My pedometer made me a better mother.

20130725 061243 My pedometer made me a better mother.

my feet. circa 2006.

To know me is to know Im an *early* adopter (we had a DVR when most still used VHS tapes) or the l-a-s-t to the soiree (I jumped on the Crocs bandwagon LONG after said wagon had been abandoned).

To know me is to also be aware Im opinionated.  To the point of resembling a Tornado petulant child.

Once I get into my head I dislike something (hello mayonnaise!) I never really give it a chance.

Back in the 90s when everyone was tracking/counting—I decided I hated pedometers.

This disdain had nothing to do with the fact I exercise intuitively (I didnt then) & everything to do making a snap decision.

I encouraged others to wear pedometers, rock heart rate monitors and embrace gadgets—but they weren’t for me.

Until they were.

Recently my back started hurting.

I blamed it on my piriformis/the fact I needed to foam roll more–yet I knew, intuitively it was because I sat too much.

Id become the most sedentary healthy living writer I knew.

It was time for a change, I was desperate for a change, I decided a pedometer might be that change.

It took me one day to learn I walked as much as a bed ridden person.

I exercise consistently—but after 30 minutes it’s workwritingworkwritingSITTING for much of my day.

20130721 051636 My pedometer made me a better mother.

the life of an UpAtCrack working misfit.

I PLAYout with the Tornado —- but those activities (monkey bars, SKIP IT) do not equate to steps (who knew?).

20130721 073733 My pedometer made me a better mother.

I’d get stuck here for hours & hours

We’ve gots a canine–but right now he’s hell on a leash not super walk friendly.

Photo116 300x225 My pedometer made me a better mother.

not helping…yet!

I realized if left to my own work-housework-grocery-work-childtime-work-bed devices Id plateau at 3 thousand steps EARLY in the day & not add much from there.

I was far behind the average American.

I committed to stepping it up (pun intended) and, to my surprise, more steps made me a better mother in the process.

  • My pedometer increased my patience. To mother (canine or otherwise) is to spend lots of time cleaning, straightening, retrieving, and organizing.  Even with my foray into the Orange Rhino I wasnt exceedingly patient when the Tornado would say, as we were leaving the house, OH MAMA I FORGOT XXX. WILL YOU GO GET IT FOR ME? until the pedometer. I no longer heard demands of a disorganized child—I heard her saying HERE’S AN OPPORTUNITY TO SQUEEZE IN STEPS!! 


(imagine image here of me happily skipping inside domicile to retrieve fleece jacket)


  • My pedometer was an opportunity to PRACTICE NOT PREACH.  My approach to parenting life is to practice what I preach & say not a word.  Before my pedometer it hadnt occurred to me a step-count display would be a sign to the Tornado we *both* needed to move!  On days she’d see my count was low she’d take the initiative to suggest we go play.  You dont need to be a mom to know ANYTHING which promotes healthy living *and* spares us nagging is win-win.


Photo117 251x300 My pedometer made me a better mother.

when did her fingers get so BIG?!


  • My pedometer was a FLASHING reminder of self-care.   I take care of myself firstI get up *early* to do so—but Ive learned if I dont place my oxygen mask on first I cannot ‘do unto’ others for the rest of my day.  It quickly became apparent on days I ONLY did unto others my step count was miniscule.  This is inevitable some days—this is NOT fine as consistent practice.


cf4736e0f3bd11e2859c22000a9f0a20 7 300x300 My pedometer made me a better mother.

SELF-CARE= a relaxing amble around the lake


So there’s my confession: a gadget Id hated without meeting is now a helpful tool in my belt with regards to being a kinder, gentler, misfit-Mama.

And you?


  • Are you an AVOWED pedometer junkie?
  • What lessons have you learned from increasing your steps?




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  1. says

    I’ve been like you – preached the benefits of pedometers and have actually seen the proof with myself. If I wear it and see that my steps are lower, I’ll get up and hoof it more just to get over 10000. It’s been awhile since I’ve worn mine. I’m curious where I’d be… Off to find mine for the day!

    • says

      I too have not worn mine for a while. It took a little getting used to and I lost about 3 before I was able to keep one on for more than a week.

  2. says

    I constantly find myself using things I swore to myself I would never use. Congrats on joining the pedometer club – I love them :)

  3. says

    I love my fitbit for this reason. When I get home after a long day and I’ve only hit 9k, guess who is jogging all around (with the kids) for that last 1k?! :)

  4. says

    Actions always speak louder when it comes to kids! You know I love my treadmill desk…my body is so much happier. Yesterday I drove to Ohio (6 hours) to visit my family and sitting just about killed me. Got out of the car, said hello, and left for a walk to reset the body.

  5. Bea says

    I tend to preach at people too much, I think.
    I mean well, but I get super healthy living excited.

  6. says

    Back in the day, before I discovered my love of the run, I sat on my buns all day. My cholesterol was creeping up, my whole body was jiggly…I didn’t want that for my ladies so I made the choice to set a better example.
    I don’t wear a pedometer, I’m *pretty sure* I get lots of steps in. I wear a GPS watch when I run and I track my runs to the nearest hundredth of a mile because every.step.counts. :)

  7. says

    i’m so glad you posted this!! i need 2 pedometers for my mom and myself. I’m trying to get her to MOVE more. I’ll send her your post to read!

  8. says

    I thought pedometers were kind of silly. That was until my employer handed one out to all our employees. I decided to give it a try. That’s when I realized on days that I worked I was logging in on average of over 10,000 steps a day. It really made a difference of how I did my meal planning because I had no idea how active I was actually being. These days I’ve ditched the step tracker though…

  9. Helen says

    LMBO at your Crocs, Miz.

    I had a pair back in the day as well.

    I am like you and tend to rebel against numbers. I wonder if I’d like one?

  10. MIZ says

    ID SAY NO!! anything cheap which counts your ambles works :-) and really—IN MY OPINION–it need not even be UBER ACCURATE to get you to move and increase your patience exponentially.

  11. MIZ says

    NO WORRIES. I for sure found the calm and patience and CALM bled over into my marriage, my relationship with friends, family and editors and bosses and…

  12. says

    I need to find my FitBit and charge that thing up again! I noticed that when I would walk 30 minutes on my lunch break it was so much easier for me to lose weight {I worked out with more intensity AFTER work}. I MUST start that again!

  13. says

    I have to admit this is NOT what I ever expected to hear you say about a fitness tool and yet so totally AWESOME :) I long ago got used to the idea of doing extra little things for the movement and it’s kind of just stuck, makes me feel good!

  14. says

    I average about 7,000 steps a day. Not great but ok. I’d get less but with two kids, a big house, and a bad memory…I walk around here a lot.

  15. says

    Love this Carla! Lessons learned!

    I do a lot of cardio so I know I get the steps in… I don’t have a pedometer but with the miles I rack up in the gym, I know what that equates to.. :) Rest days may be less – it would be interesting to see.. I do get up a lot & mobe around a lot & take my walks now but those off days – I would be curious! :)

  16. says

    I don’t have a pedometer. I don’t have anything against them I’ve just never owned one. But this post makes me want to go buy one asap!!! I love that it has helped you be a better Mom!! :-)

  17. Shelley says

    You know I love my Fitbit. It’s the first thing I grab off the nightstand – or even in the middle of the night if I have to go to the bathroom, because hey! Bonus steps to start the day, right? ;)

    I don’t always get to 10,000, but having the pedometer is a great reminder throughout the day to get off my tail, even if it’s just to do a few walking laps through the house. It’s been a 100% positive thing for me.

  18. Daisy says

    I need to try this because I have such a hard time being healthy some days. Thanks for the inspiration!

  19. says

    Love all of these insights! For me, wearing a pedometer has meant more one on one time with my children. Most evenings I steal one of the three away to join me on a walk around the neighborhood. So important for them not to have to compete with siblings for attention! So important for all of us to step away from our computers and just STEP! (Not sure if it’s helped my patience or not; you’d have to ask my hubby ;) )

  20. Nelda says

    I never equated mine with self-care–for me it can be more punitive because I wont stop until I hit 10k.

    • MizFit says

      YOU KNOW–I shockingly kind of get that!
      Initially I didnt love my pedometer because it did NOT inspire me.
      The fact it went back to *zero* each morning didnt feel like YAY! ANOTHER CHANCE TOMORROW!!! it rang to close to SERIOUSLY?! I HAVE TO TRY AGAIN? :-)

      now I just see it as plain ole information.
      not good.
      not bad.
      just an informational number…like the scale.

  21. says

    I think I need to get a pedometer. No child to be more patient with, but lots of dogs!

    When you said back hurting/sciatica = sitting too much a little light went off in my head. Thanks!

    • MizFit says

      it shocked me—and still does—how moving more diminishes the pain rather than exacerbates it.
      It almost feels counter-intuitive—but it works.

  22. says

    I never thought that having a pedometer would force one to make those changes, but I love your rationale behind it! I’m always debating a pedometer purchase, and I think I’m finally going to invest in a fitbit in the next few months. Stopping in fro Nellie’s blog!

  23. says

    I purchased an aerobic stepper to use for exercise in my home because it is getting too cold to walk, and I don’t have a lot of room in my house to exercise! Is it a good exercise to use? Will I lose weight if I watch what I eat, and use the stepper for approximately one hour a day?? I did it today with my pedometer on, and It said I made over 7000 steps, so I think that’s good but will it be enough to lose weight? Or should I not even bother with this and do something else?

  24. says

    I pompously thought that since I was a ‘runner’, I had no problemo getting in 10k daily steps. My pedometer proved otherwise. Color me enlightened. And walking much more.

  25. says

    I used to walk A LOT. I walked almost 2 miles every day to work from where I parked and I’d walk during my lunch hour. The knee injury I’ve been dealing with put a stop to that. Which sucks because walking cleared my head, made me feel happy and positive about things and I miss it!

  26. says

    I used a pedometer religiously while I was getting into shape for my wedding (I too was disappointed it didn’t track certain activities like the hours I spent cross country skiing) but haven’t used one since. Maybe it’s time.

  27. says

    Getting a pedometer is one of the best things I ever did. It motivated me to move more, keep going even if I didn’t want to, and learn that life is not a sprint. Great post!!

  28. says

    I use a Fitbit which is a pedometer (so it tracks steps) but also an accelerometer so it tracks other movement as well like using the elliptical and it counts how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed. I love it! It will also let you know if you’ve been sedentary for a long time so you can get up to walk around a bit.
    I think pedometers are great reminders to move more, especially since technology has made it so easy to be immobile most of the day. People often overestimate how much they move and think that if they exercised then they can sit for the rest of the day.
    I’ve found that since increasing my steps, I actually crave movement more and have a harder time sitting for long periods!

  29. says

    That is GREAT! I love your perspective about going back into the house for the 1,000th time to fetch a toy as an “opportunity.” For that reason alone I should get one!!

  30. says

    I LOVE that you gave something a chance that you had warded off! That is never so easy to do. It’s always a nice surprise when something we think is not for us, turns out to be just what we need.
    My foray with a pedometer went exactly the opposite of yours. I found that I walked a ton- literally averaged 13,000 steps per day which ended up showing me why I had so darn many foot problems… because I was walking all over the place with my job, etc., but never really working out hard enough to break a sweat or eating right. Hence I had 50 extra pounds hanging around and I was lucky that it was only that much- probably all the walking that warded off any more than that!

  31. says

    The part about “I had become the most sedentary healthy living writer” really hit home to me! I spent SO much time sitting for my job as a journalist & blogger that it’s insane sometimes. And, surprise surprise, my back has been hurting a lot too. I agree that pedometers can be a really useful tool.

  32. says

    i try to avoid most numbers when it comes to fitness/moving so i am not a pedometer user. i tend to feel guilty about sitting too much a lot without a pedometer telling me that i’m sitting too much!

  33. says

    This is why i try to not say “never.” Right now i don’t have one, and i’m not thrilled with the idea of getting one, but maybe someday.

  34. says

    I keep thinking that I need a pedometer or something (maybe a FitBit even). I’m great to get my workouts in but then the rest of my day is fairly sedentary. It would be a fun test to see if I even get 2000 steps the rest of the day and then to start to figure out how to make that happen!

  35. says

    I honestly didn’t realize how bad I felt from sitting so often until I didn’t have the option to sit as often.

    Your body wants to move around.

    And like everything else in the diet and fitness realm, we do better when we can track. It is hard to keep track of every little detail so being able to record and track so we can see concrete evidence really helps.

    It lets us know what we need to change so we aren’t just guessing!

    I’ve never used a pedometer but I would be curious now to see how I’m doing!

  36. says

    I’m totally curious about this because I always assume that I get enough steps in since I live in NYC and walk everywhere. Even if I take public transportation, I will have to walk there. But I know that I also sit a lot during the day and maybe be fooling myself. I’ve been tempted to get a pedometer to see how I really stack up but to be honest, I’m kind of scared to know? Hmmm. Maybe I do need one if it will make me a more patient person :-)

  37. says

    I recently used a pedometer for the first time, but sadly forgot to put it on many mornings. I’m glad to hear it’s been a good motivator for you.

  38. says

    What a great way of looking at it…never thought of it like that before. Now, if I can just remember to put it on!

  39. says

    “Until they were.”
    Yay! …you have me digging out my pedometer to see where I am at. With sitting now being looked at as as big a risk factor as smoking eeeek time to set the Pomodoro and walk during the breaks!
    Big Love from a very wet Maui!

  40. says

    I am a cube dweller by day so I do like wearing a pedometer for no other reason then it reminds me to get my butt up every now and then. I like the Jawbone Up because it gives you a vibration when you’ve been sitting for 15 min without activity.

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  42. says

    LOL. I HATE mayonaise too. And I’m not giving it another chance!

    However, I might get the old pedometer out to see just what I’m doing. I routinely take two short walks a day just because I know i won’t hurt as much if I do.

  43. says

    I’ve always been against pedometers (they never work for me) and HRM (seem to complicated) but my husband and I were talking this morning and I think I will have to give HRM another shot. I will let you know how it turns out.

  44. says

    I wear a Fitbit everyday and love seeing my steps and miles add up! It does make me want to move more and sit less. Who knew such a small gadget would make such a difference in my life?

  45. says

    I don’t use a pedometer but I try to walk between 30 and 60 minutes every day with Bella. I use Endomondo to track that because I love numbers and love adding up the miles I walked with Bella. My last walk was 47 minutes and Endomondo says I walked about 4900 steps. Add my normal steps to that and I think I might hit 10000 most days.

    I read an article recently that sitting is the new smoking. People sit too much and it’s as bad for your health as smoking is. Was kind of an eyeopener for me and when I looked around at work, I think it’s true. Most co-workers sit behind their desk all day. Personally if I have to ask someone something I walk to them instead of using the phone or email.

  46. says

    Fabulous post! I just started the #OmronPedometer 30-day challenge today with #mamavation and I am shocked at seeing how little I walk on these days that I am home working most of the time and doing just a bit of housework. I need to MOVE! I have time planned though for after dinner to go walk and get the rest, I hope, of my 10,000 steps in for the day!

  47. says

    That was cool. I love to try that pedometer for a walk so that i will know my steps while i’ll do my exercise in the morning. Well, thanks for the post.

  48. says

    I loved my pedometer when I had one. I work in a hospital and I would notice that just walking at work I’d hit almost 5,000 steps. Sometimes I would take the stairs instead of the elevator to get more steps in. I agree that it definitely help you become more aware!

  49. says

    Excellent article on pedometers. What helped you to chose using that specific pedometer over any other version? Personally I have been using a Fitbit for over a year and love it. Thankfully it’s easy to use and is very accurate.