10 Ways FitBit Changed My Life In Less Than A Week


For my birthday, I was gifted a FitBit Flex. My sister came into town to visit for a week and kept going on about how she had to get her "steps" in everyday, often pacing back and forth in 5 or 10 minute spurts trying to crack her goal for the day. The idea of it intrigued me and lo and behold, on my birthday, I woke up to my very own. Cheers to the freakin' weekend (you should have dranked to that).


A solid 27 seconds after putting it on and syncing it with my iPhone, I became obsessed with reaching the pre-set goal of 10,000 steps per day. Actively obssessed. My life changed that day and here are 10 ways how.

1. On my birthday there was a surprise happy for me planned in DC. My sister asked me to meet her at a certain place at 630pm. I Google Mapped the location and figured out how far it was from my job and walked there, b. Becaust steps. Because obsessed.

To make sure I hit this goal that I didn't have 8 hours prior, I walked the two miles in the freezing rain, snow, AND SLEET WITH NO SHOES from my job to the happy hour spot JUST to hit the goal. I haven't had it for a week yet and I'm already changing up my patterns trying to get them steps in like a Chicago native wearing linen in the summertime. It was only two miles, but I'm saying. Just saying.

2. I'm not much of a work out type. Let me rephrase that, I don't work out at all. Every few years I'll be convinced to join my local gym (we have a great deal between my job and the gym across the street) and I'll go for, like, a week. Then I'll stop because I don't care much. I've gained weight since college but I'm still pretty slender and slim and I know I'm not willing to put in the time to get all cut like some of my friends. Frankly, I'm over it. And here I am paying attention to how many active minutes I've spent moving around and ya know, activating and shit. To be clear, I wouldn't equate getting steps in with this jawn as working out in any, way, shape, or form…but it is a way of attempting to get some semblance of fitness in my life.

3. I'm counting calories out this bitch right now. What? Look, I haven't given a fuck about a calorie since day one. Welcome to Death Row and shit. And now I'm punching all my foods into the little calorie tracker and have become curious about whether or not I'm burning more than I'm eating. I didn't know, didn't show, and didn't care about this on June 2nd. On June 8th, I just looked at the calorie total for the turkey bacon egg sandwich I ate this morning and almost cursed. How am I supposed to reach my calorie deficit goal IF I CANT EAT NOTHING I LIKE!?? I never cared, now I'm in my feelings as I passed up that cheese danish. Hold me.

4. On Saturday at like 5pm, while watching the marathon of Power on Starz, I looked at my daily stats and noticed that it said I had ZERO active minutes. Surely this couldn't be true. How was this even possible? What made that even more fucked up…I was OFFENDED. How you gon' say all those damn stairs I walked and that time I played ball with Michelle Leslie Brown from 125th Street (not that one, the OTHER one) didn't count as active minutes. So I got my ass right up and started being active. Luckily, I knew I had REMINISCE that night and there wasn't no way, no how, nuh uh that I wasn't going to be active. A thug finished with over an hour and some change of active time, twisting the night away like Sam Cooke before he got shot. RIP Sam Cooke.


5. They give you badges. Now I want badges. I haven't given a shit about a badge since I was a WeBeLoS Scout, now I'm excited when I get one. I got the "Urban Boot" badge for logging 15,000 steps in one day and felt like a straight G. Yeah, it sounds racist and I'd prefer it be called the Butter Tims badge, but if you're walking 15,000 steps in some damn Tims, you need to rethink your life. Which isn't true at all. I've played basketball in my Tims before. Congratulations, I'm Black.

6. I've joined a few of the challenges with friends and what not. Shit's sweet 'til you realize how some folks go straight beastmode. I woke up this morning to one of my friends having achieved over 7k steps before 9am. Obviously, my man went running. But I'm all out here feeling competitive for steps. Something I naturally do to get from point A to point B has turned into a competition that I was losing (for the day) before I even checked my first steps. My New Balances gently weep.


7. Part of the reason I love playing online games like Words With Friends and Trivia Crack is because its a way to stay connected to friends and family even when you don't talk regularly. It's activities that keep you in touch. Well, a few of my sisters are using the FitBit and tons of my friends are. It's another way to keep in touch…and give folks hell about how inactive they are. It's taken everything in me not to call one of my sisters and tell her to get off her lazy ass and step it up. That's a pun, by the way. (Update: As I typed this, I got a notification telling me that my sister was sneaking up on me…dammit…time to go for a walk.)

8. You can also track your water intake on this thingamajig. Yo, drinking 64 ounces of water a day is a lot. That is all. But I'm trying. I like water but I can't say I'd normally drink that much. Now I'm over here pretending to be Aquaman and sleeping with the fishes. Not like the dead, mobster way, but like looking out at ice cold water all around me…like cash only not at all.


9. This thing tracks your sleep, too. Tells you how restless you are and how much of your sleep time you spent awake. Now, I have no idea what to do with this information but its super interesting considering that I have often wondered this type of useless stuff AND NOW I KNOW! ZOMG!

10. I'm already healthier because my new obsession won't let me not be. That's the kind of change I can believe in. Thank you, FitBit!

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.



#6…Those challenges are serious! Fitbit challenges have had me: 1)Running at 5am to get a jump on the competition 2)Joining a gym a block from work so I can hit the treadmill at lunch 3)working out twice/day so that I don't come in dead last — I don't care about winning, but l won't lose! 4)Accusing my friends of putting the fitbit on dogs, cats, kids… There's no freaking way you can have 20K steps by 8am!!!