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One of my current favorite things is my Fitbit!  I have the Fitbit Flex.  It is worn on the wrist. I have a number of bands for it.  Pictured is my lavender band. I also have a pink, slate, turquoise, and black with white polka dots. I wear the polka dotted one almost all the time because it matches my work wardrobe.  I also made myself a Fitbit Pocket.  I use this when I am going to walk at my standing desk while typing or if I am going to push a stroller or shopping cart.  I found that the Flex was not picking up steps when my wrists were stationary (not really a surprise given that it is on my wrist). Because I wear nursing bras, it just hooks on to the top of my bra cup. I have found it is pretty accurate this way.

This is one of my favorite things because it really motivates me to move more!  When I got it, I discovered just how sedentary I had become.  I wore it for about a week before setting any goals or making any kinds of changes.  I got it for Christmas, so I decided January was a good time to start with any goals or changes anyway.  I was regularly getting around 2,000 steps a day!  Embarrassing to say, but that is the way things had gotten! The only days that I moved more than that were the days when I was in court (and on my feet all day).

After my week of assessment, I made my new goal 5,000 steps a day. I have increased it regularly since then.  Right now, my goal is 8,000 steps. I had planned to increase it to 9,000 for March, but then I had several weeks of bad respiratory illness that triggered my asthma.  I had about 9 days where I couldn’t really walk across the room without stopping to catch my breath, so I didn’t increase my goal. I am getting back on track now.  I will probably increase my goal again at the beginning of April.  Yesterday, I had my best day ever. I walked more than 12,000 steps. I was on a field trip with Wyatt and walked all over the zoo all day!

I use the Fitbit app throughout the day to see how much I have walked.  It really keeps me on track.  I take frequent walks around my office. I park farther away. I have also been walking at my standing desk (although slowly while typing)!  This is my standing desk that my husband made me:

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I just love seeing the bar move from red to green!  I don’t really use a lot the other tracking aspects of the app. The only other things I track are my weight, my water intake, and my sleep. I have found that the sleep tracker is pretty accurate for me (I know that isn’t true for everyone).  Just being aware of my sleep helps a lot.  I noticed on days when I got less than normal sleep, I ate a lot more. Now, when I see that my sleep was terrible the night before (and lets face it, with an 19 month old who still nurses at night that is often), I take more time to evaluate why I am eating. Often it is just that I am sleepy, and I can avoid eating a bunch of junk by being aware.  Eventually, I may use it to track food intake, calories burned, and the other awesome things it can do. Right now, I am just focusing on moving more.

I have a friend, Sharon, who has used her Fitbit to lose a lot of weight. Here is her blog post about it.  It is a great read!  She is such an inspiration!  One of the things that she notes is that pedometers worn on the wrist are the least accurate. This is a totally legitimate criticism.  I look at it this way, I am trying to monitor my activity not my specific steps necessarily. By using it everyday and wearing it consistently, I can see patterns in my activity. Even if it is not precise, I can see whether I am doing well or not. That is what I need to know.  If someone is really interested in their steps specifically, the Flex isn’t a good choice.  I used to have a pedometer that I wore on my waist. I stopped wearing it because I was forever bumping it on stuff. I also sometimes wear one piece dresses. The pedometer made a huge lump on my waist.  I didn’t like it. I think that the new pedometers are pretty small, but I know that was why I stopped using mine before. I didn’t really want that to happen again. Also, I do love my pretty bands!

Some people find that it counts steps when they drive, knit, or crochet. Mine does not count steps during any of those activities.  I have noticed that my calories burned goes up during each (although, not by a lot), but I don’t really use that feature anyway.  It may be because I knit continental and wear mine on my left wrist (which doesn’t move at all while knitting). I hold my yarn the same way to crochet, so again my left wrist doesn’t move.  A lady at my knit group said she had a lot of trouble with getting a large number of steps while knitting, but she is a thrower and moves her hands.  I talk with my hands a lot. Keeping an eye on the number of steps being logged on my phone app, I have also noticed that it doesn’t pick that up as steps either.  It freaks me out a little that it knows when I am walking and when I am just gesturing!

The Flex is scary smart!  I cannot figure out how it knows the difference between walking and other movement. I also cannot figure out how it knows the sleeping stuff. It is super accurate on when I am awake and when I am restless.

Since I began wearing it, I have lost nearly 10 lbs. I put two back on during my illness, but that is pretty understandable. In addition to not moving, I had to take prednisone which makes me eat like crazy!  Had I not had that bout of illness, I would have broken the 10 lb. loss mark.  Not too bad!