Author Topic: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?  (Read 7662 times)

lbmustache

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Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« on: November 07, 2015, 10:29:59 AM »
This semester (I teach college) has been kicking my butt. I am overworked and have become incredibly lazy. I went from hitting the gym 4-5 times a week and taking long walks with my dog to going to the gym 2x a week (if that) and doing half-ass walks around the block. I take a nap almost every day and just feel blah and unhappy.

I honestly have plenty of time in the day to exercise, etc. I just get lazy and lack motivation. I basically come home from teaching my morning class, take a nap, sit on the computer or lay in bed, and then go off to teach my night class.

Lately I've been looking at fitness trackers to give me some motivation since that is what I feel is missing. On one hand, this sounds like a waste of money - why do I need a little wristband vibrating and beeping at me to push me to do something?! On the other hand, I know I tend to work best when I have a motivator. I just feel unhappy due to my overall laziness and am having trouble overcoming my mental block.

I've tried apps on the phone but those don't work well since I don't carry my phone everywhere. I've tried motivating myself through money in a mustachian way (e.g. deposit $1, $5 etc. every time I work out, cook at home, whatever) but that isn't helping either.

I just feel lost at this point and need to get back on track. I am looking at the Jawbone UP MOVE which is around $50 including the tracker and wristband. If I don't like it or use it I could always return it, I guess?

Any thoughts, mustachians? Do I need a face punch?

cerberusss

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2015, 11:10:34 AM »
I found a buddy to do the running together, perhaps that's what you need right now?

HappierAtHome

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2015, 04:49:31 PM »
I find my fitbit pretty motivating. My daily volume of exercise has increased, and stayed at the new higher level, since I bought it.

I *shouldn't* need a gadget to motivate me to exercise, but I do. For me, the cost is worth it.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2015, 04:53:29 PM »
Oh, and if you do get a tracker, make sure you "add friends". Because the embarrassment of people knowing when you've slacked off helps.

lbmustache

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2015, 05:24:51 PM »
I found a buddy to do the running together, perhaps that's what you need right now?

Unfortunately because I teach I have weird timings (I wake up at 5:30am for work, my night class ends at 9-9:40pm) I usually don't have any friends available mid-day to work out since that is when THEY all work.

Thank you for the tip HappieratHome. :)

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2015, 05:32:49 PM »
Quote
Any thoughts, mustachians? Do I need a face punch?

I get that, as a Californian, you desperately desire a technological fix for your lack of manliness. But realize that a bracelet will only show you how lazy a piece of shit you really are, down to the calories, steps taken/day, and average heart rate while napping.

You are teaching a college class twice a day! Get back in the gym.

lbmustache

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2015, 12:31:35 PM »
Quote
Any thoughts, mustachians? Do I need a face punch?

I get that, as a Californian, you desperately desire a technological fix for your lack of manliness. But realize that a bracelet will only show you how lazy a piece of shit you really are, down to the calories, steps taken/day, and average heart rate while napping.

You are teaching a college class twice a day! Get back in the gym.

Lol! I'm a woman but thanks... I probably just need to get out of my rut.

I saw a few posters here with Fitbits and I was hoping they'd chime in.

tardis

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2015, 01:09:21 PM »
I find that when I start feeling demotivated or otherwise bleh, there's usually a reason behind why.  It's not always obvious.  Have you thought about taking a week off from working out and focusing on something else to see if changing up your routine helps?  I find doing this, and then going to be an hour early for the week really refreshes me.  Maybe do a diet analysis and see if you're getting well rounded meals- you may not be getting enough iron, B12 etc.  Or looking into trying a different type of exercise?

A lot of the things a fitbit does can be recorded relatively easily by more low tech means.  You can set goal and then record your heart rate, time yourself, and count steps with a watch and a cereal box pedometer.

BTDretire

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2015, 01:27:38 PM »
This semester (I teach college) has been kicking my butt. I am overworked and have become incredibly lazy. I went from hitting the gym 4-5 times a week and taking long walks with my dog to going to the gym 2x a week (if that) and doing half-ass walks around the block. I take a nap almost every day... and just feel blah and unhappy.


 I started walking about a year ago, then in April I added swimming four days a week
at the local college (hint). Note, after a swim and a shower you feel great!! I found that after I got in better shape I didn't need that afternoon nap. Believe me, I'm a good napper! About a month ago I bought a used bike, I'm trying to ride it daily. Yesterday, I did my first ten mile ride, and have no aches at all today. I'm doing a minimum of 100 squats and 3 different exercises with a 20 lb dumbell. This is all new to me this year, I'm 60 and feeling great because of the exercise.
Quote
and just feel blah and unhappy.
Did you feel that way when you were getting more exercise?
If not, that should be motivation to get moving.
Do it the Nike way, "Just do it"

I'd give yourself 4 months of increasing exercise so your body can adjust.
 If getting some exercise doesn't help with feeling blah and unhappy,
it would be time to look further into that.

  I'll add, my BP is down 9/7 points (ave) from April to Sept.
I think mostly from the 1 to 2 miles I swim 4 days a week.

Maybe, next semester will be easier, but, I'm convinced, the human body does better when physically exercised. I also think it has improved my memory.

 You go girl!



10dollarsatatime

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2015, 01:53:08 PM »
I have a fitbit.  I've linked it to higi.com, to achievemint.com, sears, and walgreens, which means I earn points/money for getting my steps in.

That said... it's really not that motivating.  It's great for keeping track of things when I'm actually doing them, but it's not motivating me to do them more.

I was signed up with pact for a while.  That was motivating, since I hate losing money for no good reason.  I quit when the app started having issues.  That was nearly a year ago.  I'm considering getting back to it.

Currently I have what amounts to a bet with a friend... we agree to exercise so many times a week, and if one person doesn't make it, they owe the other person a movie ticket.  We're doing dollar movies, so it's not really about the money... it's about the embarrassment of not keeping to the deal.

goldensam

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2015, 02:33:42 PM »
I have a FitBit ChargeHR. I was nervous when I bought it that it would just be gimmicky but man, I love it. I work in IT and primarily sit in a cube all day. It was very eye-opening to see exactly how much activity I was, or wasn't, getting. I set goals in the app for flights of stairs climbed, steps taken, and active minutes and every day I try to hit them. It syncs with MyFitnessPal so I can track calories in/out, too. If it dies, I will buy another one.

Zikoris

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2015, 03:05:35 PM »
I got a fitbit in the summer and love it. Having it definitely increases my walking a lot, since somehow the 10,000 steps buzzing-flashing is addictive.

I picked mine up on Craigslist new and still in the box, but for way less than retail. A lot of people get them as unwanted gifts from their passive-aggressive spouse/family, so there's usually a good supply of new ones for sale, at least around here.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2015, 03:14:55 PM »
My wife is obsessed with hers...and judges the success of her day based on whether or not she hits her 10000 steps or not.

I have found that post-FIRE I possess a previously undiscovered fitness self-motivator gene so I don't feel the need for such a gadget. ;)

TrumanGrad

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2015, 04:00:54 PM »
My husband, my mom, dad, step-mom, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I all have and actively use Fitbits (most of us have the Fitbit One, but two have other Fitbit models).  We all find it very motivating because we compete (not hardcore, but more in an encouraging way) with each other and also keep an eye on each other - my stepmom asked what was wrong when my weekly average steps went down (knee problem so I was going for short walks).  It helps to hold us accountable and we cheer each other when one of us really gets a lot of steps.

On an individual level, it makes me more mindful of the choices I make.  If you meet your step goal for the day, you get a green star.  So if I take the day off or do less activity that normal, sometimes I push myself to keep going to hit the 10,000 steps other days it is fun to see how high I can go (my record is like 31,000).  But on days I don't feel like doing anything I force myself to remember I won't get a green star for that day AND my weekly averages number of steps will go down.  Sometimes that gets me going and occasionally I decide to take the day off.

Also I have lost 10 pounds in the 15 months since I bought my Fitbit!

NotJen

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2015, 04:23:02 PM »
If you want to try something for free, there is the Habitica "app" (I use my computer to access it).  https://habitica.com It turns creating good habits into a game, and might work if you like getting checkmarks for doing things!

Some of my friends mentioned "playing" it - and just adding nail biting as a habit I want to break has helped me stopped biting my fingernails for three weeks so far.  Puts it in the front of my mind enough that I notice when I'm doing it and stop.  Amazing how that works.

yyc-phil

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2015, 04:29:17 PM »
I make a point of weighing myself first thing in the morning, and looking at my naked body in the mirror after taking a shower. That's enough to motivate me.

cchrissyy

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2015, 06:03:39 PM »
I wear one (the garmin vivofit) and it certainly does get me moving more.  Also, unlike my phone, I get credit for every step I take. And it tracks my sleep. So I can really believe when it tells me I am getting enough steps and sleep.

it turns red when i've been sitting too long and i truly do respond my walking around to clear it.

It's been 6 weeks now, I am very happy with it.  Only problem is it views biking as sedentary, so you have to enter it manually as exercise.

jengod

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2015, 07:14:05 PM »
I won a FitBit in a raffle at a launch party for fitness tracker networking app called Activity Club, and I do find that on the days when I haven't hit 10,000 steps by a certain time of day I am more likely to walk somewhere on a errand to get my steps.

mrs sideways

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2015, 07:38:31 PM »
I did the very un-mustachian thing of signing up for gym classes. It hurts to spend the money on it, especially because I could motivate myself to workout in the past, but between two kids and job and never-ending housework and blah blah blah, I was just out of willpower by the end of the day. Going to a gym class takes willpower out of the equation: I just show up and someone else tells me what to do and pushes me to do it.

Wish I had better (read: cheaper) advice to give.

Jakejake

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2015, 08:03:02 PM »
I got a jawbone up and was immediately disappointed when I realized it is more of a pedometer than a gps tracker. So for biking, which is most of my activity, it was useless. Within the first week I had the brilliant idea of tucking it into my boot to see if I could trick it into thinking a bike pedal rotation was a step. It silently worked its way out of my boot and was lost forever. I had it about 4 days.

Since then I replaced it with a 15 dollar mi-band which as far as I can tell has the same functions and is more user friendly. The jawbone had some series of click once, click twice, click the proper amount of times or I won't track your activities, if you couldn't find the secret handshake it wouldn't track your sleep.

The miband does all that passively. I don't have to tell it I'm working out or walking. It still doesn't track cycling, I use my phone for that. It tracks sleep, it has a vibrate alarm function, it vibrates silently if I get a phone call, which I love because I keep my phone silenced when I'm teaching. The vibrate wake up alarm is pretty nice if you have a partner who gets up at a different time or has a day off, so you can be woken up silently without ruining their sleep.

If I didn't care about the sleep functions or alarm vibrations, a basic pedometer would have done everthing for me that the miband or jawbone does. I can enter tracked steps into excel; uploading to a website so I can share with friends isn't worth $50 to me.

lbmustache

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2015, 08:58:58 PM »
Thank you for the advice everyone!!!

I will try some of the apps suggested... it's also my birthday soon so maybe someone else in my family can be un-mustachian and gift it to me, ha!

Bettis

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2015, 10:18:13 AM »
Allow me a quick hijack... is there a point to having a Fit Bit or Jawbone, etc if you don't have a smart phone?  I do have an older tablet with wifi and a desktop PC with Ubuntu.  I'm in the same boat of needing that motivation and not having anyone to work out with.

marcela

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2015, 10:35:06 AM »
I use pact to motivate me to get up and exercise. Nothing like paying $5 (or more you can set it to what you wish) for being lazy. It's a free app on your phone and you link your credit card to it. When you make all the workouts you said you would for the week, you get paid a small amount. If you don't the previously mentioned $5 gets taken out. It tracks your workouts either by GPS checking in when you are at a gym or through motion activation on the phone itself. All you need is 30 minutes of recognized activity during 1.5 hours to count.
It works for me, maybe look into it to see if its worth a shot to you.

lbmustache

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2015, 03:32:45 PM »
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone - much appreciated.

I wanted to update this and say that I did end up purchasing a Jawbone Up2. $99, but Target had them 25% off through the Cartwheel app, and I got a $50 Target gift card for my birthday. So my net cost was about $30.

Since I have had it - I have not napped, and have been eating better, and walking more. So maybe a shiny new anti-mustachian purchase was the bit of motivation I needed.

lhamo

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2015, 03:52:38 PM »
I don't have a fitness tracker, but I have done really well with being consistent about exercise since I:

1)  Made it a regular part of my daily routine -- I go to the gym or take a walk at a local park every day (except Tuesdays, when I meet with my sister and her friends to walk at their lunch time) immediately after dropping my son off at school.  You could consider hitting the gym or otherwise making exercise the thing you do immediately after you finish your morning class.

2)  Started reporting results here, on the "Strength and Fitness 2015" thread and/or my own journal.  Having some place to report my progress encourages me to push myself to a new level of intensity/calories burned with almost every workout. 

matchewed

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2015, 05:13:47 PM »
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone - much appreciated.

I wanted to update this and say that I did end up purchasing a Jawbone Up2. $99, but Target had them 25% off through the Cartwheel app, and I got a $50 Target gift card for my birthday. So my net cost was about $30.

Since I have had it - I have not napped, and have been eating better, and walking more. So maybe a shiny new anti-mustachian purchase was the bit of motivation I needed.

Glad you're doing better but that last sentence shows a distinct lack of internal motivation. You may want to look into that rather than buy things in order to drive you as those are usually short term motivations for people (see treadmills, gym memberships...etc.).

lbmustache

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2015, 06:26:35 PM »
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone - much appreciated.

I wanted to update this and say that I did end up purchasing a Jawbone Up2. $99, but Target had them 25% off through the Cartwheel app, and I got a $50 Target gift card for my birthday. So my net cost was about $30.

Since I have had it - I have not napped, and have been eating better, and walking more. So maybe a shiny new anti-mustachian purchase was the bit of motivation I needed.

Glad you're doing better but that last sentence shows a distinct lack of internal motivation. You may want to look into that rather than buy things in order to drive you as those are usually short term motivations for people (see treadmills, gym memberships...etc.).

No I totally agree :( I've just found the internal motivation SO HARD lately. I used to be better at it. I am trying to get back on the internal motivation horse again.

lhamo

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2015, 11:04:38 PM »
You might want to check out Gretchen Rubin's recent work (latest book is Better than Before).  She's developed this framework she calls the "Four Tendencies" and one of them (the Obliger) is excellent at living up to external commitments but has a hard time meeting their commitments to themselves.  Sounds like this might be you?  She's going over the characteristics in her podcast ("Happier with Gretchen Rubin") if you don't want to tackle the book.  She probably also has blog posts on the topic.

I am an Obliger, hence doing things like setting up structured daily routines and posting about my goals on internet forums helps to keep me on track. 

BlueMR2

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2015, 04:10:29 PM »
My wife and I both have Fitbits.  I've never used mine and she quit using hers after a month.  Dealing with the extra electronics is a hassle.  You have to sync it, remember to put it on, etc.  Don't waste your money.

TrumanGrad

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2015, 08:48:57 PM »
You might want to check out Gretchen Rubin's recent work (latest book is Better than Before).  She's developed this framework she calls the "Four Tendencies" and one of them (the Obliger) is excellent at living up to external commitments but has a hard time meeting their commitments to themselves.  Sounds like this might be you?  She's going over the characteristics in her podcast ("Happier with Gretchen Rubin") if you don't want to tackle the book.  She probably also has blog posts on the topic.

I am an Obliger, hence doing things like setting up structured daily routines and posting about my goals on internet forums helps to keep me on track.

I was just going to mention this!  Being accountable to other people in my family who can see my steps does help to keep me motivated because I am an Obliger!  OP, I would suggest checking out Gretchen Rubin and the Four Tendencies just like lhamo suggested.

TaxChick

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2015, 10:21:42 PM »
My workplace offered the Jawbone Up (1st Generation) for $65 a year and a half ago.  I wasn't sure if I would use it. I love it! I like the fact that it doesn't have a display. I would be checking it all the time.  The app itself gives a lot of helpful information. I also like the sleep, alarm and reminder features. I actually bought it to track my sleep. I had been having trouble sleeping for a few months and wanted something that helped me to track and analyze the patterns.

I wanted to buy one for a friend for her graduation from college. I ended up buying her the Fitbit Charge. She needed a display since she couldn't have her phone with her to read the display. She loves it.

I think it just depends on what features you need or want.  I will buy an UP3 when this one stops working.

I will be interested to hear how your journey with your UP2 goes.

moneyandmillennials

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2015, 02:14:09 AM »
no I would not buy a fitness tracker, would be a waste for me

I think a lot comes from internal motivation and the best measure is not a pedometer telling you how many steps but how loose your clothes feel. 

lbmustache

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2015, 09:02:57 AM »
You might want to check out Gretchen Rubin's recent work (latest book is Better than Before).  She's developed this framework she calls the "Four Tendencies" and one of them (the Obliger) is excellent at living up to external commitments but has a hard time meeting their commitments to themselves.  Sounds like this might be you?  She's going over the characteristics in her podcast ("Happier with Gretchen Rubin") if you don't want to tackle the book.  She probably also has blog posts on the topic.

I am an Obliger, hence doing things like setting up structured daily routines and posting about my goals on internet forums helps to keep me on track.

This is VERY helpful. Thank you!!!!

Lnspilot

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Re: Lacking motivation and does anyone use a fitness tracker?
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2015, 09:24:14 AM »
I just started to use the Nike+ Running app and Pacer app on my phone. But, what I wanted to share with you was my change from lazy-bones to being able to run ten miles.

I'm going to keep this short and to the point.

While everyone else was lifting weights, drinking protein shakes, taking supplements, "hitting the gym" every day (I hate that phrase!), I just simply needed to get in shape. But I hate the gym. I went anyway.

Once my next vacation came up, I went to a gym exactly zero times. My efforts were well meant, but just not sustainable. I needed to find something that was.

So when vacation was over I decided to keep it simple. What was something I could do anytime, anywhere, without a gym or protein powder or anything? I could go run.

So I did. I was pumped when I could run the parameter of the base (5km's). I kept running on my next vacations, with increasing distance, duration, etc. Today I just finished 16kms and only stopped due to time constraints.

The point is, what worked for me was initially doing something relatively easy, and more importantly sustainable. It's been a year, but I've kept it up and don't see ever going back to being a lazy-bones.

Good luck :)