Having a kid who loves to walk, combined with nice weather most every day, and a whole lot of theme parks in the neighborhood, means we walk a lot. That's a good thing to counter the fact that I mostly sit on my ass for a living. I really like walking, I just didn't know it until I started raising a tiny walker.
So with all of that walking, I was starting to get curious about measuring it. I've seen a number of friends using a Fitbit, so I figured I would give it a try. The tiny device isn't the core win as much as the online app that goes with it. You can track all of your activity, food intake, weight, etc., in a way that's super convenient. It really serves two purposes, in that you can "game" your fitness and diet, and use the information as power toward your decision making.
That's really the key to where fitness works in my life. It has always been that way. Exercise for the sake of exercise is something I'm not even remotely interested in. Get me on a volleyball court, or on a bike in my high school days, and I'll tear it up. The cycling was something easily measured, too, because you always had miles to count. Even on the eating side, Weight Watchers points made sense to me because I put a number on everything. The key to diet and fitness for me has always been numbers, because it's data. Data is actionable. Emotional issues are not always actionable.
Which by the way, is why I hate the fitness "industry" as a whole. All of the touchy feely group hug nonsense to sell product annoys the piss out of me. Billions of dollars change hands because people who have product to sell want you to think you're fat, or will get fat, if you don't buy into their gym, product, supplement, or whatever. I hate that.
But make it about the numbers, and I can understand that. The equation of burning more or about what you take in is logical. It's the science of self-preservation. This finally dawned on me eight years ago, when I weighed about 30 pounds more, and I went from there. Unfortunately, I kind of fell off the wagon over time because it just wasn't that important to me. I didn't gain the weight back, but I certainly could stand to lose more. What has changed this time is that I care less about the weight and more about feeling generally fit. That, and I turned 40, and I have a wife and kid who need me.
So Fitbit helps me make it more of a game, with measured results. It wasn't that I was feeling particularly broken or bad about my physical self, as much as it was knowing I was way out of my rhythm. The food part has been getting better recently, but I definitely need to be more accountable in terms of activity. The Fitbit logging really marries the two. I'm excited to see if I can keep those numbers in the right spot.