Fitbit Flex

Here is my short and early assessment of the Fitbit Flex.  I like it.  I’m not in love with it, but I like it.  I’m enough of a gadget geek that I enjoy checking on my progress towards my goal of 10,000 steps each day, and the Fitbit makes this easy.  All I have to do is double-tap sharply on its face, and the little lights will tell me how far I’ve come for the day.  This is not a precise measurement, as there are only five lights, so each represents 20% of the goal.  If the light is solid, you’ve completed that 20%, if it’s blinking, you’re working on that one.  The on-line food log needs some work.  While it’s nice to be able to enter the foods you ate and see how many calories you have left for the day, I find the database particularly distressing.  It is populated with packaged foods and restaurant foods.  Not much in the way of raw, whole, or non-processed food in the database.  I’ve suggested they link it to nutritiondata.com, where I generally keep tabs on what I’m taking it.  Nutritiondata gives you almost all you need to know about your foods and nutrition, down to the vitamins and minerals in your food and the completeness of the amino acids.  You would think that a company producing a gadget to promote fitness would have a bit more fitness-oriented database.  It would seem a little silly to say I’ve walked 10,000 steps today, and my Whopper and fries were almost burned off.  Of course, I am sometimes totally naive in these things and I guess some people do that.  I never – and I mean never – eat fast food.  Sigh.

fitbit

 

The other component of this little gem is the sleep data mode.  It worked fine the first two nights.  Actually, for some strange reason (placebo effect?), I slept like the dead the first night.  The second night revealed some disturbances in my sleep.  While I don’t remember waking up, I apparently tossed and turned a couple of times during the night.  Last night, I got into bed, turned on the sleep session, and then realized that a couple of my painful joints where going to make sleep impossible, so I got up and took some meds and got back in bed.  Just as I was beginning to doze off, I remembered where I put my parka last year at the end of the season and, since I’m heading for the deep woods soon, I decided that I’d best get up and throw it in the wash, since I already knew I had a few loads of laundry to deal with today and wanted to get a head start.  In the process of putting that in the wash, I knocked over a little rubbermaid storage box that had some old surgical stuff in it – gauze pads and sterile wash, etc. (don’t know why I save this stuff), but apparently, the sterile wash bottle had some sort of failure and not only did it begin to leak, but it filled my bedroom with perfume – which I can’t stand.  So, I started laundry, had to take the smelly stuff to the trash, scrub the floor, and then get back into bed.  I’m not sure if I had user error when I originally turned on the sleep mode or if it just got frustrated with me horsing around, but when I awoke this morning, I found that sleep mode had shut off and I had no data on last night’s sleep.  Oh well.  Next time, I’ll be sure to make sure it’s running before I get into bed for the last time each night.

Well, so much for my ‘short’ assessment of the Fitbit.  I do like it.  Competing with myself (and others in my age group) is something I enjoy.

Someone to watch over me

Well.  Maybe I just needed someone (or thing) to be keeping track of my life.  Other than  the government, anyway!  Just kidding.  However, not only was I very sleepy last night, but I managed to sleep all the way through the night and nearly got eight hours of sleep.  We’ll see how it goes tonight.  I know this is not because the Fitbit is controlling my life, but perhaps my mind is at ease knowing there’s something there.  I have no idea why I was so tired yesterday, but I’m glad I managed to get a good night’s sleep for a change.  I have a feeling I may sleep fairly well tonight too, as this little Fitbit has been encouraging me to keep going today.  I was just coming into the garage from my final errand of the night, when it began to vibrate and flash all its little lights.  Apparently, I hit my goal of 10,000 steps for the day!  Yeah me!

The device links via bluetooth to your iPhone or Android smartphone, and there’s a little USB dongle you can put in your computer and it syncs whenever you’re within so many feet of the computer.  So now it can keep all sorts of data on my life.  You can set up a food plan for yourself if you want to lose weight (I do) and enter all of your food during the day.  The internal database is all set up around restaurant or packaged food, which I find fairly distressing, but I’m just entering my own values from foods I’ve already programmed into nutritiondata.com.  As you enter the things you’ve eaten it tells you how many calories you have left for the day.  I’ve got plenty of calories left for the day and probably can’t and won’t eat more today.  We’ll see if this thing can sync up with the vagaries from my weird metabolism.

Ozzie and I headed for the dog park this morning, then I picked up another customer quilt, and then ran a bunch of errands.  I came home, had lunch, which made me incredibly sleepy, and I fought through it and went out for a walk.  This afternoon was quilting and then a run to the pharmacy to pick up my B12, for which I’ve been waiting for five weeks!

We got some more lovely fall foliage pictures today.

red close upunder the tree blaze japanese maple red and pine vibrant yellow little red yellow burning bush

 

I’ve never seen the trees this pretty in my neighborhood, and I’m really enjoying them this fall.  I hope you all won’t be bored to death with the photos.

Another thing that happens when you go to a quilt show

Sometimes when you go to a quilt show, you have a quilt hanging there that you quilted, and someone wants a photo of you by the quilt.  No problem, right?  Well, of course, you’re proud that you quilted a nice quilt, and you’re proud to see it hanging in the show, but you process the picture and then your realize that, even though the scale has been holding steady for a long time, you look terrible!  As I was losing weight after my surgery, I thought I looked terrific.  In this picture, not so much.

Oregon Stars

I know, it’s not that bad, but I feel like a blob.  So, what did I do?  I didn’t spend all that much money at the quilt show, so I ordered a few things when I got home that will arrive tomorrow.  One is a Fitbit Flex:

fitbit

and the other is a new pair of running/walking shoes

asics shoe

Pretty snazzy, eh?  Anyway, I used the shoe dog at Road Runner Sports to find the right pair of shoes for my particularly weird feet.  I have really high arches and I over-pronate.  Plus, I’m heavy and I need good cushioning.  I long for the day when I can answer the question that asks about whether you’re a light weight or a heavy weight with the ‘light’ answer.  I really like Asics shoes.  Not only for their motto (Amina sana in corpore sano – a healthy mind in a healthy body) but for the fact that their shoes are really comfortable.  I’ve gotten a bit comfortable with the weight I’ve been at for the last few years.  It’s fairly easy for me to stay at this weight with my current diet and volume of food, but I think upping my activity and limiting some calories will not be too hard, and I’ll feel better when I’m a little lighter.

The Fitbit works to help monitor not only activity and calories burned, but the app you install on your smartphone can help you enter what you eat and it’s supposed to help you figure out how to sleep better.  I really need help with the sleep part – I don’t sleep.  I go to bed usually around midnight or one and I’m awake again at five or six.  Sometimes I take a nap in the afternoon, but not very often.  I’m often tired and groggy, but I can’t sleep when I need to.  A lot of it is being unable to shut my mind off.  I’ll work on that.  The Fitbit also integrates well with the Endomondo Sports Tracker that I currently use on my phone to track mileage and speed when Ozzie and I are out burning up the track or the pavement.  You can wear the Fitbit all the time, even in the shower, so it’s not something I’ll need to worry about taking on and off all the time.

In short, I’m getting older, I’ve got some medical conditions that cause pain, and I don’t want to end up being a complete geezer before my time.  So, it’s time to incorporate another favorite motto of mine:  Success supposes endeavor (Jane Austen).  I’m on it!