‘Well done! 250/250’

I’d only had my Fitbit for a month, but after that joyous praise for reaching my goal of 250 steps per hour, I realized I’d already become addicted to it.

It took me a while to understand the appeal of smartwatch technology.

For the past 15 years I have worn a beautiful watch that my grandfather gave me before he passed away. I had no interest in replacing it with a piece of plastic technology, regardless of the reported health benefits or buzz surrounding it.

Then Covid happened.

Our world was shrinking fast and our waistbands were getting bigger even faster.

I found it too comfortable to work from home in leggings. I became a centaur for the home office – handsome on top and sloppy below.

It’s easy to ignore a few extra pounds, but when a cholesterol test showed it was high, I decided I had to take things seriously.

Responsibility and encouragement are strong motivators for me, so I felt Fitbit might just be the right choice.

Late to the party but determined to look good, I opted for a pink Inspire 2 model.

Not the most expensive (if it doesn’t stick), but with enough features and insight to make it worth it.

I must admit, these insights are impressive.

My Fitbit is a little bully, but that’s not a bad thing (Image: Louise Slyth)

Whether it’s weekly reports on my resting heart rate or my cardio fitness for my age, the number of calories I’m burning each day, or letting me know if I should plan a big or moderate workout, my Fitbit knows it all.

And I love it.

For the past two years, I’ve been diligently doing YouTube workouts before breakfast and was amazed that I couldn’t lose weight.

My Fitbit showed me they didn’t even put my heart rate in the active zone.

I’m back to my spinning class now and making a concerted effort to hit my 10,000 steps a day.

My cooking used to be famous, but only in terms of how fast I could pull a bottle of wine out of the fridge.

Now, using the recipes in the nutrition section of the app, I cook stir fries and eat chia and avocados.

Those are all good things.

However, there is a downside.

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My Fitbit is a bit of a bully, but that’s okay. We all have that wonderful honest friend that we can rely on to tell us the brutal truth and inspire us to do better but now that I’ve got that friend tied around my wrist it’s getting so much harder to put it in the to abandon, to go .

While I’m a lateral thinker in some areas of my life, I’m actually a good pair of shoes.

I’ve never been happier than when my teacher gave my homework a gold star. So if I don’t meet my daily active minute goals, I feel like I’m being judged for falling short.

I may be in my 40s, but “could be better” is still not the report I want to see.

And I’m over the moon when it tells me I’m reaching my maximum calorie burn rate in spin class.

Ditch the glittery heels and move on to the pink Jimmy Choo sneakers that happen to match my Fitbit (Photo: Louise Slyth)

“You go girl!” it beeps me I could never say that iconic phrase without cringing, but my Fitbit can.

Running without it is like the proverbial tree falling over in the woods – if it’s not tracked, did it really happen?

The guilt is palpable when I’ve had a busy day working from home and forgot to take breaks, and the furthest I’ve walked is the 10 steps from my desk chair to the fridge and back.

Now, with the constant encouragement of my little pink friend, I move as much as I can.

Sometimes during Teams conversations I turn off my video and quietly walk back and forth. When it comes to reaching the goal of 250, every step counts – I want my “well done”!

Louise Slyth poses by a frozen lake

It even lets my outfits know if they match my Fitbit

The consequences of wearing a smartwatch for fitness are even creeping into my social life. When going out for a night, it’s hard for me to choose between classic elegance and cross-registration.

Step logging often wins. Get rid of the glittery heels and move on to the pink Jimmy Choo sneakers that just happen to match my Fitbit.

My friends were skeptical at first, but they know that once I think about something, nothing can stop me.

It doesn’t affect my evenings either, it just allows me to “budget” extra workouts or a healthy breakfast for fun.

Every day I get a score for how well I slept.

80 or higher is considered good. Sometimes I feel like a cheeky kid realizing that my sub-70 score could be the result of a bottle of Prosecco.

I eat better, drink more water, exercise more and have a healthy resting heart rate.

And at the end of the day, I like reassurance — every time I think about tossing my Fitbit, that “good job” trill brings me back.