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Fitbit fanatic

I have mentioned that Amazon recently sent me COMPLETELY THE WRONG ITEM. I had ordered some replacement wrist-bands for my  Fitbit. The old one had started to fail. This is very common, but they are inexpensive to replace and it’s nice to have a different look from time to time.

I was sent instead some sort of screen protector for a phone – not even the size of phone that I have. Clearly just some stupid admin error and of course it was perfectly easy to send it back and request the correct item again – just a faff and a couple of extra anxious days wondering when the Fitbit would fall off into the washing up water, or be lost on a walk without me noticing.

Got me thinking how reliant I am on this device. My whole life is ruled by its ‘targets’. In particular at the moment I focus on the calorie usage and on the resting heart rate. I know that the accuracy is almost certainly dubious when compared to a proper medical assessment, but relative to my own history, it is interesting to monitor nevertheless.

I pride myself on having an Excellent resting heart rate for my age and gender – right at the top end of the scale apparently (do they say that in fact for everyone? I hope not). I can see when I have had a bad night when the rate doesn’t come down enough whilst asleep. In fact, if I am unwell with something, this is often the confirming evidence. I am still wondering whether I had the Coronavirus before lockdown because I had several weeks of elevated heart-rate. But this coincided with our holiday travel: staying in hot countries and the stress of constant moving on/air-travel etc. Who knows, but for the first time I can remember I lost my sense of taste – before that was registered as a common symptom. Perhaps just as well I stayed at home for a couple of weeks almost exclusively when I returned. We’ll probably never know.

The calorie usage on the Fitbit interests me. Housework is clearly a good way to use up the energy, as is running (although I rarely do that, to be honest). Even standing up while doing my singing Zoom on a Monday helps a little.

Of course, it’s also important to monitor the calorie intake. I did this religiously a few years ago when I was on my first ever Fitbit and it helped me to lose nearly a stone and a half. I think just registering what I ate was a way of tempering my intake somehow. There’s something about writing it down – admitting it – which perhaps puts you off eating it in the first place.

I cannot imagine not having a step target. For several years now I have set this at 12000 steps per day. I rarely fail to achieve that even though it is not my main target now. I guess it’s hard to eat up those calories without taking many steps as well. I reckon that the counter over-counts a bit, but as I say, the actual step-count is not really important, it’s the relative performance day on day and week on week.

I am the sort of person who does not seem very competitive (I think!) but actually I am HUGELY motivated by targets and I will compete with myself endlessly to improve my score. Many a time I have set off on a ‘short’ walk or run, only to increase the scope part-way through, to beat a previous time or distance. Nuts, but so satisfying…

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