What does my Fitbit do? Well, I wear it on my wrist and it counts my steps (minimum 15,000 a day). But that’s not all it does. It gets me out and active every day. It takes me on super-long walks several times a week (10-15k). During those walks, I listen to podcasts of everything from NPR’s Serial (addictive!!) to The Guardian’s books podcast to A History of the World in 100 Objects from the BBC to Quirks and Quarks form the CBC. So, my fitbit keeps me up to date and learning about books, history, science and culture. It takes me on new routes to keep things fresh, so I’m discovering new areas of the city. My walks have spurred a love of making photographs, and I aim to get one good shot from each good walk. (I post them to our Instagram account or you can see the current one from the sidebar of the blog’s website.) My Fitbit makes me stretch, because after walking 10k, you just have to stretch. It has helped me lose 15 lbs since the end of the summer. Not a rapid rate of weight loss, but steady and, oh so importantly, enjoyable. There is no overcoming resistance to go out for long walks, not even in winter weather. It has taught me that I need extrinsic motivation to succeed, and being accountable for my daily 15,000 steps has been a fun and inspiring goal. I just love, love, love my Fitbit.
My Fitbit was a gift from my husband from way back last spring (Mother’s Day). I was so excited to get it because I’d been grilling a friend about hers and how it has helped her get strong and fit. Ted heard how animated I was and surprised me with one. Then, sadly, I let it sit in its box because I could not find the energy to figure out how to hook it up to the computer. Oh, what wasted months! When I finally set it up in September (my new year), it took all of 30 seconds. Seriously. So if you are a technophobe, fear no more. It really could not be simpler.
The Fitbit bracelet counts steps, but the dashboard to which it connects on on your phone and/or computer can also help you track what you eat and how much you sleep. (My fitbit thinks I sleep a lot more than I do because I read in bed for a few hours most nights. My Fitbit probably thinks I’m a very big cat, actually.) I have found tracking what I eat to be really helpful, mostly because it makes me realize that snacks and after-dinner nibbles really do add up. Again, it drives home how much I rely on extrinsic motivation to succeed. Seeing a list out there and up on my computer screen of what I put into my body helps me pay closer attention to that body. Some people are good at just listening to their bodies; I’m not one of them.
If you are media social, your Fitbit can talk to Facebook and to friends. My Fitbit and I keep to ourselves, pretty much, and that’s how I like it.
I think that’s the magic of this thing: it’s customizable and personal. When we sat down in September to plan our themes for the upcoming months, we each decided to try a new fitness class or activity. I hemmed and hawed about trying lots of new-to-me things, but I really could not get excited about any of them. Walking fits for me; it’s what I love, and I am so grateful to have such a simple and effective tool to remind me to do what I love each and every day.