As part of a campaign we ran to see if kids really pester their parents to stay healthy we interviewed Sam and his Mum, Jo. Sam said that his mum needed to rethink her health choices, so we supplied Jo with a FitBit to track her activity and eating habits, and then followed up a few weeks later to see if the pestering was paying off!
The reality check
‘I was surprised by the things Sam said. Listening to him say “you used to be this, or you used to do that” definitely made me think that yes, I have become less active, probably in the last five years.
He’s right, I used to set myself a challenge or a goal and he would see me train in the lead-up to that kind of thing. I haven’t been doing that for a long time, but the fact that my children have picked up on that was a real surprise. I’ve always encouraged them to be active and healthy, now the tables have turned.
How the FitBit helped
Having the FitBit gave me a reason to change. It monitored what I was doing to keep me honest. It became a talking point with the family. At the end of the day my daughter will check my phone to see what I’ve done, and if I’m short on my daily 10,000 steps she’ll be the one encouraging me to go on a walk with her. It’s a whole family discussion now. They all come out with me and encourage me to step it up and keep going, and we’re much more active together.
Creating a community
It’s a bit contagious really. Not only are my immediate family being more active with me, my siblings all around the country have FitBits too now. With the FitBit, you have the facility to have a showdown and compete with each other on your fitness goals. My siblings and I do that every week now, competing and encouraging each other to be healthier.
The 10,000 step challenge (link to infographic)
Because of my desk job, I find it almost impossible to do 10,000 steps during the workday. Before I started the FitBit I didn’t realise I was only doing about 2,500-3,000 steps, so just meeting this daily target has made a real difference.
I struggle with recording my food intake. I know I should but I tend not to every day. And I do struggle with the psychological side of things a bit. When I know I’ve had a really active day I tend to eat more than normal, even though I know that doesn’t justify things at all. I know I need to work on that. The FitBit shows how many calories you burn, but what’s the point of burning 2,500 if you then eat 5,000?
The first challenge for me after having that lightbulb moment with Sam was to get up and move, and I have definitely done that and will definitely continue to do that. The next challenge will be integrating that with eating better. But now I am aware and I do eat better than I have previously.