Five Lessons Learned From a Lost FitBit ZIP


  Have you heard of these things? The FitBit Wireless Activity Tracker?

I wasn’t a believer.

“It’s a damn pedometer,” I said. “What the damn big deal?”

Well, now I know. It’s pretty much like a Gigapet for adults. Remember those?

remember these things?
remember these things?

Well, I was given a FitBit ZIP in May and lost that damn thing in less than a month.

Here are five lessons I learned from losing this little piece of joy in a rubber pedometer.

 1) Incentive works.

So, the FitBit works like this: you have to walk ten thousand steps a day. If you don’t hit that goal, the fitbit scowls at you. If you DO hit it, you get a huge smiley face. You add your friends to your list and they can either cheer or taunt you if you don’t hit the mark. When you have a few 10K days in a row, you realize how easy it is and you want to do it more. It’s incredible how powerful the incentive was and much it motivated me. You become compelled to walk…

2) It isn’t hard to walk ten thousand steps.

This applies to those who aren’t physically mobile, of course. I should make that disclaimer. For those of us who are relatively and temporarily able-bodied, it was pretty interesting to me to see how easy it was to achieve 10K steps. I didn’t have to sign up for a triathlon to make it happen every day.

3) Mindfulness matters.

When I was too busy and rushing around, I’d forget my ZIP at home. This happened during a few days when I had softball games and MAN! Was I pissed! I easily could’ve gotten in well over 10K steps during a game. If you aren’t thinking carefully and being mindful, you might leave your FitBit home and lose a whole days worth of steps. And this becomes a real thing.

4) Fitness toys are contagious.

Once I started posting about having a ZIP, people got curious. People liked all the pictures I’d been posting about running or playing tennis or softball on my instagram account but when I posted a picture of little guy, people got realllllly curious. They wanted in. They wanted to know more about it. What is up with that, I wonder?

5) There is life after FitBit.

So, last Sunday, I had my little sucker clipped to my pocket. He was facing out, enjoying the glorious day and loving his electronically controlled life. I got home from running errands, looked down to check my steps and alas! My little friend, who I named Licorice, was gone. He jumped ship, right out of his little rubber holster. It took me a few days to process this. What was the point of even exercising now that I wouldn’t be rewarded with his huge smile each day? I was wrong. Exercise must happen, with or without Licorice around to cheer me on. There is life after FitBit.

I have contacted the company and asked for a replacement ZIP because I really think they have some room for improvement with the packaging to hold those ZIPS in place better. There will never be another Licorice, but I’m taking suggestions for a new name for my new friend when he arrives. Summer is here and it’s a great time to move more and feel better in your body, as much as you’re willing and able. Consider getting a ZIP to cheer you on!   photos courtesy of the author and Giga Pet

Giga Pet photo courtesy of Samantha S. from flikr

Ask For What You Need

I've experienced many people who live their lives sort of half-assed. They spend alot of time walking around making life really comfortable for other people and neglecting some basic needs (or some amazing extras like unexpected days off, free products, extra hugs, etc.) Want to know one of those people? You're reading about one.

Yep! I am continously seeing the ways I sell my own self short. In the past few weeks, I have done something to change it.

What prompted the change?

Here's what I noticed was happening:

  • I was tired a lot

  • I felt frustrated and resentful that other people seemed to live so care-free, how do they DARE ask for what they want and need? "Harumph! Check out so-and-so asking for ________. Where does he/she/ze get the nerve?"

  • My skin wasn't clearing up

  • I felt like my eyes were going to bug out of my head at all times (this is most likely an adrenal issue)

  • I was Dillan the Grouch way too often.

How can I expect my clients to Savor Their Existence(s) when I'm not walking my own darn talk?

The truth is, when you're out on the edge of doing something really scary and awesome (like I've been doing these past few years) you will have moments of greatness and moments of not-such-greatness. Tapping into your own self-worth and actually doing things that magnify it to yourself and others takes a whole lot of courage and determination. Consistently challenging yourself to be the best version of You takes time, it takes introspection and it takes patience.

Asking For What I Need is one of my best lessons from the past few years. I realized I wasn't doing anyone, least of all me, any favors by making life more comfortable for other people. It was only short-changing my own needs and that is not what we were put on this planet to accomplish. If I want to live a charmed life full of joy, abundance and peace--I need to start with small steps on a daily basis. It begins with asking for what I need each moment of each day. Every relationship, every interaction, every moment when I'm sitting with myself---I need to be aware of and articulate what it is I need in that moment.

Sometimes, people won't be able to deliver. This is when I practice something called detachment (practice makes perfect, right?). I can ask for what I need, and release the expectation that someone or something will provide for that need. But the ASKING is the point. Anything that happens after that is easier to accept because I did my part.

It's the asking that is self-empowerment.

It's the asking that is self-love.

It's the asking that says, "hey, I deserve to have a life that feels comfortable and manageable so I can go out there and do incredible work."

That work can look very different but the basic need is the same: we need to feel like we can do it.

Work can be:

  • a job

  • school

  • being a partner/lover/friend

  • parenting

What do you need right now to feel like you can do the work you are doing?

Now, go ask for it.