A new phone wasn’t my only unexpected purchase on Black Friday, I also picked up a FitBit.  I’ve been interested in the FitBit for a while now, I just never could bring myself to drop the money on one.  It’s not even that it’s too expensive, I have just had better things to blow my cash on.  I got roped into going to Walmart on Thanksgiving by my family, semi against my will.  While wandering around waiting for some arbitrary time of day when people could start grabbing and buying the stacks of goods sitting around the store, I noticed they had FitBits for $70, which is $30 less than normal.  I also had extra money in my personal budget so I decided I’d pick one up.  Thankfully, my Walmart is tiny and, while busy, it’s nowhere near the mob the larger stores get.

Semi Ironicly, over the summer there was a bundle for $150 that included a Lumia 635 and a FitBit.  I ALMOST ordered it.  At this point, I’ve saved $40 not ordering it.  I never would have expected a better deal but hey, patience works out.

Using the FitBit has spurred me to pick up my previous two Fitness tracking apps, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal.  Endomondo tracks workouts pretty well and MyFitnessPal is good for tracking food intake.  What’s best is they all three sync together sublimely.  Fitbit pulls the activity just by wearing it and pumps it into Endomondo automatically anytime it thinks you’ve done a workout”.  MyFitnessPro pushes food data to and from Fitbit while also pulling Calories burned from Endomondo.

None of it is a perfect exact measurement, calories burned are subjective to effort and whatnot and I’m sure there are some false steps in the Fitbit.  The food measurements and logging aren’t exact with MyFitnessPal either, I often forget to log drinks for example.  I’ve compensated for this a bit by lowering my “goal” for MyFitnessPal.  I want to stick to around 2000 calories but I have it set for closer to 1600.

It’s not meant to be exact though.  Just tracking things helps give an awareness of just how much is eaten, which helps more than anything.  Knowing I’m “500 calories from my desired max” after lunch, even with the buffer and exercise, reminds me I don’t need that afternoon snack or that soda while I’m out at lunch.

The Fitbit itself is just a glorified Pedometer.  It’s the peripheral apps and syncing that make it worthwhile.  The automatic workout tracking and syncing makes my whole process simpler for example.  It has a sleep tracking mechanism, which is neat as well, though I haven’t slept enough nights to have any good insights.  It also “gamifies” the workout experience with achievements and badges and cool graphs and charts and numbers.

The real purpose of all of this is more motivation to continue than anything.  It’s working pretty well so far, hell I have already looked into the matching scale, which is surprisingly cheap.  I figure I need to make sure I stick with this a bit first since most of the time I get motivated to better my fitness I end up stopping after a month or so.

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