When I told you about my New Year’s Resolution, I also said I’d tell you how I planned to achieve it. I have three steps in my success plan.
#1: The FitBit
My goal is to hit 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. So, naturally, I needed a way to track how many steps I’m doing. For this task, I chose a handy dandy gadget called a FitBit (I bought the “Ultra” now replaced by the “The One”). I had been eyeing this fancy version of pedometer for a while now and Tatiana, who is a reader here and fellow blogger over at Renaissance Daze, really inspired me to finally make the leap and get one.
It cost $99. And here’s why I love it: it’s easy, easy, easy to use! You clip it on your waistband or bra at the beginning of the day and that’s it. You don’t need to do anything else. It will wirelessly download your progress and send you updates by email now and then. (However, if you love charts and tracking and all that jazz, like Dani does, then this gadget will make you doubly happy.)
The sad reality is that my desk job, commute, and home life result in only about 3,000 steps a day. Having an easy way to track my progress throughout the day with the FitBit is remarkably motivating.
#2: The Treadmill in front of the Television
The next step in my success strategy was to get a treadmill. I know that I will not go walking in the freezing cold winter weather, nor will I walk alone at night. So the treadmill eliminates all excuses. I can’t blame the weather, nor can I blame a friend for backing out.
The next excuse in my long list of excuses for not exercising is that it I find it very boring. I know that many people love exercise and thrive on getting it daily. But not me. I find the whole thing totally boring and would much rather read a book. And since, like most parents of young children, I am lucky to get an hour to myself a day, spending that precious hour on something I find painfully dull is really not an appealing notion.
For this New Year’s Resolution to have any hope for success, I knew I needed to find a way to make it enjoyable. I figured that if I could watch television while walking, it would be far less dull and the time would go by quicker. So for Christmas, any time Hubby asked me what I wanted as a gift, I would chant “A Treadmill in front of a Television!”
He found one for me second-hand on a popular local classifieds site, stored it in the garage, and then set it up downstairs in our basement in front of an old television as soon as he recovered from the plague that hit us at Christmas.
#3: Don Draper on the Television
Now, I mentioned that this was an old television. There is no cable and no way to stream wifi. That leaves DVDs. As soon as the treadmill was in place, I knew I’d need a stack of good material to keep me coming back night after night.
At a New Year’s Eve brunch at our friends’ house, I spied a whole stack of television shows on DVD. I poked through them and came home with a few seasons of Taxi (remember that show?) and Twin Peaks. Twin Peaks, although wonderfully bizarre, became problematic because the kids could pop down into the room at any time and who knows what might be on the screen at any given moment. Taxi, on the other hand, was perfectly PG. I did enjoy the 70s jeans and the memories, but I quickly grew tired of it.
Then one day, I came across Season Two of Mad Men as I was checking out of HomeSense. (No, I hadn’t seen Mad Men before now. Season One would have been ideal.) Bingo! The plot continued from one episode to another, so that would help motivate me to keep coming back. Although everyone smokes, drinks, and has sex like crazy, I still consider it relatively PG in case any small, prying eyes come downstairs while I’m on the treadmill. Finally, it’s a one-hour television show as opposed to Taxi, which is half an hour.
So I’ve hired Mr. Draper as my personal trainer. I like his tall, dark and handsome. Yes, yes, I do. One episode with Don = 5,500 steps. This, my friend, is the definition of win-win.