Thursday, December 1, 2011

Training, fitness and weight loss assistant? Personal review of a FitBit

Well, I don't have anything to give away, just a LOT of opinions about a LOT of things. But, for time, space and brain power saving I'll try my damnedest to remain focused on just the fitness items here, more specifically the Fit Bit fitness assistant/pedometer/superstalker tracker/all around awesome fitness assistance tool.
I would like to begin by saying that this is not an item I received for free (not THAT lucky and certainly not AT ALL popular) and I am in no way being paid by anyone to share my awesome opinions on this or any other item I post an opinion/review about, unless otherwise stated in the post regarding said item/company/service provider.
Next, it all started when I found an awesome fitness blog called Cranky Fitness. This is an entertaining and informative blog that I instantly fell in love with. Crabby is hilarious and down to Earth and I find kinship in those willing to complain and rant about the newest and most ridiculous information to be found about fitness, health and anything else.

In the box! (sorry that the photo is dark)

A week or 2 after my awesome stumble upon this gem of a site, there was a giveaway posted for a Fit Bit activity and fitness tracker. I was curious, so I decided to read away. (Here's the giveaway post that has expired and it's been won, but she's got good info there.) Now, I put that all to the side on a list of stuff to look into buying during my newly found love of getting in shape (yes, I know that round is a shape, just not one I was sporting well, as you've seen) and kept perusing other sites, blogs and equipment.
Flash forward to September and I see another mention of it somewhere, though for the life of me I can't remember where now. Anyway, I took a gander at and read up on the info and reviews and got REALLY interested. So, I ordered one on September 15th, paid for expedited shipping and got super excited. UPS arrived at my door less than 24 hours later as I was online reading about this amazing itty bitty thing and found out that I could have been instantly gratified if I would have taken a breath and read that you can get them at Best Buy. (insert smacking noise and a face palm here) ANYWAY, I rushed to the door and barely contained my desire to tackle and hug the UPS delivery driver to death excitement and thanked the driver as graciously as my palpitations would allow.
After screeching at a decibel only canines and aliens are able to hear, I opened the slightly crushed box to reveal angels singing and blinding heavenly lights my little fitbit. At first I was a little disappointed as the box was the size of a shoe box, but inside was another box about 4" on all sides and about 3" deep. It was clear and I could see this tiny fitbit thing staring up at me. (well, not really staring, since it doesn't have eyes.
I resisted the urge to use a claw or ball peen hammer to open it and carefully searched for and removed the tape holding it closed and inventoried all it contained.
I was a little disappointed in not finding much, but I would soon replace that with love and adoration.
This is the back of the box that contained
the wonder that is my FitBit.
These were the items inside the box. Yes, That is IT. 

Now, don't mistake the simplicity for cheap. It was a bit pricey at $99 plus the $14 overnight shipping, but once you find out all of it's wonder and glory, you may see that it is well worth it.

 This is a photo of everything other than the actual FitBit pedometer. You get a soft spandex type velcro closure wrist doo dad, the USB charging/data port (but it is wireless data transfer ready, too), and a belt clip holster thingamabob. The holster thing is used to clip the fitbit to your thicker belts or bras or whatever you're clipping it to. Otherwise, it's easy to set on a sports bra, workout pants with a thinner waistband, workout shirt, etc. I've never even used my belt clip and couldn't even tell you where it is at the moment.

Closer photo of the contents sans pedometer with the wrist bandy sleevy thinger velcro'd closed. This is definitely adjustable and machine washable, supposedly. I would recommend placing it in a lingerie bag if you're putting it in the machine, otherwise just wash it in your shower and allow it to air dry. Please also note that I believe it does stretch a bit over time, but can't be sure how much. Sorry, but I'm in the process of shrinking, so no % or ratio is available. (and math is my mortal enemy, so it wouldn't happen anyway)

This is how thin this thing is. It's made of a hard plastic material and I use mine almost every day. (I've forgotten it about 6 or 7 days total since I received it)

This is the front of it. The little button is the thingy you push to see how many steps you've taken, how far you've gone with said steps, how many calories you've burned and a cute little progress flower that grows and shrinks throughout your day based on your activity. These are shown in the accent color of the fitbit on mine. (aqua) I'm not sure if they show up purple on the purple version of the Ultra.

Now, you should know that mine is the basic version, beta, numero uno, first generation from what I can tell. Now they off the FitBit Ultra that also tracks your stairs, which is pretty cool for some. It came out about 13 days after I got mine. Such is the story of my life.
When you register on the site (Which is FREE, thankfully) you get to build up your profile and discover the world of fitbit in a new way. This little doo dad doesn't just track your activity and progress, it also tracks your sleep and how efficient it is each night. (as long as you remember to set it and wear it in the handy dandy wrist bandy) You have the option of setting weight and activity goals, logging your food and water and also to log various activities and their time frames.
The site also gives you bar graphs to show your progress over a period of time. Days, weeks, and months are able to be compared and you can enter your mood and any notes as well. You also have the ability to add friends that are fitbit users and see what your ranking is among them all.
I LOVE my fitbit and found out shortly after using it that you can link your fitbit account to another free fitness site called Earnd It that rewards you with points for certain levels of activity that you can redeem for gift cards and prizes to a number of places online. They also do various challenges that are free and some that have an entry fee that give you the opportunity to challenge yourself and others. These all have various rewards from gift cards of your choice to fruit snacks to discount codes just for participating.

Overall, this is a splurge, but one well worth the $ and you can even choose your color. They have that nifty aqua you see in my photos and then you also can choose a mauve color which is kind of a mix between pink and purple. Considering all of the benefits for almost anyone (that can keep track of it and remember to use it right) this is well worth the $100 investment. It's not GPS or heart rate monitor enabled, but the site has so many pluses to out rank those. If you're diabetic, there are places to log your glucose levels. Watching your BP? Cool, there's a log for you to track that, too. Plus it can also give you an overall summary of your all time steps, distance and activity score and with the Ultra you get overall stairs you've climbed too. It's pretty effin nifty and set up is so easy my father could do it. (Love him more than anything, but he's not the best at dealing with technology) It takes all of maybe 4 minutes for the fitbit to get set up with time zone and to open a free account. Your data dock is your charger and has to be connected via USB port on your computer to charge it for a while before the first use, but after that it charges pretty quick and holds up to 10 days of data and a charge. (I've only pushed it to 6 and had no problems at all) PLUS as long as your data pluggy importer stuff is hooked up to your computer and it's powered up and online, when you stand still within 15 feet of it for more than a few seconds, your data is auto synced to your account online, so no time wasting for it to upload info and loose out on those extra 20 steps. (I'm quite competitive with myself and when others are in the competition I can not be held responsible for my verbal assaults.)

So, you're (all 0 of you) probably wondering what my actual ratings are... Well, fine, here you go:
Ease of use: 5/5
Durability: 5/5 (so far, less than 3 months in)
Benefits: 4/5 (ability to sync with a heart rate monitor or a gps would bring this to a 5 definitely)
Website: 5/5 (For mathematical value, personally, I'd go with a 7 or so)
Motivational factor: For me, 4/5 (see competitive statement)

Overall awesomeness score: 4.6/5 (again, HR monitor or GPS compatibility)

Worth your hard earned $100? More so than that expensive dinner out with too many sugary drinks, for sure. NOT worth skimping on good for you snacks or gas for that trip to the park with your kids from having to pull from gas money to get it. (nothing really is)

So, lemme know if you have one, want one, had one or think this review totally sucks the big cojones. If you have a similar fit assistant, tell me about it and gimme your opinion. I love trying new stuff, even if it's a bit complicated. (within reason, not full on body suits to measure hair growth or some such alien nonsense.)

And last, what is your plan for staying fit or getting more fit over the next week? Screw the holidays, you still have 4 more weeks, next week is only 1 or 2 days away, depending on your location.


  1. Thanks for the awesome review! And are you sure you don't want to review a hair-growth-measuring bodysuit? How do you know otherwise if your hair is performing the way it's supposed to? I think you should get right on that and be sure to post pictures!

    --Crabby (logged in on wrong account & too lazy to sign out.)

  2. Shoot, Crabby. If you wanna send me one, I'll be happy to try it out and do a review!
    I have a non-fitness/busy college attending mom motto of "Free is for me!" so yeah, hook it up! lol

  3. Great review, I have always been interested in the body tracking devices such as body bugg and such, the fitbit is much more in my price range.

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