Fitbit – Discipline and Motivation Help to Stay Healthy

One of my favorite new gadgets is the Fitbit Charge I received as a Christmas gift in 2014 from one of my clients.

I have been curious as to how many miles I logged while traveling – especially when hiking or exploring a new city on foot. I tried to map it out and get a reasonable estimate using Google maps but it proved to be far too tedious. With Fitbit now I know how many miles I travel on foot every day. I also have numerous other statistics that my Fitbit Charge tracks for me.

 

Fitbit charge helps me stay healthy - provides motivation and discipline through fitness tracking

Fitbit Charge – matches my Lego ring pretty good

 

My new Fitbit Charge was given to me the same week that I purchased a new mobile phone. My new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a huge leap in technology compared to my old Blackberry Tour purchased in 2009. The Blackberry Tour lacked WiFi and did not function in a lot of the countries that I visited. Finally, I dumped Sprint! I now use T-Mobile and there are huge benefits to me and my pocketbook after switching to T-Mobile from Sprint.

I had zero Apps on my Blackberry Tour and I just did not think I needed any Apps. Now I am a bit of an App addict with 21 so far – including Fitbit. The App syncs with the Fitbit Charge wristband. I like having the Fitbit App so I can enter everything I eat each day. There were some annoying default settings that I changed – like sharing your stats with friends and those annoying emails telling me I earned yet another “badge” that I do not care about. I love it for tracking all my diet info though.

 

Fitbit App tracks your steps taken, distance, calories burned, stairs climbed, active minutes, and sleep

Fitbit App on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4

 

What statistics does Fitbit track?

  • Steps
  • Distance
  • Calories burned
  • Stairs climbed
  • Active minutes
  • Sleep

For me the surprising thing about Fitbit is that I became engrossed in tracking everything I ate – at least while I am in Austin. When I took a short trip to Halifax at Christmas I did not bother to enter my meals as I found it tedious to enter every single ingredient I ate each day.  Besides, I do not want to analyze every meal I eat to figure out all of the ingredients.

At home I eat healthy foods and while traveling I eat whatever I feel like eating, with little regard for the health factor. In Halifax I ate “The Elvis” at The Coastal Cafe. The Elvis consists of buttermilk waffles, bacon, bananas, and peanut butter, and maple syrup. Peanut butter – YUCK! I ordered it without the evil peanut butter as I am allergic to peanuts and various other nuts. I tell people I cannot have nuts because I am already nuts enough!

 

The Coastal Cafe - The Elvis consists of buttermilk waffles, bacon, bananas, and peanut butter, and maple syrup

The Coastal Cafe in Halifax Nova Scotia – The Elvis – waffles, bacon, banana, syrup

 

How many calories or carbohydrates there were in my Elvis breakfast is an unknown to me, and I do not actually care to know. Heck, Elvis wouldn’t care either! It was delicious! The bacon was perfectly crispy and the waffles browned just right. I also downed a berry smoothie and a cortado. I walked 3.2 km (2 miles) to get to The Coastal Cafe from my hotel and I walked over 11.5 km (7.25 miles) in total on that sunny December day in Halifax. I am confident that I walked “The Elvis” calories off.

I am surprised how dedicated I am with logging my food and physical activities when I am at home. I love tracking all the food I consume each day as well as any additional exercise that Fitbit cannot track, such as swimming and my daily morning yoga.

I discovered that I am highly motivated to keep my calorie intake balanced with my output. Almost every day my calories in are below my calories out. It it like a contest each day and I want to win!

I could tell that I lost a few pounds because my clothes were fitting loose. I do not own a scale and normally I just have my weight measured at the doctor’s office each year. That was until one of my clients put a scale in their kitchen – evidently a weight-loss wager between a few of the partners was involved. So now I weigh myself more often.

Every few months I like to purge my apartment of clutter and especially around the end of the year I like to get rid of anything that I do not want or cannot use. I have a little black dress hanging in my closet since 1998 and for several years I could not fit into the dress. It is linen and the design simple but with beautiful lace detail on the back. It is a perfect little black cocktail dress. I did not want to part with the dress but I was prepared to in 2014 and I placed it on my giveaway pile. The little black dress is a size 6 and I wanted to fit into it again but apparently I had not acquired the correct amount of motivation and discipline to make that happen.

Luckily I procrastinated with taking my clothes to the Goodwill store. Since I noticed a my clothes were fitting looser after just 3 weeks using the Fitbit Charge I decided to try on my little black dress one more time.

 

Fitbit helped me fit back into my size 6 little black dress

Wearing my little black dress in size 6 – and Fitbit

 

Wow! The dress fit again. I am actually a size 6 again. My other clothes that fit a little snug before all fit just right. All of my jeans fit a bit loose so I will have to buy some new jeans soon.

 

Keeping track of everything I eat and all of my physical activities helps me to stay motivated to walk more and keep my diet healthy. Especially in the evenings when I used to give in to cravings for something salty/crunchy, or more chocolate I now choose something healthier or use better portion control methods, or I skip it all together and do some yoga or more walking to alleviate the craving.

 

Benefits of Fitbit Charge – Discipline and Motivation

  • Walking more
  • Use the stairs more often
  • Eat healthier foods
  • Avoid junk foods
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Getting enough sleep

Another thing that surprised me about wearing the Fitbit is that I did not mind wearing it at night. Not having worn a watch for over 15 years now, and rarely wearing bracelets, I thought the Fitbit Charge on my wrist 24/7 would be annoying. It has not bothered me at all. I pretty much always sleep well and the Fitbit confirmed this for me. Most nights I fall asleep within a few minutes of going to bed. I tend to either read a book or do some writing just before bedtime. I try to avoid using my computer and smart phone at least 1 hour before I crash for the night. I also keep the light in my bedroom dim, using only a 40-watt bulb in my lamp.

I am enjoying my new Fitbit Charge and I think it is a great motivator and helps me stay disciplined and on track with healthy eating habits. It will be interesting to track all my walking while I am traveling.

About the Author

Susan Moore's first solo travel experience was traveling around SE Asia for 7 months in 1993. It was life changing and extraordinary. Currently Susan is living a nomadic life, working and roadtripping around the USA and Canada. You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter

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