I’m only in it for the points: FitBit Addiction

I’m switching gears here from my usual area of expertise (cloth diapers, cloth diapers, breastfeeding, cloth diapers) and throwing a blog curve ball at you today.  (post contains affiliate links to some of the products I’m using that were all my own purchases, this is not a review or endorsement)

Fitbit– do you have one?  I got mine for Mother’s Day after deciding I was going to start Couch to 5K (I mentioned it in May).  I felt having a way to track my steps each day and other statistical information would be beneficial to my overall health and weight loss goals.  I also thought throwing some money at it would help keep me motivated and invested, otherwise I’d be wearing a $100 Armstrong-esque silicon armband for “looks.”  I also threw some money at a pair of running shoes (that turned out not to be ideal according to the running store I later visited) and calf compression sleeves I needed for the shin splints likely caused by the not-so-great running shoes.

Obligatory Lego in the background
Obligatory Lego in the background

I have slacked on the running thing (I am blaming the inescapable heat and humidity for this… not even a 7 AM run would be early enough to escape it) but I’m still obsessed with the FitBit.

I even lost 2 pounds!  In fact, I didn’t lose any weight while running but in the weeks that followed I lost those two pounds.  Was it because my overall activity increased thanks to my FitBit?  Maybe.  Was it because I was broke and stopped drinking as many lattes?  That could also be a factor.

The FitBit has changed my days because I’m a competitive gamer.  I’m in it for the points.  I want to WIN at walking.   I want a high score and I don’t want to fall to the bottom of my Friends list.  I’m consistently in 2nd place each week except for the time my battery was dead for 24 hours while traveling, causing me to miss out on over 10,000 steps I would have earned while walking around the airport. (I typed this last night when I was in 2nd and woke up in 4th!  Luckily I’m heading to the zoo so I will catch up.)  I would strive for first place but she is 40,000 steps over me on average each week I am going to have to let her have that trophy.  The funny thing is that I’m always in a feminist blogger sandwich, one in 1st and one in 3rd, being surrounded by awesome women is a bit motivating as well!  My friend list isn’t full of athletes, I should be very thankful for that, otherwise I wouldn’t even be on my own leaderboard. (You should read David Sedaris’ article about his FitBit addiction if you think I have it bad.  I love him.)

One of my older dashboards that hasn't been deleted yet!
One of my older dashboards that hasn’t been deleted yet!

I check my numbers as often as I check my Instagram feed.  If I see I’m well below making a good day I go for a walk or clean my house.  In fact, the FitBit has caused my house to stay much cleaner since I know I will get a lot of steps from doing housework.  I call up a friend and start cleaning.

When I shop I look crazy because I only push the cart with one hand, otherwise I would miss out on a few hundred steps (pushing carts and strollers doesn’t seem to count!).  I may also have a adapted a more exaggerated arm swing just to ensure each step gets counted.  If you see a crazy lady pushing a shopping cart with one left arm swinging wildly that’s me.

Along with tracking my steps, the FitBit has given me insight into my sleeping patterns.  I’m never going to win a “deepest and longest stretch of sleep” competition so it is useless for me there.  I am restless much of the night (not a surprise) and I can pinpoint the exact moments when I have to get up and address any nightmares or bedwetting incidents.

I’m aware that I’m probably doing this for all the wrong reasons, but if the results are there, who the heck cares?!  I’m looking forward to the end of summer.  I plan on getting back to running when the humidity isn’t practically visible!  I know that this fitness tracker isn’t 100% accurate (I don’t know of one that is, though I have friends who use MisFit, Fuel Band, and there are a lot of other wearable fitness trackers I haven’t even heard of) but if the result is more activity overall it is doing the job it was intended for and that has been fun and beneficial for me.

The only drawback I’ve felt so far has just come from wearing the thing 24/7.  I don’t want to miss out on any steps so no matter what the occasion, I’m wearing a silicone armband.  Date night?  I’ll wear the “pretty” red one.  Pre-K Graduation?  Teal.  At least there are some choices in colors for extra bands but it is still an athletic silicone armband.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m a bit behind and typing doesn’t count as activity and I need to grab a snack- but first I’m going to walk back and forth to the fridge 20 times.

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  • Cass

    I am hooked on my fitbit too, mostly because I want to have the most steps out of everyone on my friends list!

  • There are a whole bunch of websites that sync with your FitBit and let you earn points (or even cash) for your activity! I like those tangible rewards even more than I love the FitBit graphs 😉

  • Helen Thomas

    Walgreens is one of the sites you can connect to and earn their points for cash on your purchase. I am annoyed at the stroller issue because that’s how I get a lot of my walking done.

  • Barbara Holland

    You can put the Fitbit in your pants pocket and it will count your steps when you need to push something.