My coworker, K and I have a new plan. We've been "lunch buddies" for months - ever since we started working closely together. But we've been bad. She's a "lifer" in Weight Watchers; I'm a long-time member of SparkPeople. Our habit of eating out almost every day has landed us in hot water financially and weight-wise.
For a while, we behaved ourselves. We ate Lean Cuisine in the break room at work. Now, part of the joy of lunch time is getting away from the office. K. even came up with a way to make eating in a pleasure: She brought in some attractive plastic placemats, a bud vase with fake flowers, and a real (cardboard) salt and pepper shaker. We set the table and we dine like civilized human beings.
It's still not out. Eventually, we started "forgetting" to bring lunch from home. Neither of us minded much, and easily overlooked each other's "forgetfulness" in favor of increasingly expensive, fattening restaurant fare. We'd split dessert and tell ourselves we were being good.
My scales are brutally honest. There was nothing "good" about any of this. Apparently, K's were telling her the same thing. Friday, she came up with a new plan. She joined my gym. Yeah - that gym. The one I pay dues on monthly and rarely set foot inside. You know there's a problem when your former personal trainer calls you at home to see if you're dead.
"Will you go with me at lunch? Every day?"
"Uhhh...sure." Every day? We went to check out the facilities across the street from work. That's not my usual location, but it's convenient if you're going to work out at lunch time. There's also a really good little Mexican restaurant within walking distance. Okay, we won't leave ourselves time for that, but I thought you might want to know. The gym is really clean, there's a pool (not that we'll have time to swim during lunch), and the equipment is newer, better than the equipment at my usual location. This isn't going to be so bad.
So, while K signed her life away, I walked a brisk pace for fifteen minutes on the treadmill. Burned an easy 100 calories. And then I made the mistake of joining her and the sales guy. They showed me a special: five twenty-five-minute sessions with a personal trainer (which she also bought) and a bodybugg™ (which she didn't buy) for just $199. I've done well with personal trainers in the past. They keep me honest. Especially when they have scales and a tape measure. And ever since I saw the bodybugg™, I've wanted one. Just couldn't justify the hefty price tag. Not sure I'd have fallen for it Friday, had I realized a $99/year subscription to bodybugg.com was required just to get the data out, but I'm confident that tool will help me stay on track. If it does, it's cheap compared to the alternative: ever-increasing weight and girth, and the new wardrobe I'll have to buy, in the wrong damned size.
I've learned some interesting things with the bodybugg™, and I haven't had it 24 hours. I've learned that I burn more calories in REM sleep, and the litte downloaded graph shows me exactly what my sleep pattern looks like. I've learned that I burn more calories driving than sitting at my desk and typing, but that walking up just one flight of stairs leads to a noticeable blip on the radar, too. And this morning, a disturbing thought occurred to me: Doesn't the bodybugg™ measure pretty much the same things a lie detector measures? So, I'm walking around wearing a lie detector, and uploading the data straight to a site that can be accessed by my personal trainer.
Remind me not to wear it while he asks how many pieces of cheesecake I ate in celebration of my father-in-law's 86th birthday, today.