Stepping Up My Game With a FitBit

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I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m having a close personal relationship with my new burgundy FitBit, and I love it! It seems that for the last seven years, since my kids were born, I’ve been gaining and losing the same ten pounds every year. Each year I’d make the same New Year’s resolution to lose the weight that I’d gained over the holidays, and I’d spend the spring getting bathing suit ready. By the time Halloween would roll around I’d be back in chocolate mode though, and start the cycle all over again.

This past October I decided that it was time I tried something different. I figured if I started before the holidays, instead of power eating my way through them and beginning my usual new year new diet, that I could at least get a head start on the weight loss.

Last summer my mother had knee replacement surgery and her physical therapist told her she’d only get as much out of the new knee as she put into it, so she started walking on a daily basis. She’s up to three miles a day most days of the week and she’s putting me to shame so I started walking with her when I’m in her neighborhood, and I’ve been doing more walking at home with the kids. I had absolutely no idea how far I was going out here in the woods so I invested in a FitBit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker to keep track for me.

At around $100 I thought it was a little pricey, but it is way more than just a fancy pedometer and I believe it was a great investment. The FitBit Zip is a cheaper alternative at around $60, and it is very similar to the FitBit One except that it doesn’t track your sleep. I’ve had issues with bruxism (grinding my teeth while I sleep) and wake up often during the night so I decided that I really wanted the sleep tracker feature as well.

Here are some surprising things I learned right away from using the FitBit:

  • I wasn’t moving NEARLY as much as I should
  • Despite waking up a CRAZY number of times each night, my ‘sleep performance’ isn’t too bad
  • My main problem was in between meal snacks!

I expected to learn how many miles I was walking each week and how many times a night I was waking up, but I’ve really learned so much more than that. Here’s how it works – attach the FitBit to your bra with the holster, clip it to your shirt or put it in your pocket. It will keep track of your activity during the day, and at night you slip it inside the included wristband and press the button when you get in the bed. It’s super simple to use and will display your steps and other info right on the face of the device, but the online dashboard is where you can get a bunch of other great information.

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The FitBit One comes with a small USB device that allows it to communicate wirelessly with your computer. You can then login to the FitBit.com website, which is automatically updated, and track all sorts of other things like your weight, blood pressure, glucose, foods you eat and anything else you can think of with the custom tab feature. My FitBit arrived on November 9th already charged and ready to go and I started tracking what I ate each day on the website, along with my occasional weigh-ins. I set a goal of losing 10 pounds and began to realize the biggest reason I wasn’t losing any weight was because of all the between meal snacks.

There’s usually a bag of fun size candy bars hiding behind the monitor on my desk, but once I found out how quickly they were adding up I began eating a lot less of them. I refuse to give them up, but now I save them for a treat and enjoy them more while I’m eating them.

I also found out that on the days my mom takes the kids my rear rarely leaves my chair since I typically spend those days behind the computer catching up on work. The difference in the number of steps on those days was amazing so I’ve made a conscious effort to squeeze more activity into those days. Little things add up – like getting up and dancing during the music at the end of movies. It’s just a few minutes here and there but it’s really a lot of fun and I’m thrilled that by simply keeping track of what I eat and trying to move more when I can I’ve been able to lose 6.8 pounds already, DURING the holidays!

Disclosure – I purchased my own FitBit and all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. This post does contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

 

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