I have been wearing my Fitbit Flex for one full year. And by wearing, I mean I have worn it nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week for one full year. Today I wanted to share a "review" and why I think this fitness tracking method has worked for me.
First some basic details:
I got a Fitbit in April 2014 because I had seen a few folks using them and sharing on social media. "That looks...addicting." I thought. And placed my order.
When I started wearing it, I was a few weeks out from quitting pumping breastmilk for my (then) 10 month old daughter and felt like I might as well spend all that extra time I'd be saving walking plus I wanted to get my body back to "normal."
When I first wore it, I was shocked to find that even with my long daily walks I was only clocking in about 7000 steps, not the "recommended" 10k.
I have gone through weeks where I hit my 10k goal everyday and weeks were I feel glad to just get that star one day out of seven.
I have lost ten pounds in the past year without changing my diet or doing any other exercise other than working for those ten thousand steps everyday. This point needs some clarifying though... I think the first few pounds dropped off quickly when my post-breastfeeding hormones regulated. (Everyone experiences hormone changes differently, but my body held onto extra weight while I was producing milk.)
Without a doubt, though, at 30, I feel the best in my body and clothes that I ever have. I seriously thank the fitbit for this. I have tried a lot of different exercise routines and even more crazy diets in my life and this one (walking!) is the easiest on my body by far. Plus! I'm happy and never hungry!
I charge my Fitbit every 3-5 days while I sleep. It plugs right into my USB wall charger and takes probably an hour and half to go from empty to full. You get an email reminder when the battery is low.
I have had a few different color plastic bracelets and also have a Tory Birch rose gold one that I love for fancier days. Before I got the fancy bracelet, if I had to go some where nice (like a wedding in the photo above) I just tucked the tracker into my bra. Worked great.
I find the tracker to be very consistent. And remember, what matters isn't that it's perfectly accurate but that it's consistently inaccurate.
Twice in the past year, my tracker has stopped charging properly and both times after trying to troubleshoot myself, Fitbit sent me a replacement free of charge within two days (I emailed their customer service and it didn't matter that I had purchased through amazon). I am not sure if this is just because it was in the first year? But if it happens again and I have to buy a new one myself, I would for sure. $100 a year is cheaper than a gym membership (and I don't have to drive to the gym).
Who is the Fitbit for?
Despite the fact that my experience has been so positive, it would be insane for me to blindly recommend the Fitbit. I actually bet this sort of tracking wouldn't work for most people. It takes a sort of uniquely obsessive personality to really click with this constant feedback.
If you're considering one, these are the questions I would ask:
- Do you want to be "healthier"?
- Do you not already have a workout plan that's working well?
- Do you feel like you don't have time to exercise?
- Do you actually like walking (or running)?
- Do you feel motivated by goals and statistics?
- Would you seriously wear a piece of plastic around your wrist every day?
If you answered YES to all of these questions then I would say it (or other similar workout tracker) could be a great fit for you. If you answered no to one or more, I'd say "ehhhh, might not be worth it" but would still try out a pedometer app for your phone and see what you think. (If you carry your phone all the time, you can just skip the bracelet all together and use an app like Health for free!)
The most important thing to keep in mind is the Fitbit doesn't work. YOU WORK.
It's like buying weights or signing up for an exercise class. That's just a step in the right direction. The actual improvement comes from the consistent use of those weights and repeated visits to that exercise class. That's the hard part. And only the hard parts make real change.
But as far as the Fitbit goes, it's not really hard. For most people, the physical act of walking isn't hard. It doesn't take special clothing or shoes or equipment. It's not expensive. But finding time to walk is hard. Getting up from the couch after dinner to do laps through your house is hard. And those two things are hugely vital for me to actually hit my numbers.
My success has come from GETTING UP off the couch at 9pm when I am still 2000 steps to goal. I walk laps from my bedroom to the kitchen and listen to podcasts or read a book - yes, while walking. That has been the real difference. Of course, if I didn't have a Fitbit, I could still get up and walk. But when I don't have that number looking at me it doesn't feel as concrete or "worthwhile" (but we've already established I am a bit obsessive).
I think my best piece of advice if you recently purchased one and are having trouble (or bought one months ago and felt discouraged) is to switch your goal. If you normally get 3000 steps a day, set your goal to 4000. Don't shoot for 10k and be bummed! Go for something reasonable that you can hit consistently. When I was first pregnant and felt like a hungover garbage can, I dropped my goal to 5000 steps for two weeks and focused on reaching that instead (I still didn't, btw). Keeping things manageable is always the key.
You can also switch your focus. Maybe getting those 30 active minutes everyday is much more important to you than 10k steps. Awesome. Change it up and make that your daily goal instead.
Like anything, this is about finding what really works for you. Good luck! Happy stepping!
This post is NOT sponsored but links are affiliate.
And speaking of one year, this week on ELISE GETS CRAFTY, I am chatting with Hayley Morgan of Wildly Co. about one year in business. Listen to our first episode about getting started here and then catch this week's here.