One of my favorite new gadgets is the Fitbit Charge I received as a Christmas gift in 2014 from one of my clients.
I have been curious as to how many miles I logged while traveling – especially when hiking or exploring a new city on foot. I tried to map it out and get a reasonable estimate using Google maps but it proved to be far too tedious. With Fitbit now I know how many miles I travel on foot every day. I also have numerous other statistics that my Fitbit Charge tracks for me.
My new Fitbit Charge was given to me the same week that I purchased a new mobile phone. My new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a huge leap in technology compared to my old Blackberry Tour purchased in 2009. The Blackberry Tour lacked WiFi and did not function in a lot of the countries that I visited. Finally, I dumped Sprint! I now use T-Mobile and there are huge benefits to me and my pocketbook after switching to T-Mobile from Sprint.
I had zero Apps on my Blackberry Tour and I just did not think I needed any Apps. Now I am a bit of an App addict with 21 so far – including Fitbit. The App syncs with the Fitbit Charge wristband. I like having the Fitbit App so I can enter everything I eat each day. There were some annoying default settings that I changed – like sharing your stats with friends and those annoying emails telling me I earned yet another “badge” that I do not care about. I love it for tracking all my diet info though.
What statistics does Fitbit track?
- Calories burned
- Stairs climbed
- Active minutes
For me the surprising thing about Fitbit is that I became engrossed in tracking everything I ate – at least while I am in Austin. When I took a short trip to Halifax at Christmas I did not bother to enter my meals as I found it tedious to enter every single ingredient I ate each day. Besides, I do not want to analyze every meal I eat to figure out all of the ingredients.
At home I eat healthy foods and while traveling I eat whatever I feel like eating, with little regard for the health factor. In Halifax I ate “The Elvis” at The Coastal Cafe. The Elvis consists of buttermilk waffles, bacon, bananas, and peanut butter, and maple syrup. Peanut butter – YUCK! I ordered it without the evil peanut butter as I am allergic to peanuts and various other nuts. I tell people I cannot have nuts because I am already nuts enough!
How many calories or carbohydrates there were in my Elvis breakfast is an unknown to me, and I do not actually care to know. Heck, Elvis wouldn’t care either! It was delicious! The bacon was perfectly crispy and the waffles browned just right. I also downed a berry smoothie and a cortado. I walked 3.2 km (2 miles) to get to The Coastal Cafe from my hotel and I walked over 11.5 km (7.25 miles) in total on that sunny December day in Halifax. I am confident that I walked “The Elvis” calories off.
I am surprised how dedicated I am with logging my food and physical activities when I am at home. I love tracking all the food I consume each day as well as any additional exercise that Fitbit cannot track, such as swimming and my daily morning yoga.
I discovered that I am highly motivated to keep my calorie intake balanced with my output. Almost every day my calories in are below my calories out. It it like a contest each day and I want to win!
I could tell that I lost a few pounds because my clothes were fitting loose. I do not own a scale and normally I just have my weight measured at the doctor’s office each year. That was until one of my clients put a scale in their kitchen – evidently a weight-loss wager between a few of the partners was involved. So now I weigh myself more often.
Every few months I like to purge my apartment of clutter and especially around the end of the year I like to get rid of anything that I do not want or cannot use. I have a little black dress hanging in my closet since 1998 and for several years I could not fit into the dress. It is linen and the design simple but with beautiful lace detail on the back. It is a perfect little black cocktail dress. I did not want to part with the dress but I was prepared to in 2014 and I placed it on my giveaway pile. The little black dress is a size 6 and I wanted to fit into it again but apparently I had not acquired the correct amount of motivation and discipline to make that happen.
Luckily I procrastinated with taking my clothes to the Goodwill store. Since I noticed a my clothes were fitting looser after just 3 weeks using the Fitbit Charge I decided to try on my little black dress one more time.
Wow! The dress fit again. I am actually a size 6 again. My other clothes that fit a little snug before all fit just right. All of my jeans fit a bit loose so I will have to buy some new jeans soon.
Keeping track of everything I eat and all of my physical activities helps me to stay motivated to walk more and keep my diet healthy. Especially in the evenings when I used to give in to cravings for something salty/crunchy, or more chocolate I now choose something healthier or use better portion control methods, or I skip it all together and do some yoga or more walking to alleviate the craving.
Benefits of Fitbit Charge – Discipline and Motivation
- Walking more
- Use the stairs more often
- Eat healthier foods
- Avoid junk foods
- Drinking plenty of water
- Getting enough sleep
Another thing that surprised me about wearing the Fitbit is that I did not mind wearing it at night. Not having worn a watch for over 15 years now, and rarely wearing bracelets, I thought the Fitbit Charge on my wrist 24/7 would be annoying. It has not bothered me at all. I pretty much always sleep well and the Fitbit confirmed this for me. Most nights I fall asleep within a few minutes of going to bed. I tend to either read a book or do some writing just before bedtime. I try to avoid using my computer and smart phone at least 1 hour before I crash for the night. I also keep the light in my bedroom dim, using only a 40-watt bulb in my lamp.
I am enjoying my new Fitbit Charge and I think it is a great motivator and helps me stay disciplined and on track with healthy eating habits. It will be interesting to track all my walking while I am traveling.