The Fitbit is meant to track every part of your day – your activity level, your exercise, your food intake, your weight, and your sleep. The company claims that this device will help you find your fit, keep motivated, and see how small steps lead to big results. As a former Fitbit addict, I can attest that the Fitbit not only tracks every part of your day, but controls every part of your life.
Although the idea behind a Fitbit is sound, its competitive and obsessive aspects turn a good thing, like focusing on your health, into an unhealthy addiction. I became obsessed with getting the vibration notification from my wristband that I had completed my 10,000 steps. I spent my days constantly tapping the screen of my Fitbit to see how many more steps I must take until my goal is met. Also, the idea that you can compete with other fitbit users turned footsteps from a normal human movement into a way to assert your dominance over others.
The main flaw I found in the Fitbit is that it teaches users to treat exercise like a chore they have to do, instead of using it as a way to relax and reduce stress. Also, it gives off a notion that nutrition is inferior to exercise, when in fact science has proven time and again that you cannot out-exercise a bad diet.
Since taking off my Fitbit, I feel liberated. I now go to the gym every morning for me, not so I get a head start on my steps for the day, or so I can outshine my competitors. When I run, I’m listening to the music blasting in my ears, not trying to count the steps I’m taking to make sure my device tracked my workout correctly. When I gave up my Fitbit, I got back my sacred hour of the day that allows me to destress.
Another thing I gained by giving up my Fitbit was a variety in my workout. I used to never partake in spin classes, yoga, or weight training because my steps would not be counted. In my mind, if my steps didn’t count, than that form of exercise was not worth doing.
What I now realize is that a change in my workout schedule makes my gym time much more enjoyable and effective. A spin class is a great way to get exercise and have fun while good music blasts at you, an instructor pushes you to your limits, and a class full of people cheer you own.
I’ve recently found that yoga is also a great way to destress and give back to your body by stretching and strengthening it after you pound on it and strain it with cardio. Weight training, I now know, is actually one of the best forms of cardio. It pushes your body to the limit and is a great variation from the everyday elliptical and running regime.
If you still aren’t ready to part with your beloved Fitbit, it’s okay, but hopefully this has made you realize how unhealthy an addiction to this little device is. Imagine all that you’d gain when you decide to lose the Fitbit. There’s a whole world out there to see, I just hope you can look up from your Fitbit long enough to notice it.