A Life with FitBit

Last time around I shared my day with FitBit, and now I want to share a little bit more about its functionality.

As far as size, it’s small, and you can clip it anywhere on your clothing. It’s about the size of a money clip, but thicker. The reason you can clip it anywhere (unlike a pedometer, that you typically have to clip to somewhere near your leg) is that it tracks your movement in a 3D space (similar to how the technology for Nintendo Wii works). So it can tell you’re moving, not just because you’re shifting your weight (which is how a traditional pedometer functions).

When I first got my FitBit in the mail, I was a little disappointed. I had crazy delusions of grandeur as to what the device/system would do (namely, I thought that the Loseit/FitBit integration was a bit deeper and that the food logging information I was entering into LoseIt.com would be exported to FitBit’s interface). (To refresh—LoseIt is how I track the calories that I eat. More here.) That doesn’t happen; instead, Fitbit shoots a “Fitbit Adjustment” to your Loseit interface based on the calories you’ve burned EXERCISING that day (your regular sitting still calorie expenditure doesn’t count here—which is good…you shouldn’t be awarded for sitting around! :) ).

FitBit has its own food calorie counting system that seems fine, however, since I am so used to LoseIt’s interface and system, I now keep track of my calorie INPUT via LoseIt and my calorie OUTPUT via Fitbit. Whew. I wouldn’t put it past both these companies to one day integrate further, because they’re both so incredible and make great partners, but for now, that’s my system. If you don’t currently track your eating calories but end up buying a FitBit, you can have your one stop shop via FitBit’s website…unfortunately I’m set in my ways and I love LoseIt’s calorie counting system too much to abandon it. And honestly, it’s not that big of a deal.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t LOVE walking places. If there’s a convenient method of parking, I’d be the one driving to get there. Walking my dog so she could make poopie was something I did as quickly as possible before FitBit—we’d take a quick walk around the block in the morning, and my husband would walk her at night. Now with Fitbit I feel like I have movement goals to accomplish—when I can, I walk places, even if they’re fairly far away. Billie and I take at least 45 minute walks in the morning now, just checking out different parts of our neighborhood on foot. I’m lazy, and I really needed motivation to move outside of my hour stints at the gym, and the FitBit was the answer. If I don’t have gym time scheduled on any given day, we WALK. FAR. No excuses. We’ve got goals to hit! :)

But, I’ve had my FitBit for over a month now (I first started using it on June 14, 2011) and what was once slight disappointment is now definite enthusiasm. Not only am I addicted to getting my minimum 10,000 steps a day (this is the default distance—you can set it to whatever you want), but the scale’s shown improvement as well, and point blank, the FitBit HAS made me more active in the day, especially the days that I don’t go to the gym (Friday and Sunday). It’s no surprise that, even though I’ve made a serious commitment to working out at least 5 days a week for an hour at a time, that’s still not enough for serious weight loss as I hit my plateau (booo, hisss, ridiculousss I know. Ideally I’d work out 2 days a week and be super thin and hot. Or while we’re at it, never work out again.).

An interesting function of FitBit is its ability to track your sleep. If you suspect you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, FitBit can definitely confirm your suspicions, and help you work with a doctor to figure out ways to remedy the situation. Plus, you can track your mood on your FitBit page, and see just how much sleep (enough, or lack of) affects your day, your workout, your mood, your life.

I have to give the personal FitBit page an A+ for comprehensiveness—it’s a pretty great place to track your overall health and well-being. And if you’re obsessed with historical data like I am (I think it’s safe to say that a LOT of bloggers are—it’s great to blog about your day/life and then have a historical record of what you were doing/thinking/feeling/talking about on any given day in your history), FitBit’s web interface is pretty awesome. Here’s a screenshot of mine a few weeks back, just for you to get an idea.

(click here for an enlarged version)

So, is this thing really helping? No doubt.

  • Day 1 with FitBit: June 14 2011 – 147.3 pounds
  • Today: July 29 2011 – 141.6 pounds

5.7 pounds weight loss

Best of all, in that time period I increased my calorie intake (from 1150 calories to 1300) per day, and…ahem…got pretty lazy most days counting. It’s all about moving into a lifestyle of health, and making calorie counting less of a complete obsession, right? ;)

And just to check in with you all, a little side by side comparison of where I’ve been and where I am:

Weight – 157 pounds (March 13, 2011):

Weight – 141.6 pounds (July 29, 2011):

The upper half of my body has seen the most improvement (I’ll always be junky in the trunky). I’ll use the term “improvement” loosely—my boobies have shrunk to an unacceptable pre-teen size. Harumph. ;)

All in all, if you’re addicted to historical data and tracking your fitness/health, FitBit is an incredibly comprehensive partner to help you do so for the price (a one time cost of $100 and no monthly fee). WELL worth it, whatever your fitness goals are!

Let me know if you have any questions about my experience with the FitBit—I’m happy to answer them!

BLOGGER

Mrs. Penguin

Location:
Northern California
Wedding Date:
June 7, 2008
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  1. Guest
    Linda nguyen, Guest @ 2:39 am

    Is the calories lost as measured by the fitbit accurate? So if i lost 1700calories according to fitbit, eat 1200 calories, that leaves me with a loss of 500 calories. Given a pound is 3500, i should lose 1 lb in 7 days?

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