Literally. I just went out and bought an awesome pedometer so I can keep track of the steps I take. My pilates teacher told me at the beginning of the term that I needed to stay active, even if that’s just moving around the house. Because of my health problems, I tend to move a lot less than I should and that’s the trap of fibromyalgia: if you don’t move at all, you get worse. If you move too much, you get worse. If you move just the right amount, it’s beneficial but you have to work through the pain and fatigue to get there. I tend to fall into the first category. It’s been a fight of my body and spirit to get out of the trap.
Since I was an 2 sport athlete (well, I was never super athletic but give me some credit, it takes a long time to grow into a body this tall!) and then a dancer, it has been so hard for me to lose my health. To not be able to jump into a volleyball game or run around or hike with my honey. Even though I wasn’t the best, sports has always been a part of who I am. It comes with being a 6′ 1″ female; I mean, I still have total strangers stop me in parking lots to ask if I play basketball. This stereotype was something I just accepted and eventually it grew to be part of me.
The hard part is to still look athletic yet inside I know I can’t jog for more than 10 seconds or take the stairs without putting my full body weight onto the railing. To cope, I sit around and watch a bunch of tv. I know, not proactive, not beneficial to my physical health, not beneficial to my psychological health. And that’s why I went and bought a pedometer. You see, my grandma walks every day, no matter the time of year, and it’s kept her healthy for years. And I’m talking about real walking. Not strolling at a leisurely pace but walking with the purpose of heart and body health. She just told me the other day that if it was too cold outside, she would walk fast laps around the rooms in the house to get her heart rate up. Me on the other hand, I don’t like walking (that sounded far less lazy in my head).
Allll of this comes back to why I bought a pedometer, I promise! Though I don’t like going on walks (unless it’s with my honey, I like those walks), I do have enough competitive spirit in me to reach a goal if I set one. In my mind, the thought of going out to walk is painful, but the thought of “Ok, I have 300 more steps to take to reach my goal today, let’s show those steps who’s boss!” is achievable. So I did a bunch of research and finally settled on the one I wanted. I started by looking in the $25 dollar range but realized with the price drop came a size increase. I don’t have the desire to broadcast to everyone who walks by me that I’m tracking my steps with this big bulky device hanging out of my pocket. That might not be important to everyone but I decided that I wan’t something that would be a little more private.
I’ve also decided that money is no longer allowed to be the determining factor of my health. I don’t have a lot but I’ve decided to use it to better my health, even if that means not eating out as often or seeing fewer movies or passing up on junk I think I need but really don’t… at all.
I ended up buying the Fitbit One from REI. It’s a couple dollars cheaper on Amazon but you really can’t beat REI’s return policy. It’s small, sleek and comes in a beautiful burgundy (and black, but black isn’t as cool.) Color might be a funny thing to bring up but I’ve realized if I like something more, I’ll use it more. Simple as that. And I sure liked that burgundy! I payed more than my original plan but it’s an investment: it’s something I want to use as encouragement for years to come. It tracks steps, stairs, calories, and online (and on your phone) you can track food and water intake and all sorts of fun stuff. It claims to measure your sleep effectiveness but I’m not sold so I’ll let you know what I think about it.
I vote to do, use, buy anything that will help you be successful. It can be so difficult to stick with a new lifestyle so if buying a pedometer helps, buy it. If bragging on facebook helps, brag away. If starting a blog helps, start writing! Just do it right now. Don’t put it off any longer! If there is one thing I’ve realized in the last few months, it’s that your health isn’t worth sacrificing. In the end it’s all you have; it has the power to decide if you’re going to be active, lively, spontaneous, or anything else you desire to be.
Bad health sneaks up on you but once it gets out of control, it can turn your life in the very oposite direction you want it to go.
For the next few days, I’ll be measuring my steps and once I get an inkling on my average number, I plan to add 1000 at a time till I reach the goal of 10,000. It might take awhile but it doesn’t matter. I won’t be running a 5k in 5 weeks but I’ll be moving a whole lot more than I was before. My life is literally going to change one step at a time.