Not Done Yet


How Many Steps Does It Take to Get Rid of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop?


As anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a gadget girl. My new best friend gadget is this pedometer, and I’ll tell you why: with it, I discovered how many steps it takes (for me) to balance some bad behavior at the buffet.

My family and I recently took a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. For weeks (okay, months) leading up to the trip, I was terrified. My parents wanted to spend most of their time gambling and sampling the culinary diversity of every buffet we could hit. I wanted to hide in my Weight Watchers cocoon with carefully measured PointsPlus at every meal. In each meeting leading up to the trip, I bugged my fellow WW members and our leader for tips, tricks, strategies and safe houses.

Props to Diane and Mike for the following winning suggestions.

  1. Walk. A lot.
  2. Take the stairs whenever you can.

In anticipation of the trip, I bought my handy-dandy pocket pedometer (see above) and set a goal of 5 miles per day. I picked that number because of an interesting, totally non-scientific, probably-bogus-pseudo-factoid: virtually of all of the runners I know (count them: 4) run five miles a day. If 5 miles a day is what works for runners, then I figured it would work for me in Vegas.

Because whatever happened at the buffet in Vegas needed to stay in Vegas.

Some days, I easily racked up that mileage during our treks from casino to casino. Other days, getting five miles meant spending a little time in the hotel gym in addition to our daily movement. Believe me, I was propelled into the gym each morning by whatever decadent desserts (yes, plural) that I had consumed the previous day. Fear is a great motivator.

So how did I do? I watched nervously at my next weigh in as Jo checked the scale.

“Very good,” she smiled. “You’re down 1.8 pounds.”


I should mention, in addition to tracking my mileage, I used the following survival strategies:

  1. Start Smart – I always started my meals with healthy, low-point choices then went back to get small servings of higher-point items to taste. For dinner, I generally went for broiled fish and vegetables first. At breakfast, I found egg white omeletes and fruit.
  2. If It’s Not Exquisite, Don’t Eat It – This is a big lesson from my WW leader. If the food wasn’t absolutely divine, I was not going to waste PointsPlus on it. I pushed that plate aside and found something else, or just stopped eating.
  3. Go Slow – One great thing about a buffet is the opportunity to get a little something, enjoy that, then think about what I might want next. This really worked to slow down my eating and give my body time to figure out whether or not it was full.
  4. Live a Little – Passing by every yummy-looking something on vacation would have become torturous for me and grueling for my traveling companions. While I didn’t engage in competitive eating, I did enjoy the company and get into the celebration spirit. I just didn’t cross over into the land of hedonistic abandon while in the land of… well, hedonistic abandon.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Once I got home, it became clear that my office-home-work environment was not nearly as pedestrian-friendly as Las Vegas. A typical day could yield less than a mile’s worth of steps! Having the pedometer has been a great tool to motivate me to sneak in more activity during the day. Because I’m always aiming for that 5 miles, the pedometer helps me stay aware of how much I’m sitting vs. how much I’m moving.

Some things that I do to get in a few extra steps:

  1. Inefficiency at the Office – I take multiple trips from the office kitchen back to my desk with each item in my lunch. I might look a little silly to the people in the break room, but I can rack up a lot of extra steps this way.
  2. Walking Instead of Parking – Those extra 60 seconds or more that I might spend driving around a parking lot looking for a closer space are now spent walking from a spot further away.
  3. Browse Big Stores – Target, Costco, the grocery store… the more I push my cart, the more steps I’m taking. I just have to remind myself that the goal is extra steps, not extra shopping.
  4. Five Minutes Every Hour (or Two) – This is an important one. At least once every two hours, preferably every hour, I get up from my desk and walk around for five minutes. This stretches my legs, refreshes my brain and definitely puts some extra clicks on the pedometer.
  5. Walk Around (and Around and Around) the House – during television shows, commercials, telephone conversations, anything that I can walk-and-do, I try to do.

So that’s it – my daily drive for five. Here’s my question: is anyone using one of these, and if so, how do you type??

Best wishes for an awesomelicious day!


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