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What the FitBit Has Taught Me

As I mentioned earlier, I tend to come back from some of my trips, well, costing the airplane more fuel than I do on the way there.

FitBitI mentioned that even though I can the weight off pretty quickly afterwards, I invested in a tool called the FitBit to track how much I’m walking and how much exercise I get.   I use it all the time so I can bench mark how I am at home, versus how I am on a trip.

With one mishap, where I terrified a Farmer’s Market, it’s been pretty easy to use.  (I’ve almost forgotten to take it off a couple of times near security, which is a no-no!)

But now that I’ve been using it a while, I’ve learned some things about myself that shocked me!

1. I Never Actually “Walk A Lot” on Trips

By this I mean, more than I actually walk at home.

I’ve got sightseeing around, and all the walking feels like it adds up to a lot.  Sometimes, I walk almost two miles to get somewhere!  So I tell myself, “At least I’m very active on this trip!”

Wrong.

I’m a pedestrian at home.  So I walk to work.  I walk back to home.  I walk to the store.  I walk to the Dry Cleaners, the shoe repair shop (which reminds me–I have three pairs of heels to pick up), or even to the drug store.

Everything I need is about three blocks away.  So I’m constantly bouncing back and forth between stores for the various chores I do.

I walk many, many miles a day.  The two miles I walk in Paris feel like a lot, but do not add up anywhere near what I walk on a daily basis, just doing my job.

I also stand up and pace a lot at work when I’m thinking, and that adds up too!

2. I’m Competitive as Heck

When I got FitBit’s Benchmarking Trial (full cost post-trial: $49.99 / Year), I was constantly in the 97% of the world in terms of steps, stair climbing, and active minutes.  I couldn’t overtake that crazy 3%, but I wouldn’t let myself falter.

As soon as my trial ended, I started assuming I was doing well.  My steps have dropped dramatically, and I’ve stopped going out to the fire escape steps to run up and down at night to get the last few set of stairs I need.

I’m going to bite the bullet and subscribe to the benchmarking.

If you’d like to get the FitBit and need to benchmark yourself, you can feel free to add me as a friend.  Please, mock me when I’m not walking.  Taunt me when you are ahead.  I’ll work my butt off to beat you, so hopefully that will help motivate you too!

FitBit Steps

Note the downward sloping trend.

3. Travel is Delicious, but Not Everything is Delicious

I’ve gotten more disciplined about deciding not to eat things that I end up not loving even though it tastes fine.

My exception to this is the US Airways First Class Domestic Offerings, because–well… I have to eat something.

But when you have so many great options, why fill up on things you aren’t in love with?  And why feel obligated to finish them?

Kinda makes the wine in the US Airways lounge not worth it.

This is common sense, so what does it have to do with the FitBit?

The FitBit displays how many calories you’ve burned so far and what your estimated burn will be that day.  Two of those US Airways glasses of white wine?  1/10th of the calories I burn on some days.

Ouch.

Having to face that reality made me prioritize what I want to eat vs. what I have available to eat.

I really value slowly sipping on a Bailey’s Coffee.  Do I value the cheesecake with an indiscernible fruit topping as much?  Not at all, and it’s probably worse for me.

Thinking of things in terms of my daily burn has forced me to make tradeoffs that I should be making anyway.

How have you approached keeping track of exercise while traveling?  Any other FitBit-ers out there?!

Disclaimer:  If you purchase the FitBit–or anything else–through my Amazon links, I will receive a small commission and appreciate your support.

Even more important disclaimer: If you purchase the FitBit and add me as a friend, I may do everything it takes to defeat you in steps per week, so bring it!!!

 

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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