Why I Stopped Using My Fitbit

Hello and happy Tuesday!

I have been meaning to write this post for some time, but it never came to fruition. Now that I have been linking up with Sara for Tried It Tuesday, I realized that this would be a good time to outline my experience with Fitbit and explain why I stopped using it.

Fitness trackers are awesome, don’t get me wrong.  From Fitbit to Jawbone to trackers put out by Microsoft and Samsung, these sleek devices are allowing people to be more conscientious about their level of physical activity and many more features depending on the model.  There are sleep trackers, calorie counters, water monitors, the ability to map your route when running/cycling/walking, and the list goes on.  While these may be great features for you, they just weren’t for me.

I won a Fitbit Flex in June when I attended Fitbloggin.  I was excited to be able to do all of the aforementioned things and be even more vigilant about my exercise schedules.  Here is a sloppy picture from when I brought it home:

20140703-103420-38060585The main features of the Flex are as follows:

  • step tracker
  • active minutes
  • sleep tracker
    • hours slept/quality of sleep
  • calories eaten
  • water intake
  • calories burned

Now these things all sound great, but as soon as I started fiddling with it I knew there were a few that I was going to immediately cut out and never use. Both the calorie and water intake have to be manually entered which I wasn’t going to do.  For one, I don’t count calories and I already knew that I drank enough water since I kept a 3 L bottle on my desk and drank it throughout the day.  To their credit though, Fitbit does have an extensive food database including many restaurants and fast food chains to choose from.

Fitbit_Espresso

(source)

The sleep tracker was something that intrigued me as well, but the novelty wore off after about a month.  It logs how long it takes you to fall asleep, how and when you are restless throughout the night, and how long you are actually asleep.  I usually fall asleep in less than 5 minutes and pass out until the morning, so after seeing the same sleep pattern day after day (night after night?), I got tired of wearing the wristband to sleep and inadvertently attacking Neil with it when I moved.

FitBit_Flex-Sleep2

(source)

The feature that I liked to pay the most attention to was the step and active minute tracker.  When I was in VA I worked at a desk, so it became pretty apparent to me that I needed to move around more to meet their default goal of 10,000 steps.  I would also wear it when I ran so that it tracked my mileage (think Map My Run) and how many minutes I was active during the day.  Those features are the reason why I wore it for so long, but one day it stopped syncing with the app on my phone and instead of solving the problem, I realized that I was wearing it out of habit more than anything else.

Monday-Fitbit

(source)

There is also a large online community where you can interact with other members to help with accountability or just to offer support.  You can also set many different goals which can be great for anyone who wants to get a better handle on his or her lifestyle.

I think that these types of fitness trackers are GREAT for people who:

  • are trying to pay more attention to their daily activity level
  • want an organized way to set fitness and nutrition goals
  • monitor sleep patterns if they have difficulty in that area
  • are looking for a community of people for support and encouragement
  • want to start on a journey to health

I didn’t find the Fitbit to be helpful to me because:

  • I already monitor a lot of these things on my own
  • fitness and nutrition are already a large part of my life so I didn’t really need the reminders
  • I try and eat intuitively which means that the calorie counter is useless
  • I didn’t have sleeping problems

Overall, I think it is a cool idea, but I just couldn’t find a way to fit it into my life.  There was some online content that I didn’t fully explore, so there may have been something that I could have used it for, but I think I made a good choice.  If there are any fancy things that I missed out on in my haste, please feel free to share with me!

Questions:

  • Do you have a fitness tracker? How do you like it?
  • Did I miss fancy things that the Fitbit can do?
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15 Comments

  1. December 30, 2014 / 10:38 am

    Thanks for linking up Erin! And Happy Tuesday!

    My parents and I actually got FitBits in September. It is great for my parents! They are much more cognizant of their daily exercise. And they will be much more likely to go for walks in order to meet their step goal. I think it is great for that generation.

    For myself, I didn’t really think it would do much because I am already so active. But I like it because it is a good reminder throughout the day to get up and walk while sitting at a desk. Sometimes I will just go out at lunch for a walk. Or instead of grabbing a cab to go somewhere I will walk. It is going to be much harder in these winter months to get my 20,000 steps in but I am working on a post of fun ways to get them in 🙂
    Sara @ Lake Shore Runner recently posted…Tried it Tuesday #7: 2014 Link-Up RecapMy Profile

  2. December 30, 2014 / 10:58 am

    Fitbits can be great, but they are not the be all end all of health–I have a little mini one that I will wear from time to time (mostly on the days that I want to use the pedometer setting for kicks) but for people with a general idea of health, they really aren’t that necessary! But if you need a measuring stick every now and then, they can be quite helpful in that way. You just have to take the findings with a grain of salt, rather than set in stone.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…The Long Run: Marathon Training Schedule AdjustmentsMy Profile

  3. December 30, 2014 / 11:14 am

    I won a Fitbit at FitBloggin too and like it. I think the use of wearables depends on what you are looking for it to do in regards to what your goals are. For me, I love my Polar Loop. I needed and wanted a device that could do a better job at the calories I burned while in the gym, which is where I spend a lot of time training. The heart rate monitor does that. It also doesn’t require the tapping for the sleep mode. It does it all by itself.
    shalama recently posted…Monday lunchtime = BodypumpMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      December 30, 2014 / 12:08 pm

      Yeah, I really liked my Garmin watch too and found it more useful for me. You’re definitely right about those things depending on what your goals are!

  4. December 30, 2014 / 11:50 am

    I wear mine every day. I really like seeing my steps (even now when I’m sick and I didn’t even break 600 the other day! Yes, six hundred! So so sick). I found the sleep tracker great when I was battling insomnia but some nights I was kept away stressing over it because I had the fitbit on. It is a fine balance. I agree with your analysis though. I feel like it is perfect for people who are just starting out and need a lot of help – tracking calories, water intake, activity, etc. It can be great motivation! Even though I don’t use all the features, I still like seeing my steps every day!
    Angela recently posted…2014 RecapMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      December 30, 2014 / 12:09 pm

      The steps were definitely my favorite part and I liked being able to try and beat the previous day. It was definitely good motivation in that way, but after awhile I guess the novelty wore off. It’s definitely a great product, just not for me.

  5. December 30, 2014 / 1:15 pm

    I totally understand, and have heard several people say the same thing. I have a Jawbone, and I personally LOVE mine. But mostly for me it’s for the sleep tracker. I’m a horrible sleeper (which has even gotten worse since I became preggo), so for me it helps me notice patterns in my sleep. I do use the step tracker, but more to watch for patterns in my own habits than anything else. I like numbers and trackers, so for me it’s just a way to keep tabs on my own habits and make sure that I’m not starting a downward trend of laziness. haha.
    Stephanie @ My Freckled Life recently posted…2014 in Review – A year of firsts and PRs!My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      December 30, 2014 / 2:21 pm

      Yeah that makes total sense if you have sleep issues. I also liked just keeping track of my steps too; I guess I just got a little bored w it after awhile. Id have to see how the Jawbone compares. I think aesthetically it’s better at least haha.

  6. December 31, 2014 / 10:07 am

    I always see these things everywhere, they’re all the hype. I know I’m too lazy to keep up with the “maintenance” of actually having one though so I’ll pass. At least it was free for you because those things cost 100 bucks and up, as if! I don’t count calories either and I’m good with that. 🙂 Hope you and Neil have a fabulous New Years! Take Care Erin and happy 2015! -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently posted…On New Years Resolution and 9 Tips for SuccessMy Profile

  7. December 31, 2014 / 11:06 am

    I think FitBits are amazing for people who never considered fitness before and who have been overwhelmed by the idea of keeping track of it all. But I think for those of us who have always figured out what works/what doesn’t work, it’s just a little like backtracking haha. I would hate something that counts calories! No thanks 🙂
    Lauren @ ihadabiglunch recently posted…NYE 2014: Reflections and ResolutionsMy Profile

  8. April 4, 2016 / 5:08 am

    I’ve got a fitbit and wouldn’t be without it. I personally love that it tracks my calories burned over a day and by syncing it up with myfitnesspal it helps me stay accountable while losing weight
    Alice Megan recently posted…Look in my letterbox #90 linkyMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      April 4, 2016 / 8:10 am

      Totally. I think trackers are great depending on what you’re using them for. For what I was doing it didn’t make a huge amount of sense. Glad it’s working for you alice!

  9. Kris
    December 7, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    I just took my Fitbit zip off my waist and threw it in my handbag. After wearing it daily for 2 years. Why? BFB (Before FitBit) I was already clocking up my 10k steps per day, in addition to gym sessions, swimming and being active. It may just be my age (I hit the 4-0) and it could be the cortisol I’m storing due to some stressful life stuff BUT, ever since I got the FitBit, I’ve put on weight. WHAT? So as an experiment for myself, I’m having 2 months off. Maybe I’ll be less paranoid about getting the magical 10k steps? Maybe I’ll eat less calories because I’m not mindfully stuck in the exercise = food reward cycle? Who knows. But I’ll give it a few months and see how I go.

    Has anybody done this experiment?

    • erinsinsidejob
      December 9, 2016 / 2:49 pm

      Ooh interesting. You’ll have to let me know how it goes. I love being able to continually re-evaluate things to see if they’re working in my life. If they’re not, just get rid of them!

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