My 16 year old trainer

September 11, 2015


unhealthy food, Fairhope Supply Co.

As a teenager, I had the burdensome task of helping my clueless parents understand everything from how to dress to what they should be eating. In college, I took a nutrition class and came home and cleared out their refrigerator of any hydrogenated oils, nitrate laced meats and fake dairy creamers. I helped my Mother with her hairstyle and felt it was only my duty to show my Dad how to choose his shirts. But now, for some reason, my son doesn’t realize how smart I am, and he thinks he should be the one telling me what to eat, how to dress and now, of all things, how to exercise.

French Fries, Fairhope Supply Co.

One day in the car he asked, “Mom, do you even like to exercise?” “Oh sure, I love extra fries” I replied, heading to the drive-thru window. “No, Mom, you really need to start exercising.” “Are you kidding? I exercise all the time. I rarely sit down during the day.” I told him as I gobbled down the hot, salty, golden, fried treat.


The 16 year old know-it-all claimed to have researched and found that a woman “my age” (how dare he), should be walking and moving around a lot more than he thought I was. He held me down and strapped an ugly, plastic band to my arm and told me I had to wear it so he could monitor how far I walk every day. This “Fitbit” was synchronized with my iphone and was going to send me messages to make sure I didn’t sit around all day eating boiled peanuts and drinking champagne, as I’m prone to do.
fit bit, exercise, Fairhope Supply Co.

After wearing the ugly bracelet for one day (I try to hide it beneath rows of pearls), it revealed I had walked 3,000 steps, which I thought was incredible since I didn’t leave the house all day except to walk outside to pick a few tomatoes. “See?” I told him, “I’m a blur of constant motion. I’d win the gold medal in the Housewife Olympics.”


Teen-boy looked at me and shook his head, and through his eyes, told me I was pitiful.


Incensed by his lack of awe at my physical accomplishment, I did some research of my own and discovered the Fitbit doesn’t count your steps unless you swing your arm. Okay, now we know the Fitbit wasn’t created by a Mother – and here’s why; Mothers never get to swing their arms. We walk into the kitchen carrying an armload of cups and plates found strewn around the house, then, see the car keys our husband was searching for, so we take them, along with a stack of mail, his sunglasses and phone, and walk them over to his desk. On his desk, we see a dog toy and our child’s socks – how they ended up there, we’ll never know, so we gather those things up and walk around the house placing items where they belong.

doing laundry, Leslie Anne Harrison, Fairhope Supply Co.

Our arms are constantly full, and can’t jauntily swing back and forth when we are holding a laundry basket, groceries or the tool box. Our feet are in constant motion, but our hands are occupied.


The one place I’m sure to get a good workout is the grocery store, but alas, pushing a buggy keeps my arms immobilized while the rest of me is zipping around the bananas. I tried strapping the Fitbit to my ankle, but I looked like Martha Stewart on house arrest and didn’t want to start rumors.

facts-about-exercise, Fairhope Supply Co.

By brushing my teeth six times a day, vigorously grating cheese, and occasionally strapping the device to the bouncy Beagle’s collar and whispering, “squirrel,” I’ve upped my count to around 7,000 steps a day, which pleases my son, but only up to a point. He claims I should be walking 10,000 steps a day. Who does he think I am, Jackie Joyner-Kersee?


Fairhope Supply Co.


Exercise is only the beginning. I’ve got to make sure this kid of mine never takes a nutrition class, or there go my french fries, peanuts and champagne. And for some reason, his meddling in my affairs amuses my parents to no end.


This story first appeared in the Gulf Coast Newspapers and The Sumter Item

Leave a Reply

  1. Leslie Anne… this is one of my favorite posts of yours. SO DARN FUNNY!! And, boy can I identify! The Mister went on a bus. trip and they gave him a fitbit. Of course, he offered it to me. I probably will never figure out how to use it. Thanks for the laughs and have a great weekend.

  2. I purchased a fit bit about three months ago and I have lost ten pounds. I need to lose about 15 more to be where I feel I can maintain. I did research as well and I found out that the 10,000 steps was randomly chosen by the Japanese as an ad thing. Most people move 3000 steps a day so if you double that you are doing well. I have worked up to 9000 as a goal and no I do not reach it every day but I aim for 7000 on days where I cannot get outside and walk. I admit I have fought becoming OCD about it!! But it makes me think twice about eating something that is not good for me!

    1. So the Japanese are to blame for my guilt over not reaching 10,000 steps a day? Hmm. Glad to know I’m off the hook.

      Good for you with your fitness program. The fitbit really does make you mindful and aware of your activity level which is good for all of us. Congratulations on your healthy achievements!

  3. Thanks for the laughs today! I will never understand have I have made it this far since my son isn’t around now to keep me in line anymore. Just a miracle.

  4. There is light at the end of the tunnel! My middle son told me about 15 years ago that the older he got, the smarter I became!

  5. I had no idea the Fitbit didn’t measure steps unless the arms are swinging. I will swing my arms in a chair, I’ll swing my arms up in the air, I swing them left and swing them right, 10,000 steps will be in sight. Sorry couldn’t resist…it is amazing how youngsters are so smart when it comes to our health and welfare, yet if we suggest they go to bed at a reasonable hour for health reasons it becomes a big problem. Such a funny post.

    1. Alright, Dr. Seuss, you made a great point about bedtime. I’ll file it away to use as ammunition sometime! Thanks!

  6. I literally LOL over the image of strapping the fitbit to your pup. Strapping it to your ankle still seems like a viable option. In fact, I was taken back by a woman at Walmart last week who was about my age and sporting several tattoos and an ankle monitor. Perhaps I judged too quickly? She may have simply been trying to outsmart her Fitbit. LOVE the photo!

  7. Those pearls are everything! A gal must always look her best even when toting laundry or wearing a FitBit. A friend of ours routinely logs 15,000 or more steps a day on his FitBit. We suspect that he has his intern wear the device and walk around the office for 8 hours per day. I always feel I’m doing well when I get more steps than my 85 year old mom.

  8. what a marvelous post! and so true! i did the same thing to my mom, and now it’s a few years later and i’m really having to take my own advice… 🙂

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
%d bloggers like this: