Why I Took A Fitbit Cleanse
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Health and Wellness

Why I Took A Fitbit Cleanse

Realizing that my "healthy" fitness tracker had become an unhealthy addiction

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Why I Took A Fitbit Cleanse

My name is Liz and I am a Fitbit addict.

Exactly one year ago, I got a Fitbit for Christmas. It was all the rave and everyone was wearing one, so of course I had to have one myself. I couldn’t wait to start wearing it and tracking my steps, sleep and heart-rate to see if I was really as active as I should be.

At first it was great. I learned a lot about my habits, including that while I was being active (those walks to class across campus and daily gym sessions easily got me to 10,000 steps), I was definitely not getting enough sleep (too much late night Netflix).

I immediately became obsessed with my Fitbit. I wore it every second of every day, making sure every movement was accounted for and charging it only while I showered because I couldn’t wear it then anyways. I admit it, my Fitbit had become a part of me.

My friends all had one too and we would challenge each other to see who could get the most steps every week. It was a competition for me, and I had to win. I would even jog in place before bed if I hadn’t hit my steps yet that day because it was just SO IMPORTANT to meet my Fitbit goals.

But honestly, why did it matter if that one day I only walked 7,000 steps instead of my usual 15,000 steps? The answer: it didn’t. I remember one time reading a meme that said “If you take a step without your Fitbit, did you even move?” Yes, in fact, I did move thank you very much.

I realized that my obsession with my Fitbit was overtaking my life. I began to think of exercise as a chore instead of something that I do for myself and my health. I felt anxious or even guilty if I didn’t hit my steps one day. I avoided trying new exercises such as cycling or yoga because they didn’t count my steps.

My “healthy” fitness tracker had become an unhealthy addiction. I realized this when I came home from school this winter break and freaked out for not hitting my steps the first few days. All I wanted to do was relax and watch Netflix after a stressful week of exams, but the only thing I could think about was getting a workout in or going for a walk to meet my step goals.

So, I did a very brave thing and took my Fitbit off for the first time in A WHOLE YEAR. I haven’t put it back on since, and haven’t regretted it yet. So far I have not felt guilty and have continued to work out routinely, but I find that now I am more focused on myself. I no longer feel the need to stay on the elliptical until my Fitbit notifies me that I’ve hit my 10,000-step goal. I have more freedom and find myself switching up my workouts to exercise different muscles instead of the same old cardio routine.

Fitbit was created to motivate and encourage people to reach their health goals. While it can be great to track your progress, it can become unhealthy if you let it control your life. Everyone deserves to be lazy every once in a while (there’s a reason Sunday is called “Lazy Sunday”). We shouldn’t feel guilty taking a day or two off from the gym each or spending an entire day just lounging around like a couch potato. It should about you and about your health. So, if you find yourself in the same position as I did, do yourself a favor and consider taking a Fitbit cleanse.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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