Saturday, March 15, 2014

I'm a Fitbitter!

I never, not ever, expected to get a fitness tracker.  It felt completely unnecessary for a very long time.

But I got one. And I'm so glad!

The reasons are (1) I was beginning to lose my motivation for exercising so intensely each morning and (2) I was really curious about calories in vs. calories out.

My days' activities vary, and I had no idea how many calories I might be burning.  And, of course, the only way to lose weight is to burn more than we're consuming.

My cousin and uncle recently got the Polar Loop.  After checking it out I decided it was not for me.  I didn't want a bracelet type/watch replacement.  I was also concerned about the band which you have to cut.  If you cut too short, you're out of luck.  I know me.  I would probably do that.

So, after some research and Facebook friend polling, I decided on the Fitbit One.  $99 at Radio Shack.  30 days to return.  I wanted to deal with a person face to face...just in case...and not Amazon on something like this. I got burgundy so it would be a little easier to find, because it is small--about the size of my thumb.

I've had it for about 24 hours now.  I set it up last night on the mobile devices, slept with it on my wrist, worked out with it this morning, and finished setting it up on my computer afterwards.  I love it!!

Did I mention I love it?!!

Trying to set it up last night when I was tired was not smart, so I got off to a bumpy start, but a fresh morning made it a lot easier.  It comes with zero instructions, which is frustrating, but when you go to and follow the steps, then instructions begin to appear and it is pretty user-friendly.  

So...let's go on a tour!

You can wear it on your pocket, like I did today, or clipped inside your bra, on a belt, or inside a dress on your hip.  I'll probably do that tomorrow during church.  (The bra option is still fairly conspicuous.)

As you press the little button, it scrolls through certain info, like the time. (Pardon the jean-fuzz.)

How many calories you've burned since midnight the evening before, when it resets itself automatically.  You choose the time zone when you set it up on the computer.  This photo is from earlier.  Right now I'm at 2202, but I'm also done eating for the day. 
How many miles you've walked.

How many flights of stairs you've gone up.
Very important--how many steps you've taken.  The daily goal for everyone is 10,000.  At 4:30 this afternoon I was at 9975, so I jogged around the house a little to break 10,000.  Right now--7:20pm, I'm at 11,125.  Pretty good!
And the "activity flower."  When I first saw this I thought, "What the heck?"  The more active you are, the more the flower grows!  The less active, it shrinks.  I've been sitting for a while tonight, so mine has shrunk back down to 3 leaves. After my aerobics session this morning it was as tall as it can grow!

The online features are awesome.  Here are some screenshots of my day: (Click on them to see them full-sized...)
This is my "dashboard" a few hours ago.  You can click on each of those boxes to get more info, or add info like water consumption and food you've eaten.  
Under "activities" you can log your scheduled exercise.  Even without doing that the Fitbit records which part of the day you've been the most active.  All of those greens on the left are from my aerobics this morning.  The yellow in the middle is when we went to the shooting range (who got a perfect bulls-eye today at 10 yards?  ME!)  More green when I walked the dog, then back to yellow when I was grocery shopping and doing some housework.  
Calories in vs. calories out.  Essential in weight loss and the main reason I got the Fitbit.  The green bar always needs to be higher than the blue bar if we're going to make this happen.  The stats for today were before my tiny dinner, since we went out to lunch.
Let me say a few things about food with the Fitbit.  Like any device, you can use it as much or as little as you want.  The Fitbit has a "food plan" option based on your height/weight/age/gender and how much you want to lose.  There are 4 levels of difficulty--Easy, Medium, Kinda Hard, and Hard.  The harder you choose, the less calories you are allotted, the faster the weight will come off (in theory, if you're burning more than you're consuming.)

I chose the Kinda Hard, with 33 lbs more to lose. (The high end of my Weight Watchers Lifetime Member goal from 12 years ago.)  Fitbit figures that if I do what I'm supposed to do, I'll hit that goal around August.  That works for me.

I'm entering the food I'm eating to count calories the best I can.  I wasn't really counting before because I didn't know what I was burning.  There is a list of foods to choose from or you can add your own.  A lot of it is estimating, but I'm trying to be smart about that, especially when we've eaten out.  I have such a love-hate relationship with food because I love everything that is bad for me, so this big lifestyle change I've made and written about recently is just that--a lifestyle change--not a diet. 

The Fitbit goes into a wrist band that is comfortable to wear while sleeping.  You hold the button down as you're drifting off and again when you wake up.  In the interim, it records your sleep duration and how many times you awake--I'm not sure how.  I was up way too late last night and woke up 18 times during the night.  I have no memory of awaking that many times, but I'm a bad sleeper, so it's no big surprise.  Personally I don't think waking 18 times deserves a 91% sleep score, but, whatever!
And the fun part--you get badges for accomplishing goals!  Shortly after reaching those 10,000 steps I got an email saying I got my first badge.  Hooray!

Unlike a pedometer, which only calculates steps, the Fitbit is calculating all sorts of things, which I think is pretty cool.  I know other fitness trackers do the same, some even calculate heart rate, some are water-proof, but I'm very happy with this one.  I think it is a great device for women, especially, because it doesn't interfere with jewelry.  I saw the Polar Loop in person last night and it just looked huge.  But the Loop is water-proof, so if you're a swimmer, that might be the one for you.

One thing I did learn is that you must set it up on your computer.  Hubby was watching something on his computer when I came home from Radio Shack last night and I wanted to wait until he was done, so I did the setup on the iPad.  This morning I went to my Fitbit account and was perplexed that the numbers on the screen weren't in sync with those on the device, despite the fact that I had the little USB Bluetooth "dongle" (terrible, terrible name) plugged into my computer.

I hadn't set up the device and software on the computer yet.  Doy.  That's what I get for trying to do this late last night.  Setup is fast and easy.  No problems.

So there you go.  Night 1 and Day 1 as a Fitbitter.  I like!!!

1 comment:

MOM said...

Very, very interesting. I can see why everyone that has one of these or the Polar one are so excited. First real run-down was from Stacy...she loves hers...Congratulations on what you are doing!'s inspiring! I have to get down to a lower've made me want it and now I'm actually working at it! Thanks!