Sunday, July 19, 2015

One Step at a Time

I love my new toy!

Just opened up the package yesterday and there it Fitbit!

As many of you know, the Fitbit is a wireless activity tracker which can sync with one's smart phone and computer to keep track of all sorts of details including steps taken, calories burned, floors climbed and so on.

I had my eye on this for some time, but since I'm generally gadget-adverse, I viewed it as a  trendy gimmick vs. a valuable tool, and so I dismissed it.    

But then a few conversations reignited my interest:

During my check-up last week, I mentioned to my doctor that I'm often very tired, especially when I'm at work.  To combat that, I tend to nibble on things - some healthy, some not - all day long, as I sit in my chair for what could be 9 or 10 hours, other than a half hour for lunch.

My doctor said that the new American Diabetes Association study recommends that every 90 minutes everyone should stand up and GET YOUR BODY MOVING. 

I don't have diabetes, although I had gestational diabetes with one of my pregnancies, but  the point is well taken.  GET OFF MY BUTT!

It echoed another recent message from the American Heart Association, which stated the importance of 30 minutes of exercise per day.   

My doctor's suggestion was that every time I reach for that next bite of something when I'm at my desk, I should take a walk to the water cooler instead.  (I just realized that I forgot to do this.)  

I brought up the subject of the Fitbit to see her reaction, and her eyes lit up.  DO IT! she said, enthusiastically.  I like my doctor.  I began to reconsider.

A couple days later, I was talking to one of my brothers about it, and he said he has seen some of the judges he works with wear the Fitbit, and he's also noticed that they are very fit people.   I liked the way that sounded.   I want to look like a fit person.

I told all this to my girlfriend at work. She too had been contemplating getting one.  Together we became very excited!   Now I had a partner to share in this new endeavor.  I was good to go.   

The Fitbit goal for the average person is 10,000 steps per day.  Initially, I wondered if that would be doable without a concentrated period of exercise. 

Last night I wore the Fitbit for the very first time at 6 p.m.  From then until bedtime, around midnight, I logged about 3,000 steps. This included a walk with Shea Doggy, going out to dinner, doing laundry and other stuff at home and even sitting down for 2 hours to watch a movie.  David said he didn't think the steps I took to get Milk Duds should count, but I told him it's all fair game, right? 

The beauty of the Fitbit is that all the steps accumulate, and being able to keep track provides instant gratification.  I didn't think I cared about that, but apparently I do.

Today was my first full day with my new companion, and I had high hopes for myself, but as of 9:30 a.m., I'd only clocked slightly over 600 steps.  I was nervous that I wouldn't get to 10,000, especially since Shea's performance outside this morning was rather disappointing.

I know it was hot, but he refused to take a long walk. He didn't respond when I tried to explain that I'm counting on him to reach that magic Fitbit number. He may not care about my situation since he gets his exercise running all around the house when he sees a dog or truck, but that doesn't help me any.

Therefore, I headed to the gym.   When I arrived, I had about 2,000 steps logged in.  After an hour - 20 minutes on the bike, 20 on the treadmill, and another 20 doing weight training - I was only at about 2,200: just 200 more than where I started.

I forgot to set the Fitbit to record my exercising.  I was so bummed!  

A couple hours ago, I received an email from Fitbit stating that I've received my first Boat Shoe step badge - I hit 5,000 steps. 

Shortly thereafter, I got another email stating that I just received my first Happy Hill badge, having climbed 10 floors.

Wow! I impressed myself!  

Minutes later, guess what?!?!??!

I checked my Fitbit, and I made it to 10,000!

Within minutes, I received my first Sneakers badge, congratulating me for accomplishing this milestone. 

Now I guess I won't have to make a late night trip to the freezer for some ice cream!   

Sunday, July 5, 2015


Sunday mornings rock at my house - for David and me, anyway.

That's because we give in to our whim, which means we load up on carbs from a local breakfast/bakery/bagel joint, and we savor each and every bite. 

We usually get a mix of everything, sesame and poppy bagels, at times upping the ante with whitefish and/or lox and cream cheese spread.  We know this isn't a very healthy habit, and periodically with soft pressure from our loved ones we consider substituting various alternatives, but so far we haven't been able to make a lasting change.   
Perhaps this routine may be extra hard to break because it is about more than the bagel.  It is also about the man - and his entourage - behind the bagel.  

If it weren't for the proprietor of the store, Tony, and his buddies, our Sunday mornings wouldn't be nearly as entertaining, which of course makes our bagels more luscious.  All of these components have created the experience we are hooked on.

Tony, who my handsome but bald husband tells me wears a toupee which changes over time based on pictures in the store, is accompanied most of the time by 2 other guys:  "Shrek" and Peter or, as David and I refer to them in their entirety, The Three Stooges.

Tony is an enigma to us and, as such, David and I view him differently.  David thinks he's a good guy overall who at times can be rather crass, all in the name of being friendly; I, on the other hand, question whether he can be a nice guy when he can also be so offensive.   

Tony's friend Shrek - coined by Tony for his wandering eye - is forever the target of Tony's insulting remarks, often focusing on Shrek's unfortunate eye condition. 

Peter is all about damage control when Tony oversteps.  

The three of them are a well-oiled machine.

It's almost like Shrek is the official sidekick, paid to give Tony subject matter so that he can ridicule to his heart's content, all in the name of entertaining his customers. 

One day I asked Shrek why he puts up with Tony.    
He looked more disturbed by my comment than he ever did by Tony's name calling, and then he told me that he doesn't take Tony seriously.  "He's just talking," he said.  "It's no big deal." 

Maybe men are better apt to handle such bluntness and disregard than women are.  David isn't bothered that Tony calls him "Baldy," which David gets a kick out of since it's Tony who covers up his baldness under his rug, whereas David sports his naked head proudly.

Tony is a fair guy in that he doesn't discriminate; the harshness of his comments are equally distributed among sexes, ethnic groups and those with physical issues of one kind or another. 

When he called the young African American man who entered the store the other day "Hey Jamaican," I first cringed and then I looked for this guy's reaction.  I wouldn't have been surprised had he turned around and walked out of the store; instead, he sat right down and asked for a breakfast sandwich.

To be fair, Tony's not always insulting; sometimes he's just naughty and off color, but frankly I find these comments highly amusing.  I think I'd actually miss them if he had laryngitis.   

I'm not at all offended when he calls out to me "Hey, Sexy!" when I walk in to the store. 

In fact, I get a kick out of it - I even wait to hear it and would probably be disappointed if I didn't.  When a man addresses a 55+ year-old as  "Sexy,"  he's more apt to make her Top 5 List than to be shunned by her.  This may be shameful, but I'm fairly certain it's true.

Sometimes Tony gets a bit carried away, like when I reached the counter after a 10-minute wait and asked him if I could have one of the chocolate chip cookies he had offered to the little kids when they were waiting. 

"I'll give you something girl, but it's not going to be a chocolate chip cookie!"

It was a cheap thrill, I admit...but as Shrek said, Tony's just talking, and it wasn't nearly as objectionable as it was comical, since I chose to take it that way, thanks to Shrek's lead.

I'm sure some women would be appalled that I'd joke about his comment rather than hit him over the head or file a complaint against him, but no harm was done.  We each got a laugh out of it, which is pretty good on a Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m.

Maybe he should have control over his flirt-o-meter, but he doesn't, whether it's with me or any woman who strikes his fancy.  I actually feel embarrassed for him when he falls all over himself trying to be suave. 

"I see you brought your daddy in with you today," David heard Tony say to a pretty woman who came in with her husband.

The woman chuckled, as did her husband, and David and I were entertained by Tony's Archie Bunker/Howard Stern-style personality for the rest of the morning.

I thought about asking Tony to join us at home for breakfast one day...but not when one of our daughters is home.