Tag Archives: fitbit

FitBit Force Review/Warning

I have had the FitBit Force for several months now, but have been hesitant to do a formal review. I have been a huge fan of FitBit devices for some time now, with the FitBit Force being the third device of their I have owned. Back when they first came out I even wrote about using a FitBit One. When the Force came out I knew this was going to be the device for me! Finally a quality wrist wearable fitness tracker that integrated with the online experience of the fitbit.com website. I have to admit that I loved this device. I wore it all the time (except for showers and the pool), but basically anywhere I would go. The accuracy was good. The battery life was good. The fact that I was able to avoid losing it as easily as the FitBit one was GREAT, but then I got burned and haven’t wore it since.

FitBit Force rash the day I stopped wearing it.

Like I literally developed a burn-like rash where a certain part of the FitBit touched my skin. When I contacted FitBit they were helpful and offered me a full refund without question (but nothing else was offered)… At the time of writing this post FitBit has (sort of) acknowledged this “skin irritation” and even issued a recall to address the problem.

9 days after I stopped wearing the FitBit Force I still have the rash. I have been using a prescription to try and eliminate the traces of the rash, but so far it is as visible as it was when I stopped wearing the Force.

FitBit Force rash 9 days after I stopped wearing it

I will end up getting another wearable at some point, but this whole experience has me much more hesitant to jump into it right away.

Don’t call it a resolution

I suck at New Year’s resolutions, like so many others I just lose motivation. However, I am good at personal challenges. My last successful personal challenge was to go alcohol free in 2013. I wasn’t necessarily a big drinker or anything, I just wanted to see if I could do it and how it would affect me (weight, emotionally, socially, etc.) and was proud to accomplish the feat with very little issue (I did order a drink once that I thought was non-alcoholic and found I was wrong part way through it). Anyways, in 2014 I think I will enjoy the occasional drink, but don’t feel the “need” to drink as much as I used to. I will however be trying to accomplish a few things this year:

  • Photo-a-day – I tried this once before and failed, but I really want to push myself to see if I can complete a full year taking a picture everyday. While easy for some, for me this is a bit of a challenge, I am not a big photo guy. You can track my progress here: Tenny’s Photo-a-day
  • Pound-a-week – So I have had similar goals in the past and have been pretty good about hitting them. Of course in time and diet I have added some of that weight back. Plus losing 52 pounds would be awesome and would put me right at my target weight. As of 1/1/14 I tipped the scales at 225 lbs. My results will auto-post on my FitBit profile.
  • Be a better logger – No not that kind of logger… as a compliment to my Pound-a-week goal, I am going to make every effort to log everything I eat in a year. I have done a decent job in the past when trying to do this, but  always end up stopping. All food will also be recorded on my FitBit profile.

Happy New Year!

Using Digital Health to help lose weight

As mentioned in my post Resolutions I have been on a mission to lose weight. This all started around October when I was hovering around 226-228 lbs. This is the heaviest I ever recall being and made me realize that I wasn’t helping by going out to eat as much as I was. It was also around that time that I read an interesting article about the Twinkie Diet. It was inspiring to see a knowledgeable (he is a nutrition professor after all)  man not only successfully lose a good deal of weight (27 lbs in 10 weeks), but also reduce his body fat index, improve his blood pressure, and make improvements to his cholesterol levels. The core concept of the diet is not eating crap food (that was just to prove a point), rather it was to reduce the daily caloric intake to 1,800 calories. I figured if he could do it eating crap, I could do it eating the same things I was eating, but adjusting the amounts to get as close to 1,800 calories/day. Now if you have been following this blog you’ll know that I am a gadget nerd and I just knew that using gadgets would greatly help me stay motivated and more involved in the diet process. Here is a full list of all things I have used during my time dieting to help me:

Gym

I have been a member at the local neighborhood YMCA for several years now. We have a family membership and all enjoy the activities and atmosphere. The only thing that sucks is that a bunch of people make new year resolutions and take up a lot of space in the month of January (thankfully a most never last more then a month).

Hardware

fitbit Wireless Trainer – Ever since I first saw this device announced I was interested in it. It is a pedometer and activity monitor. I actually purchased this device because of its ability to monitor your activity while sleeping (kind of a minimalist C-PAP monitor), but have enjoyed using it to track my daily activity and their website is great (but I’ll get to that in a second). If you use the link I provided you can get the fitbit rather quickly but will pay a premium for it (about $150 retail), however you order from fitbit.com you will only pay about $100, but beware that your direct order may be back-ordered for 2-3 months (as mine was).

Withings Wifi Body Scale – Alright I know what you may be thinking “$150 bucks for a scale!”, but this has been so crucial for me as I monitor my weight management progress. I have had a scale, but nothing that made me check back and regularly make weighing myself an enjoyable game. Plus their web interface is pure sweetness!

Timex Easy Trainer Heart Rate Monitor – Now this is a more recent addition to my equipment regimen, but it has been so great using it. There is a lot of evidence that using heart rate to tailor your workout is great for maximizing your workout efficiency (seriously just Google it). I love how the monitor automatically syncs with the treadmills I use at the YMCA. However I will say it takes a little getting used to the chest strap.

Nike+ Sport Band – This is even more new for me. I got this as a Christmas gift and have only gotten a chance to use it one time. Although the amount of workout detail it provides is awesome! I hope to come back to this post after more uses and provide additional details.

Websites

fitbit.com – So I totally just planned on using the fitbit website because I had the fitbit, but when I first ordered the fitbit there was a delay of several months I had to wait due to a large backorder. During my waiting for the device I regularly checked the website and found myself using it to track my daily calorie intake. This has been a great site for daily management of my food, activities, and fitbit statistics now that I have my fitbit.

withings.com – The withings website goes hand-in-hand with the withings scale. Their online experience is fantastic (it is a wifi scale after all), plus they have some great apps for smart phones too.

These are all things that have helped me make my weight loss challenge more of a game. In doing so they have assisted in keeping me motivated to continue changing my lifestyle. In reality it has been a change in my eating habits and working out habits that have led to weight loss.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If you are considering adjusting your diet don’t do so based on my advice, talk to your doctor. While I do personally use all products above, the links provided are affiliate links that I earn credit for if you decide to purchase.