The Fitbit Addiction…

Got it and LOVE it!

Got it and LOVE it!

I know, y’all…It’s been a while. I’ve been busy… (one word; wine, and how many blogs can one girl do on wine making, right?)

Today’s post is about addiction.

Specifically, my addiction. To my Fitbit.

Hi. My name is Julie and I am a step-a-holic. I have relied on a Fitbit in one form or another to give me a fairly realistic idea about my activity level, calorie burn, etc, since September 2013. These handy little tools are not a new concept to me.

The Culture of Wellness Committee where I work recently got a lot of folks on the Fitbit bandwagon by offering the “Flex” model for a reduced price and a two-time payroll deduction, thus making it affordable for pretty much everyone. They also set up a group for employees on the Fitbit web site. (Unbeknownst to me, this would become my undoing.) Of course, being a Fitbit veteran, I added myself to the hospital group.

Now, I generally strive for ten-thousand steps per day, because it’s what I do. Granted, I might not usually don’t make that over a weekend, because slugs generally don’t move a lot on Saturday and Sunday, but I wasn’t doing too badly. Then two of my friends each purchased a Flex back in September and invited me to a Work Week Hustle competition. (For those of you unfamiliar with this, it is when a group of people compete for the highest number of steps during the work week.)

Looking back, I think this is where it all started. One day Simone got 15,000 steps, and so did Jennifer. *sigh* Did you know I am REALLY competitive? Neither did I. I figured if the girls could do it, so could I. Now by “girls” I mean women in their early to mid-thirties. I, on the other hand, am applying for my AARP membership. I had something to prove. (I hate when that happens.) But I did it. AND I got a new step badge. (For every increase of 5K, you get a new badge- 5K is a Boat Shoe, 10K is Sneakers, 15K was the Urban Boot.)

About two weeks ago, I saw a sign hanging by the elevators. There was this contest… (isn’t that the way a lot of stories start?) Seems that the Culture of Wellness was going to award prizes to the employees who had increased their percentage of steps the most from September to October. To be eligible, one must belong to the hospital group, and must have averaged at least 2,000 steps per day in September (which, I guess, is to keep people that didn’t step at ALL from getting crazy percentage increases)…Anyway, 1st place wins a massage package, 2nd place gets a $50 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods and 3rd place is a $25 shoe gift card. Now, while I do love Dick’s (get your minds out of the gutter, people…I hear you tittering out there) and I DO kind of need a new pair of runners, all I could really see was MASSAGE PACKAGE.

It was all over but the shouting, as they say.

I started ensuring that I exceeded my 10K step goal daily, then I realized I could INCREASE my step goal, so I did; to 15K per day. I’d been doing the occasional Work Week Hustle with some folks I’d met through Lisa (this is her blog) and upping my steps a little at a time. I nailed a High Tops badge for 20k. I was really starting to get into this, and shared that bit of information with my buddy Ron at work. Now Ron is no joke; the man does marathons, and comes in hight on the leader board on the regular. (Yes, there is a leader board, and yes, as soon as I discovered the contest, I also started checking out the group page and stalking the leader board like a fiend. These people take STEPS; I’m not kidding! They are amazing and how were they getting numbers like that?????)

These Danskos were made for walking...

These Danskos were made for walking…

Apparently he TOLD some friends, because someone invited me to a Work Week Hustle with the Big Dogs of the group Leader Board. Around the same time I realized that I really wanted a massage package (because I am too cheap to get one for myself, because what if I hate it?), I checked my position on said leader board. I was ranked 24th or 25th out of 208 participants. Hmmm, I thought, not too shabby. But these people I was competing with were in the top five, easy. So I’d gotten an invitation from Christy to play hardcore with the Big Dogs last week. We’d not met at that point, but she said she’d heard I was fairly competitive. (At this point, not even I knew just how competitive I was!)

I’d started to up my steps daily, throwing in a minimum of ten flights of stairs on workdays. It really has become an addiction. When I would see the numbers they were putting up weekly steadily climbing, I started upping my numbers, too. A lot.

It got to the point where I looked at Johnny and asked him, “All this exercise CAN’T be good for me, can it?” He laughed. I groaned. The stair climbing had given me a serious case of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), and my hammies were talking to me. I didn’t give up, tho. The week before that I earned my “Classics” badge for 25K in a day.

A week ago last Friday night, I decided I would walk around the yard and then the treadmill, and then around the house until I simply couldn’t walk anymore, you know, just to see what I could do to kind of push myself. At this point I was somewhere in the middle-teens on the leader board. I nailed 30K and some change. I got another badge; a trail shoe.

Last week, I somehow managed to keep up with the Big Dogs, earned my Hiking Boot (35K), Cleats (40K) and Snow Boots (45K) badges, and ended up taking home the win for that challenge (I totaled out M-F with 159,951 steps). My steps increased by 155% from September (because I really want that massage package, in case I hadn’t mentioned it). I even managed to snag the win in the Weekend Warrior challenge with 48,455. I also ended the month 6th on the leader board…Not too bad, right?

Do you see? It’s addicting…so much so that I frequently check the leaderboard. As of right now? I’m in first place, and Christy (who I met last week) and I have been ping-ponging for first place in this week’s challenge. 🙂 It’s ridiculously fun, and apparently good for me.

Last Thursday night, I shared the Snow Boots badge on Facebook, and the morning after my all-time step record, a friend of mine posted this article by David Sedaris as a reply to my post. It’s lengthy, but a really good read, and I can relate to what he says.

Honestly? I don’t see myself spending 9 hours a day walking like Mr. Sedaris, but I do have my sights set on running a 5K this month to get back in the game after not having run in two years. And, hey, it’s good for me, right? RIGHT? 😀

Do any of you count steps? Use a Fitbit? Have another healthy addiction? Tell me about it!

Until next time…

I’m Baaa-aaack!!!!

I missed running in these SO much!

I missed running in these SO much!

A week ago I was crying into my herbal tea because I didn’t think I was ever going to be getting back into the gym or running again, or even walking any great distances, but here I am…

Two nights post-ortho green light I have DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) so bad I can barely move, logged over 11K steps from work yesterday, and actually got my ass back on the treadmill and managed to JOG…Yes, I jogged…for a whole 7 minutes, but it was seven minutes longer than I’ve jogged over the past 2 months!

Once I got the okay to be on the foot, I decided that it was time to shadow some of my new team, so yesterday afternoon I was all over the hospital, learning how to move patients, set the brakes on wheel chairs, plug in Stryker beds, get up with nurses for hand-off communications, and I even got to push a bed WITH a patient in it. Good thing there was another Transporter leading the way, because who knows how many times I would have smacked that door frame getting that bed back into the room. The girls ran me ragged, but it was good to be up and about.

I got home and knew it was time to suck it up and go into the weight room. It’s so pretty now, all girly with the black chair rail, the new shelves, and the speakers for my favorite Spotify lifting play lists.

My chalk-board decals with current PR's...

My chalk-board decals with current PR’s…

I pretty much knew my lower body numbers were going to be embarrassingly horrible. I figured I’d struggle to squat 5×5 with just the 45 pound bar, but I actually did a set at 45 and a set at 50, and thought, “hell, I can probably eek out 55…” and I did. That is NOT to say that my thighs didn’t feel like Jell-O, or that I didn’t get a muscle cramp on the inside of my thigh. Those things totally happened. For the first time ever, I benched more than I squatted. When I looked at my log from before the fall, I was squatting 105, dead-lifting 165, and benching a respectable 80 pounds. Yesterday, I was so not that impressive, but I can’t whine, because it’d been about ten weeks since I did any kind of lower body lifting, and I’d done one upper body lift since the fall, so at 5×5, I nailed squats @ 55#, bench @ 60#, and deads @ 85#. Yeah, not impressive, but it was still more than I’d picked up in all those weeks, soooo….

I know, too, that I must’ve done SOMETHING right, because I had planned on shadowing at work today for a little while, but was so stiff, I wasn’t even going to try, so I stopped in and talked with my team for a little while, asking questions and brainstorming for a bit before I came home and flaked out on the couch.

I let the dogs out and walked around the pool a few times and felt like the stretch made my thighs, hammies and glutes feel a whole lot better, so I put my running shoes on and hit the treadmill for about a half an hour. I set the incline to about 4%, and the speed to 3.5 mph, and then thought, what the hell? I have to try some time, so I bumped the speed up to 4.5 mpg and jogged for a bit. It hurt a little toward the end, so the feet gave out before I got winded, but I figure that was still more than I did yesterday, soooo…

Kind of amazing how things can turn around in 7 days time…and my take-away from this whole stupid “falling over a dog and breaking a body part” situation is that patience is a virtue and while it doesn’t happen over night, that I WILL heal at some point.

So, mentally? I feel 100% better, because exercise had been my stress reliever, and I really missed endorphins. Tomorrow? Try to get 5 more pounds on the bar for more squats, do another compound 5×5 session, and maybe even get my Zumba on, because my wonderful sister got me a new Zumba workout disc for Christmas and I haven’t been able to use it yet, soooo…

Besides…Rob…If I’m ever going to rock that Princess Leia costume we talked about, I need to get after it. 😉

Until Next Time…


Ow, Ow, Ow!!!!

I was going to mow the front lawn today. The weather was gorgeous, the grass is getting green, but my hay fever is also in high gear, so I thought I would just have dinner and then walk the dog afterward, instead.

So I put my headphones on, leashed up Belle, and we took off. I had some of Peri’s play list on, and the first song, “Feels So Good” by Steven Tyler had me bouncing down the street. I thought, “Ok, this isn’t so bad…”

We did one lap around the cul de sac. I thought my heart was going to pound right out of my chest. Hmmm…am I that out of shape?  Surely not.

So we kept walking. I could feel my thighs. (And not because they were rubbing together, thank you very much.) They were starting to burn!  Hmmm…am I that out of shape? Surely not.

And we kept walking. We were going at a pretty good clip, especially when Belle saw her feline nemesis, Elvis, in the grass down at the end.

Both of my knees started to talk to me, but I ignored them.  Even when the left one started singing along with Amy Lee of Evanescence.

We made it 20 minutes. TWENTY!  I’m not sure whether I should be proud of myself, or ashamed. I remember nights when I could walk 45 minutes to an hour and not break a sweat. On the other hand, I have put on some weight, I haven’t moved a lot, given the double knee injuries in December.

I got home, and told Johnny, “Man, I’m out of shape.”

Him: You need to get up and move.

Me: DUH!  What did I just do for 20 minutes?

Him: You could always go back to the Y.

Me: Like I am going to get up at 4:00 to be there when the doors open.

Him: So go after work.

Me: Easy for YOU to say.

I hobbled in to my studio a few minutes ago to get an oil free eye makeup remover for Cindy, and thought I would never make it up the two little steps. My legs feel like cooked noodles.

So I sat down at the computer instead and thought about Suzie Ivy, the Bad Luck Detective, because she overcame some extra weight AND a messed up hip and went on to be Small Town, Arizona’s first ever woman cop. 🙂

That in mind, I’m coming home from the day job tomorrow, changing clothes and going out to mow that front lawn, even if it kills me (and it probably will).

So, Suzie, if you are out there reading this tonight?  Thank  you!  You have inspired more than just my desire to write.

Has anyone else overcome some physical bother and worked through it in order to be a better (and maybe even lighter) you?  Hope to hear from you!

Till next time!