I recently bought myself a FitBit Flex for a number of reasons, namely not prioritizing exercise, failing to take good care of my mental or physical health, gaining a few pounds, among others.
When people ask me if I like it, I’m quick to say that I have a very love/hate relationship with it. I love that it’s forcing me to think about moving more during the work day but hate that I know know I don’t move nearly often enough. (Although, I love that it’s inspired small changes in my daily routine to negate the not-moving-enough part.) I’ve only been wearing this little guy for just over a month but I’ve learned some things in this short time.
1. 1000 steps is a lot farther than I thought.
2. Flights of stairs are a lot harder than I remembered.
3. The Friends list on my FitBit dashboard is a lot less fun when I’m constantly stuck at #12 or 13 of 15 people.
4. Long lunchtime walks are best done NOT in flats (hello, blisters!).
5. But wearing gym shoes with jeans? Too much pride.
6. We’re walking to dinner nearby rather than drive (embarrassingly, we’ve driven to dinner at restaurants definitely within walking distance. A long walk, but still a walk. I’ll argue it was winter…)
7. Non-walking activities (hi, climbing and yoga) don’t count for steps but do count for ‘Active Minutes’ – which is great…but doesn’t help me move up on my friends list! (see #3).
8. Philly loves the extra long walks as much as I do. Morning or evening, I’m finding the time extremely valuable for my mental health – either as solo thinking time or an opportunity to call family or friends.
9. Knowing how few steps I walk in a workday has kicked my butt to get up before work and move because I sure as hell have a hard time doing it after work.
10. You have to define your own success. I can see how easy it would be to get wrapped up in the numbers and rankings to mentally unravel and feel dissatisfied and hard on oneself. I know 10,000 steps is really hard for me during the week so I aim to get 7,000 steps in – a goal I can hit and still HUGE increase from the 1,500-2,500 on a ‘normal’ workday. And as much as I don’t like seeing my low ranking amongst my friends, I know that yoga for an hour or climbing with my friends or biking to work is just as important as walking for an hour. And some days will just suck and 10,000 steps (or 7,000) is unattainable. But that’s fine. The world will go on and the FitBit will buzz at 10,000 steps another day.