Basic Rules For Good Living #1: Move More Than A Dead Person

understandstupidI haven’t confirmed this by actually asking anybody, but I get the sense that a lot of people think I’m fierce and emotionless. These people might use labels like “scary” and “thugnificent” if you mention my name in conversation, but I want to dispel those myths right now. I would agree that, yes, my general appearance is menacing, but take a minute to look past my gruff exterior.

I feel many feelings. When a baby smiles at me, I am thrilled for a moment but then I am sad because my own baby is growing up. When I rescue a 20% off one single item Bed Bath & Beyond coupon from my neighbor’s recycle bin and it doesn’t even have any food stains, I am happy. And whole. When I check my Fitbit every few minutes for an updated daily step count, I feel devastated. Sometimes I am able to push down my bitter anger because I just breathe and remind myself that I didn’t move for the last 5 minutes so of course the number is going to stay the same.

The Fitbit came into my life by accident. I didn’t really care about any of its functionalities. It reminded me of the black pager I had in 1994. Ninth grade was a pretty good year for me.

Shortly after I got it, I read somewhere that the average person takes 6,000 steps per day. The base level for good health is supposedly 10,000 steps. I smirked when I saw those numbers. When I am extremely thirsty and no one hears my repeated requests, I go downstairs to get my own beverages. It takes me at least 3 trips to move all of the groceries from my car to the kitchen. Obviously, I’m a very active individual. I pitied the fool who could only manage 10,000 steps a day. What a stupid dummy.

I allowed two weeks to pass before I averaged out my step count data because I planned to humblebrag about my number a lot so I needed a decent sample size. Daily average: 1700. Since one of the new things I’m trying is not lying to myself, I devoted an afternoon to sitting with the truth that I move about as much as a dead person. I stared out my window a lot that day. And then I decided to live a good life. My list of Basic Rules For Good Living sprouted from that belief and I knew what the first Rule had to be: Move more than a dead person.

I wasn’t sure I could do it but January proved otherwise. My daily average has bumped up to 9,000 steps per day. It helps that I’m Groupon-ing my way to fitness. I bought two exercise class packages and I alternate between them each day.

The only problem is that exercise is stupid. I hate it. What I’ve gathered over the last month is that, basically, you move your body for no real reason. Suspicious elements of exercise: 1. Forced to look at myself in mirrors for extended periods, 2. Salty sweat stinging my delicate eyes, 3. Burning hot physical pain and/or nausea, 4. Ok for strangers to yell at me through microphone headset, 5. Lululemon prices.

2014 isn’t about lofty goals or wow value for me. I’m just trying to get used to the fundamentals of what it means to be a decent, functioning adult. I have never been that before, but if I can follow my Basic Rules, maybe I’ll know a little about Good Living. Join me if you want. Real friends suffer together.
P.S. I’ll be sharing my other Basic Rules for Good Living throughout the year. Watch me get real good at adult-ing. “Like” the Flourish in Progress Facebook page or follow along on Instagram (username: flourishinprogress).

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  • Misty

    Sometimes, moving more than a dead person is just too much work! You have such damn lofty goals, woman. I just can’t keep up. I keep hearing about this Fitbit. It doesn’t sound like something that I would enjoy. But you do your thing, woman. I’ll be sitting over here on my couch rooting for you. As long as it doesn’t take TOO much energy, that is.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I try to work out first thing in the morning because if I push it off, I’ll never get to it. This has made me scared to wake up in the morning. Hm. Maybe this isn’t as basic as I first thought. I’ll exert enough energy and shed enough sweat and/or tears for the both of us.

  • xoxoDarya

    I hear you little sister. This sounds like my Better Me Project, which was born out of me realizing I had lost my shit in about 2001 and have been flailing and careening and crashing through my life since then. Sad, but true.

    So, on the way to becoming–not even a more, but–an actual fully functioning grown-ass woman I will join you on this quest to get real good at adult-ing.

    Deal? Deal.

    xoxo Darya

  • xoxoDarya

    I hear ya little sister. This sounds like my Better Me Project, which was born out of me realizing I had lost my shit in about 2001, and have been flailing and careening and crashing through my life since then. Sad, but true.

    So, on the way to becoming–not even a more, but–an actual fully functioning grown-ass woman, again, at the age of 51, I will join you on this quest to get real good at adult-ing.


    xoxo Darya

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      51 is the new 21. You got this. The Better Me Project sounds pretty awesome.

  • theblahblahblahger

    Bought the Fitbit and was slapped in the face with the truth that I’m truly a sedentary person. No me gusta. Working on upping my activity level…and by working on it, I mean that I’ve replaced my whole workout wardrobe. Baby steps…

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      That is EXACTLY the way I would have started had I been shopping last month. But now that I think about it….I should probably reward myself for a month of vigorous activity.

  • mommyonthespot

    I have a routine of feelings about working out. 1. LET’S DO THIS. (On the way to the gym) 2. Let’s not do this (as I sit in the car in the parking lot). 3. I’m doing this and it’s not too bad (warm up on the treadmill). 4. I’m doing this and I HATE IT – the EMS might be called soon (15 minutes into running). 5. I did it, and I feel pretty good. (after the workout is done).

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      We are good enough friends that I can tell you this without fear that you will no longer return my texts: Sometimes, at step 2, I decide that I, in fact, will not be doing this, and I turn around and drive home.

      This has happened more than once.

  • Steph@DontChewGlass

    I want a Fitbit, but I’m afraid I’ll learn the same thing you did. Please, please show me how to be a functioning human. Not even adult, just human will be fine.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I totally wouldn’t know the answer to that but if you figure it out first, will you please holler at a homegirl and share the secret with me?

  • Emily

    I walked to the gym today in the snow and decided that because I exerted that much effort, I definitely didn’t have to work out as hard/long. This isn’t to brag (it was only like 100 yards from my apartment door to the gym door), it’s just to say that this moving thing/being an adult is hard work.
    Also, I’m not buying a fitbit because I sit in a cubicle all day. That’s depressing enough as it is, I certainly don’t need another computer telling me I’m not moving enough.
    But good on you. You kill those steps and I’ll root for you from my cube!

    Oh, also, I started a blog and I’d love if you took a sec to check it out. :)

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      The important and gangster thing here is that the walking was done in the snow. I don’t care if it’s one inch of the white fluffy stuff or 3 feet of the brown/gray frozen solid variety, 100 ft in snow is 10 regular miles.

  • Elizabeth Aquino

    I think I adore you.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I adore you one hunnit for going on a date with me.

  • Lori and Rebecca

    Agree- exercise IS stupid.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Thank God someone else knows the truth.

  • Kendra

    you funny, another great post.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Thanks, boo! xo