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Why I stopped wearing my Fitbit

July 5th, 2018 | no comments

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A couple years ago I invested in a Fitbit. Wearable devices measuring steps, miles walked, time spent being sedentary, and sleep quality, were the hottest thing to hit the fitness industry. They also became an object of desire for regular folks just looking to be more active…a very good thing indeed!

In November of 2015, I strapped my new Fitbit to my wrist and there it remained for fourteen months, only to be removed for daily showers and battery charges. 

In the early days I thought it was a complete hoot! I took instant delight in tapping the display several times each day hour to check my progress. I entered into Fitbit challenges with my Fitbit “friends” to see who could achieve the most steps in any given week. Again, it was super fun and I really enjoyed the competition. 

Then, about two months in, the obsession began.

On those days when I fell short of my 15,000 step-goal, I would immediately enter into a state of guilt. But even when I met the goal, there were days when—after a long day of work, followed by exercise and making dinner—I would sit down to rest and sync my Fitbit with my phone, only to discover…Oh no! I’m lagging behind my friends! I’d then get up and start moving around again—marching in place or finding “stuff” to do—just so I could eek out a couple hundred more steps before I called it a day. 

The obsession continued, and I even ran the risk of looking like a complete ninny…all for the sake of racking up more steps. You see, my particular Fitbit model didn’t pick up steps during certain activities, such as the StairMaster or while pushing a grocery cart. I wasn’t about to let those precious, hard-earned steps slip by, so I did what any sane insane person would do…I strapped the Fitbit to my shoe while on the StairMaster!

That’s not the ninny part.

THIS is the ninny part: As I pushed my grocery cart around the store with non-Fitbit arm, I would swing my Fitbit arm like an uncoordinated baby giraffe to pick up the steps. Yeah…I pretty much looked like a drunken madwoman and quite sure I caught a few eyes with that one!

In January of 2017, when most people are just getting ready to commit to a more active lifestyle, I decided I had just about enough of this glorified homing device, and off it came. Never to cuff my wrist again! Now I know what a caged tiger feels like when it tastes its first bite of freedom.

I can sum up my 14-month Fitbit escapade in one word: unnatural. 

Wearable Devices: Two things they do well
  1. Give a gentle reminder when you’re too sedentary.
    The one positive of wearable devices is the built-in feature that sends a vibrating alert when you’ve been sitting too long. You may have heard the phrase: sitting is the new smoking. While I don’t believe for a minute it is as dangerous as smoking, sitting for excessively long periods of time is a risk factor for early death! This conclusion came as a result of a September 2017 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
  2. Shed a bright spotlight on how inactive you really are.
    If you should be getting roughly 10,000 steps per day and your wearable device highlights the painful reality that on average you get only 3,000, this is a glaring wake-up call! In other words, even though you walk the dog around the block after work, you are far from active! In this case, wearing a Fitbit or other device for a few weeks can give you an idea what your body should feel like when it’s active: energized, refreshed, and sore in a good way, versus sluggish, achy, and stiff! Once you recognize the difference, there’s no need to continue wearing your Fitbit. 
How can you have the best of both worlds?
  1. Train your body to CRAVE movement.
    If you have a sedentary job or spend most of your day sitting, you will have to train your body to get up and move every 30-50 minutes. Set the alarm on your phone to go off at regular intervals throughout the day as a reminder. That’s what I do (see the screenshot of my phone?)! Soon it will become habit and your body will send you warning signs of neck and back pain when you “over-sit”. 
  2. Appreciate the deliciousness of joyful movement.
    Instead of looking at daily exercise as a chore or something you must check off of your never-ending to-do list, appreciate it for what it really is: a gift blessed upon you for the sole purpose of taking care of your temporary temple.

What a privilege it is to be given the gift of a body…don’t you think? 

 

Mel’s weekly product pick:
Quinoa

Although thought of as a grain, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is actually a seed. It comes from Peru, Bolivia and Chile and is closely related to beets, chard and spinach. 

Because of its absence of gluten (the protein found in wheat, rye and barley), quinoa is especially attractive to those following a gluten-free diet.

Another interesting fact about quinoa is that it contains all of the essential amino acids needed by the body, making it a ‘complete’ protein. It’s pretty rare for a plant-based food to house all amino acids, which is why quinoa is often a staple in vegan diets. 

Quinoa can be used as a substitute for rice or oatmeal, and can also be made into flour, flakes and various foods like pasta, bread, muffins, and pizza crust. Be sure to check out my recipe below for Garlicky Quinoa Pizza Crust! 

Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Garlicky Quinoa Pizza Crust

Seriously, I love pizza- the spicy sauce and ooey gooey cheese, topped with red onions, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil. But for the past couple of years I’ve gradually scooted gluten—the protein found in wheat, rye and barley—out of my diet, which means no pizza! 

I’ve attempted sweet potato-crust pizza, kale-crust pizza, and my favorite: cauliflower-crust pizza. Although delicious, cauliflower-crust pizza is a LOT of work! I jokingly asked my husband if he liked it, to which he replied “Oh YES!” My reply: “Well enjoy this one because I’m NEVER making it again!” 🙂 

Then I found a recipe for quinoa-crust pizza that really had me intrigued…but I have to say, I wasn’t overly optimistic.

I made a few adjustments in the recipe and am pleased to report that this pizza crust turned out beautifully, and is really easy to make. The only time-consuming step is soaking the quinoa, but if you begin the soak in the morning right after you wake up, it will be ready to use by dinnertime! 

Please note: I used pre-rinsed quinoa in this recipe. If you use quinoa that is not pre-rinsed, you will have to rinse it through a fine mesh strainer both before and after soaking. 

PS: Most pizza sauce on the market contains added sugar. Boo! Fortunately there are a (very select) few without. Rao’s Pizza Sauce contains no added sugar, only: Italian whole peeled tomatoes, Italian cherry tomatoes, olive oil, carrots, onions, salt, dried oregano, garlic, and basil.

Print Recipe
Garlicky Quinoa Pizza Crust
A better-for-you pizza crust made with just five simple ingredients. Serve it alongside a fresh arugula salad sprinkled with chopped veggies and toasted pumpkin seeds and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. My favorite pizza toppings include: Pizza sauce (with no added sugar) or pesto sauce, shredded asiago and Parmesan cheese, kalamata olives, red onions, fresh garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and fresh basil. This recipe makes two small pizza crusts and yields six servings per pizza. 0 Earthfoods per serving.
Servings
servings per pizza
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups pre-rinsed quinoa I like Ancient Harvest brand
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. Sea salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Servings
servings per pizza
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups pre-rinsed quinoa I like Ancient Harvest brand
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. Sea salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place quinoa in a bowl and cover it with water (about one inch above quinoa). Let soak overnight or at least eight hours. If not using pre-rinsed quinoa, you will have to rinse it through a fine mesh strainer before soaking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Drain quinoa very well. If not using pre-rinsed quinoa, you will have to rinse it again in this step.
  3. Place quinoa, water, salt, baking powder and garlic powder into a food processor and process for about two minutes until smooth in consistency.
  4. Line two 8- or 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper. To make it simple, place the cake pan on top of the parchment paper, draw an outline of it, cut it out, and place it into the cake pan. Pour one tablespoon of oil into each pan atop the parchment paper and then pour the batter evenly into both cake pan atop the oil, smoothing it out evenly.
  5. Bake the crusts for 15 minutes. Carefully flip the crusts over, remove the parchment paper and bake for another five minutes.
  6. Top the pizzas as desired. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until your toppings have cooked through. Cool, cut, and serve!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts per serving (1/6 of one pizza not including sauce or toppings)Calories: 110Total Fat: 4 g; Saturated Fat:  0.3 g; Sodium: 275 mg; Potassium: 0 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 16 g; Dietary fiber: 2 g; Net Carbohydrates: 14 grams; Sugar: 2 g (no added sugar); Protein: 3 g

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