It’s tough to balance how much exercise we’re supposed to be doing to stay healthy, and much we want to or can do. And one of the best ways to make sure we’re on track is with a fitness tracker, right?
So I have a confession to make- I gave up my FitBit.
I know, it seems counterproductive. Controversy!
But here’s the argument I’d like you to consider: I had gotten so attached to the metrics on my FitBit that I stopped paying attention to my own measures of wellness and comfort, and it was doing me more harm than good.
The big example I have, the one thing that made me realize just how confused my priorities had become, is my home office situation. If you follow me on Instagram you may remember my video from several weeks back that showed my new set-up- I had rearranged my office so that I now had a floor desk.
Ugh, how inconvenient! Sitting on the floor sounds awful, doesn’t it?
That’s the idea. If I sit on the floor, not only do I have the opportunity to move my lower body in a variety of ways, I also simply can’t stay in them very long. Floor sitting guarantees me more movement in my day as I shift and stretch and get up more often.
I have a small rug, a heavy cushion, and a pair of yoga blocks to give me some texture and elevation options, but it’s mostly about changing what my hips were doing so they didn’t spend hours and hours at a 90 degree angle in a chair all day anymore.
Sure enough, my daily mileage went up. I was getting up more, going up and down my stairs more, and generally getting more movement in. I was syncing that little FitBit several times a day, watching with delight as the little circle filled up and feeling virtuous.
Here I’d like to mention that since the beginning of this year I’ve also been taking walks at the local park, with hills and a variety of path surfaces and lots of trees. Vitamin Nature, yum.
More ≠ Better
So what’s the problem? Well, the problem was that since I achieved my goal of moving more by changing my office around, I never checked in to assess if “more” made things “better”. I was starting to feel irritated by my setup, and not just because I was on the floor.
Then, my FitBit battery ran low, and I realized I had misplaced the charger. OK, no problem, I’ll be fine. I know how many loops at the park make up my walks, I know what my normal office days are like, just keep it up and… who am I kidding.
I quit my 6 months of several-times-a-day dopamine hit of validation that I was doing good things habit cold turkey, and that was HARD.
But. However. And then. Within just a couple days I had figured it out. Yes I was floor sitting, good girl, but my left side was right up against my old desk and there was nowhere for my legs to stretch out. I had allocated myself this little space and never looked at whether it was a good fit for me.
I was only concerned with what the FitBit told me, not with what I was telling me. This week I rearranged my floor office space and gave myself much more space to sit in, and now I love it.
And now I love my walks again, too. Instead of feeling the wristband getting sweaty and wondering if it’s counting this as active exercise or am I going too slow and should I do another lap because I didn’t do all my flows this morning… I’m listening to my earbuds and practicing breathing more deeply through my nose and feeling the mulch and the rocks under my feet and smelling the cedar grove I love to visit and watching the creek fall over the old dam.
And I feel good.
So I’m not arguing that you shouldn’t track your metrics. Go ahead, join the 100 miles a month club! But I am sharing my lesson with you that the metrics aren’t all that, if you’re not actually feeling it and you’re shutting those messages down in favor of the external numbers.
Break the Mold
How many times have you said something like:
Maybe the reality is that these things that don’t feel good make them not actually good for you! Maybe you can find other things to do, that help you meet your goal and are also enjoyable and make you feel good, even if they’re not the things you thought you were “supposed to do”.
I floor sit. I know someone who does geocaching, someone else who dances while she knits (there’s some life goals right there), and many people who play pickleball instead of using a treadmill, a weight rack, or doing a single jumping jack.
The point is, it’s ok to find what works for you, if it’s actually working for you. Just make sure that some of the metrics you’re tracking come from your awareness.
Want more? Take my 5 day Walk This Way Challenge showcasing small, doable adjustments and additions to maximize your walks, with daily videos explaining each day's practice, and see for yourself.
I’ll be sharing some simple whole-body adjustments and exercises that help strengthen and align everything from your feet to neck, and take pressure off your parts that shouldn’t be working so hard to just take a walk.
Fun Fact: I'm an herbalist and a movement coach. Not a doctor, or a pharmacist, and not pretending to be one on TV.
This is a public space, so my writing reflects my experiences and I try to stay general enough so it might relate to you. This does not constitute medical advice, and I encourage you to discuss concerns with your doctor. Remember, however, that the final say in your wellness decisions are always yours- you have the power to choose, you are the boss of you.
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This website is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not medical, mental health or healthcare advice. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any illness, medical condition or mental or emotional condition. Working with us is not a guarantee of any results. Paula Billig owns all copyrights to the materials presented here unless otherwise noted.