T.I.L.T #130 – Fitbit My Butt Or Bust!

It’s official: my ass is huge. I know this for a fact because the ratio of pants I have that fit versus ones that don’t has taken a turn for the butt-ugly. I literally have an extra wardrobe of clothes for some guy who used to be able to wear them but who seems to have mysteriously vanished.

There’s no question about how this happened. You see, I’m kind of an expert on the fat-ass-dom because I spent many years as the fat kid. I was thin and fit until I was nine years old. I was active, running around the neighborhood with my friends, and my natural metabolism worked pretty well. Then we moved to a new town and I lost my social network and became more of an introvert, spending a lot of time alone on my butt whiling away the time with artistic pursuits. Around the same time I developed a sweet tooth for anything sugary and chugged as much Coke as I could get my hands on. The result: I ballooned into FAT-KID in no time.

I kept expanding like this exponentially until I was a blimp at the age of nineteen. Then a small miracle happened: I lost my job and my car died. I was soon broke and could only afford minimal food and had to use my bike to get around and look for a new job. Before I knew it, voila! In no time I was thinner than I’d been since I was nine years old. Not exactly a healthy or happy way to fitness but at least the only pants that didn’t fit were the ones that were too big!

Truth is getting fit isn’t rocket science. I recently read a great book called EAT MOVE SLEEP which is all about balancing these three basic things: how much activity you do versus how many calories you pump into your system versus getting enough recovery time to keep your system firing on all levels.

During my adulthood I’ve had my ups and downs on the bathroom scale, generally fit to various degrees, but the last couple of years the ratio of calorie-burning activities versus calorie-consuming ones has taken a turn towards fat-land again. And I certainly have had not enough sleep. In short, too many hours sitting at a desk all day nibbling whatever sweet treats colleagues kindly offer me, too many hours zombified on the couch watching movies at night while sipping ‘relaxing’ non-diet beverages, and too many hours tossing and turning as all the excess sugar raged through my system in search of my infinite butt storage facility.

But enough is enough. My butt is so big that if I lie down on my stomach you can park your bike in between my fabulously fat butt cheeks!

Thankfully in this modern day and age I’ve found some technology to help me: FITBIT! In case you have no idea what this is, it’s a small gadget I carry around in my pocket that counts my steps all day. This syncs to my iPhone and connects to an online community of users also counting their steps, thus creating a giant virtual footrace of everyone trying to outstep their fellow Fitbitters. You might think all this is silly, but it’s surprisingly motivating.

The worst thing is when I forget to put my Fitbit in my pocket, or even worse, misplace it for a few days. Suddenly I’m sad not to be able to keep up my step count and feel less inclined to make the effort to squeeze in extra steps whenever I can during the day. It’s like the steps I take somehow don’t count since I can’t quantify them and share them. Dumb, I know, but that’s the digital world we live in these days. It’s kind of like posting pictures of what you cooked for dinner on Facebook: it somehow tastes better thinking of other people might be wishing they could have some.

Despite Fitbit stepping for a while now I haven’t felt like I’ve been making enough progress towards my dream of wearing my large collection of unwearable pants. So I decided to up my game and go running again. I used to jog regularly years ago before I accidentally stepped in front of a moving car and luckily escaped death but still ended up with one unfit foot. (Hint for world travelers: when in London, make sure to look the ‘right’ way before crossing a street!)

To make running even more exciting, I’ve also taken it digital with a great mobile app called ‘Couch to 5K’. This is a training program designed to move you step by step from being a couch potato to being a running machine ready to run a 5K race. It combines a series of walking and jogging segments scientifically designed to increase your stamina bit by bit, since most people overdo it when they try to get into running and end up injuring themselves or overwhelming themselves to the point that they give up and end up right back on the couch with their favorite potato chips. Best part of the app is the ‘trainer voice’ that yells at me like a Marine drill sergeant, “MOVE IT!”

Will it all work? Only time will tell. So far so good. I’m stepping, running, sleeping better. I’ve entered a 5K race so have a deadline in mid-April to focus on. Now I just to need to cutback bite by bite on the calorie conveyor belt and hopefully soon the ratio of too-many-too-small pants will swing to just the right number of pants that fit just right.

Fitbit my butt or bust!

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