There was name-calling. Yelling. Tears.
To say my relationship with my Fitbit started off on the wrong foot is putting it mildly. Chances are many of you are wearing a Fitbit (or some other fitness tracker) right now. They’re hugely popular and touted as helpful tools for weight loss and living a healthy life. I often hear people say, “Did you get your 10,000 steps today?”
My Fitbit and I never took one single step together. In fact, we’re not on speaking terms.
I eagerly opened my Fitbit that was waiting for me under the Christmas tree (I picked purple and Santa delivered). Just three weeks earlier my husband and I welcomed our second child, a son named Bennett. With his birth we completed our family. We always planned (and continue to plan) on having two children. After delivering two sweet babies, I decided it was time to take sole ownership of my body once again.
Even though I exercised after the birth of our first child, a daughter named Madeline, I never fully committed myself because I knew we were planning on having another baby. This time was a different story. I was eager to eat right and truly get back in shape. Since I am a breastfeeding mom, I wanted to make sure I was getting enough calories to maintain my supply. I vaguely remembered someone telling me Fitbit actually had a setting for breastfeeding mamas. Of course, I was sleep deprived before and after Bennett’s arrival so I didn’t do a lot of research. Or any research, really.
This is where my relationship with my Fitbit started to fray around the edges.
It turns out, that “breastfeeding” setting is no longer offered on Fitbit, a fact I didn’t discover until I was trying to set mine up. Lots of workarounds appear on Fitbit message boards, but they seemed like, well, a lot of work. Peoples’ suggestions were not entirely accurate either, so no luck there finding the fix I was hoping for. My husband wisely said I should start slow and just count steps. But not me! I could practically hear the “Rocky” music. I weighed myself and started entering all the pertinent information to count calories accurately. Big mistake. This is when things got ugly. I was six weeks postpartum. My Fitbit had the audacity to tell me I was obese! In a fit of hormonal rage, I threw it across our bedroom and burst into tears. My patient husband calmed me down. A few days later he asked me if I was going to use the Fitbit. I told him, “We’re not speaking right now.”
I’m a believer in second chances (depending on the situation), so I hadn’t totally written off my Fitbit yet.
But I was starting to see more of its shortcomings. For example, my Fitbit can’t measure lots of my activities, like the downward dog-warrior two-pigeon yoga poses as I fish Cheerios out of our minivan. Or the CrossFit style trek through the zoo wearing a baby and pulling a wagon holding a toddler and backpack loaded down with snacks and juice. And how about the wind sprints down grocery store aisles after a toddler? Or the weight lifting of an infant car seat, diaper bag and wailing toddler can give you? (BTW my arms have never been this strong!)
Motherhood is sweaty, hard work. It’s not only physically demanding, but also mentally and emotionally exhausting. Where is THAT setting on my Fitbit?
That’s why my Fitbit is still sitting on a shelf collecting dust. It turns out the only voice I need to get back on track is my own. I’m Jazzercising, walking and making better food choices at home and when we’re eating out. My breastfeeding supply, which is a concern for me, is fine. Best of all, I’m seeing slow and steady results on the scale (and when I put on those pre-maternity pants). I weigh myself only occasionally and occasionally indulge (I did write this blog while eating a piece of leftover carrot cake from Easter. Oh, the irony!). Will I ever put my Fitbit back on? I don’t even know the answer to that question. Perhaps I’ll live by my active grandmother’s motto, “Everything in moderation.” She lived into her late eighties to see grandchildren and great-grandchildren.