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.

The power of suggestion

Well, my Fitbit had not arrived by 3:30, so Ozzie and I headed out for a walk anyway.  I use the Endomondo Sports Tracker on my phone, so I know how far I go and how fast or slow, anyway.  Today’s walk was a bit slow, because I took the camera with me and took lots of photos of the fall leaves as we went.  What an absolutely gorgeous day!

When we were about a mile and a half from the house, the phone gave me an alert that a package had been delivered to the house.  I was a bit concerned, as FedEx always just leaves my packages on the front porch.  There were a few things in the box that wouldn’t have been a great tragedy to lose, but I hated to think that my new toy would disappear before I even got to use it.  Anyway, when we returned to the house, there was a note on the door telling me that my package had been left near the trash can by the garage door.  When I went to get it, I found that there were no worries about it disappearing.  It was being guarded by this fellow.  I have to admit that I was pretty loathe to reach around and get it.  I had to give myself the pat down afterwards and make sure there were no webs in my hair!

The guardian

 

If I had been really brave, I would have put my hand next to him.  I swear this guy’s body was about as big as the end of my thumb.  I do seem to grow some massive spiders around here.  Either this one was growing warts, or that’s a snack he’s munching on there. He did seem to be a bit preoccupied while I was retrieving the package.

Anyway, I’m rambling a bit, so let’s bring it back around here.  I got the Fitbit, charged it up, set it up, and so far, I find the hardest thing about it is putting it on my wrist!  It has this two-pronged clasp you have to pinch together to secure it, and I’ve really had a hard time getting it to snap.  I will be a bit upset when the battery runs out and I have to recharge it again, because that will mean I have to take it off (no problem) and then have to put it back on again (could be a problem).  As I said yesterday, I’m not a really big sleeper, but here it is, not even 10:00 p.m., and I’m incredibly drowsy tonight.  I guess I’ll hit the hay and let this thing track my sleep.  I’m curious to know how it works and if it can, indeed, help me sleep better.  So far, it’s knocking me out!

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!