The lights went out and a bulb came on

Around 6pm on Thursday, April 26, I was catching up on emails in the office after a typical meeting-filled day. The lights in my office suddenly turned off. I looked up and they came back on, so I thought nothing more of it and went back to whatever had my attention on the screens. A while later, the lights turned off again, and it dawned on me: I had not been moving. The lights in my office thought I had left. And that was when the proverbial lightbulb came on over my head.

I spend most of my waking hours in a seated position: driving, meeting, working at my desk, eating, drinking, etc. I’ve never been an outdoorsy person, and having mostly desk jobs for the past 15+ years hasn’t helped my activity level. Come to think of it, my lifestyle has been largely (pun intended) sedentary since I gave up ballet in my early teens and took on the workload at a very competitive boarding school. But enough with the excuses.

The lights-out episode at the office really stuck with me. I remembered the article about those who sit the longest die the soonest. According to the study cited in the article, people who sat more than 11 hours a day had a 40% higher risk of dying in the next three years than people who sat less than four hours a day.

Holy crap! I’m probably going to die in the next three years and my “things to do before I die” list is at least 10 years long!

Saturday, April 28, I gave myself a few hours to really think about this, to feel bad about my current physical unfitness situation, and to figure out a realistic approach to change it. I’m not outdoorsy like my husband. I’ve had several failed attempts at becoming a gymrat, even though my current employer provides membership to a very nice gym. I enjoy food and libations, and depriving myself of these won’t be a sustainable solution. Being completely honest with myself, whatever I decide to do to get my ass moving has to be fun and provide fairly immediate feedback. I recalled seeing posts about Fitbit from Beth and Mitch, and about Nike+ FuelBand from Brad and Ashton. After comparing features and evaluating their compatibility with my existing routine and technology, I headed to REI on Saturday night to pick up a Fitbit Ultra.

Today, Sunday, April 29, I logged 8,265 steps in the morning, which is about 8,000 more than my daily average for the past 15 years. Apparently, I also climbed 16 floors, which I’m sure I had never done without crying for my mommy before. It’s a good starting point. If you’re also using Fitbit, please catch me there and we’ll keep each other moving.

When will I get another chance to use a picture of walking lightbulb robots, right?

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4 Comments

  1. Posted April 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! I’ll be fascinated to follow your perspective as you explore life in what is a real minority group — adult women who get significant exercise.

  2. Posted April 29, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    That would have freaked me out – the lights just going out! I can relate – just got a bike and am going to look in to the Fitbit Ultra…thanks for doing the research ;-p

    BTW – that photo ROCKS!

    Robyn

  3. Posted April 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to the club Veronica!

  4. Anthony Sheehan
    Posted April 30, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    I had a similar moment a few years ago. That’s when I decided to buy a bike, which I have now ridden every day since. Just a thought. :)

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