Get a Fitbit, they said. You will love it, they said. I can’t believe how it made me more active, they said. I can’t imagine my life before one, he said. Well, let me tell you what I say about it all: lies.
The day I regained my freedom and let go of the restrictions a piece of technology put upon me was one of the most liberating moments I have had thus far. Also known as the day I threw my Fitbit away.
Now before I go and lose all you Fitbit lovers as followers, let me preface my story by saying this: I totally get the idea of the Fitbit. It makes you aware of how many steps you really do take within a 30-minute period and serves as a vibrating reminder to “Get Out and Take a Stroll” (their words, not mine). I am fan of leading a healthy lifestyle, and I like to think that I practice what I preach when it comes to living a life full of leafy greens and long walks without pushing a stroller. What my days, wrist, and children were not ready for was the reaction I would have to my Fitbit and my Fitbit to me.
Raising littles comes with a myriad of sounds: the sweet sound of giggles, the screams of sibling arguments, the squeals of pure joy from a baby, the whining of a preschooler, and so on. With those human sounds come the noises of the toys said children like to play with. Anything from a firetruck’s siren that can be heard from three rooms away to the fridge phonics set that will forever sing the ABCs (even when turned off), can be heard in my house. Not to mention the oven timers that ring for the completion of a toy share turn or to alert yours truly that I have about two minutes before dinner is burned. Pair those with every ding known to man for whatever update or message I am receiving on my phone, and that makes for a day full of sounds. The last thing—and I mean the LAST thing—I need attached to me is something that makes any type of noise or buzzing when it comes to my step shortcomings.
A Passive Aggressive Animated Man
As moms, we never stop. Ever. Our minds and bodies are constantly in motion whether we are growing humans, chasing after their waddling behinds, or worrying about them when they are grown and out of the nest. I sure wish that little animated person on the face of my Fitbit understood that. I’d hoped that the passive aggressive image instructing me to get up and move had a deeper understanding of how much activity I took part in during the day. The words “You’re Almost There” came scrolling across the face of the band and generated a type of fury that I hadn’t felt since someone “blessed my heart” when they found out my kids were formula fed (stay tuned for that post). The day I swam for 30 minutes didn’t count because the Fitbit can’t get wet (can you say high maintenance?), nor was the run AFTER my swim calculated into my day’s equation because there must have been a few droplets of water on my wrist that immediately ticked off the little animated image, which in turn caused the “healthy” bracelet to turn off. By 8:00 A.M., I’d accomplished two forms of workouts, fed three adults a well-balanced breakfast, mopped the kitchen and breakfast room floors, and solved at least four missing toy mysteries to then find my passive aggressive little animated creature pointing out that it was time to take a stroll. The only scene missing from my morning was Phoebe from Friends, a hammer, and her smoke alarms.
Sundays are my rest days for many reasons. I try to schedule “me” time somewhere in the day where I can reset, recharge, and look at the coming week with preparation and motivation. Motherhood has enough challenges, restrictions, limitations, expectations, and emotions for ALL of us, and I surely didn’t need another device or voice telling me I was falling behind in some aspect of my life. So on Sundays, I placed my Fitbit in my top dresser drawer and proceeded with the day. The relief and weightlessness I came to find and yearn for on those Sundays was invigorating and addicting to my body and soul. I knew what I had to do next.
I’ll spare you the details of the breakup that occurred between the Fitbit Alta and myself, but know it was much easier than expected and there are no hard feelings on either end. In the time that I have been sans Fitbit, I’ve clocked longer runs, faster swims, and more games of Candyland than any one piece of technology can track.