>Numbers Running


Numeral Sequences

10,000 Steps…
30 minutes 5x week…
7% Saturated Fat

What would American fitness be without numbers? We’re crazy for them; we make them our mantra; we get nervous if we don’t know the “right answer.” Me too, I’m afraid. I tried the pedometer route to mapping my 10,000 steps a day. Really depressing. That is, until I realized that one afternoon I walked up and down State St. about three times and the pedometer claimed I had taken 200 steps. Uh, no, I don’t think so. I could have counted to 200 and I couldn’t have counted all the steps I took in that six times six blocks. Pedometer wrong; my perception right.
Not only do French women not get fat, I really doubt they totter about on their Chanels with an AccuPed in their Louis Vuitton’s (is that kosher, to wear Chanel and carry Louis Vuitton at the same time?). But Americans, we need numbers. My clients always want to know: How many calories a day should I be eating? How many repetitions of this exercise should I be doing? How many minutes, seconds a day should I be meditating(!)? And I don’t really mind presenting some benchmarks because they need numbers. I remember when teaching writing that my foreign students, those whose native language wasn’t English, always wanted me to diagram out sentences and wanted to know exactly what “part of speech ‘should have'” was. And while I wanted to say “you don’t need to know that; you just need to know how to use it” that wasn’t enough: they needed parts of speech.
Fitness is like that to Americans: a foreign language. Making sane food choices doesn’t come naturally in a land bombarded by Jenny Craig and MacDonald’s ads. Knowing when or how much activity is healthy isn’t intuitive when exercise means Wii Fit as a break from computer Solitaire. Breathing deeply, sitting quietly, well, how do you “ask your doctor if it’s right for you?”
Right now, I’m battling with my doctor because my cholesterol numbers are “high.” She, of course, wants me to go on statins; I say “maybe that’s just the way I am.” If I’m eating well, getting exercise, taking my fish oil capsules and maintaining a healthy (if zaftig) weight then I’m not real anxious to take a medication known to have all kinds of side effects to get the “numbers” exactly “right.”
So, I’m going to try going on a number-free diet. No measuring out my serving of Cheerios; no marking every lamp post I pass on a walk as another 200 steps; no setting the timer when I sit down to meditate (ok, “chill out” might be a better term for what I do). Anyone up for joining me for 8 weeks? Oh, slap my wrist: Anyone else feel like doing this for awhile?


One thought on “>Numbers Running

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