Last year for Mother’s Day, my mom was only dying for a Fitbit. So, as considerate children, we all chipped in, and got her what she desired.
Last year my husband came home and so excitedly told me that he read all about this new Fitbit Surge; and that it happened to be a watch, as well. So, when his birthday came around, I went out and bought him one, too.
Both my mother and husband are obsessed. They absolutely love it. They compare daily “steps,” and keep track of each other’s medals and milestones.
Since the Fitbit has come out on the market, my husband has only been begging to get me one. Yes, he actually has insisted on this purchase for me. But, I have continued to adamantly decline his offer. Each time, he looks at me in complete confusion, and says, “I just don’t get it. You love to exercise, track your runs, and have a watch.”
I am aware there are many health benefits to owning and using a fitness tracker, such as a Fitbit. It is clear that for many people, the motivation of having a tool on your wrist that measures your daily activity is beneficial to maintaining one’s weight, or even losing, getting into shape, sleeping more, and, even, being more conscious of food intake. It often inspires people to move, walk, and stay active by reaching various levels of steps, or miles. And, without a doubt, this can be extremely healthy, as moving more is associated with all kinds of benefits. Some include improved cardiovascular health; improved cognition, learning, and memory; better weight management and metabolic function; improved pain management; less anxiety, depression, and anger; and improved mood and mental health.
However, for someone like me, who has had the competitive nature and personality of taking challenges to the extreme, I have gained an understanding of what may help my overall health, and what may hinder it. And, believe it or not, I believe a Fitbit would be detrimental to my well-being. Why, you ask?
I developed an eating disorder as a college athlete. This experience occurred not solely because I wanted to lose weight, be thin, and look good. This happened so innocently because I wanted to be the best I could possibly be–and, I was willing to do whatever it took to get there. Therefore, I spent an extra hour at night running, even though I trained each morning, and I cut my calories to be leaner. I believed this operation would provide me the best opportunity to report to preseason in the best shape of my life. But, because I have an addictive personality, and I have a tendency to take things to the extreme… I did just that. And it got severely out of control to the point I was working out sometimes more than twice a day, and barely eating. The more I worked out, and the less I ate, the more accomplished I felt.
I ran into a friend of mine just the other day at the gym. She said, “I just got a Fitbit. I love it, but oh my gosh. I hadn’t reached my 10,000 steps yesterday, so I was walking laps around my kitchen.” I began by saying I didn’t have one. She proceeded to explain, “I am the least competitive person in the world. But, I just joined this group, and I am doing everything I can to keep up, and, even beat them.” I looked at her, smiled, and said, “That’s exactly why I don’t have one.”
I am competitive in my head enough. I have certain goals I set to reach daily through exercise. I have finally developed a system in my life that isn’t excessive. To add a new tool that tracks my calories burned, miles reached, and steps taken would make me go absolutely crazy. What if I reached 20,000 steps one day? Would I be a failure the next day if I only reached 6,000 steps? These are thoughts that I just don’t need to contribute to my already overactive mind. So, for many, the Fitbit is great. But, it just isn’t for me.