“E” is for Exercise — Why I Fail at Fitbit

E is for Exercise — Why I Fail at Fitbit

My Fitbit software got an upgrade yesterday. Or, rather, I noticed it yesterday. Now, not only does it track how few active minutes I have a day, how many calories I eat, how little I sleep, and how hopelessly far away I am from 10,000 steps per day — but it also tells me how sedentary I am during my workday. Yay!

Basically, it does this fun thing where it tells you to get at least 250 steps per hour. Totally reasonable. But it only tracks this, by default, during the hours between 9am and 6pm. You know, the hours most people sit down and don’t stand up for quite a while. It makes sense. It also makes me feel sad. It’s just another reminder of how much I fail at Fitbit.

I bought my Fitbit Flex in September. I knew I wanted to be more active, but I also wanted some visibility into how active I am in general, whether I’m making an effort or not. And I have to say, even if my activity level hasn’t increased by a single step, I’m still glad I made the purchase. The data and insights are super helpful and interesting, especially when it comes to getting a restful sleep. I also love being able to see the exact time at which my cat jumped on my face in the middle of the night.

Despite my lack of goal-achieving, I try to do a couple of things differently now, at least, compared to before I had my Fitbit:

1. Walking to or from work

I live ridiculously close to my office. It’s a 5-minute drive or a 25-minute walk. However, that walk is just long enough to make me freezing in the winter or sweating in the summer. Plus I have to change my shoes… So I’ll walk home from work. Sometimes. And in the winter, not very often at all. This one’s a bit of a fail.

2. Walking…to the far Tim Hortons

If I’m going to be going to Tim Hortons anyway, I might as well get some exercise, right? …Right?

3. Exercise with Netflix

I have one of these so that I don’t just lie on the couch while binge-watching The Mindy Project. #progress

4. Walking in place (haha!)

So my manager noticed that I do this whenever we’re having a standing or impromptu meeting. That’s not Fitbit cheating, is it? Okay, maybe it is. But it’s better than sitting!

5. Hiking on weekends

Okay, this one’s legit. You can read more about my opinions on hiking in this post. But, of course, that’s only one day a week — not enough to carry my weekly average!


So now that I’ve identified some of the things that are working for me, what’s holding me back? I think it boils down to two things: self-consciousness and inconsistent motivation. Realistically, if I were consistently motivated, the self-consciousness likely wouldn’t even be a barrier. But having a Fitbit on my wrist is the norm for me now, so its presence isn’t a sufficient motivator. Looks like if I want to get back on the 10,000-step wagon, I’ll have to, like, actually try… Sigh. I’d better go get some steps.

What holds you back from your fitness goals, and how do you stay motivated?