About a month ago, the HR department at my job told us they’d be switching our healthcare provider. So when I enrolled, I saw that our new provider, United Healthcare, had a “Motion” program that involved getting a pedometer, setting fitness goals, and earning money toward our care. Sweet!
I have never really tracked my steps. I have been on diets before where I counted calories, and also tracked how much I worked out, but that’s about it. Several years ago, I wore a cheap pedometer as an experiment for an article I was writing. I remember being surprised at how tough it was to get steps and I’d be marching around my apartment at the end of the night (while brushing my teeth) trying to up my tally for the day.
Well, I guess I’ve learned no lesson, because after week 1 with my fancy pedometer, I’ve determined I must just be the laziest person ever.
Let me back up. After signing up for the Motion program, I got a credit of $55 that I could put toward a pedometer. I picked the one that was $55 – the cheapest option. It was black, tracked steps, and said it had an app you could sync with to see the stats on your phone. Works for me!
Another coworker signed up for the Motion program, too, and we got our pedometers in the mail just a few days later. I was told I would get a $40 “Swift Start” bonus if I put the pedometer on right away, so I did – I put it on last Monday around 5:30pm when I got it out of my mailbox and then I headed to my usual Monday night routine: two 1-hour dance classes back-to-back.
That Monday evening I got 2,954 steps.
The days following weren’t much different – I admittedly don’t really move once I get to work, which I have heard is WORSE than smoking cigarettes. I’ve heard repeatedly that we’re supposed to get 10,000 steps per day, and I barely got that in seven days. I know. I’m half ashamed.
However, I decided week one should just be an honest look at my life, and then now we make a change. Right? But I’ll admit that each day, only getting 2 or 3,000 steps, I was getting frustrated and I wondered how people got 14,000 steps each day?
I consulted other pedometer-wearers and they all said that getting steps is a challenge. You really have to set yourself up to get steps – whether it’s parking further away, or setting an alarm every hour to walk a few hundred steps.
A friend of mine tracks her steps and when we went to Vegas last year she would tell me when we’d hit 10K – and I remember thinking, “Wow, we’ve walked a TON,” and I felt very sore.
Hmmm. During week 1, I took a few less dance classes than normal, but I also rode a workout bike for 6 miles, and still only got 2,883 steps for the whole day. My best day was Saturday, where I took a 1-hour cardio class and then a 3-hour nap. Go figure.
So, this week – my goal is to walk more while I’m at work, even if that means simply taking a lap around the office every hour. It still may not get me to 10K, but it will be more than what I got last week… right?
If you track your steps, is there a trick that helps? Walk every hour? I’d love to know how you’re getting your steps in!
That’s right, I’ve been taking Cheerobics. It’s a class offered at the dance studio I’ve been with for six months – they have tons of different types of classes including ballet, jazz, modern, and funk, but I mostly take the hip-hop classes. However, I kept seeing the tail-end of the Cheerobics class as I waited for the following course to open.
It looked fun; they were dancing with pom-poms! Considering that’s all I did for five years of being a teenager – count me in. So, I finally went, and holy shit, it was the most difficult workout I’ve had in months.
Given that I’ll be on the beach in one month, I decided I needed to make this class a habit. So, I’m there every Thursday night. The class consists of a warm-up routine, stretching, and then you perform six full-length routines with pom-poms (and a smile), before completing a strength circuit, and a cool down.
The routines are fun, and the songs are of course, up-beat, as it’s supposed to be similar to a routine you’d see on a professional football field (and yes, there’s lots of clapping).
The music is fun, but the pom-poms really make the class for me. When I showed up for the first class, I wasn’t expecting much. However, I quickly realized that because you’re gripping the pom-pom’s handle for a solid 30 minutes, your arms get a workout FAST.
While I know it’s nowhere near as intense as the workout or practice for a professional cheerleader or dancer, it is really fun to get a little taste of what that life is like. I’ve wanted to be a Laker Girl ever since I can remember; and now that I’m too old for anything like that; I spend a lot of time daydreaming about it, and then binge-watching Dance Squad: LA Clippers.
The cheerobics class also brings back a lot of great memories for me as a halftime dancer in high school. Our practice schedule was busy, but they always served as great bonding experiences and were stress relievers for me. I was always so, SO nervous before performing, but thrilled for the applause at the end.
I noticed some of the other women in my cheerobics class have their own pom-poms, which at first, I thought seemed a little excessive. But, now I want a pair of my own, so I’ve been scoping them out. I think I’ve settled on a set of black and gold metallic ones, simply because I like those colors. I don’t want to commit to my high school or college colors (even though they match The Lakers’); I just want a pair that looks cute!
Since I started at the studio, I’ve been taking a class called “Sexy Stiletto”, which involves optional high heels. I skipped on the heels until just three weeks ago – in another attempt to amp up my workout. And wow, dancing for an hour in heels (especially turns) makes for a great core and leg workout. I haven’t fallen yet; but here’s to hoping I didn’t just jinx myself.
I moved on Saturday! I’ve spent the last few weeks packing everything I own (well, minus the things I got rid of) and prepping for a move.
Now, I know moving — the physical act of doing so — is possibly the worst thing we can do to ourselves as humans. It completely sucks.
Because of this fact, when I made my last move, I shelled out the $500 for movers to do the hard stuff for me. And while, I didn’t have to haul any big pieces of furniture, I still felt exhausted from cleaning and organizing, and I took an entire week off work to unpack boxes and organize my new place.
This time around, I pretty much had NONE of those luxuries. Still living off retail salary, I planned to move everything with just the help of my mom. In September, I owed two apartment rents (1 for my old place, 1 for my new place) plus two weeks of hotel stay in between. That shit adds up.
So, hiring movers was not a financial option for me. And ok, I’d say I could use a good workout or two — I do realize that these last few “Pic of the Week’ choices are not my most flattering shots.
However, my friend Derek offered to help me move my furniture. AMAZING. Out of all my friends in town, he was the only one who offered, and accepted nothing in return (except snacks and electrolyte water).
So, on Saturday, we moved my entire apartment into a 16-foot moving truck (getting that truck was a two-hour debacle in itself), then my mom and I drove the 7 hours to Austin, TX. We arrived at the new apartment around midnight, and decided to take advantage of the cool night, and move whatever possible.
We moved furniture up a flight of stairs for nearly three hours before calling it a night. And we got up at 8 the next day and finished around 1. Seeing two women haul a couch up a flight of stairs was probably interesting for my neighbors, but YEEHAW, Y’all, I’m here.
I’m currently sitting amidst a crap-ton of boxes, but I’ve made a ton of progress this week, when I’m not working my new job (loves it). It’s a good kind of stress to be in.
Be on the lookout for posts all about my new, beautiful apartment — and in the meantime, don’t be afraid to check me out on SnapChat @OrangeJulius7 — because I’m having a blast documenting my latest adventures out west.
Strap on your boots!