The FitBit: It’s a Coach, Not My Mother

One of the biggest lessons I have learned over the past fifteen years is a reinvention is not just about our hair, makeup and clothing, but is a journey of balance between all aspects of our lives.  Caring for our health is one of the largest components of taking care of ourselves from the inside out.

When I began to turn my life around at age 50, I was not caring for my health at all.  So, at the same time I was focusing on the outside, I had to begin to include the inside as well.  It has been a journey of baby steps and of finally doing things I wish I had done in my thirties.  But, living in regrets is not productive so I try to always move forward and not think about what I should have done at a younger age.

Many of you know, it would not be until my very late fifties when I finally entered a gym for me and not to watch my children performing a sport.  Since age sixty, I have done three bone scans and the results in favor of my strength training (weight lifting) class have been amazing.  I am currently off medication for my bones, because the strength training has worked so well.  I go to a special class called WOW…women on weights…twice a week.

Before you pat me on the back, let me confess to you that I have resisted the FitBit ever since it hit the market.  My husband loves to see his steps, heart rate, sleep patterns and is encouraged daily by the stats.  I only saw it as one more thing to tell me what I am doing wrong…I know, I had a warped view of it. I told him I didn’t need my mother on my wrist.  But, I reached a point recently where I consented to give it a try.

This FitBit has only been in my life a short time, and, I am actually beginning to like the little person who jumps up and down when I achieve the small goals, and the fireworks when I hit the big one.   I work two jobs (editor and blogger) which both require great amounts of sitting!  So, I do like to have this reminder to get up and MOVE.  The FitBit does not allow me to sit for long periods without gentle prodding to take those steps.  Perhaps it is not like my nagging mother was after all, but more like a helpful coach.

So, I will let you know how my love/hate relationship with my FitBit goes.  I hope it will help with my stress levels during the day…if I walk around, rather than crunch on something, it should help my weight situation.

But, I will also be transparent and share with you the good, the bad and the ugly about my recent blood tests and what I hope to do about turning some things around.  Watch for that post to come.

Any FitBit stories you would like to share?  All encouragement welcome!

KEEP SMILING!

22 Comments

  1. I confess Pam, I saw them like you did, just a device to nag me and pressure me into something at a regimented time. And all the tracking of information…wore me out thinking about it. I’ll be interested to follow along and see what you think of it. I do have a very nice pedometer (which I know is super old-school now) and it does encourage me to move more when I wear it. No pressure since it doesn’t “remind” me, but I found myself always trying to beat my previous day’s activities. I think the FitBit would do the same. I am competitive by nature (not always a good thing) so I have always tried to go ‘one more mile’ than yesterday. It does work when you are wearing something that keeps track! Please keep us posted!

    1. I am beginning to like the reminders to move, because I think I would sit and keep working. The FitBit divides the reminders into achievable small goals. Such as, let’s take 29 steps now…I am beginning to like that and if I see results I will let you know. I will keep you posted. Have a great day, Karen

  2. I’m really on the fence when it comes to FitBit. My biggest complaint is that I fear it prevents us from being attuned to our body. I know when I’ve not had enough exercise. I know when I haven’t slept well. I don’t need a device to inform me. On the other hand, I like how you and your husband use it as a source of encouragement, to track progress or as a reminder to get up and move. I’m always the last to jump on the bandwagon, but your post today was very helpful and informative! Thanks, Pam.

    1. I agree, but I also really need something to motivate me to move more….and so far, that is the greatest benefit. I do not use it for sleeping, but movement. If it helps me to lose weight, then I will wear it a long time! Thanks Beth.

  3. I have been using a FitBit for several years now. And I like to be able to see how much I move during the day. Setting goals is important to me. I did discover one fact when grocery shopping it did not count my steps when I wore it on my wrist besides which it got in the way of my bracelets, using a mouse, etc. So now I wear it on my ankle. It counts all my steps now.

  4. Good for you Pamela. I had one but it wore out. My husband uses his and loves it. He is very faithful about getting his step goal. Right now I just concentrate on the fitness goals I have set up for myself. What is really helping me stay on track this time is reading the motivation quotes on Pinterest. If there is one that seems to be helpful I pin it on my board entitled Healthy Lifestyle. Hopefully this round of being healthy is a take. I have lost the same twenty pounds soooo often!!!

    1. I love the motivation quotes and love the idea of a Healthy Eating board. I feel the same way…this round really needs to be a take. Thanks Sharon.

  5. The day after New Years I was so burned out from all the [fun] activity over the holidays that I binge watched a TV show on Netflix. One I’d never seen so I started with the first season and watched to the last. Throughout the day my Fitbit kept telling me to “get up and move.” I told it I have been getting up for bathroom breaks and cups of coffee, but it would not leave me alone. I threatened to put it in a drawer if it didn’t stop trying to take away my one, just one, day of frivolous wasting of time–I earned it and I was exhausted. I was recharging my own battery and I told Fitbit I could let her’s run out altogether if I wanted.

    Have fun with your new coach!

    1. I am still going to relax, Nina. I need it on the weekends. But at least during the week, I am moving more. It has to help if I keep this up.

  6. That is wonderful about your bone scan. I’m always slow to try new things. I have just recently been trying my husbands FitBit. I’m still undecided on it myself. I tend to take it off a lot to wash my hands, wash dishes etc. and then forget to put it back on. Good luck on your journey to good health. That is my goal for this year also.

    1. I leave mine on except in the shower. Hand washing hasn’t been a problem yet as long as I stay aware of it. We can do this together, Michele.

  7. I love my Fitbit. I especially like the activity minutes because you really have to do some consistent movement to get them. However, I turned off the get up and move reminders. My Fitbit notifies me of texts and phone calls which I might not have heard, and those are the reminders that are important to me. Too many reminders, and I started ignoring them.

    1. I do like I can see the texts and whose calling…been a nice side benefit. I know I am moving more this week at work. Thanks Meg.

  8. I’ll be honest-I love working out at Curves, wearing my Fitbit (got a new one for Christmas), and starting a Gentle Yoga class this New Year. I find it easy to ignore my Fitbit if I don’t want the reminder to get up and shake a leg. However, sitting too long makes my legs achy so I like knowing that I have a semi-quiet friend pushing me gently to get up and move it.

    1. I am beginning to see it as my friend since it gets me up and moving during the day. So far…so good. I work out at the YMCA near me and feel the same way about it. Thanks Bernie!

  9. I turned on my Fitbit’s reminder to move after reading this article. I will see how it goes. If it doesn’t work for me, I will turn it off. I have the Fitbit Flex 2. I wear it while taking my senior water aerobics classes. It’s waterproof. This is my second Fitbit. I got one when they first came out. I had a lot of technical challenges with it, so I gave it up. When I retired two years ago, one of my main goals was to get more fit. My sister suggested a fitbit. She didn’t know that I had one previously. At first, I poo-pooed the idea. At Christmas time, there was a sale on them, so I bought one. It’s been more than a year. So far, so good. By the way, fitbit customer service is great. Tip–if you wear a lot of dark colors, get a black band. The darker colors will transfer to the band and it will always look dirty. I like to use it to monitor the number of hours I sleep and my weight. I’ve probably only walked more than 5,000 steps less than twenty times in the past year. I understand that at my age 7,000 steps daily would be good. I am still working toward that goal. The fitbit allows me to know exactly how much walking I am doing or not doing. Love it and highly recommend it. I can’t speak on the higher end ones.

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