‘Music That Moves’ Musicians use Fitbit to take on Ragnar Relay

This guest post is from Annie Clements Beaty who plays in the band Sugarland. Annie previously wrote about the #Fitbit2014 Challenge, adding recipes and more.


As a musician, I’m on the road two-thirds of the calendar year. I’m in a new city all the time, changing time zones, staying up late, eating late, sleeping late, and trying my best to maintain my physical and mental health. Ever since I can remember, my weight has gone up and down, subject to the whims of my will power and whatever fad diet was popular at the time. When I met and married my husband while playing with the band Sugarland, together we rode the roller coaster of touring like crazy, yo-yo dieting and holding on for dear life.

Then he did the unthinkable and became a vegan, trained for an IRONMAN, and lost over 70 pounds. Suddenly, I was no longer the better-looking better half in our marriage. Not cool, man. As I continued to fantasize about swimming in chocolate rivers, drowning my sorrows in pizza and Diet Cokes (“Hi, I’d like a large stuffed-crust pizza. Oh and a Diet Coke, of course.”) my husband swam in actual bodies of water, biked hundreds of miles, and ran marathons. Turns out Thad is the type of person with an never-ending fountain of self-discipline. But I needed extra help.

It was time for me to make a lifestyle change, not some crazy deprivation diet plan that was sure to fail. I needed knowledge and accountability, two things I’ve now got in spades thanks to my handy little Fitbit. At last I had a way to understand how many calories I was burning throughout the day, and I saw real results. Like, fitting-into-the-minidress-I-wore-to-my-Sweet-Sixteen results (Yes, I still have the dress. A super-classy hot pink rayon number from Contempo Casuals. How could I ever bear to part with it?).

annie thad boxingAnnie and Thad lookin’ good!

Another huge factor for me is not going it alone. With the help of our Fitbits, I now have several people on tour involved including a group of music-industry types back home, led by my fearless husband working with his nonprofit Music That Moves to reclaim their health, competing for the most steps. Touring with my Fitbit has led to several instances of my doing things like jogging in place in bars at the end of the night trying to hit my goal of 10,000 steps a day.

Unfortunately, there now exists multiple videos of me jogging in place while watching movies backstage, jogging inside the tour bus as it’s traveling down the road, etc. All recorded and posted without my permission naturally, but still worth the embarrassment to keep up with my friends and to avoid that dreadful “taunt” feature.

And thanks to my dropping nearly 20 pounds and feeling confident, the hubby has finally convinced me to join him on an insane endurance challenge. Along with our Music That Moves friends, Thad and I will participate this fall in the Ragnar Relay, a 48-hour relay where a group of us will take turns walking, running, and likely crawling our way from Chattanooga down to Nashville while the rest of us follow along in a van taking turns sleeping, driving and cheering each other on (I’m thinking it’s not too far removed from touring so how hard can it really be?).

We have set the goal of raising $50,000 for the Melanoma Research Foundation and their #GetNaked campaign, and our team is counting on Fitbit to help us train and be there every step of the way.

We all have our challenges and I’m so grateful I’ve found the tools I need to meet those challenges head on. As a team, we will be sharing the challenges of training for this relay and give an honest account of the good, the bad, and the ugly in the hopes that it can inspire many of you to tackle challenges of your own. From myself, my husband, my colleagues, and my team, I want to say thanks to Fitbit for being a part of reclaiming our health!

You can follow Annie on her journey on Facebook and Instagram.

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