Fitbit Reality Check

When The Bossy One recently suggested I get a Fitbit to track my activity level, I thought it seemed a good idea. I’ve learned to follow her “suggestions” having learned a long time ago that she’s right about most things. Bossy, but right.

Over the past eight years, I’ve somehow allowed seven pounds to attach themselves stubbornly to the old bod. This I’ve attributed to getting a bit older and the ensuing slower metabolism while conveniently ignoring the consequences to frequent chocolate-inhalation.

I like to imagine myself an active person. I walk briskly around this field a couple times a day with Max.



I am up and down these stairs, well, constantly it seems.


I never hover in parking lots, buzzard-like, waiting to get the closest parking space. I make healthy, home-cooked meals, avoid soda and junk food, and generally try to do all the right things to stay healthy and still have a little fun in life.  And yet those pesky seven pounds hang on like barnacles. Dash it!

So I was eager to get the Fitbit and start tracking my activity level. It would be good to know my baseline and just how much I might need to pick up the pace.

And this is what the wretched thing reported on day one….


Surely it must be defective. Eleven active minutes? 3653 steps? Ahem. One begins to entertain the possibility the metabolism is not solely to blame here….

All kidding aside, I was shocked to see just how inactive this busy person really is. My activity level was about one-third what it should be to meet the recommended 10,000 steps a day. Clearly changes need to be made and pronto.

Getting on a treadmill and tediously trudging away is my idea of hell on earth. But getting outside in the fresh air is not, even if I have to bundle up like Nanook of the North. Lucky for me then that my fair city of Richmond has done an outstanding job of developing trails and paths along the James River. Come with me on the little stomp we took last Sunday on the most glorious January day imaginable.

First we crossed this scary pedestrian bridge over the James River:


Engineer husband explaining the concept of bridge arches adding strength, blah, blah, did not make me any less woozy.



We ended up on Belle Isle, site of the notorious Civil War Confederate POW camp. I will refrain from musings on the ghosts of the past intermingling with joggers which is, of course, where my mind was going. You’re welcome.



Do you remember my post on Hollywood Cemetery? That’s it up on the hillside:


Evidently a geological scar of solid granite runs 1000 miles from New Jersey to Georgia and these boulders popping out of the James are part of it.



A view of Richmond from scary pedestrian bridge on the way back:


And a not-so-scary view of my Fitbit daily report at the end of the day:


How about that? An exception, to be sure, but that’s okay. My usual day is logging in anywhere from 5,000 to 8,000 steps lately. I’m pretty happy with that.

There is one member of the family, however, not the least bit interested in increasing his fitness level. A certain little Westie boy has had quite enough of the increased trotting around the field.


This is where he sits after two laps and waits for me to finish.

And speaking of The Bossy One, aka Hurricane Mary, she is blowing into town from Colorado later today. So if you notice my absence from your blogs in the next few days, don’t heave a sigh of relief. I shall return! After you- know- who whips me into even better shape!

Have a great weekend everyone,


About Silver in the Barn

Life in a 1915 farmhouse in Central Virginia. And the odd thought or two.
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160 Responses to Fitbit Reality Check

  1. RMW says:

    It’s still January 31 here and I see there is a comment for February 1 already! Sorry to add to your comment burden but this post intrigued me and I enjoyed reading all the comments too! I never heard of this gadget before so I checked it out on the dreaded Amazon and I see you can order different colored wristbands… I like the violet. Well, now I want one! Is it too late to tell Santa Claus?


    • Hello, RMW. I can’t imagine having a comment burden; the discussion is my favorite part of blogging and I’m happy to hear from you too. Violet wristbands, eh? Sounds intriguing. Now if they could just figure out a design which would be easier to put on, I’d be happy! Never too late (or early) for Santa, I say.


  2. Loved your photos. I came across an early version of the fitbit in my studio the other day buried under dusty detritus unopened. It made its way into the dining room, where it awaits someone opening it, instructions inside. I have great plans to open it this week. It will be a fun project to see just how many steps I really take each day since I have a bad foot and leg.. I remember the look on one nurse asking me how far I walked each day; I replied “I don’t walk”.


  3. I use a similar device that my employer offers. My goal is 7,000 steps a day… It’s had heightened my awareness as to just how acitive I actually am. Great post.


    • You know, Chris, 7,000 steps is a sensible and achievable goal. Anything that gets you up off the chair and moving will benefit your heart. If I hit 7K or so, I’m quite pleased with that for the day. In my case, I was surprised to see that my busyness did not equate to actual fitness. As I said, quite the reality check.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aquileana says:

    Well It seems the stats changed indeed!… Now you need to eat more to recover those lost calories!… Great post . I much enjoyed it! All the best to you~ Aquileana 😀


  5. Great pictures of Richmond in winter along the James, Barbara! Now if I can just follow your lead, but the cold North Wind keeps pushing me back inside.


  6. You are an inspiration! I’m intrigued by the bridge to Belle Isle. Shows how long I’ve been out of touch with doings in Richmond. Would have so loved that access back in the day when I hiked the shores and rocks along the James. Good for you for a hike in the midst of winter! What dedication 😉 Giant hugs WG


    • It was such a glorious day, WG, that it hardly qualified as winter. Temps in the mid-fifties and shining sun. Today would be a day that should earn a walker kudos. Brrrrr. Hugs back to you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Barbara, hugs feel good 😉 But remember I grew up there and know well the chill winds off of the James! If it was a CALM day in the 50s, with sun, then what a lovely day for the trip 😉 May all be well with you 😉 E


      • Very true! The winds yesterday here were terrifying – gusts to fifty mph, the big old oaks were swaying and the yard is littered with branches now. Thank heavens nothing too big fell. You?

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is too scary, Barbara. So glad your oaks survived! There were gusts to nearly 70 in VB and Norfolk, but not so strong here. There were power outages and trees down in our area, but our community is fine so far as we know. Nothing fell large enough we can see it from the windows 😉 I’m sure himself will be out once it warms today looking for fresh limbs for his fencing 😉 A little early in the season for such winds and wicked weather, don’t you think?


  7. Oh lord….I am just seeing this. Have been telling myself I need to do this. Seeing this I know now, more than ever, I need to take the leap. At the same time … this leaves me petrified at what I’ll find 😦 Bully for you, madam!


  8. Grace says:

    Oh Barbara, I admire you so! I have pondered the idea of buying a Fitbit but fear that it wouldn’t be long before I began to view it as my arch enemy! I will be keeping an eye on your progress; I would love to lose ten pounds but dread the thought of climbing on the elliptical machine. It bores me to tears! ☺️


  9. I’ve been enjoying my Fitbit for several months and realized the same type of initial numbers you had. I also have that dreaded treadmill but find walking on snowy days in a box store more fun. Let’s face it where else can you see your fellow shoppers in their pajamas. 🙂


  10. ChristineR says:

    I thought I had commented here Barbara, having arrived from the reader on the day, but obviously I’ve forgotten to come back after wandering off to look up fitbits and to find out how those step-counters thingies actually do work. Facinating! I’ve put having a step counter on my ‘must have to get healthy’ list. I reckon I’d be lucky to get 1,000 steps up most days!


  11. Hi Christine. I’m still plugging away and think the fitbit is going to be part of my fitness program for some time to come. It’s an excellent reminder and motivator. Mine is the “Flex” model, by the way.


  12. I always wondered about those crazy rocks sticking out of the James. Hmm. xo, N.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall: Street Art | Silver in the Barn

  14. cat9984 says:

    I hope it’s working for you. I imagine mine would get “lost” behind the dresser fairly early in our relationship.


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