After flushing my brand new Misfit Flash down the toilet, I found myself in the market for a new fitness tracker. I couldn’t simply replace the Flash. You can only buy the more expensive MisFit Shine in Australia. I went to the shop with a new set of criteria.

  • Low cost (I’d already wasted $70)
  • Readily available (I’d waited two weeks for the Flash to arrive in the post)
  • Discreet (I didn’t want to wear an ugly plastic wrist band)
  • Battery operated (I have too many appliances to charge already)

I decided upon the Jawbone UP MOVE, a small, clip on monitor that the shop girl told me I could team up with a stylish coloured wrist band. The latter proved a disappointment. The wrist bands are not yet available in Australia. Despite this fashion set back, I’ve been satisfied with the purchase. Since donning the tracker three weeks ago, I have gained some valuable insights into my activity levels. The most surprising being how motivated I can be by a piece of plastic. Here’s how the process has panned out so far.

  • I’ve worn tracker every day.
  • Some days I’d only done 700 steps by lunch time
  • My quick twenty minute dog walk didn’t advance this number significantly
  • A Les Mills BodyStep class will only take me half way towards 10,000 steps
  • A BodyPump class doesn’t add any steps, at all
  • Cycling is also a disappointment – even when riding for over an hour
  • Yet a two hour snail pace wander around a night market will produce results

Clearly, there are some inconsistencies in the way the Jawbone UP MOVE tracks movement. I work hard during Pump class, with sweat pouring off my body and my heart shunting like a piston. Ditto, after an hour and a half of cycling across Melbourne’s undulating eastern suburbs. I can add these activities to the Jawbone App, manually. But it doesn’t alter my step count. So, how am I managing these inconsistencies?

  • I start every day with the aim of 10,000 steps
  • When lying in bed deciding whether to drive to work or cycle, I cycle
  • Knowing I’ll have to get the steps up somehow
  • When deciding whether to have a long Saturday breakfast go to a 10.30 Step class, I choose the Step Class for the same gotta-do-this-thing reason
  • Some days I exceed 10,000 steps
  • Other days, I sit just below the number
  • I don’t let these small variations bother me
  • On Pump days, I do a forty minute walk and then rest in the knowledge that fifty minutes of repetitious weight lifting is enough, despite not fulfilling my step count
  • During Step class, I don’t slack off during the final cardio peak. I need those steps too much
  • When cycling, I push myself harder and try to get up off my pedals more
  • I’m experimenting with clipping the fitness tracker to my shoe when cycling considerable distance
  • But I’m not resorting to unsustainable activities like jiggling up and down while standing in a queue
  • I am trying to increase my activities in ways that are sustainable
  • Knowing it takes six weeks to create a habit
  • That will last forever
  • I’ll be doing 10,000 steps a day for the rest of my life
  • And that’s okay
  • Achievable
  • At least it was until…I lost it

That’s right, I’ve lost another fitness tracker.

The other night, I got together with my writing buddies. We were comparing fitness trackers (as you do). I took mine off to demonstrate the cool light display (and my awesome step count). I mustn’t have clipped it back on properly. I’ve searched my car up and down – the road, the curb, and the nature strip. My friend says it’s not in her house. I imagine it has tumbled into a roadside drain and is making its way through Melbourne’s stormwater system.

I wonder, is the deity of couch potatoes trying to tell me something?

No. With the aforementioned benefits in mind, I’m in the market for a new fitness tracker. I have developed a revised set of criteria. My next tracker:

  • MUST be on a wrist band
  • MUST to be on a wrist band
  • Did I mention it HAS to be on a wrist band?

I’ve trawled the sites. Read the reviews (again) and decided on a MisFit Shine. By the time I roll all three purchases together and add in an elegant leather wrist band it will be the most expensive fitness tracker in Australia (I’m negotiating a second mortgage). I recently heard of a US company providing health insurance company, in New York State and New Jersey, that is issuing every new member with a MisFit Shine. Great initiative. I wish there was an Australia company doing this. I would have joined on the spot. Though, I doubt they have a replacement policy. If you lose your fitness tracker you are on your own whatever state or territory you live in.