I’ve had my FitBit since this past Christmas and I really love the little guy. When I lost him after only several months I felt like a piece of me had broken off. My replacement FitBit has been with me for a quite a while and, for the most part, I have just been using it to keep track of my daily steps. Since my current maintenance plan does not really “allow” me to eat my activity/exercise calories, I am not using the data to adjust my intake any, but it is interesting to watch. FitBit and MyFitnessPal work very closely (and, fortunately, seamlessly) so that my steps upload through Bluetooth on my phone to the FitBit app but they also automatically register in MyFitnessPal. Therefore, after a certain threshold of exercise has been reached, they start to be included in my daily calorie balance.
Many months ago, I connected with a couple of patients at Scottsdale Weight Loss Center that also had the FitBit and we formed a “group” which allows us to have a little friendly competition amongst ourselves. This was nice but we haven’t really attracted many new members. Last month, however, one of the doctors got the new FitBit Flex (the new wristband version of the FitBit) and has joined – and we picked up another member as well. This renewed activity in the group was oddly motivating for me and I found myself picking up my steps too. There is something about competing against one of the weight loss doctors – he is pretty active though and hard to keep up with!
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, a friend from the kids’ school who is also a fitness/boot camp trainer, rallied about 10 other people (most of them I already know) to purchase the FitBit and form a “group” that would compete (with a $20 entry) in a summer challenge. Suddenly I had quite a few new friends wearing FitBits. The challenge started last week, unfortunately right after our trip to Portland where I logged many many steps and I desperately needed some time to allow my body to rest a bit. But it is very fun to see the FitBit being used for what it was intended – a tool that allows you to measure your activity and, with the folded in internet tracking, allow for some friendly competition. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to present much of a challenge to this crew – some of them are really competitive and in really great shape – but I enjoy being part of an activity centered around health and mutual support for each other, albeit very much “virtually” since we communicate primarily through email, etc. since our summers take us all over the place (to escape this heat!).
I also wanted to share what I think is an amazing “full-circle” story. I have a friend that I met many years ago through a playgroup I was involved in and we also go to the same church. We have many mutual friends and we run into each other from time to time at our kids’ activities. Through updates on Facebook I know that she has been running for a while and competes in half marathons and marathons both in and out of town (and it looks like a ton of fun!) This is just something I guess I assumed she has been involved in for a very long time. But, as a reader of this blog, and some chance meetings lately, we have talked a bit more and she has been very supportive of my renewed interest in running. Anyway, I received an email late last week from her – and in it, she told me that I was the reason she started running. You see, back in 2008, I did run – for a very brief period of time. I was probably slightly below my maximum weight back then. I had a friend/co-worker of my husband’s that had recently gone into remission from lymphoma and we decided to train for and run a 5K together. It was through that experience (maybe 3-4 months) that I realized that running could actually be fun and I did get a runner’s high from it. I did enjoy setting that goal of running the 5K and accomplishing it. Unfortunately, it didn’t “stick” because I got my annual bronchitis/pneumonia particularly hard that year and when I tried to get back into it, it was like starting all over again. And I quit on myself. Well, back to the story….apparently during one of those training periods when I could actually run 3 miles straight, I must have mentioned it at one of our playgroup parties. After hearing me mention that I had run 3 miles, this friend decided that if I could do it, then she should give it a try too. And she is still running, a lot. She said it was pretty difficult and painful at first (like it is for most everyone) but now it is one of her greatest joys in life. So, there you go – you just never know how your actions can inspire someone else. I can’t believe how things come full-circle too and now she is one of my big “cheerleaders” for both my weight loss and running interest. Crazy, huh? I love stuff like this!