Monday, September 20, 2010

My I-Pod Fitness and Me....

 Today was the day I tested my brand new, shiny, Ipod Nano, complete with the  Nike Ipod fitness tracker.  It was a gorgeous, cooler day requiring a long sleeve shirt with my shorts. Perfect.  I don't have the Nike tennis shoes with the little pouch to stick the sensor in, which engages the tracking of  your miles, calories burned, and time, but I tucked it inside the tennies I own.  I guess there is so much more I can do with this teensy gadget. It will keep track of my workouts and hold me accountable to the commitments I make to the Nike website.  I can run cyber races with other "50 somethings", challenging and keeping each other motivated.  What's next?  Cyber poker, cyber dating, cyber sex, now cyber exercise... Maybe Cyber dining?  Calorie free with all the make-believe pleasure of gourmet meals! Technology has been a wonderful invention in time-saving, accuracy, accessibility and information. But, I also think it has robbed us of so much. It can be a double edged sword. Its design is efficiency, and we find ourselves spending more and more time on the computer and cell phone and less time interacting in real life. We've forgotten how to use our five senses, spontaneously entertain ourselves, and connect with others in meaningful fashion. The isolation of connecting with an LCD monitor or cell phone screen for our entertainment, socialization and gratification, has taken so much genuine pleasure, authenticity, and true intimacy out of human interaction. We are now bonding with avatars, words, and illusions. I'm drifting here, and I need to set aside my soapbox about the cons of "social media" for another day. This particular piece of technology is designed to hold me accountable and turn my fitness fantasies into measurable accomplishment.

So, I put my tracker in my Shape-Ups, the tennis shoes I bought last winter that promised to eliminate my need for the gym. Thinking I was saving mucho money, I dropped my membership.  The makers of these shoes promoted tightening and toning the butt, the calves, and the tummy. They promised to improve my posture, give my skin a rosy glow, get rid of dandruff and lead  Prince Charming to my door!  Save your money.... Rumor has it Prince Charming has ridden off in the sunset with that over zealous, annoying  Denise Austin,  and my buns look a bit worse for wear without my daily gym visits.  The shoes are pretty worn already as well, the bottoms all black and pitted.  C'mon, it's not like I burnt rubber in my fitness efforts this past year.  I won't promote them or buy another pair.  Giving up the gym membership for the shoes, has not served me well.  More reinforcement that there are no quick fixes in life or body.   God bless my beautiful family who have gifted me with my father-in-law's brand new, barely used, commercial grade tread mill, a perfect companion to my I-pod fitness gadget, especially when the snow flies!   I've only been on it a few times since the weather is far too beautiful outdoors to be treading indoors, but I have had a couple of heart to hearts with my father-in-law while crying and trotting.  I asked him to put a good word in for me with the fitness angels as well as the employment fairy.  I'm hoping with all the connections I have up there, something will burst open soon and pray it's not the seams of my pants.

Off I went to the track, sensor in my tatty old shoes, cool, peppy tunes blasting from my new Nano. All I needed was a pair of shorts with some verbiage (maybe Chica?)  on the rear end  as my fanny swung back and forth to the salsa sounds of Beethoven's 5th, performed by a group called La Charanga Cubana. Da, Da, Da, Da.......... Even Ludwig would be inspired to shake his booty!   I had lofty goals.  I set the workout for a 500 calorie burn.  Lap one around the track, 6 calories.  This can't be right?  Fifteen minutes into the work out I had burned off the top half of my Oreo cookie, minus the frosting.  I thought I was going at a pretty good clip.  At the hour and five minute mark, I was certain I must be nearing the 500 calorie goal I had programmed into my tracker pre-workout.  Tired and winded I peeked.... 131 measly calories. The Lean Cuisine from lunch was still clinging to my thighs.  I'd like to think perhaps the sensor wasn't working properly since it wasn't inserted in "official" Nike shoes, but I fear it would just be denial.   I had this vision of Jack Nicholson standing nose to nose with me, screaming, "You want the truth... you can't handle the truth. You need to step it up cupcake."

It was a reality check. I never think I eat so much.  A handful of pretzels here, four pieces of cheese there. Those of you who read my cheese blog know I am lying here. Four pieces simply isn't in my realm of control. And, oh, yeah, let's not forget the fat free coffee cake from Starbucks. And, of course I justify my consumption because I work out!   This new technology has been like an intervention for me.  The only way it could be better is if Nike and Apple got together with Weight Watchers and created a mouth sensor that recognizes every morsel I shovel in, and responds with a running caloric total.  When I reach my limit for the day, and try to shovel in a few spoonfuls of Cookie Dough ice cream, the little robot voice will gruffly say, "Hey, chubby, are you SURE you wanna eat that?"

Oh, well.  Another ten months until swimsuit season!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: My drive and confidence were restored when I discovered I wasn't using my I-Fit properly. The sensor inside my miracle shoes, is not "read" properly by the receiver. My research on the internet the other day revealed, you need the sensor on the OUTSIDE of your shoe. I guess I need to purchase a little pouch which will attach to my shoe laces. But, in a pinch, I saw a picture of a sensor, bound to the top of the shoe with packing tape. It worked! Lance Armstrong's voice came on at the end, congratulating me on my 50 minutes. At a pace of 14.50 min/mile, I traveled 3.73 miles and burned 329 calories! I was thrilled! Until my son-in-law looked down at my shoe in horror and threatened to disown me if I ever left the house with the packing tape flapping again. Tomorrow's mission.... Shop for an I-Fit pouch!