Mommy Got a Fitbit and Got Wise

Wife: “I want a Fitbit”

Husband: “I want one too, let’s do it.”

Fast forward one date night evening  later and my husband and I were the new parents of two Fitbit Charges. At the beginning we were competitive in the first days of ownership, seeing who was racking up the better feedback but we have gone our separate ways (probably because I was kicking his ass). Of course my husband is using his the right way. He’s using it to track his movement and calories for health purposes. I on the other hand, I’m using it for a get out of mental health jail card.

Being techy dumb, I have yet to even skim what this thing can do. But I have learned something …

It’s okay to sit on your ass.

Before having kids and even while I was pregnant I was like the Energizer Bunny. I was crushing Pinterest crafts, completing full workouts morning and night, staying up late to watch bad movies and fulfilling my American citizen duties catching up on the lives of reality television stars. Now, 5 years and three kiddos later I’m lucky if I have enough energy to lift the remote at 8:30 pm. I’ve been totally pissed off by this fact. I feel like I should be getting more done or living it up after my babies go to bed. But I just don’t have the energy to do it.

And guess what my little wrist hugging friend the Fitbit told me?

It’s okay to sit on your ass.

I got my first Fitbit report card analyzing my first week. The days I don’t even hit the treadmill I am racking in over 10k steps and the days I do hit the synthetic rubber sidewalk I’m well onto 13k. The calorie burn on my average day is insane. Who the hell needs Crossfit when I’m lugging around twin toddlers on my hips and climbing stairs double duty in order to put not one but two minions down for naps and three little Halperins down for bed.

It’s okay to sit on your ass.

At over 13,500 steps last Friday and 33 flights of stairs climbed … you bet your first-born that I was tired by 8 pm. That doesn’t even take into account sweating my ass off as I twist into limb bending poses in a 102 degree yoga studio (for some reason the Fitbit can’t handle the quantitative calculation in regards to what yoga does to the body which I will address soon). Before my little Fitbit friend came into my life I would have felt like I wasn’t doing enough or that I should be doing something besides soaking up what my DVR was holding. However, I now feel like I’ve been given permission to sit on my ass and feel okay about it rather than feeling like lazy mommy.

I also like the sleep tracker. The Fitbit provides a chart that breaks down the quality of my sleep by tracking all movements while I am alseep. A restless state of sleep indicates that I went from a very restful position with little movement to movement, such as turning over in bed. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I was fully awake, but indicates that I  was not getting the most restful sleep possible.  When the tracker indicates that I was moving so much that restful sleep would not be possible, my sleep graph will indicate that I was awake. From what my graph is telling me I need to hit the sack earlier to get a better quality of sleep.

Keeping up with little people is one tough job. I wish I had my Fitbit handy when a woman asked me a couple of years back “What do you do ALL day as a SAHM?” Or maybe she would have thought that I was just spending my days walking in place and treading up and down the stairs at my house??? However, this little black wristband has given me a whole new perspective on daily life. I’m not to feel guilty if my butt hits the couch the second all three minions are fast asleep. It’s a time of regenerating.

But wait there’s more …

So just like any other friend, if Fitbit is telling me something, what is Fitbit NOT telling me???

Well as I mentioned above it’s not friends with my best friend Yoga. That’s right when I am drenched in sweat while a shirtless hipster dude busts out headstands next to me in yoga class my Fitbit seems to be taking a break somewhere outside that 1,000 degree studio. That’s a big bummer since I take two to three classes per week and also do an at home daily practice. (Yes you can manually enter in exercise data for different activities … but who’s got time for that? I didn’t pay over a hundred dollars to become this thing’s personal assistant.)

It’s also not telling me the truth behind how many steps and calories I am burning when I am pushing a stroller or a grocery cart. You read right, the Fitbit has some problems capturing steps when the arm on which you wear it is fairly steady–as when you are gripping the handle of a stroller or shopping cart …. that might be okay for a character from Gossip Girl  but not for this crazy ass mother who has three kids and tends to be pushing some sort of Fred Flinstone mobile (think bike with kiddie trailer or Target two-seater cart) or stroller 65% of my waking hours.

Yes I could have paid the extra cash for the Charge HR or Surge but as a mommy with a budget it seemed that the mid-level band was the right way to go with the mid-level sticker price. Also, when I really think about my heart rate in yoga and lifting weights I’m not sure if it’s going that bonkers to really make a huge difference on the feedback my Fitbit is giving back to me.

So when it comes down to it I have a love/hate relationship with my little friend. I’ll be trusting in it’s data but take it as an estimation while applying some basic common sense to my level of exertion. It’s like one of those women you meet in a mommy group that tells you lots of things but keeps a lot of things “secret” or tells you little white lies on a regular basis. But I have to say unlike those moms who I’d usually throw out, I’ll be keeping the Fitbit because it breathes some competition into my relationship with my spouse and also tells me that it’s okay to sit on my ass every once in a while.




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