On Memorial Day, Dan and I decided to reboot our health kick with the help of a new gadget, the BodyMedia Fit. Last summer, we went on a several month health stretch with the Fitbit. It faltered around the holidays and we both packed the weight back on.
The Fitbit was a good motivator, but as it clips on to your clothing, it kept falling off. We still have the Fitbits, but wanted a more substantial gadget this time around. We read the reviews and finally settled on the BodyMedia Fit.
I wear my BodyMedia Fit on my right upper arm and it's on all of the time, except when in water or when it's charging.
It measures my sleep at night. The Fitbit also measured sleep, but it was nowhere as slick as the BodyMedia Fit. When using the Fitbit, you need to tell the machine when you were going to bed and then tell it when you have woken up. The BodyMedia Fit has sensors that know when you are lying in bed and when you have fallen asleep. There is no need to alert the machine.
It turns out, I don't get much sleep most nights. I take forever to fall into an REM state and don't frequently stay there. I have one good night of solid sleep about once a week. I'm often tired, but had no idea that it was so bad. Hopefully I can figure out how to fix this problem.
As with the Fitbit, The BodyMedia Fit tracks distance and speed. With both devices, this was one of keys to getting me active. I love having charts and statistics. I like having specific goals.
The BodyMedia Fit has a great website and app that keep me on top of my progress. If anything, it has made me a little OCD with checking my distant count. The daily distance challenge is 10,000 steps. This has been very easy to meet. Most days, I am well over the 10,000. I hate going on my daily walks alone, which I often do in the morning. However, I enjoy my after dinner and weekend walks with Dan. It's great to get out and spend time together. The walks have given me a lot more energy.
The other key to weight loss has been tracking food. I always lose weight when tracking. In the past, I have been very successful on Weight Watchers. We considered Weight Watchers this time around, but the reasons that I was successful with the program (tracking food) can be met through the BodyMedia Tools. I am not an emotional eater and did not respond to the meetings. It's a good program for people who need the extra help.
BodyMedia has me on a plan to lose half a pound a week while eating around 1400 calories. I've smashed this and made my rate of loss higher. Most days I find it very easy to eat less than 1400. I'm more mindful of what I am eating and of the portions, but I'm not eliminating everything. I've had several cupcakes, ice cream cones, cheese burgers, helpings of potato salad, et... It's summer and there are a lot of parties going on. I'm not skipping them. I drink alcohol several times a week with no problems.
The BodyMedia tracking is great, but there are a few things that I would change..
1. The date base seems to have a lot of junk food, including specific fast food entrees. This is okay, however it's often difficult to find basic food items. I've been mostly eating unprocessed foods and have been frustrated to not easily find certain vegetables or basic prepared foods in the database.
2. I wish that there was a function where Dan or I could input our meal and then send it to the other person. We often eat the same lunch or dinner and it's a pain to both have to input it. I'm sure lots of families are using the BodyMedia Fit together and this would be a huge time saver.
A huge plus for the BodyMedia Fit is it calculates your fat/carb/protein intake and your vitamins. It sends alerts if you are too high or lacking something in your diet. It's very important to input information into your tracker as complete as possible, not just the calories, so that these alerts are accurate. A few times I've received alerts for too much sodium or too little carbs. It's good to be aware of everything that is going into your body. I find this to be a huge motivator to keep me making good choices.
Overall, I've been very happy with the BodyMedia Fit. I've lost just shy of ten pounds in a month and Dan is down twenty. We both feel and look better.
Looking towards July, I plan to add some weight training and maybe pilates to my 10,000 steps. I also want to start using that fitness hula hoop that I bought last year. Hopefully Dan and I will go on some great local hikes or find other ways to shake up our exercise routine.
Onward and upward! Stay tuned for future progress reports.