Pages

9.30.2014

I'm Enthusiastic About: My FitBit or How a Small Device Took Over My Life


So, my company is all about our well-being and one of the ingenious programs they began was the Fitbit program. This is the part where you ask me what a Fitbit is. Well, lemme take a minute to tell you...

A Fitbit is the most precisely-named thing I've ever met. It's a small device that does things like calculates how many calories you've burned or how many steps you've taken. It is, in fact, a "bit" that should keep you fit if anything just by its sheer power to guilt you into walking more. For the David Sedaris fans out there, he wrote an amazing piece in the New Yorker about his new tech exercise (TECH-ERCISE?!) device.

Now, on to my new addiction...

I can't even just say I'm enthusiastic about it. I think I'm actually addicted. When it first arrived at my door, I forgot I had even asked to be part of this new fitness program, but after opening the box, charging the device and syncing it with my laptop and phone...I realized what this device held.

As I stood there in my workout gear, ready to hit the gym, donning my ill-colored flex (that's the rubbery bracelet thing you use to attach it to your wrist and why my office decided to go with a weird Prada-circa-1992 red, I have no idea), I knew this little device held a promise.

It promised me that it would make me feel really bad about being a former "since I have the time, I might as well stroll from Harlem to Chinatown" New Yorker turned mildly lazy Angeleno and force me to walk more. To some, this might sound like torture, but when you realize taking the garbage out adds 250 steps to your daily counter, suddenly taking out the recycling, cleaning the apartment, and taking the dog on an extra long walk...all those things (and more) have a whole new meaning.

You're not just getting things done like a boss...you're getting things done like a boss AND watching those steps pile up until you're pleasantly surprised to find you've walked 5 miles today and that it isn't actually that difficult. You find walking any less than 10,000 steps a day suddenly feels pathetic...

I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a deep twinge of joy when I got an email congratulating me on walking 50 miles in the last 9 days...and I felt a horrible desperation and sadness wash over me when I found (too late!) that my fitbit had run out of charge and I had spent the entire first half of the day wearing it and not having my steps count. That morning dog walk...the walk to pick-up lunch...the walk through the parking garage to the office...lost! LOST IN THE VOID! That void where every other non-fitbit-users' steps go to die...to never be counted. (Nami sounds like a crazy person.)

But my intense neuroses aside, this little device might be the thing that staves off an early grave. I don't know how many articles and videos you've read and watched about how sitting at a desk basically means you're going to die tomorrow (and, despite that, I just don't see myself purchasing a treadmill desk - sorryNOTSORRY), but I've seen plenty.

Where once I would sit in my office at home, at my desk for a straight 9 hours only to get up to go to the bathroom and eat raw vegetables over the sink (a.k.a lunch...a.k.a I'm on a raw food diet out of sheer laziness...not healthiness...a.k.a obviously, I have too much work to slice things like a human being, people), now I find myself getting up more. Pacing when I'm thinking. Walking my dog while I'm on conference calls (bless my quiet street). And, interestingly enough, I feel like I'm more productive now than I've ever been...and it's only been a week and a half. At this rate I'll be a superhero in a month.

Now it's time to spell it all out for you in list form...

PROS

  • Makes you acutely aware of your apparent fitness or, alternately, your utter laziness (the latter being a con.)
  • Makes moving in any way more enticing (you'll find yourself feeling ok about making multiple trips to clear dishes from the dinner table as opposed to trying to build a massive jenga-tower of glasses, bowls, and plates to make one trip, you lazy, lazy person...or you efficient, efficient person...hard to say which you are.)
  • Gives a new meaning to chores...namely, chores where you need to actually move your body (I'm pretty sure the thing doesn't count typing as walking.)
  • I'll admit it, I enjoy cleaning the apartment and taking out the garbage more than ever before (because I actually do get some minor joy out of those activities...it's called "not living in a dump" and "not having rotting stuff in your place of residence.")
  • My dog has vastly benefitted from my insistence that we take longer walks - he's been looking fitter, sleeping better, and is less anxious.
  • I honestly feel healthier...whether that's in my head or not, I can't say...but walking 5 miles a day can't be bad.

CONS

  • Your significant other might get sick of you showing him/her your progress or, alternately, they might consider purchasing one and joining in (the latter being a pro.)
  • Probabilities of obsession and/or addiction to your device are high to quite high.
  • Deep, torturous despair when you realize you've forgotten it at home or haven't charged it properly (wherein it will die and stop counting your steps...AND YOU WON'T KNOW UNTIL LATER WHEN YOU GO TO SYNC IT) is imminent.
  • Crazy behavior like pacing around your home so as to hit your goal before midnight has been known to happen...and might scare significant others. You may only want to try this if you're married so your husband/wife won't just walk out on you because divorce takes more time and money than its worth to leave someone over their Fitbit behavior.
  • There may be a period of time where you spiral out of control, trying to do as many physical things as possible in one day, resulting in you become a husk of a human being for a little while.
So, based on my calculations, it looks like the pros outweigh the cons by 1 point...which means you should totally get one of these because they're kind of awesome and can sprinkle even your most boring of days with a dash of accomplishment.

I know for me, the checklist tyrant, being able to add anywhere between 10,000 - 20,000 steps and 5 miles to my daily accomplishments to check off is perversely satisfying and I only hope that you can share in this disturbing satisfaction too.

And now for the most important question: Do you Fitbit? (And if so, maybe we can be "friends" on the Fitbit site...which is really just a competition unsuccessfully veiled in virtual friendship.) Find me on the site!

2 comments:

  1. I love tracking my sleep and seeing when I go over 20,000 steps! Sorry to comment twice in one day! I'm not creepy, I just love my Fitbit :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're not creepy at all. My obsession with my Fitbit is creepier. ;)
      Glad I'm not alone in my Fitbit love!

      xo!
      N.

      Delete