The Fitbit Challenge


Writing can be a sedentary life. If I’m to believe those articles always popping up on my newsfeed, sitting for long hours can be as damning to one’s health as smoking.

I have a treadmill desk, but I discovered I’m not one of those people who can walk while crafting a story. I can surf and walk, which is okay for 30-60 minutes of daily cardio exercise, but it doesn’t address the other 23+ hours a day.

I also have a jogging trampoline, which I bounce around on periodically throughout the day. That is of course, when I remember to take a break. I need something to remind me throughout the day to get up and move.

This all brings me to the Fitbit.

I’d been toying with the idea of getting an Apple Watch. At one time, I declared they were the most ridiculous gadgets. That was of course, until I started coveting one. I first started considering an Apple Watch when trying to deal with caring for my mother, and worrying about missing calls from her when I was out, and failed to hear my phone ring in my purse.

Since I’m not immune to gadgets and the lure of apps, I started saving my Apple rewards gift cards from my credit card, to put toward an Apple Watch.  But then mom needed a new iPad, so I donated my Apple gift cards to her purchase.  It wasn’t long until I accumulated a few more gift cards—but then my wireless router went out…I had to be practical.

In the meantime, my daughter had just received her new Fitbit, and urged me to get one, so we could do daily challenges. While the Apple Watch also has a fitness app, I rather liked the idea of having someone to nudge me along each day.

After pouring over the Fitbit and Apple websites, I went with the Fitbit. Fact was, if I got the Apple Watch, I would probably spend more time fiddling with the non-fitness apps, while destroying my eyes and forgetting to walk.

Today is day three with my Fitbit. Elizabeth and I have been doing the 10,000 steps challenge each day. I didn’t quite make it the first day—blame it on doctor appointments with my mom and the fact it was almost noon before my new Fitbit arrived in the mail that day.

Yesterday was a hoot—Elizabeth and I were neck in neck all day, and the little stinker reached 10,000 steps about 10 minutes before I got there.

But today is another day….

Resetting Priorities

photoProductive writing for me meant starting early in the morning—getting up and going to work. It also meant a lot of sitting, something my mother constantly warned me about. “They” say extended sitting can be as damning to your health as smoking.

I tried to get up every hour and walk around. But when I was deep into a story, several hours might go by before I remembered a break was in order.

One of my writer friends, Russell Blake solved the sitting problem by using a treadmill desk. I wasn’t sure where I would put such a desk, so I started with a jogging trampoline, which proved to be fine for grabbing a few minutes of aerobic movement, but not terrific for walking and writing.

In October our daughter gave me a treadmill and Don built a desktop to convert it into a treadmill desk. Around this time our life seemed to spiral out of control—again. We had spent the summer and early fall dealing with Don’s medical issues, and now that he was on the mend, we hoped to get back to our lives. But then my mother-in-law passed away the end of October, and by early November I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I’ve done a lot of soul searching to figure out why I’m facing cancer—again. Considering the type of cancer I have—estrogen fed—I suspect my sedentary writer’s lifestyle was a major contributing factor. While I’ve always eaten fairly healthily and don’t do junk food, I was overweight and under exercised.

This is one of those cliché wakeup calls where the person (me) makes lifestyle changes. The diet changes—eliminating dairy, severely limiting beef, going organic—didn’t interfere with my writing—just my pocketbook.

One might think the treadmill desk would be the easy answer, yet it turns out that unlike Russell, I can’t write creatively while walking the treadmill. It’s too distracting, and I don’t do distraction when I write, which is why when I’m working I need to be alone, with no music. How people can write a book while watching television, I have no idea.

This didn’t mean I abandoned the treadmill—after all I do want to live. It meant instead of walking at a slower pace for several hours while writing at the treadmill desk, I would walk at a faster speed for 60 minutes a day—every day.

I’m doing it, but I’ve found the only way I manage to stick to my regiment is to walk in the morning. This interferes with my former writing schedule.

I am learning to adapt to this new routine. I admit, it hasn’t been easy—and I’m not moving as fast on Haunting Danielle, Book 3 as I want, but I’ll get there. I’ll have to, because I’ve been reminded how important it is for all of us to take time each day to take care of ourselves. This means eating healthy food and getting sufficient exercise.

(Photo: My treadmill desk in the office. When using it I can surf on the computer, just  no real writing.)

Treadmill battles rosemary bread!

Sugar Rush Unlocked HeartsOn the treadmill as I’m writing this. Trying to ward off any potential damage from my recent rosemary bread binge. Our dear friends, Carolyn and Dave, visited from California, so last night we went out to one of our favorite Havasu restaurants—Angelinas. I like the restaurant so much it is mentioned in my contemporary romance, Sugar Rush, written under my pen name, Anna J. McIntyre.

Food was awesome as usual, but I couldn’t resist the fresh rosemary bread they serve up in baskets. No regrets. So worth it! Gotta go, need to ramp up the treadmill speed to burn off those extra calories!