Barbara: Consistency, how’s it going on your wellness front(s)?  Some of you have friended me on FitBit and I think maybe a couple of others might have asked but I didn’t know who you were.  If so, send me an email to that same address and I’ll friend you.

I’m feeling happy about this little tool.  I’ve been slowly adding more steps to the weekly total, though not always every day is up there. I’m still clocking in around 9K per day, average, which is great, but I’d like to crack ten most days.  All that means is that I’m showing up for that dog walk every day, day in and day out.  I do the whole walk every day, too, instead of sometimes taking the short cut.  It adds up.  The other day I went to Zumba and got a hella lot of steps for the class (over 6K!).  FitBit is helping increase my consistency.

It also means I’m not beating myself for not being all things to all people and following Every Single Rule Exactly Right.  Because, you know, I walked this morning. I’m doing something good for myself.

And, too, I keep hearing Mary Oliver in my head, “You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”  I think of Our Town and the poignant line, “Do humans ever really realize life while they live it?”  When I was a teenager and read those words for the first time, I wanted to cry.  I wanted to commit to being present, really living, every day.

Of course, we can’t. None of us can.  There’s my son on the phone, telling me about his new office, and he is thirty and my granddaughter is almost two and the two of them sort of blend together in time, swirling around each other in all the moments I tried to catch as they flew by.  As they fly now, right this minute, with Christopher Robin talking to Neko, the cat he found in the forest and brought home.  As I write this blog about living fully and living mindfully.

That’s the trick, right? I am overweight and my knees hurt, so I want to be thinner. I want to eat right to keep my aging body as strong as possible for whatever surprises and joys and books life has to offer.  I want my brain sharp to write the books that rush in crying “me next, no me!”

But I also want to live joyfully and with pleasure. I do so love my wine.  I love going out to dinner and lazing over several courses, including dessert. I love French toast and pancakes and apple fritters and mashed potatoes with gravy and now I have to eat seitan chicken fried steaks, but I love those, too.

Also, it must be said, I love writing. I am easily able to sit at this computer for ten hours every day, writing and writing and writing.  It’s healthy for my brain and my soul and my pocketbook, not so healthy for the body.  Right now, I’m preparing for the debut of a new name and new book on November 12 (go friend me on Facebook or look at the website or even pre-order the book), so there is a TON more work.

Which brings me back to the fact that I must put my body in motion every day, for my heart and my knees and my creaky back and my brain and even my creativity.  The FitBit helps me do that, be mindful of it, in a kind and loving way. It reminds me that consistency gets results.  I’ve always known that about writing: if I show up, day after day after day, books get written. If I meet Tabor the trainer every single Monday, I see the muscles in my chest. I feel the power in my core. I stand straighter. I can haul cat litter into the house and bags of soil into the garden.  I’m not fragile if I strength train, week in and week out.  If I come in here and talk with you guys every other Wednesday, I’m motivated to stick with it, this easy program of love and self-improvement.

I hope you are, too.

How’s it going with your baby-steps and big steps? What’s tripping you? What’s getting you out the door more often? 

29 thoughts on “Barbara: Consistency

  1. Susanne says:

    Well, last week, I would have looked you in the eyes and said my job is SO active that I easily make 10,000 steps. But then I gave myself a critical look — why the thickening stomach, the face that’s fuller than it should be…

    So, I bought the FitBit and oh my!!! I LOVE it. My steps were way below what they should be — mind you, I had a cold and was babying myself, but still.

    Yesterday I really pushed myself and parked far away from where I needed to be. I was closer to 8,000 steps. Go me!

    When I got home, I had a nice email from FitBit congratulating me. Normally I hate the thought of electronic tracking, but this was nice. And you get a weekly summary of your steps.

    Barbara, I can’t thank you enough for mentioning this.

  2. The pain is diminishing and I’m riding the exercise bike almost regularly. I stopped diet orange soda. One day last week it just stopped tasting right, so I thought “Right. Time to stop diet orange soda.” And I did.

    It’s all slow progress, the books too. But it is progress so I’m going to congratulate myself instead of beating myself up about “not enough.”

    After the year I’ve had I could use a little kindness – especially from myself.

  3. Lately the attention has been on the house and the books. Though I know my body needs serious renovations, I had to do the house first so my mind can focus on other things. The good news is, the house is almost there. The tile is in, the carpet comes today, the fence and new back door next week. THEN I can breathe and relax and put the focus elsewhere.

    I’m working to make a major change by the first of the year that will alter my days quite a bit. If it works, it’ll also free me up for more regular exercising. I have a membership to the rec I’ve yet to use. That WILL change!

    Love the new name, and the book sounds really good. Gorgeous cover. I’ve yet to read an NA. I can see that will change soon.

  4. It’s great to read about your struggles to maintain consistency, even though you are doing sooo much better than I am.

    Basically I am sedentary. Set-in-stone sedentary. A result of the past 3 years. And now that all the wonderful weather from spring and summer have passed, I strongly know that I need exercise. The weather will be hard on my fibro. I’m over 50 and want to be strong, healthy, and mobile until the end of my days (which, if nothing untoward happens, could be 90 or more, based on family history). I’d really like to be 30-35 lbs lighter.

    But the sheer inertia at this point! Argh! I think I’m going to need a crane to get me up and moving.

    My goal for the next several days is to start back on the floor exercises I was doing last year around this time and until I moved. If I go for walks, that would be great, but even some simple floor exercises would begin building up my strength and stamina. So that’s my goal.

    I’m nowhere near ready for FitBit!

  5. JenniferNennifer says:

    I miss our like button, because so often I enjoy the posts and comments (I always read ALL the comments)and just want to say “I hear ya!”

    So all you commentors today both before me and after me – consider yourself liked!

    What got me out the door this week was the need to put up my big Halloween decorations – it took me close to 4 hours! And in case I don’t manage to get on tomorrow – Happy magic Halloween to all.

  6. Kelly S. says:

    I had a blood clot in my leg 2 months ago. I got test results back this week that tell me I have 2 conditions that increase my likelihood of getting blood clots. I’m on meds to help but I think they are having other affects, possibly mood but also on memory. I’m not liking it.

    The other thing hampering me is the weather. Winter is here along with grey skies and lots of darkness and it is just starting. I’m SAD and it is too soon to get this way as I have months of winter ahead of me.

    I did exercise vigorously on Monday. I’m still sore. I did break 11,000 steps that day! I hope to do it more regularly. I was doing good up until the blood clot, but then I was forced to take it easy and now, I don’t want to do it anymore.

  7. I’ve been consistent with exercise for a couple of years and have cut back on various foods/drinks in my diet. And, while I maintain a healthy enough weight, there are still 20 lbs I’d like to shed. I need to up my cardio, but the poor old knees shriek every time I do.

    Yesterday someone offered me a used treadmill and I was so tempted but after rearranging furniture (looking for enough space to put the darn thing) I had to say no. With Curves, a key to the small gym room at the development that has several treadmills, plus the pool nearest to my house being heated this winter (they alternate) there should be no excuses. Now if I could just cut out snacking… .

  8. Kindness never goes amiss. A great kindness in giving up the soda! (clapping!) And that you did it at exactly the right moment when your body said, “Hey, thanks for letting me have that, but I think I’m done now.”

  9. Snacking is one of my problems, too. I just graze a lot, and it adds up.

    Sounds like you made a good decision on the treadmill. Curves is great if you have knee stuff and need to go easier on yourself.

  10. Debby says:

    I have been trying to be consistent with my exercise and diet changes. I downloaded the Weight Watchers app on my phone, and I am kind of anal at meals about entering all the food that goes into my mouth. And I’ve been working the exercise bike almost every day. One of my Facebook friends put up a post about the “Abs-So-Tightly Right” 24-day Challenge. I’m going to try that too – no, not try – I’m going to do it!!

  11. Carol says:

    I’m pretty much back to a “light” version of my pre-surgery exercise program – I’m doing as many days, but I’m not up to walking as far, so I’m working my way up.

    I love love love my weekly summary – I averaged 7,375 steps/day last week, and I aim to do better this week. I’m doing the food logging portion as well, which is really helping – I lost 4 pounds last week. But that’s a first-week-water-weight kind of thing, so I know not to get too excited. If I can average a pound a week, maybe a little more, I will be happy, and so will my body.

    Love my Fitbit!

  12. am back in the saddle for the exercise and have been doing really well on the food choices.

    My newest addition every where I go is timers. I figure that I can pretty much do anything for 20 minutes. At work, I put the timer on and then get up and stretch every 20 minutes.

  13. Cindy says:

    I’m doing great with exercise. I’m really enjoying YouTube exercise videos. I change up my routine every week, and this keeps me from getting bored. I don’t remember ever being this motivated to work out.

    I’m also doing “fusion” workouts. Pilates/yoga/ballet combinations that incorporate cardio are so much easier on my body. I don’t feel like I’m beating myself up. And I feel that soreness from the toning, and that reminds me that I worked out. I feel great.

    The eating is always my weakness. I’m doing so much better. I drink green smoothies a few times a week, by choice! I look forward to them. I eat oatmeal and healthy cereals. I’m snacking on fruit. But my sweet tooth calls me at night. And on the weekends I just look forward to dining out, and I don’t mean something sensible. I really enjoy food. I enjoy the soup before my main dish, and the glass of wine, and the dessert…And if I’m watching a movie late at night, I might grab another glass of wine, and I’d love some cheese and crackers with that too. Ugh! So…the food is the part that is hard for me to give up.

  14. C.G, Morrison says:

    What’s tripping me up? Angina.

    I am supposed to have a stress echo, but I won’t until I have insurance, in case it leads to surgery. So, I’m on meds that are supposed to be equal to having a stent put in, but apparently the dosage wasn’t high enough at first, and I was having episodes. So, when I saw Dr. last week, I was all, “I’m aiming for 10K steps so I can get back to going on the treadmill…” and she was like, “Noooo! Don’t exercise, don’t do anything to stress your heart until we know for sure what’s going on!” I feel like an invalid, having to take the elevator at one job, and slow down on the other one. I’d like to be able to stay there through the holidays, because good things come to those who work Christmas, not to mention my 20% discount. But I’m starting to feel like it won’t happen. I’m scared, and darned if I’ll die at 57. (While I am fat, and working on my weight, this is a genetic condition mostly unrelated to my weight. Early heart disease runs in my mother’s family regardless of weight.)

    I want to be able to move without worrying about dying though. Can’t wait for January and health insurance.

  15. Agreed about exercise and writing–showing up consistently is key.

    For years, I’ve been doing pilates and the elliptical every other day. Love it & always miss it when I have to skip a few “dates”–like this past week when I’ve been on deadlines for my new book. Like you, I’ve got one coming out later this month & there’s much to do.

    But I feel super lucky to have both the exercise and the writing in my life. No matter what else is going on, those keep me centred. As do my family & pets–always excellent reminders that while I may spend my hours writing fun stories, my real life is a pretty fun story, too:)

  16. So I bought the FitBit (love it) and hooked it to my bra, which is where the problem started because I forgot I take off my bra every chance I get, so according to FitBit, I walked 5000 steps last week, but those are actually bra steps. Also, I lost the bra the FitBit was on and many times wore a bra that wasn’t hooked to the internet so . . .

    Moral: do not hook Fit Bit to bra unless you’re a bra person.

  17. Susanne says:

    You’re clearly a free spirit, Jenny. I put my bra on that’s it.

    C.G., big hug for what you’re going through.

  18. Susanne told me about Fitbit in a comment over on my blog. I found a deal via Amazon and it arrived yesterday. I had a busy day at work with lots of desk time, so I only managed 7800 steps. Going for the full 10K tomorrow. I love this little gizmo.

    Overall, my health and fitness efforts are in great shape. Although I seem to be stuck at the 170-pounds- lost mark, I continue to lose inches because of the bike riding, walking, Tai Chi and Zumba. Must keep on keeping on so that I can lose the remaining weight but I’m fitter than I’ve ever been.

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