away from the door of the supermarket, taking a quick walk around the block to get my 10k steps, and carrying things up and down the stairs to hit those 10 flights.
Then I started upping my elliptical time from 30 to 50 minutes. At first it was hard, then it started to get easier.
Then I started adding friends on the website. Now I started to feel competitive. I can see this leader-board, and I don’t want to be at the bottom of it. It’s like the Fitbit has tapped into all my hot buttons, and I have to say coming up on five weeks I am still keen on it, still looking at the numbers, still motivated.
That’s a first for me.
The results? Well, I have lost 9lbs, and have gained a lot more energy. Those stairs are feeling a lot easier to climb. I also feel better in myself, and more energetic, which was what I wanted.
Most of all I feel aware of my own health, which was something I had let fall by the wayside.
Why is it working? It’s a combination of numbers, competitiveness, and awareness for me. Also looking at my friends, I can see it is working for them too.
So if you are a writer, or anyone else who spends a lot of their time seated, this could work for you too. Part of being a writer, is being around to get out all those ideas you have out into the world. To do that you need to take care of the body that carries your brain around.
It is time to take some notice of that too. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some steps to get…I’m only 9th on my leader-board!!