So, I’ve been feeling under the weather lately with a bit of chronic pain, and haven’t been updating. But in the meantime, my first year anniversary with my FitBit went by last month!
As of right now, I’ve taken 3,220,528 steps since I started tracking last September. That’s 1,324.11 miles! My lifetime distance badge right now is “New Zealand” which just makes me want to travel there to celebrate. Alas, not really something I can do.
I started out with my lovely red FitBit Flex, which lasted me a good long while. It did start to break along the edges of the band (right under the little window where you see the display lights). This is apparently a common problem with the design, I know of two other people that have had the exact same issue. So my advice on that one, if you get a Flex (and I did really like it) then be very careful with how you remove the tracker from the band. Maybe hold the sides so they don’t bow out too much.
I upgraded to a black Charge HR in May, because REI was having an amazing sale and I could rationalize the expense for a couple reasons that I outlined in my post. At the time I commented on a few issues I was having. To be honest, I still haven’t figured out where to wear it or how tight, but I just kind of wing it and it works okay for me.
The sleep tracking is still a bit off, though it syncs better than it did before, so that feature seems to be fixed. But it has a tendency to assume I’m asleep when I’m watching TV or listening to podcasts, so sometimes I have to go in and fix it. I am still very annoyed with the fact that the band really retains heat and that it’s easy for sweat to interfere with the functionality of the heart rate monitor. When I go out walking on warm days I almost always lose the signal two or three times, and that’s still a pretty big issue.
But in general, I’ve really liked it. I like the additional features and tracking that it provides (who knew how much elevation I was covering, way more than I expected since I avoid stairs because of my knee issues). I would say that I agree with most reviews that if you’re looking for one of the higher end trackers, then don’t bother with the Charge and just pay the extra for the Charge HR. Since I got mine they’ve come out with blue and tangerine bands, both of which are cool looking but unless they release a red band I don’t think I’ll be too tempted.
The best thing though about having the FitBit for the last year is that I can say I reached my step goal every single day for 365 days. When I got it, I immediately lowered the step goal to 5,000 because I knew that for me the most important thing would be the accomplishment, not the number. And that is the biggest piece of advice I have for everybody that talks about getting a FitBit: lower your goal immediately, before you even put it on.
You can always increase your goal after you’ve had it a few days, once you know what your standard average is. Then every few months, if you’re consistently reaching your goal, take it up higher. Because mentally, it is a thousand times more effective to be actually getting that goal accomplished every day, no matter what size it is, and wanting to keep your streak alive will keep you going even on the worst of days. But if you leave it at 10,000 and that’s difficult for you to achieve on a regular basis, then you’ll get used to not getting to your goal and you won’t be as motivated, and it’s easy to say “eh, I’ll just skip it today.”
Even when I’m sick, I still reach my step goal, because I am not going to lose this streak. It’s been over a year, how could I possibly give up now?