To ‘Bit’ or not to ‘Bit’? (Guest Post)

by Ange B

A few weeks or so back I was wondering whether an activity tracker would be a worthwhile purchase. I am generally wary or gadgets and so, when I first heard about these new super-charged pedometers my initial thoughts were that they appeared to be yet another way for people to compete, compare and generally feel they’re not doing ‘enough’.

That was a year ago and at the time I was struggling with both anxiety & fatigue as a result of a mistreated thyroid disorder. Not wanting to set myself up for another failure, I stayed well clear of the gadgets and the hype. A year on (and thankfully, chronic anxiety and fatigue free) I have come around to another line of thinking. Or perhaps, I believe I now possess the tools I need to prevent this little tool taking over my life. These being, an appreciation for my health, love for my strong resilient body, recognition of the (awesome) things I have already achieved, and the acknowledgement that, after years of inactivity due to illness, slowly slowly is the best way (for me) to get “fit” again.

So why a Fitbit? The purchase decision came down to comfort. I really don’t like wearing anything on my wrists, so it had to be light and comfortable and the one I chose is barely noticeable. I really hadn’t thought much beyond the pedometer function of these devices when doing my initial research, though I thought the sleep tracker could be an interesting function.

I have subsequently discovered that the sleep tracker is a fabulous tool. I am still terrified of tired days – days where I wake up with a (seemingly) inexplicable fatigue and the fear that I’ve regressed. I had one of those days recently, and when I consulted my sleep tracker of the 8 hours I had thought I was asleep my ‘Bit registered 2 hours of restlessness throughout the night. Easily accounting for the fatigue the next day and giving me great peace of mind – and the motivation to continue to work on my sleep hygiene to achieve 8 hours= of proper rest.

The other bonus feature is the vibrating alarm. Having to  take medication twice daily at specific times I had relied on my phone alarm, but I much prefer the silent reminder buzzing away on my arm. It’s handy too as I’d often miss the phone alarm when it was on silent in my bag or in another room.

Now that I’ve had the ‘Bit for a little while I can say that we’ll be good friends lil ‘Bit and I. What I have realised is that I easily average 12,000 steps per day. This movement, combined with a consistent routine of strength work, swimming and cycling throughout each week will get me to my first set of fitness goals. Most importantly, I’ve realised that the ‘Bit doesn’t care, non-judgemental little machine that it is. It doesn’t care that one set of 2000 steps was to go and get hot chips (because Saturday is hot chips with dinner day), or that, at 9 pm the other night I wandered down to the pub for a drink with a friend (because it was 34 degrees at 9pm and there was no sleeping to be had in that kind of crazy hot weather) it just cares that I walked.

Ange is a health sciences student, public servant, cat owner, avid reader of other people’s blogs, HAES advocate with a 5 year plan to finish a half ironman! She lives in Adelaide in South Australia.

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