They say "knowing" is half the battle.
I've been trying to get into the business of knowing what's been going on in my life, food-, sleep- and fitness-wise, since mid-March by employing the services of the Fitbit Ultra and the Fitbit Aria Scale.
As I mentioned in my post about the Fitbit Ultra about a month ago, the device has been collecting data about my fitness and sleep patterns. I log my food into the iPhone app, or the website, after each meal and put the Fitbit into a wristband every night before bed.
The results have been illuminating and, aside from having our dog use one Fitbit as a chewtoy, we haven't had any issues with their sturdiness or battery life. I take the device everywhere with me and can generally go three to four days on a charge.
The one piece of the puzzle that was missing was tracking my actual weight. I've never been a calorie-counter and tried to just be sensible about what I eat and drink but, since I started to use the Fitbit, I've seen some of the bad habits in stark relief. Not having an easy, consistent way to track my weight hasn't really been an impediment but, then again, I haven't really thought about it too much.
I think I really decided to get the Fitbit Aria scale in order to complete the picture of my fitness and weight for myself and really get a sense of how well I was treating my aging body. In that regard, the device has been a perfect fit and I've been very happy with its performance so far.
The device itself is a sleek piece of kit. It comes in black or white (I got black) and is heavier that you might think would be as you remove it from its well-designed packing.
The setup takes a few minutes and has to run on a computer on your WiFi network but it didn't take a lot of work to make all of the necessary connections. Once connected to WiFi, I had a few rough days of spotty connectivity before I decided to unhook it from my Apple Time Capsule and attach it directly to the Verizon wireless network. I'm not sure if the signal was weaker on the Time Capsule or what, but since I made the change, the scale has connected flawlessly.
Once connected, you can associate the device with up to 6 or 7 users in your household and it will track their weight by name. I associated it with my Fitbit account and, immediately, the data started integrating with the website.
When you step on the scale, it reports your weight, accurate to the tenth of a pound. If you stand on it with bare feet, it will also measure your percentage of body fat.
Upon connecting, I found that I was a few pounds over my weight estimate (I blame the homemade beer) and the Fitbit Trainer asked if I wanted to make a training/fitness/diet regimen to get back down to a target weight (which it suggested based on my height, weight, sex, age, etc.). I accepted the advice and, since then, it has been tracking my march downwards towards the target weight (which has been very successful and almost effortless march so far, I might add).
It was impressive how much the whole package came together and drives home my opening point -- "knowing" really is half the battle. I didn't really change my diet or exercise aside from walking/hiking, but enough to have an impact. I didn't stop eating fatty foods like cheese and such, but knowing how much I was consuming during any given week (and the fact that it was above average) was enough motivation to eat less of it.
Since the start of the process, we've increased our "steps" throughout the week to get more and more beneficial exercise (the Fitbit definitely works as a motivator in that regard), but the weight didn't drop until the Aria scale arrived on the scene. Since the device arrived, I've cut five pounds and lowered my overall body fat with almost no effort at all. It happened because I knew what I was consuming, how much I was exercising and what my current state was and just a few small adjustments to my lifestyle were needed.
The Fitbit Aria scale is a pretty amazing device. While it is on the pricey side for a scale, having something that fits so well into the information-gathering ecosystem documenting your overall health makes it worthwhile. It works flawlessly now, in daily use, and the integration with the Fitbit is nothing short of awesome.