I Gave Up My Fitbit Flex for the Week

The battery is draining as I write this…well actually, I got an email notification that by Fitbit Flex has a “low battery”. Last week I read a blog post by Amy at Crazy Mama Runs. Her post “Why is my Fitbit on my Dresser” caught my eye. I read it and then read it again. I totally got what she was saying.

I got my Fitbit Flex Dec 27th and have worn it every day since; trying to reach my daily goal of 10,000 steps. Most days I hit that goal and some days I don’t. One of the main reasons I got it was to track my sleep since I thought I was getting very little sleep. Tracking my steps couldn’t hurt, right? Turns out, I sleep okay but have to little ones that wake me up a lot. So really, I’ve learned nothing new. I wrote a review for my Fitbit a few months ago.

There were days when I was so closed to my 10,000 steps that I would literally walk around the inside of my house just to get my goal! Crazy, eh!!!!

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After reading Amy’s post to essentially “take a break” from her Fitbit for a month, I thought…I’d like to do that too – or at least take a week off and go from there!

The sleep function doesn’t always work and really….with my day job {Regional Physical Activity Consultant with the Province}, I know how much activity I should get in a day or week. I know I should get up from my desk and sit less, I know that walking at lunch time even for 15-20 minutes is good moderate activity. AND, I know that on those days I work out/run, I get a heck of a lot of steps at a VIGOROUS intensity.

Steps are steps. I could walk around my house all day and not go outside once and still reach my 10,000 step goal. Remember, steps are steps. I have done this by chasing after my girls, going up and down the stairs, using my stand up work station, making meals etc. The key here is they are just steps. On days like these, really…what health benefits am I getting by hitting my 10,000 step goal if it’s just steps around the inside of my house. Not to mention, there have been NUMEROUS times I’ve “reached” my 10,000 steps by the following:

  • Changing a diaper
  • Bathing the girls
  • Washing dishes
  • Lifting my arm in the air

Don’t get me wrong, I know these tracking devices do different things and are motivating for lots of people. Heck, it’s motivating for me to…at times. However, some days I was getting so focused on my steps that it was starting to become silly. I loved the challenges mainly to keep me accountable. I never needed to “win” them but enjoyed reaching my daily goals.

So after all that….on Sunday I woke up with my Fitbit put away in a drawer and yes I’ve thought about it. On Sunday {Mother’s Day} I was walking up the stairs swinging my arms naturally and thought “yes, I’m getting my steps in” and quickly realized NOPE, I’m not. While we played outside with the girls on the bike that afternoon, I thought “this would have been a lot of steps!”. Again, they weren’t adding up because I didn’t have it on.

So far, I don’t miss it and actually enjoy having nothing on my wrists but a hair elastic {runners problems} when I sleep. I’m enjoying the freedom. I know I should get up from my desk and sit less, I know when I should move and that being active is a healthy part of my life. I don’t miss the trying to get my steps in or having to reload my app to get it to update…that’s more time off technology which I kinda like.

I might wear it on the upcoming weekend since Lilly is running her 2k run, I’ll be on my feet all day or I might just forget it at home! That’s where I’m at and you bet tonight after I do my treadmill run and PT exercises that I’ll probably think “those steps would have sent me over my daily goal”.

Again, this opinions are my own. I’m just an injured runner changing it up for the week and will see if my Fitbit Flex makes it back on my arm or not!

Do you disconnect from technology often?

Are you concerned with how many steps you get in a day?

Do you know the difference between moderate and vigorous activity? 

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21 thoughts on “I Gave Up My Fitbit Flex for the Week

  1. My Fitbit actually helped me learn the difference between moderate and vigorous activity. I used to just use MyFitnessPal and track my calories in vs. calories out and I always way overestimated my activity! But, I think unplugging is a great idea. I rely on technology a LOT. Might be time for me to try this!

    • Awesome. You know…lots of people to don’t understand that they need moderate and vigorous activities each week. It’s nice to unplug every once in a while…I barely got online over the weekend and it was great.

  2. I gave up my Fitbit too. It wasn’t actually that motivating for me, and I hated having it on all the time. It also would randomly get stuck in sleep mode in the middle of the day and stop tracking. I just got sick of it.

  3. If you are a fitness and health minded individual, chances are you are ok. If you are worried about your weight (either way) or are curious about where you are at with your fitness, then it is a good chance to check in. But I agree–it is too easy to become a slave to the thing! BABY FIST PUMP YOU CAN DO IT

    • I think activity trackers are good for lots of people but there is such a big education piece missing. The fact that I can walk around my house and reach my goal or go for a run throughout the day and still reach my goal are two very different days. Some people just see the steps and that concerns me. Gotta raise that heart rate!
      And so far, I’m loving it….off to run now 😉

  4. Loved this! I stopped wearing my fitbit last year because it was becoming a major obsession. It was also adding more calories than I really needed to myfitnesspal so I disconnected all of it. I just picked it up again to track my sleep much as you mentioned. May take it off again it it takes over though…! 🙂

  5. I agree to a point. If I was an avid runner, I’d ditch the thing. My wanting to make my step goal has made my weight loss so much easier. Yes, I am one of the crazies who walk around the living room when I’m just short on my goal but…

    1) I’m so much more proud of my little 5 & 10K runs when I see my steps (especially since I’m really slow)

    2) I will walk to my destination far more often even if it’s 3-4 kms away mainly so I get my step goal and lose more weight.

    Still loving the FitBit bit we’ll see what the future holds.

    • I totally get your point. I think if I went with a better model (Charge vs. Flex that I have) I would be happier. I’m really disappointed in the sleep function on the Flex.
      Most people would drive their cars to a 3-4km destination because they don’t understand that walking that distance is so good for their health or they are lazy. Reaching step goals are a fantastic motivator, I feel the same way with my goals. I just feel like I need a little separation from it as I was too focused (some days) on trying to get my goal and not just enjoying activities.

  6. I totally get this. I hit my 20,000 step goal for almost 21 days and on Sunday I was 400 short. I was so tempted to do something about it but I let it go and it was okay! Great post and great reminder to unplug sometimes.

  7. I put mine on “hold” after I accidentally washed it. It works again but I didn’t miss it and stopped wearing it. My phone tracks my actual walking steps as long as I have it on me, which is motivating enough.

  8. Oh my goodness, I haven’t worn my Fitbit in months. I feel bad because it was a Christmas gift from my bf’s parents, but I just can’t get “hooked” on it. I had a Nike FuelBand last year, same problem. I do like that I can track my sleep because I found it scarily accurate, but after a while the novelty wore off.

    If you are someone who is really good about tracking everything you eat/drink/do in a day (I’m not), or someone who is not otherwise an athlete but wants help living a healthier lifestyle and hitting a more vague goal like losing weight/being more active, then I think Fitbit and similar tracking tools like MyFitnessPal are great ideas. But as an avid runner….I already know I get enough exercise, you know? And, believe me, i already also know that my diet could use some improvement 😉

    I think technology breaks are a great idea, although the only tech I’m really addicted to is internet blogs, social media (I’m that girl who will leave her phone at home when I go to the grocery store because who’s gonna call me?). I would like to find a way to make some of my “breaks” from FB more permanent.

  9. Love my FitBit 🙂 I do enjoy disconnecting when hiking and camping, but in the city I feel the need to keep that sucker on and checking my leaderboard!!! My competitive streak needs to wallop a former colleague on a daily basis….

  10. I have felt like I was MISSING out for the longest time as I do not have a fitbit. nor can I afford one. Reading this makes me realize that YES I am ok without one and can survive!! lol!!

  11. I completely gave up my Fitbit Flex, but only because the band broke again. I am still connected though with the Polar Loop that I wear on the opposite wrist. I do not live or die by my fitness wearable, but it does help me stay in range with my goals.

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