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I Tossed My FitBit and Feel Healthier Already

I felt like a loser. My friends were all out-stepping me. How did they fit 10,000 steps into a day, let alone 25,000 or even 35,000? Were they working while walking on a treadmill? (Apparently some of them were.) Others just found the time to walk a lot, I guess.

"Phooey," I said! "I don’t need this." I have two little boys, a lot of work time in front of the computer and can barely get dinner on the table, let alone walk around the neighborhood for an hour in the freezing rain. Oh sure, I get to the gym every now and then. But that doesn’t count now, does it? Nope. That hour on the elliptical doesn’t get counted in my steps.

So when my FitBit battery died (again) I just let it go.

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I was tired of the stepping race. I had nothing to prove. I originally bought my FitBit to motivate myself to be more active. I wanted to feel some sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Instead, I found myself obsessing over friends’ numbers, which were consistently better than mine, no matter how much I tried. I threw it out because my end goal was to work out, not to walk.

I want to take a picture of what I’m eating and have a machine calculate those calories, so I don’t have to guess how many eggs were in the pancakes I had at brunch last week.

The problem with the FitBit is that is isn’t an activity tracker. It is just a step tracker. If you love to swim, watch TV while on the elliptical trainer, ride horses, bike or anything else that isn’t whatever FitBit deems as a “step,” then you are out of luck. You could have done the same amount of exercise as a marathon runner. But, unless you ran that marathon, all of that action won’t show up on your pedometer.

Sure, you can manually put in all of your activities for the day — just like you can count every calorie you eat, too. But you know what? I’m a mom. I don’t have time for that nonsense. I need a device that does it all automatically for me. I want to take a picture of what I’m eating and have a machine calculate those calories, so I don’t have to guess how many eggs were in the pancakes I had at brunch last week.

Worst of all was the guilt I felt at the end of the day when I saw my total. I found myself running in place just to make it to 10,000 steps. Yes, there was that fulfillment. But was running in place for a minute at 11 p.m. so I could add those last few hundred steps actually helping my body? Probably not. The guilt gnawed at me, and I was too obsessive. Instead of being motivated and sticking with the competition my friends seemed to be having, I actually became more inactive.

What I do know is that a FitBit will not be part of that equation anymore.

It was time for a change, so I made it.

I ditched my FitBit. I’m looking for something better, something that can motivate me to move when my work life entices me to sit still more than I should. A device that will track all of my activities, no matter how many steps I take, so I don’t feel like a loser at the end of the day. Maybe that will just be a friend saying, “Bravo! You went to the gym for 20 minutes. You rock!” Maybe it will be a jar I add a marble to every time I work out on my own. Once that jar is filled, I get a giant piece of chocolate cake as a reward. Who knows?

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What I do know is that a FitBit will not be part of that equation anymore.

Do you have a FitBit? Does it motivate you to move more?

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Image via Twenty20/Robert01001

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