Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I'm Having a Fitbit

I bought my wife a Fitbit for Christmas, so I’m wearing it now. Apparently, buying my wife a fitness and activity tracker as a gift said to her, “I, as your husband, want to trick you into wearing a device that will allow me to track your fitness and activity levels.” She didn’t like that very much.

I am constantly amazed at how much credit my wife gives me for being clever, or devious, or caring. We have been married for almost fourteen years now and she still hasn’t figured out that all the space in my brain is being taken up by five major categories: Sports, song lyrics, random movie quotes, Snapple lid trivia, and thinking about pizza. My brain activity surrounding most everything else is pretty much at a flat line - especially gift giving.

Here’s what my thought process was regarding the purchase of a Fitbit for my wife:

“Crap, it’s almost Christmas. What does Amazon Prime have that could be here in two days? Hey, look at that ad that just popped up on my Amazon page for a Fitbit. Her mom has one of those. And it’s just expensive enough that it can be my one gift to her, but still affordable. Add to cart.”

Like I said, she gives me waaaay too much credit.

So now I have a Fitbit. I have been wearing it for a grand total of three days now, and it has already completely taken over my life. It’s like some kind of brain chip implant from a sci-fi movie that controls my feelings. I have never once cared about how many steps I’ve taken in a day, but now I am utterly obsessed with it.

I went downstairs yesterday after showering and realized that I forgot to put it back on my wrist. I took the shortest route possible back to the bottom of the stairs and yelled up for someone to please go get my Fitbit off the bathroom counter and bring it down to me. Why? Because I didn’t want to waste the trip back up the stairs if I wasn’t going to get credit for it.

I found out after the first day that the Fitbit was not going to work as a watch replacement, however, so I have to wear it on my right arm. I tried it in place of my watch, but I kept having to flick my wrist to get it to come alive and tell me the time without pushing any buttons. I felt like an idiot whipping my hand up to my face more than once if it didn’t work the first time. Plus, I realized I think about time in terms of the face of my analog watch. I can see the space between the hands, representing how long it is until my next scheduled time to do something. Without hour and minute hands to look at, I just have to do too much math. Digital time confuses me and makes me late... Like I said, pretty much a flat line...

So I wear it on my right arm, and luckily on the Fitbit app on my phone, there is a setting to tell it that I’m wearing it on my dominant hand. It is so smart, it accounts for that. I guess so you don’t get credit for running when you’re actually just brushing your teeth.

They haven’t figured out vacuuming yet, though, because yesterday I “traveled” about two and a half miles in twenty minutes behind my Dyson. I’ll take it. If the Fitbit says it happened, that’s good enough for me.

I’m so obsessed with getting my ten thousand steps in every day that I almost hung up on my friend this morning. I answered his call on my walk back from taking the boys to school, and after saying hello, I came to the soul-crushing realization that I was holding the phone up to my ear with my right hand, and therefore not swinging my Fitbit arm, and therefore probably not getting credit for walking! I seriously considered stopping or hanging up on him, because I can’t use the phone with my left ear. It’s like trying to get dressed by putting the other leg into the pants first. It just doesn’t work.

And it even monitors my sleep. Once again, I have never given a second thought to sleep patterns, or sleep quality, or restlessness, but now that my Fitbit shows all that to me on my phone every morning, I’m obsessed. I can show you on my sleeping timeline the red line that indicates the exact time during the night that I got up to pee. I love America!

But now, not only am I obsessed with how many steps I’ve taken, I’m also concerned with all the light blue lines on my sleep timeline. Why was I so restless at 1:32 A.M. and then again at 3:27 A.M.?

I asked my wife about it, but she just mumbled something about “the #*%’ing Fitbit” and rolled over and went back to sleep. I guess maybe I should have waited until morning to ask her.

Oh, well. I’m not sure what I can do about the periods of restless sleep, but there is one huge question that needs to be answered. Namely, if I’m restless during the night, am I at least getting credit for it?

Rolling over in bed has to count for at least a few steps, right?

See you soon,


Copyright © 2016 Marc Schmatjen

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