Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Count(ess) Von Count

Do you remember The Count  from Sesame Street? Sure you do. He was always one of my favourite characters because he loved counting things just like I loved counting things. . Plus he was a "wampire" and spoke in a mysterious foreign accent that I loved to imitate. Also  lightning would flash whenever he counted something successfully and he would say something like, "Five! Five spiders! Ah ha ha!"  Yeah, I did try to count like that in my dubious foreign accent waving my hands dramatically about, but lightening never flashed for me. Although once I did that in the first grade maths lesson and Mrs Stanley gave me the stink eye. The stink eye is not as much fun as lightening. FACT.

I am still a secret counter. I just like the satisfaction of knowing how long something is in time or steps or miles or how many reps of an exercise I have done or how many grinds of pepper there are in the soup. Twenty. There are always twenty grinds of pepper when I make the soup. When Spiderman makes the soup I always ask, "How much pepper did you use?" and he answers cryptically with phrases like "I dunno. Lots" or "A buttload" which is frankly no help at all.

So rather reluctantly but to my great excitement he has bought me a pedometer!!!
Omron Walking Style III Pedometer - Black

I did copious amounts of research before we ordered one off of Amazon. I knew what I wanted. I had one once that came free with a box of cereal but it was flawed. Heavily flawed. I wanted one that fit this criteria:

1. One that didn't make a clickity-click sound when you walked.
2. One that wasn't so sensitive that brushing up against it with your coat or bag would reset that damned thing back to zero.
3. One that also measured in miles/km as well as steps taken
4. One that also told you calories burned.

And we found one! The Omron Walking Style III. Yes, Omron makes a Walking Style IV now, but this was £15 cheaper being the previous model. It does everything I wanted and MORE!

It also has a storage feature that will store your daily steps for seven days. It automatically resets itself at midnight for the next day so when I wake up it is raring to go as well. And it has an action mode that will store steps for a specific activity like exercise or in my case How many steps to the library/shops/train station etc. If you know that roughly 2000 steps is a mile you can gage how far something is. My only complaint is it only measures in km not miles but my phone has a conversion thingee so I can input the number of km at the end of the day and see it in miles if I wish. But mostly I do the 2000 steps is about a mile way. Plus you don't have to wear it on a belt loop where it might fall off. I tuck my in my bra and it measures just fine. I have checked it with activities that move my upper body--typing or chopping/peeling veg and the counter stays still. Only when I actually move my legs does it count so that is super too. Too sensitive would be as undesirable as not sensitive enough. This is the Goldilocks of pedometers--just right!

This is really fun and I love the challenge of taking 10,000 steps (approximately 5 miles!) a day. It is pretty easy to do here because we don't have a car and have to walk everywhere. It is 1494 steps from our house to the supermarket Lidl making it approximately 3/4 of a mile away. My only worries are the days that I work in the tiny clothing boutique--there is not much space to move about, but I have been practicing walking in place and seeing how hard I have to fidget to make it count as a step. Obviously, I would NOT do this when customers are there. Duh! Because the job involves a lot of standing, I often go behind the big clothing display rack between the mirror and the changing room and if no one is about then I jog on the spot or kick my legs or do squats or calf stretches for my tired legs. Shhhhh...don't tell anyone that. It will be our little secret.

Spiderman keeps giving me frowny looks every time we arrive somewhere and I pop my pedometer out of my cleavage to see how many steps we have been. "Is this going to be a thing with you?" he asks suspiciously.

Probably. Not in an obsessive way. Just a fun keeping track of way. Plus it feels great to say I walked 5 miles to day as part of my daily routine. We sure as shit could not have done this 11 years ago when we moved here. We were both so fat and out of shape and just beginning to change our diet and lifestyle. Now in our mid 40s we are in the best shape of our lives. We have bags of energy and eat incredibly healthily and exercise is just built into our daily routine although I also do weight lifting (expect a blog post on my Eight Minutes in the Morning Routine that I do every day).

I have worn the pedometer for three days and have fairly easily been able to get to 10,000 steps. And I *really* want to get there because when you do a little stick man jumps up and down and waves at you.

That in itself, is reward enough.

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