Fitness tracker keeps me on track

Fitness tracker on wrist with bracelet style band

My Fitbit Alta with Greek key pattern band made by Bayite.

Now that I’ve maintained my weight loss and kept my mindset focused on healthy living for nearly 10 years, I can confidently say I’m a success. Expert? Yes, to the extent of my personal experience and range of study on the subject. I’m not a nutritionist but it’s in my own best interest to stay well-informed. I take what I’ve learned and I apply it to my daily routines. Over the years, I’ve changed some things to fit my lifestyle as I evolve and adjust, always with an eye towards maintaining everything I’ve gained.

Interestingly, as much as I love technology and gadgets, In all this time, I never felt an inclination to try any of the fitness trackers on the market—until this year. I should first mention, this is not a product endorsement in the sense that the Fitbit company did not give me the Alta I’m using in return for this blog post. I bought my Fitbit and now that I’ve used it for a while, I’m ready to talk about my experience which has been mostly good. I have one or two peeves but I’ll get to them later.

I first started with a $69 off-brand that worked reasonably well until it went through the wash in a pocket (twice) before it began to malfunction. By then I was very much in the habit of tracking my daily steps and I felt it gave me incentive to keep moving. So I went about researching smart watches thinking I would go that route, but in the end I didn’t feel they’d evolved enough to make me buy one.

After polling women I trusted in a Facebook group where I’m active, I settled on buying the Fitbit Alta (about $120). It’s very accurate as far as I can tell and has multiple features. I monitor my steps, calories burned, minutes of activity, my sleep patterns, weight lost or gained, what I’ve eaten, water intake and more. Of those things, the first four are my favorites. The alerts are great. If I happen to be away from my cell phone, a mild buzz on my wrist lets me know I’ve received a call or a text. I also use wake-up alerts and reminders to move around each hour. I keep it dry. It is water resistant but not waterproof. Don’t wear it in shower or while swimming. however, if you are sitting by a pool or riding in a boat and it gets splashed, just dry it right away and all will be fine.

I wasn’t thrilled with the synthetic band that came with it and the company’s offering was too rich for my budget at $89, so I opted for two or three fun and beautiful bands sold on Amazon by Bayite made specifically for the Fitbit Alta. (See my favorite in the photo, it was $18.) They have two sizes, small works best for me. Several manufacturers make bands for Fitbit models but they are not all alike. I read reviews carefully before I made my purchase.

Peeves: This applies to many brands and is more about waiting for the technology to catch up, but with both trackers I owned, it was difficult to read the screen in bright sunlight. The second thing that irks me—and this too, was characteristic of both trackers, is that the finger tap necessary to change the readout often needs to be repeated several times before anything happens. Grrr. Interestingly, the cheaper tracker (Striiv) allowed for a tap and finger swipe that was a bit easier to successfully execute than  straight tapping with the Fitbit Alta.

Overall, my Fitness tracker has become an important part of my routine and I wouldn’t be without it. It’s a great tool and my favorite helper.

Hey, it’s been a while since I sent you over to visit me on Facebook. Come see me some time.

Surviving summer picnics

two feet with red toenails on a scale

Change your inner dialogue

Are you surviving summer picnics? When you are standing on the scale, do you sometimes have the following internal monologue?

Damn, I’m up a few pounds. How did that happen? I feel like I’ve been pretty good over the last three weeks. How could I have gained? I should have stayed about the same, maybe even lost a little. This isn’t working. I’m so disappointed. The 4th of July is coming up and I know there will be two, maybe three picnics and barbeques to go to. How will I manage without wrecking my whole summer? Just thinking about it makes me want to eat something greasy and comforting. I may as well top it off with a dessert. Then I’ll feel better and I can get back on my program. After all, I deserve some pleasure in life.

Stop, rewind, and reframe your thinking more like this:

What? I’m up a few pounds. That’s a surprise, but I know I’ve been doing most of the right things in my plan. I’m not that far off the program, and I also know sometimes there are setbacks and plateaus. I believe it’s still working. I will focus on the end result and not dwell on this. I don’t understand why this makes me feel like eating something comforting, but instead, I’ll get back on my program right now. The 4th of July is coming up so I’ll plan ahead, and bring a healthy dish to the pot-luck picnic and I’ll have a light snack before I go to the pig roast so I won’t be famished and overeat. I can enjoy the summer and be in great shape.