ADHD · Dancing · fitness · fun · holiday fitness · holidays · meditation · self care

Making Space 2022: Day 5

December 5th seems like a great time to prioritize fun.

Or, at least, to make fun ONE of your priorities.

Have a look at your to do list for today and see if there are any fun things you can do sooner rather than later. Maybe you love writing cards or baking cookies or shredding old files or making schedules or whatever you find fun but you put those things at the end of your list because you feel like you have to get everything else out of the way before you do the fun stuff.

To hell with that: DO THE FUN STUFF FIRST.

If you are worried about getting carried away with fun stuff and never getting around to the less-fun stuff (this is a worry for those of us who are neurodivergent) then modify my advice above to:

DO SOME FUN STUFF FIRST. Set a timer or some sort of other limit so you get to have your fun and do the other things on your list.

Just, please, please, pretty please, don’t think that you need to EARN your fun. You can put fun first, you can mix it in the middle, YOU get to decide where fun belongs on your schedule.

Martha is also pro-fun – you tell when you read her 2020 Move with Music post that she will back me up on my have-more-fun position here.

So, it the spirit of that, here’s a fun dance video to try.

Not only do I love this song, I love the instructor’s energy, I love how much fun the other people in the video are having and I love that there are some hikers and their dog wandering down the path at the back part way through the song.

Whether you get up and dance, dance in your chair, or just nod your head or wiggle your fingers in time to the music, I think you’ll find this fun.

A dance video from Caleb Marshall AKA The Fitness Marshall entitled “Love Shack – EASY LOW IMPACT CARDIO | Caleb Marshall | Dance Workout” The still image is of Caleb and two back-up dancers, all with one arm extended overhead and one arm stretched out behind them, standing in a field. There is a red highlight outlining each of them. There is a trail extending up a hill on the right side of the image and there are trees behind them. White text on the lower part of the image reads ‘Love Shack Easy To Follow Low Impact’ and there is a rainbow filter behind the text.

Next up, our meditation for today is about feeling energized. They get into a bit of colour visualization that I am sure is related to chakras but if that’s not your thing, you can just do the breathing and build up your energy in black and white. 😉

A Great Meditations meditation video called ‘Feeling Full of Energy A Five Minute Meditation’ The still image is a cartoon-style drawing of a person’s head and shoulders. They have long black hair and gold earrings and their eyes are closed. The background colour is light orange with a mandala in various shades of yellow and orange drawn in the centre behind the person.

Whether you are able to prioritize your fun, do the dance video, do the meditation, do something of your own invention, or just take a few moments to breathe, I wish you ease today.

Please be kind to yourself. 💚⭐

In December 2020, Fit is a Feminist Issue blogger Martha created a tradition – a series of reminder posts to take good care of ourselves during this last month of the year when it is far too easy to get swept up in your to do list, no matter what you are celebrating or not celebrating. Last year, it was my turn and after an introductory Go Team post called Give Yourself Some Space, I created a series of reminders called ‘Making Space‘ that offered a suggested short exercise video and a suggested meditation in case you needed an easy way to find space for yourself in your schedule.

For 2022, I’ll be doing the same thing but I’ll also be including a link to Martha’s post from the same date in 2020 and I’ll offer a few extra ideas for relaxation, creativity, and self-kindness here and there.

These posts are not about insisting that you do more, more, more during this busy season. Instead, I want to encourage you to remember that there IS a *YOU* who is doing all of the things and you are worth taking good care of.

Perhaps the things I suggest aren’t what you need in the moment. That’s totally ok. Perhaps you can use something else to create some space, something that will help you feel more relaxed or more in charge of your day.

ADHD · dogs · fitness · motivation · walking

Resistance, ADHD Time-Math and that time that Khalee and I were both so good despite everything else

Picture it:

Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, November 21, 2022.

The weather is chilly (1 degree Celsius, 33.8 degrees Fahrenheit), there’s a wind warning in effect (80kmh with gusts to 95, 49.71mph with gusts to 59mph)

A GIF of people, animals, and plants being blown around by a grey rain cloud.
There’s no rain here at the moment but otherwise this feels about right. Image description: a cartoon drawing of people and animals being blown around in the wind. Text on the image reads “It’s just a little rain and wind. We’re fine.”

My house is noisy from the wind but it’s warm and cozy.

I’m a bit off track because several of my usual Monday things got changed and because I spent a good part of the day in waiting mode.

Why waiting mode? Tomorrow is my youngest son’s birthday and his present was due to arrive sometime today. Our address is often mixed up with a similar address nearby so I was on alert in case it was delivered to the wrong place.

Waiting mode is one of those situations where a neurotypical person (at least one who wasn’t anxious) would probably be able to put thoughts of the possible mix-up aside and carry on with their plans for the day. And if I had a strict schedule today, my neurodivergent brain *might* be able to do the same.

Alas, my schedule today was flexible. So between that flexibility, the loss of my usual Monday anchors, waiting mode, and the windy weather, I spent my day puttering from task to task.

And then, once the package arrived (yay!), I wanted to settle into my work.

That’s when this process started:

A woman looks intently forward as a variety of mathematical formulae flash over her image.
This could be a depiction of my brain during the following though sequence – if all of those formulae were related to the timing of going for a walk. Image description:GIF of a woman looking slightly to one side of the camera. She looks intent and focused while a series of mathematical formulae appear in white in front of her. The formulae calculations for area and volume of various geometric shapes.

Khalee would need to go for a walk later so my brain was telling me that I probably wouldn’t want to dive too deeply into whatever I was doing right now.

So, maybe we should walk now. After all, the weather isn’t going to improve until tomorrow – and at least it is still light out.

But if I walk now, I might not be able to switch into work mode when I return.

So maybe I should skip the walk, right? After all, the wind warning clearly states that outdoor objects should be tied down. It could be *dangerous* out there, couldn’t it? Stuff could be flying around.

Hell, Khalee and I could blow away, couldn’t we?

Yeah, it’s often like this inside my head – it’s not all that fun.

But then, luckily, I saw a post on Instagram from someone local who was out for a walk, wearing their mask because it was the only way to keep warm – and probably the only way to catch their breath.

That’s when I remembered that I have fleece lined pants to wear over my jeans. And I have a warm coat and my hatphones. And a scarf my sister made. And I could wear my favourite mask.

So, I bundled up, got Khalee into her harness (today was apparently NOT a day for a dog to wear a sweater – I have to give the pup some autonomy, don’t I?) and headed out.

And, like most things – it was far worse to think about than it was to do.

It was stupid windy out. It was quite cold.

An outdoor selfie bundled up in winter clothes with a mask over the lower part of my face.
It is hard being things glamorous all the time but I have gotten used to it – ha ha! Image description: a selfie of me wearing my green winter jacket, a black hat, my glasses (which are a little steamed up) and a black and white half facemask that has a depiction of a martial artist on the white side. I am also wearing a blue scarf that my sister made for me. My eyes are almost completely shut, the wind is blowing my hood backwards, and my hair is sticking out on one side and blowing in the wind as well.

But it was manageable. And it wasn’t totally awful.

And Khalee and I were both so very good for dragging ourselves outside even though 50% of us were not keen on it.

I mean Khalee is automatically good, obviously, what with being a dog and all, but she bravely forged ahead into the wind until I called out to her so I could take a photo.

A light haired dog stands on a path looking back towards the camera.
Image description: Khalee, a light-haired dog on a neon yellow leash and a blue harness, looks back toward the camera as she stands on the edge of an asphalt path next to some grass. Her right ear is blown backwards, her eyes are slightly squinted, and her fur is ruffled from the wind.

So yeah, she’s super-good but I’m pretty damn good too – overcoming so much resistance even though it would have been much easier (and quite understandable) if I had decided to stay home.

(And, I’m sorry to report, that I did indeed feel better after being outside and zipping through my walk. It was worth getting out for Khalee’s sake but, damn it, it was apparently also worth it for my own sake, too.)

Anyway, long story short (too late!), Khalee and I both get gold stars for our windy walk.

Image description - two hastily-drawn gold stars, one each for me and my dog​
Image description – two hastily-drawn gold stars, one each for me and my dog

How about you?

How have you triumphed over resistance lately?

Was it worth it?

Would you like a gold star? Khalee and I will share!

PS: Happy Birthday to my youngest son, J, who is my baby but is not, apparently, actually a baby at all any more. In fact, he’s a newly-minted adult.

advice · self care

Some Fabulous Little Reminders from Dr. Julie

I just started reading psychologist Dr. Julie Smith‘s book Why Has Nobody Told me this before? Everyday Tools for Life’s Ups and Downs and I’m really enjoying it. I’m not finished yet, so I can’t do a full review but I do really like her style. The book is full of low-key but helpful reminders that we can build our capacity to deal with most of our everyday challenges and that we can develop the tools to work with our emotions instead of trying to fight them.

Just FYI: She is very clear about the fact that while there are lots of cases in which people need long-term therapy there are also many people who just need access to tools and guidance to help them manage their own mental health and that she is addressing the latter group.

Anyway, as I was telling people about this book recently I was surprised to discover that many people have never heard of Dr. Julie. If you’re one of those people, here are a few of her YouTube shorts that are a pretty good introduction to her kind and encouraging approach. You can find more on her channel.

Enjoy!

(I’ll post a review once I’m finished the book!)

A video from Dr. Julie Smith entitled ‘This is really important.’ In the still image, Dr. Julie is seated at a wooden table and there is a pyramid of playing cards stacked in front of her.
A video from Dr. Julie Smith entitled ‘This 60 Mindset Trick Will Change Your Life’ and in the still image she is sitting a table with a coffee cup and book in front of her and there are shelves behind her.
A video from Dr. Julie Smith entitled ‘Stop Waiting To Feel Confident! Watch This. In the still she is sitting at a table and there are white shelves behind her.
fitness · habits · motivation

Go Team! Bonus Gold Stars

Hey Team!

My birthday is on Thursday and I thought it would be fun to celebrate here on the blog today by offering some bonus gold stars.

Celebrating effort rather than results is always my MO but I’ve decided that, from now on, I’m going to lean into that idea even harder.

Especially where my own efforts are concerned. After all, just like most people, I’m really good at seeing how hard others are working but I’m not quite as observant when it comes to myself.

So, I going to consciously, deliberately, choose to notice even my smallest amount of work whether in fitness, well-being, or any of my projects.

That’s my gift to *me* for my birthday – I’m going to notice my efforts and I’m going to do what I can to ‘smooth the path’ for those efforts to be most effective. (More on that later.)

Now, as much as I would like to invite you all to a party where we could share a giant cake, the logistics on that are just impossible so, I’m going to invite you to do these two things instead.

1) Please consider joining me in noticing your own effort. This could range from making a mental note to a full toddler-parent-style reaction “Look at you doing squats! Aren’t you terrific? I’m so proud of you!”

2) Please comment below and tell me what you are claiming a bonus star (or stars) for today. This could range from ‘I remembered to look away from my computer and blink a few times so my eyes didn’t go wonky’ to ‘I stretched my neck while I was on the phone’ to ‘I meditated’ to ‘I wrote in my journal’ to ‘I biked to work.’ Or, to go in a different direction ‘I chose to rest because I’m not feeling well.’ Or ‘I walked instead of running because that’s what my body needs today.’

It’s all good work, Team, and your efforts deserve to be celebrated.

Here are 5 different stars for you to enjoy. Step right up and claim them!

And, as always, please be kind to yourself today and always.

I wish you ease.

And cake. I also wish you cake (or an equivalent delightful treat of your choice.)

A photo of a gold star shaped ornament made of wire
Image description: a photo of a 3D geometric gold star shaped ornament made from metal wire. The ornament is on a wooden surface and the sun is shining, casting a shadow on the black background behind the star. Photo credit: J Drodge
A cartoon style drawing of a yellow star with rounded points
Image description: a cartoonish drawing of mine – a yellow star with rounded ‘points’, the outer edges of the star have an orange accent. The background of the image is a series of thing black lines and the drawing itself is resting on lined paper.
Image description: a photo of a glitter covered gold star or​nament against a white background
Image description: a photo of a glitter covered gold star ornament against a white background
A drawing of a gold star with a happy face.
I love when my stars turn out looking like they have their arms in the air – I always have to add a face when that happens and make the gold star look exuberant . Image description: a photo of a drawing of a happy looking gold star with a background of green dots and with a green frame around the edge of the small piece of paper. The paper itself is resting on a dark green surface.
A statuette of a gold starfish with various embellishments
My most garish, tacky, and fun gold star. Image description: a statuette of a gold starfish embellished with metallic decorations and a fake white gem in the its centre. The base of the statuette is covered with fake shells and coral painted in various metallic shades.
fitness · motivation

“Just tell me what to do!”

Sometimes (actually most times) I am a big fan of doing what I want, not what I’m told to do. This extends to workouts, where I typically advocate choice, various degrees of challenge-options built in to the workout (like, if you want to challenge yourself, do this; if you want to take it easier, do this, etc.), and going at my own pace. Way back at the beginning of the blog I posted about doing less.

But other days I want to be told what to do and to feel as if I have to. That’s why I like coaches. This occurred to me during a workout with Alex last week (see Cate’s post about Alex), where they said we could do it or not do, depending how I felt. I actually didn’t feel like doing the thing they were telling us to do, but I also didn’t feel like being given the option of not doing it. That day, I was of the mind that if I didn’t want to do it I wouldn’t have signed up for the class.

As an advocate of doing less and setting the bar low that reaction of mine surprised me. But what it revealed to me is this: some days I want to push myself and without someone else calling the shots I would NOT push myself. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Indeed, it’s probably one of the reasons many of us do classes or hire trainers or coaches—without them we would do less when we in fact want to do more. But we need that extra little push.

I’m not here advocating doing something we really don’t want to do. I’m saying that even the things we (or perhaps I should stick to “I”) do want to do in some sense can be tough to stick with in the moment when it feels hard. Writing is like this for me sometimes (though mostly I do not have a coach for that. But in the past I have worked one-on-one and in small groups with the amazing The Publication Coach, Daphne Gray-Grant). Working out can be like that too.

Undoubtedly it’s not news that we might sometimes need others to motivate us. This can be a coach, trainer or instructor. Or it can be friends or a group or what have you. Working out alone is sometimes great. I love my solo runs for example. But working out with others often for me leads to more effort. (And it’s always more fun.) And on the days where I go in wanting to put in that effort, I prefer not to be given the option of not doing it.

That’s not to say I want to be shamed into doing it (military style) or unreasonably pressured beyond my ability (like Cate described of a yoga class she attended recently where the instructor offered no variations). It’s only to say that sometimes I like having someone else telling me what to do even if it isn’t super fun. It feels good to meet the challenge.

Alex’s classes are great for that. And they motivate even though we are given lots of choices and reassured that we can even tap out if that’s what we need. They motivate because of their extremely high energy. It’s hard not to want to push a little harder when the instructor is super jazzed about what they’ve programmed that day.

Do you prefer to do what you want to do or to be told what to do or does it depend on the day?

fitness · habits · meditation · nature · October

Christine’s Meditative Afternoon

The Thanksgiving holiday gave me the opportunity to have a nice, slow start to my week on Monday.

I took Khalee for a walk and, even though it was windy, I took time to tune into my surroundings, noticing how the leaves have changed (or fallen), how the river noises are quieter, and how everything smells a little different right now.

A light haired dog on a green leash. Shadows from the dog and her owner are being cast on nearby grass.
It was kind of windy today but Khalee and I still enjoyed our walk. Image description: a photo of a light-haired medium-sized dog on a green leash is facing away from the camera while standing on a gravel path next to some grass. My shadow and Khalee’s are visible on the grass. Because it is late afternoon in autumn, the sun is low so our shadows are VERY long and we look disproportionately tall.

When I came home, I took down the load of clothes I had hung earlier. (It was a fine day on clothes, as the saying goes.) This task can be pretty mundane (or even boring) but today it was routine in a good way – repetitive actions with positive results.

A line of laundry in the late afternoon autumn sunlight
The repeated actions of hanging (and taking down) laundry) are meditative in their own way. Image description: a line of laundry hanging in my yard on a late autumn afternoon. The sun is shining through leaves so there are patches of sun and shadow The clothesline stretches from my patio to my shed so aside from the laundry, the photo shows some potted plants, a lawn chair with a red pillow, my patio rail, and some trees and my red-painted shed in the background.

As I turned with my basket of clean clothes, I noticed how inviting my swing looked and I remembered how much I enjoyed meditating while sitting there cross-legged the other day.

An outdoor shot of a hammock and a large round swing hanging from trees in the corner of a backyard. The grass in front of the trees is covered in brown leaves.
Two of my favourite parts of my backyard. Image description: a photo of one corner of my yard where my brown and orange hammock hangs from two trees and a round swing with green trim hangs from one of the branches. My wooden fence is one background and my (still green!) grass is littered with crunchy brown leaves.

So I decided to meditate there again today.

An outdoor shot of a woman (from the shoulders up) in her backyard.
No, I’m not actually meditating here, obviously. I was trying to use the back camera on my phone and took umpteen photos, each more bizarre looking than the last, and I fluked into this one. I decided to roll with it. Image description: an outdoor photo of me in my backyard. I am sitting on a round swing but it’s not visible in the photo. I am wearing a blue fleece jacket, my light brown hair is pulled back from my face in a cloth band, and my eyes are closed. I am smirking and I’m wearing one headphone. Grass, trees, my fence, (and part of my orange and brown hammock) are visible in the background.

And that brings me to 51 days of meditation in a row.

When I opened the Insight Timer app today, it offered this very appropriate quote for how I felt at the end of my meditative afternoon:


Mental health is not a destination,
but a process. It’s about how you
drive, not where you’re going.

– NOAM SHPANCER, PHD

I liked how, today, I have ‘driven’ myself calm instead of driving myself around the proverbial bend.

Wishing you all ease for the week ahead. Please try not to cram 5 days of work into a 4 day week. 💚⭐️

ADHD · challenge · fitness · habits · martial arts · motivation

October Challenges – in a good way

I wanted to add a little extra to my daily routine in October so I’ve taken up two challenges for the month – the Action for Happiness Optimism challenge and the Darebee Daily Kicks challenge.

I like following short term challenges because 1) they set out a plan in advance so my brain doesn’t get stuck buffering about decisions 2) they aren’t making me commit to something in a future that is too far ahead for my ADHD brain to grasp.

A calendar of optimism tips for October
This is just a jpeg of the calendar, you can print or download one at the Action for Happiness site. Image description: a multi-coloured October calendar full of daily optimism tips, decorated with small cartoon images of people walking, drawing and holding event tickets.

These specific challenges should be straightforward additions to my day because any day’s actions are big enough to matter to me but small enough to fit into nooks and crannies in my still-developing schedule.

And it helps that I am naturally inclined to optimism (this may be a good feature of my ADHD – I’m usually convinced that things are about to get better) and that kicks are not only good exercise but practicing them will have added benefits for Taekwon-do.

A screen capture of the calendar for the first week of the challenge.
Print your own Daily Kicks challenge calendar/tracker and use the timer at the Darebee site. Image description: a screen capture of the header and first few days of the Darebee Daily Kicks challenge sheet which has the words Daily Kicks in large letters on the top right, multiple drawings of people kicking on the right and 5 days of kicks in listed in individual boxes at the bottom.

Will I get to both of these every day? I’m planning on it and I hope those plans work out.

But even my optimistic self knows that sometimes things go awry so I have a backup plan as well:

If I miss a day, I can do two the next day…if that feels doable. If doing two items feels like too much, or if I have missed several days, I’ll skip to the item for the current day.

The key here is to follow the practices for as many days as possible this month – aiming for more days on than off.

The only thing I *don’t* want is to follow the challenge for a few days, miss a couple, and then scrap the whole thing because I didn’t do it perfectly.

As long as the end of October still finds me working away at these, in any form or fashion, I’ll be successful.

Any movement in a positive direction counts. 🙂

fitness · habits · motivation

Go Team: Some reminders

Hey Team!

I’ve been talking to a lot of kinda-burnt-out, feeling-kinda-meh, not-very-motivated people lately (and I’ve been one of them sometimes.)

Just in case you’ve been feeling that way too, I thought it was a good time to remind us all about a few things:

1) You don’t have anything to prove to anyone (fitness-wise or otherwise)

2) Doing the thing you like doing in the way you like doing it (fitness-wise or otherwise) is totally cool

3) You don’t have to go hard or go home, you can set your own pace in any damn direction you want (including towards home)

4) You don’t need to feel motivated to do the thing you want to do. Sure, it’s easier to get started when motivation is there but if you make a little list and take some teeny steps you’ll be able to move toward your goal no matter if motivation shows up or not.

(Starting when unengaged or unmotivated is even harder for us neurodivergents than it is for neurotypicals but I find that reminding myself that I can proceed without motivation is sometimes helpful. You might find it helpful, too, but please be kind to yourself about it either way.)

5) If you find yourself avoiding your fitness routine (or even just one exercise in your routine), you don’t have to force yourself to do it. You can find another way to work those muscles or build strength in that area.

No matter how meh you are feeling these days, I wish you ease and I hope you can be kind to yourself as you make your way along.

And, as always, here’s your star for your efforts.

Image description: a wire-framed 3-D star ornament sits on a wooden surface in the sunshine. Its shadow is falling on the grey surface in the background.
Photo credit: J.Drodge. Image description: a wire-framed 3-D star ornament sits on a wooden surface in the sunshine. Its shadow is falling on the grey surface in the background.
fitness

Back to the Pool!

I no longer look forward to the start of the school year, but one late summer ritual for years now has been to return to swimming indoors.

I swim with a masters club, which is a fantastic way for someone like me to keep to a routine. There is a coach to set workouts and correct my technique. There is a fixed schedule, and I have already paid to be there (I hate wasting money, so it’s a strong incentive to show up). Most of all, there is the camaraderie of seeing my swimming friends again.

Between travel, elder care and COVID, I didn’t get nearly as much swimming in as usual this summer. I could have been going much more regularly once the crises of July and early August were over, but once the pattern had been broken I found it hard to get back into it.

So Saturday’s swim was extra special, and extra hard. I managed to eke out 1600 yards. It turns out that my pool is celebrating 100 years of operation today, so extra extra special. You can read more about this historic pool here.

Diane in a white swim cap and goggles, with the pristine water of her pool in the background.

My sister says my swimming pictures are boring because they all look the same. I don’t care. That sameness, that routine, is part of what keeps me coming back to the pool.

How about you? Does the return of autumn get you executed about classes or clubs, or are you able to set your own training programs and stick to them?

Diane Harper lives and swims in Ottawa.

ADHD · fitness · trackers

An accidental (and happy) vacation from my Fitbit

I accidentally took a Fitbit vacation and it has been swell.

a photo of a gravel path through grass-covered ground leading between some trees. The sky above is light blue and a a large fluffy cloud is glowing golden pink from the sunset.
This photo from my Sunday evening walk (sans Fitbit) was taken near my house but it has a real vacation-y feel to it, don’t you think? Image description: a gravel path through grass-covered ground leading between some trees. The sky above is light blue and a a large fluffy cloud is glowing golden pink from the sunset.

Normally, I love my Fitbit.

I love the reminders to get moving. I love the fact that it tracks my steps and my heart rate and all kinds of other stuff without me having to remember to write any of it down. I love how having a timer on my wrist can help anchor me to the flow of actual time -instead of to inside-my-brain-time, an often-entirely-too-fluid concept.

But, I also get frustrated when my perceived effort doesn’t match what my Fitbit has recorded.

Or when my steps don’t register.

Or how an hour of exercise might be recorded as 10 or 20 or 60 active minutes, or, oddly, even more depending on some mysterious calculation…

GIF of a group aerobics class led by Richard Simmons.
I can only assume that Mr. Simmons and team are all maximizing their active minutes here. Image description: a GIF of a group aerobics class led by Richard Simmons. The participants are all wearing bright clothing and seem to be having a great time. One participant in the back is even wearing a cheerleading uniform.

Ok, the calculation is not all that mysterious, it’s based on whether I am in a cardio or ‘fat burn’ heart rate range but it *feels* arbitrary and I can never tell during my exercise how it will show up on my Fitbit.

Now, to be clear/fair, the Fitbit is operating exactly as it was designed and it can only measure so much from my wrist. The fact that it doesn’t hover around me like a omniscient fitness tracking entity is not its fault.

But it’s still annoying to have been working away for a long time only to have my tracker say ‘Meh, that didn’t count.’

ANYWAY!

Last week, on my first day of vacation, I was packing my bag before heading out to visit a friend of mine* in a town a few hours away and I realized that my Fitbit was still on the charger.

I grabbed the Fitbit and the charger and chucked them both into the bag with my art supplies. They settled to the very bottom of the bag where they stayed for the two days I was hanging out with my friend and for the several days since.

It’s not that I forgot about my Fitbit, it’s that I quickly realized how much I was enjoying not wearing it.

My vacation from work had also become a vacation from my Fitbit.

I went for walks, did some decluttering (lots of heavy lifting and trips up and down the stairs), went on a bike ride, did yoga, and meditated daily, all without any information on how long I was moving (or sitting in meditation), how intense my workout was, how many ‘active minutes’ I had so far, or what my heart rate was during any of those things.

And it felt great – I felt like I was moving a lot and working hard and there was no evidence to suggest otherwise.

 a photo of someone’s hand pointing to a cork board covered in photos and maps related to a crime.
How I imagine my Fitbit would present the evidence of my activities. image description: a photo of someone’s hand pointing to a cork board covered in photos and maps related to a crime.

Now, I know that the Fitbit is not the boss of me. I know that there are all kinds of aspects of exercise and fitness that it doesn’t measure (enjoyment and perceived effort are just two of those unmeasured things.) And I know that it’s just providing me with information – it’s up to me to interpret it and to decide what to do with it.

And, overall, my Fitbit has definitely helped me to move more and to work a bit harder. It has shown me that I may not always be getting as much exercise as I think I am – very useful information for my ADHD brain that responds well to good exercise conditions but sometimes misjudged whether I am meeting those conditions.

But this vacation away from tracking has helped highlight how often I was getting annoyed with some of the ways that my Fitbit tracks things and how often my interpretations of the information it provides have been frustrating me. And that, in itself, is useful information.

As of now, I’m still on my Fitbit vacation (and my vacation from work) but when I come back, I’m planning to figure out if/when/how to use my Fitbit in a way that serves me better.

I don’t know if that will mean wearing it less often, choosing different metrics/interpretations, or if I will just use it as a handy timer/reminder tool and forget the steps and heart rate info altogether.

Meanwhile…back to my vacation!

*By happy coincidence, it is my friend’s birthday today. Happy Birthday, J! 🧡💚