Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Way Back, One Step At A Time

Mother's Day 2017, I'm smack in the middle of 12 weeks of chemotherapy.  I told my son that, as a Mother's Day gift, I'd love a box of Sees candy.  Instead, he bought me a Fitbit.

Now, before you pass judgment on that move, full disclosure:  He knew his dad had already bought me the box of candy.  The Fitbit was his very thoughtful and sincere attempt at finding an alternative I would like.  Unfortunately, what he didn't know is that I've been personally rebelling against any device like a Fitbit since these things hit the market several years ago.

The problem with me is I don't like to be told what to do.  Insinuate, in any way, that the 5,000 steps I walked today isn't good enough, and tomorrow I'll only walk 2,500 steps just to remind you who's in control of my life.  Thus, when people tout Fitbits as awesome because they "let me know when I didn't move enough today", my first thought is, that's the worst device I could possibly own.

But I'm a mom, my kid went through the expense and trouble of thinking up a gift for me.  And it was me who had been saying all year that once I'm past this cancer treatment, I'm getting my shit together, losing weight and getting in shape.  I said it, he listened.  He'd made sure the Fitbit was water proof and equipped to track swimming, my most favorite exercise.  And for the cherry on top, he'd bought it in "breast cancer pink" as a symbolic reminder of why I need to stay motivated.  In the ball park of thoughtful gifts, the kid had just hit a walk-off home run.  Responding with, "I've always hated the idea of these things" would have been cruel and downright irresponsible as a parent.  So I just smiled, hugged and thanked him, then promised to check it out "once I was done with my chemotherapy".

Well, today I am 9 days past my last infusion.  I had originally decided to give myself two full weeks of sitting around, eating poorly and feeling sorry for, I mean "healing"....before engaging in any get-healthy diet and exercise plan.  But honestly, I'm too sick of being sick to sit around for that long.  Even though my final round of chemo isn't technically over, I'm anxious to start taking back as much of my old life as my body will allow.  So three days ago, I started back with the morning walks.  Yesterday, I purged the house of the junk food and filled the fridge with fruits and vegetables.  And today, I opened the box to my Fitbit.

I have to say it is pretty cool.  I may be someone who hates to be told what to do, but I'm also a sucker for gadgets and technology.  When it comes to the Fitbit, the latter may actually win out.  I also didn't realize it had diet and weight tracking which I have used in the past with apps like SparkPeople and Weight Watchers.  That is a big bonus.  I've set it up for swimming, and am curious to see exactly how much activity this thing records.  Will I get credit for gardening or walking around the office? There are days when I'm up and down a lot.  And exactly how does it know when I'm moving and when I'm not?  I guess those are things I will find out now that I've got this thing set up and on my wrist.

SO ready or not, here I go in search of a new me.  I'm starting slow and steady with modest goals that take into account my current limitations.  And if those prove too hard, I'll set them back a little more.  It doesn't matter much to me where my starting point is, but just that I'm starting.  And that's a really good feeling!