My Fitness Tracker Is Ruining My Life!

Jawbone

I have had this thing on my wrist almost non-stop since January 3.  It buzzes me when I sit for more than 45 minutes, hounds me to get enough sleep, and would track my eating if I took the time to input everything.

I got my fitness tracker (a Jawbone UP-24) for Christmas.  It took three weeks to make my Samsung SIII talk to it.  Long story short – I had lost the Google Play Store app off the phone and could not download the UP-24 app without it.  After a fruitless phone call to my cell phone service provider, I was told to get the phone “reset”.  That sounded ominous, but I had made a promise to myself to start using the bloody tracker-thing, so off I went.  Sure enough, they had to remove everything from my phone, then put back on Google Play Store, then they had to reload my pictures and text messages.  I lost all the emails and past voicemails, but that was acceptable.

Then, I set-up my goals.  My first lofty goal was my movement – I picked 10,000 steps a day.  But, I do a lot of activities that are not walking or running and I needed to figure out how to get credit for those.  All I could do in the beginning was get credit for the walking, running and some biking.  My rebounding activities registered, but I did not think I was getting enough credit.  I finally found out how to add activities, but they only let me input them at the “Easy” level, and there was no choice for Yoga or Pilates.  All I can choose are:  Cross Training, Walk, Hike, Run, Weights and Cardio.  So, when I am doing Yoga, I have to pick Cross-training and then write myself a note.  Bah!

I tried to capture my foods, but the things I eat are not in the database and, when I input calories, the little tracker will not record them.  Or, I hit the button to enter too many times and end up with four of the same thing.  I talked to the Jawbone support guy and he said they have no delete function yet.  You have to be really careful before you press Done.  If your finger slips, tough luck!  My finger slips a lot.

I especially have hosed my sleep-tracking, which is actually my favorite thing about wearing this little black and silver band.  Before I started wearing it to bed, I thought I was getting really good sleep.  I use a great melatonin product, fall asleep quickly, and get 7 to 8 hours, every night, no matter when I go to bed.  But, the little tracker is telling me I have “Light Sleep” cycles and “Sound Sleep” cycles.  It shows me when I am awake and then when I slept, and how soundly and for how long.  I learned that eating later at night reduces my sound sleep and so does not getting enough exercise.

One night I forgot to wear it to bed.  I got up and tried to input manual sleep.  Again, I hit the wrong button and there is no delete capability, so I got a record of sleeping 15 hours, 210% of goal.  I finally figured out there is a minus ability and cleaned that up.

Whew!  Technology.  It can help you or it can drive you crazy and ruin your life.  On one hand this keeps me honest and getting to bed on-time.  (Jawbone sent me a message and some suggestions – they noticed my average was 7500 steps a day – because I did not put in my Yoga), and they suggested I lower my goal from 10,000.  So I did.  Then, they started telling me to go to bed earlier (not my usual 12:30 a.m. time).  So I tried, and I am getting to bed about 11:45 p.m., which is really good for me.

As a Health Coach, I am always trying to help my clients get more exercise, sleep and eat right.  Now I have a little band on my wrist trying to do that for me!  I may have to leave home without it!