The Next Delusion

Seeing Reality and Looking the Other Way

My New Obsession

I’ve been trying to get myself back into some sort of minimally acceptable shape for a year now. If I’m being perfectly honest, it’s probably more like years. I can pinpoint one glorious moment in my post-childbirthing adulthood when my weight and fitness were where I would like them to be. Sadly, that moment occurred about 9 years ago.

In 2012, Momus and I got into halfway decent shape before slipping off the exercise and healthy food treadmill once again. Of course, even then his shape was a lot more decent than mine, being a man and a runner both. This fall, after months of complaining that I need to turn this ship around, I did some research and asked for a Fitbit for Christmas. Momus kindly obliged.

My new obsession

How many steps do you figure that is?

If you’re not familiar, the Fitbit is an amazing(ly evil) little device which tracks your movements. Clip it to your pocket and it will tell you how many steps you’ve taken today, how many stairs you’ve climbed and how many calories you’ve burned. Wear it in a little bracelet at night, and it will tell you exactly how much you have tossed and turned and how little sleep you got as a result. You can also log your food intake and exercise to further torture yourself with your own inadequacy.

Now I stand before you – because my new stalker/device frowns upon sitting – as a woman obsessed. Obsessed with my steps. Obsessed with my water intake. Obsessed with the number of stairs I have climbed. Obsessed with my sleep (or inability to sleep). Obsessed with every morsel I put in my mouth. Do you see a disturbing and potentially diagnosable pattern here?

An additional feature/torture tactic of the Fitbit enables you to link up with a friend and set challenges for each other. Of course, if you’re stupid enough to link up with your 11 year old son who has a perpetual motion machine where his heart belongs, I can’t help you. Because once you have linked up, your friend can see your progress (or lack thereof) and send you cheers, or, as I have learned the hard way, taunts.

Let’s just say I am currently receiving more taunts than encouragements from my son. My little Usain colt typically takes 3 times more steps than I do. And is capable of running up and down a staircase 30 times in a row just for the fun of it. Bastard.

So now I am obsessed. I will beat little Usain if it kills me. I am walking in circles around the kitchen just to see the steps add up. I am finding ridiculous reasons to climb the stairs just because they are stairs, and therefore apparently inherently good in the Fitbit universe. I have actually experimented to see whether shaking my leg while I sit at the computer will add steps to my daily log (it doesn’t, dammit). I may have to go Tonya Harding on Usain just to keep him down for a couple of days so I can finally freaking win just one day!

As you can see, I am completely losing my mind. The upside is that this new obsession may possibly have the side-benefit of helping me get back in shape.

On the other hand, the risk of filicide also has to be a considered. If that kid doesn’t stop sending me taunts, I can’t be held accountable for my actions. Or maybe there’ll be an unfortunate laundry incident with my son’s Fitbit: “Usain, you need to pay more attention to what you leave in your pockets!”

In either case, I have a feeling Usain’s going to be playing a lot of Trivial Pursuit: The 1980’s Version in the near future to help me recover the shreds of my tattered self-esteem

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