I gave up my Fitbit.

About three weeks or a month ago, I was standing in the kitchen at work and my bracelet broke. But, you see, it wasn’t merely a bracelet. It was one of the custom Fitbit bracelets my husband made me.

I slipped it into my pocket where the old Fitbit Flex could at least continue to track my steps and continued my day.

When I got home, I relayed the catastrophe to my husband. The next day, he fixed it. He fixed it while I was at work. My Fitbit broke on Saturday and I went to work Sunday without it.

Sunday is the first day of the week. This whole week would be “under” since I missed a day. I couldn’t “make up” those steps. I’d spend the whole week below my Fitbit friends in the rankings when I knew I had more steps than that.

So I challenged myself to take the week off.

It took until Thursday for someone to email and ask me if my Fitbit died. I’m really surprised that no one emailed or called my husband to see if I had died.

By the weekend, I didn’t miss it.

I’ve been wearing my Fitbit for more than two years. My Fitbit story is NOT the usual Fitbit story. I needed to lose ten pounds. I had some health issues that led to me gaining weight and I needed to lose about ten pounds. I was 39 and thought I had to do it now because the next decade historically is not kind to women in my family.

Well, when you walk a mile every hour at work, and suddenly cut carbohydrates, increase protein, remove junk food from your diet, give up alcohol and fancy coffee drinks… And decide to bike with your daughter, box in the garage and lift weights… Those ten pounds come off easily.

One month later, I had lost thirty pounds.

Oops.

I bought a Fitbit to make sure I ate enough for my increase in activity. And then when I understood how much food and what food my body needed, I kept wearing it because I liked the step goals. I loved seeing the charts and the impact. But then I started to know without looking. So, then my focus turned to my sleep habits. Now that I never mastered. My sleep habits stink. I’m a mom, after all.

I lost my drive for a lot of my activities. I used to roam the neighborhood for miles, do walks in new towns, even tried to run a 5K. I used to lift hard every day. I used to kick box and do yoga. But suddenly, my soul got tired.

Maybe it was stress.

I had regained about 15 pounds of that thirty lost, and it needed to return. It returned as muscle. I went from underweight and bony to muscular enough to toss forty pound boxes around in the freezer at work. I can carry a 35-pound of popcorn kernels on my shoulder across the entire store. I can do push-ups and chin-ups.

I have visible abs.

I don’t have wiggly arms.

So WHY did I stress myself out if I didn’t hit five miles a day? Why did I feel guilt if that number hovered around 10,000 steps? Why did I hate myself if I sat?

Even one “rest day” would drive me insane.

And the only time I watched a movie was if the battery died.

So, I’m glad I gave up my Fitbit.

Fitbit… I love you but I think you’re no good for me

Two years ago I had an unfortunate accident at work. I broke my right hand and spent my winter in a different job which requires less movement and I ate every piece of junk food I could get my hands… Hand… on.

I returned to full duty ten pounds overweight and so weak I couldn’t break apart the soda nozzles at the end of my shift.

I had a visit with my nurse practitioner two weeks before my annual physical and the numbers on the scale were higher than they were on the day I brought my newborn daughter home from the hospital. 

At first I just wanted to lose a couple pounds to show the doctor I had the situation under control. I’m not a big girl, so ten pounds hangs heavy on my frame even though I’m lucky that I gain weight evenly across my whole body.

But then I couldn’t get my thighs in my pants.

I had just turned 38 and I knew I had to shed the weight before I turned 40. 

I started counting calories, going for walks and bike rides and returned to weight training which I had done periodically since college.

I lost 30 pounds in six weeks. Oops. 

I am probably the only person on the planet who bought a Fitbit to make sure I eat enough. I had no idea how active I really was.

I’ve gained about 10-12 pounds back, over the course of two years, but my body has dropped dress sizes as the weight comes back as muscle. 

I’ve stopped counting calories. But I still have the Fitbit, and I love it, except for the fact that everyone is constantly challenging me. I work retail so I cover a lot of ground. People I know on Fitbit use me as their challenge but it stresses me out to “have” to keep ahead of them– especially since I know they’re using me as a success benchmark.

My goal is seven miles a day, so if I have a lazy day and only reach four or gasp three miles, I feel guilty.

I even monitored Fitbit when I broke my ankle this fall.

At this point I know my body’s needs and I can estimate how many steps I take on a day. So do I need Fitbit?

It’s nice to be held accountable but sometimes it’s too much of an obsession or strain. 

Fitness, Fitbits and Coconut Water

Cross-posted from my food blog: Angel Food Cooking http://bit.ly/1kOiLUT

My food blog typically shares recipes, culinary experiments and food musings.

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I have not been indulging in much cooking lately because I have been eating boring items as I bring my weight and general health back into line.

Salad, fresh fruit, lots of water and no more sweets have been the norm. And it’s worked. I’ve shed between ten and fifteen pounds. Now my goal shifts to gaining muscle, strength, endurance and flexibility. I have health issues and I’m not getting younger.

So, I started walking, biking, doing 20-minute yoga routines, stretching and doing my physical therapy routines, lifting weights and punching the bag in my garage… Something… Every day.

Having a child helps this. When you say, “What are we going to do today?” you get ideas & someone to hold you accountable.

I use myfitnesspal to track my calories, mapmyfitness for cute little maps of distance activities, talabata lite to time intervals, freepedometer to track steps during housework & my job and I have a weight lifting one too. But I thought this was getting neurotic of me.

So I made myfitnesspal my “homebase,” linked my mapmyfitness and bought a fitbit flex. Yup. A fitbit.

After that crazy breakfast and sending my daughter to her grandparents, I suited up with my laptop and my wallet for a morning walk. I planned on stopping at the corner market for sparkling mineral water as a bribe for myself and at the library. I had to head to the library to sync my fitbit as I don’t have internet at home and my iPhone 4 is a dinosaur with no ‘low energy Bluetooth’ capabilities.

Coconut water starts here…

I headed to the corner store and they didn’t have sparkling water as the neighborhood is more Hispanic than European. I tried coconut water, as coconut water has calcium just like mineral water.

My friend Gayle has a fitness challenge where she pushes herself to try new things, I may start a food challenge…

I gagged after the first three sips. Lightly syrupy yet water with chunks of coconut and sweet yet not… Weird. But I kept walking and got thirsty. Tried another sip. Not appealing but not bad.

I continued this every five minutes for a half an hour.

Verdict: weirdly refreshing and staved off dehydration. Still don’t like the chunks. Spit them out. Would certainly do it again for something different and not fake like sports drinks. Cannot chug it.

Would be delicious as a smoothie base… Or with pineapple juice and light rum…