Always Behind on any Trend but LOVE the Simplicity and Practicality of the FITBIT!
I didn't get my first iPhone until the day before I was leaving for a two week bicycle tour from Oakland to LA. That was just THREE years ago and as it was, the phone was a refurbished iPhone 4. On that trip, I didn't even know about Instagram so I was using my sunglasses over the camera lens as a warming filter. To this day, I still only use the standard default Instagram filters. Pretty sad for a pro photographer, but I'm definitely not one to embrace new technologies. I know it's sometimes a hindrance, but I like my personal time to be free to hike and hang with my husband and to read books (obviously not on a Kindle). I definitely don't want to spend my free time staring into my phone (which I seem to be doing more and more unfortunately). I sometimes like to sing (to the tune of the wedding song at the end of "Napoleon Dynamite") Iiiiiiii hate technology.....!
So when I received a free Fitbit as a thank you for photographing a couple of Fitbit events, it was no surprise that I couldn't get it to work with my iPhone 4. Since I wasn't about to run out and get the latest iPhone just so I could try out the Fitbit, I watched it taunt me for over a year. Then I decided I needed to upgrade my phone when I realized I needed to up my camera phone game (since I AM a photographer). I went out and got a refurbished iPhone 6 right after the seven's release (yes, I'm cheap and figured the six's camera was probably fine).
Out came the Fitbit the day before I left for a vacation in the Pacific Northwest. I figured if I got my start with the Fitbit on the right foot (no pun intended), then I might actually be motivated to use it long-term in my weight loss goals. I was immediately addicted to the great annoyance of the very Northwest hippie friend with whom I was traveling.
I originally wanted a Fitbit because I was curious about my sleeping habits. I knew I was a light sleeper, but wanted to see just how restless I was and when I learned that the Fitbit could monitor my sleep habits, I decided it would be worth it. Way cheaper than paying for a sleep clinic/study. Plus I don't usually sleep well when I travel (especially because I drink a LOT more wine when I travel) so I wanted to compare my sleep habits on the Northwest trip to my regular habits. Surprising results: not too different after all, plus even though I AM fairly restless during the night, I'm getting way more sleep than I thought. It would be interesting to have a sleep specialist analyze my sleep patterns and that's the next step when I have the funds, but for now, I feel ok with my results.
Then I discovered the other great benefits of the Fitbit: Real time calorie in/out tracking and being motivated to try to do 10,000 steps a day. I'm a stress-eater and I've probably mentioned ten times in the past year that with the stress that goes with mid-life career shifts, starting a new business and worrying about my family in the midwest, I've gained about 15 pounds and want to lose them. Not easy at 50 even with my healthy paleo-ish eating habits. I remember when my sister-in-law started counting her steps and joked that she would walk around their condo before going to bed to get to her 10,000 step goal.
I totally get it now. Twice in the past week I've had my husband put on dance music and I walked and danced around until I got to the goal. It's made me completely and totally aware of how little I actually walk around on a typical day. I work at home so I don't even have a commute to add to my step count (I walk across the yard) and even though I stand at my desk which may burn a few more calories than sitting, it's not adding to the step count. That doesn't add up very quickly and I realized, although I love my NYT 7 minute workout, followed by my 5 minute stretch routine (great way to make sure I work and stretch every part of my body almost every day), it's definitely more of a maintenance routine than for weight loss. When I discovered the calorie-in (food log) counter on the Fitbit, it became a whole new ballgame for weight loss. Now, not only was I completely aware that I wasn't moving enough to lose weight, but I also realized just how much it takes to burn more calories than what I was eating. It really does come down to calories in and calories out for weight loss. There's just no way around it and there's no easier way to keep track than the Fitbit. I'm sure Weight Watchers has a similar calorie counter, but to tie in (with Fitbit) with the calories out equation is so seamless it's brilliant. The day I discovered the food log on the Fitbit and how easy it was to enter and keep track, I was immediately hooked.
The other night, I not only realized I needed more steps, but I also had a lot more calories to burn to cover the food I had already eaten and quite frankly the food I still wanted to eat. Hubby and I were having a fun Friday night dance party (we often do this - just the two of us) and I wanted to snack. SO I upped the ante on the movement. Not only did I dance, but I decided I would be the more active one for the sexy part of the evening if you know what I mean. So Friday, not only did I end up with 10,872 steps, but I also burned 2,149 calories to the 1,929 that I put in. real time results. If I had not had that information at my fingertips, I guarantee you, I would have eaten WAY more and would not have been motivated to move as much as I did.
The best bonus that has resulted in only 1.5 weeks of using the Fitbit is that I started swimming. I'll probably write a post about my swimming goal for my 50th year, but in a nutshell I decided I wanted to learn to swim laps. Not only would it be less stressful exercise on my aging body, but I also wanted to enhance my meditation practice and had heard that swimming was meditative. SO when I saw that just my NYT 7 minute workout and the limited steps I took in a typical day wouldn't be enough to burn the calories I needed to lose weight, I was motivated to go to the pool and JUST DO IT. It was easy enough to manually enter the swim workout into my Fitbit so I could count those calories, plus the bike ride to the pool counted too! Voila! Since I started keeping track of my calorie intake last Wednesday, I have managed to burn more calories than I have eaten every day. Today will be difficult since it's a rainy Sunday, but I hope to make it up this week - or maybe we'll just put the dance music on tonight, have some rollicking sex and I'll manage to keep up the good work (update - it worked! I burned more calories Sunday than I took in!).
For weight loss, this is probably the easiest thing I've ever done (and let me tell you, I’ve tried a lot over the years) and if I have to wear it like a leash for as long as it takes to lose the weight, but then continue so that I understand how much I really need to work to keep it off, I'll do it. To go into my 50s, building The Healing Farm business as healthy as I can be is motivation enough to keep a tracker on my wrist. Sad, but true and once I start really seeing the results, I will likely be even more ok with it!!!
Dance, walk, swim, sex and bike on! It’s all hard (except the sex), but it’s the cheap way to weight loss! The Healing Farm. Cultivating Practical Wellness.