Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fit Bit

I don't think I've mentioned it but I have fallen in love all over again. With this little gadget:
It's a FitBit. I received this last spring as a gift from the bridal shower my co-workers hosted for me. Sure, it's not a traditional "couple" gift but I view it as more incentive to keep from "letting myself go" as the honeymoon phase wears off. ;)

It's like a gussied up pedometer really. I started wearing it everyday sometime back in August (once the wedding madness died down and I had time to set it up). It easily clips onto your pants (on a pocket or the waistband). The instructions show woman can attach it to their bra but I like to keep mine visible so I can obsessively check my step count throughout the day. It tracks step count, distance, calories burned and your activity level which is illustrated with a flower that grows the more you move.

Something else this fancy thing does is track your sleep. You can put it on sleep mode and wear it in a little pouch that wraps around your wrist. I'm not exactly sure how it works but the results were interesting. I wore it every night for about two weeks. I guess I have a 98% sleep efficiency. Go me! I could see (in a pretty graph!) that I take forever to fall asleep but once I'm asleep, I don't tend to make up much during the night. It was funny to look at the results and see the nights when The Pilot came home late from work. I would wake up for a couple minutes (from being startled from a strange man climbing into my bed in the middle of the night) and then would fall right back to sleep. I could even see my SNOOZE habit in the results...wake up...fall back asleep for 5 minutes, wake up....repeat.

You can then upload all of your data to the FitBit web site to track your fitness project. It has a food and activity log that you can update (I don't but probably should) but it graphs all of your data. I love the visuals! I can quickly see the days were I was chained to my desk....or the days that I completely rocked it with my activity level (i.e. my longs runs for my 1/2 marathon training).

Speaking of the 1/2 marathon, I wore my FitBit on race day and was shocked at my distance covered that day. The race was only 13.1 miles but over the entire day, I covered more than 20 MILES! And if you have ever been to Disney or any theme park, by the end of the day it feels like you have walked miles and miles. Well, you probably have. The day after my race, The Pilot and I were super spectators for the full marathon and then hit up the theme parks in the afternoon. We walked more than 12 MILES that day!

Here is the snapshot of the 1/2 marathon day:
So anyways, I fell in love with my FitBit. Seeing my steps (or lack of) would motivate me to move more to see how many steps I could get in before it was time for bed. The Pilot even learned to not think much of it if he saw me doing laps in the bedroom right before I took it off for the night. I might was well try to end on an even number, right?

Then the unthinkable happened.

I was admittedly distracted one evening after work while doing a load of post-vacation laundry. I was pulling clothes out of the dryer when I heard a clank in the dryer. I looked in and there it was. My FitBit had gone through not just the washer but the dryer too. I wanted to cry. I immediately tried to pull up the display. Nothing. I dropped the laundry, ran up to the computer and logged onto the FitBit web site. One of the first questions in their FAQ was "I washed my FitBit." They suggested a bowl of white rice overnight and if that didn't work, email their support department. I raced to the kitchen...we only had brown rice. Then it occurred to me that if people were really trying to get fit, they probably shouldn't have white rice in their house, but that wasn't the point. After 24 hours in the brown rice, I plugged the FitBit into my computer. It came up with a error display but I never could get it to reset or stay powered up when not plugged in. :(

But then the wonderful happened.

I emailed their support department and explained exactly what happened. They asked a few questions about where it came from and once I responded, they said they would send me a new one. That was it! It was my own dang fault yet they sent me a brand new FitBit. Talk about some customer service. The only other occasion I have experienced (indirectly) was when Bose complete rehabbed The Pilot's aviation no charge. Obviously you get what you pay for (or what you get when someone cares enough to give you a rock star gift like in my case).

And then it got wonderfuller. (It's my blog, I can make up words if I want to). They sent me the latest FitBit. Which is called the FitBit Ultra. It's even more gussied up. This one counts stairs climbed as well. What? Another thing for me to obsess over. Awesome!

This weekend has been my first chance to start day wearing my brand new FitBit and I feel like I've been reunited with a family member. OK, so that's a little dramatic but I'm already digging my counts. I spend a lot of time at my desk during the week so my poor FitBit just sits there on my wasitband like a puppy wanting some exercise. When I see that my step count is somewhere in the 2000-2500 range, I am more motivated to squeeze in a work out that day. I often times make up for my low step counts by doing A LOT of steps over the weekend. It's only 3:00 pm on Sunday afternoon and I'm already at 10,296 steps. I did 4 miles with my team this morning...then took a nap. So you can see the bulk of my steps came from training this morning. I have another workout still scheduled for the day so my activity levels still have some room to grow but you can see how easy it is to wrack up some numbers.
It took me some time to figure out the floors climbed. It doesn't actually count the stairs climbed, it somehow figures out elevation changes and tracks them in 10 foot increments. So I have climbed 19 floors so far today, or 190 feet. This could be from actually climbing stairs or elevation changes during my walk this morning with my team.

So I've been reunited with a new love and it's wonderful and wonderfuller. If you are a nerd like me or just need some extra motivation to move more, I highly recommend this little guy. If you need a gift idea of an active person, then here you go!

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