How TicTrac and FitBit got me to rethink how I treat myself

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 21.16.19It’s said that any private or social interaction takes about 20 days of engagement to become a habit. Well, I am now on the 30th day of using TicTrac and the twentieth of using my FitBit and I can, without a doubt, declare that I am utterly hooked.

But let me tell you a story about how all of this started. For the last two years or so I have been  trying to lose weight and reach my “unicorn” of 82kgs. During this time not only have I failed to loose my kilos, but certain periods of depression or excessive carefree happiness have edged me closer to the dreaded beast of the 95kgs.

I was completely disenchanted and ready to give up when I talked to a very good friend of mine who has lately made it her business to make the people around her healthier. She showed me TicTrac and then pushed me to get a gym membership.
[raw]

TicTrac

[/raw]
Truth been told, in the past I have tried many times the gym membership route and it mostly ended up with me paying a yearly membership and only going there for the first month or so which, quite honestly, sucked.

What changed this time? Well, this is the first time I can actually track my progress day by day. TicTrack allowed me to review the progress of my efforts and gave me insights I never had before, amongst other things what affects my diet, my mood and my excitement levels (along with a variety other aspects like when and for how long you had intercourse – hee hee!). Watching my weight go up or down based on accurate stats of my activity and daily mood showed me the right path quite organically.
[raw]

TicTrac weight stats

[/raw]
At this point, the only problem was that at the end of every day I had to spend about 20 minutes inputting all my details in order to make my stats accurate. This wasn’t the best of experiences; mind you, the UX of TicTrac is amazing, it’s just that it takes time to add everything.

So what to do? Well, you have to get someone do all the hard number-counting and number-crunching for you. In my case, this is called FitBit.

FitBit (more specifically FitBit One) is a cool, tiny gadget that you attach to your trouser pocket or belt buckle, or even (ladies) your bra, which counts how many steps you’ve made, how many calories you’ve burnt and how active you are. In addition, FitBit One also checks your sleeping patterns by checking how many hours you slept and how many times you woke up in your sleep, showing you the quality of your sleep. It’s quite cool and it’s a nifty little gadget (I love gadgets ask my girlfriend, she knows!).

Why together? Oh, by far the coolest part about TicTrac is that it’s actually built as a data aggregator, which means that FitBit and tens of other social networks, gadgets, wifi scales etc. feed data into it … automatically! This meant that instantly my 20 minute data entry became 5 minutes of adding what FitBit couldn’t know about, like the fact that I swam my ass off (yes, I am now able to swim about 1.2km in 30 minutes, which I find quite an achievement). You see, FitBit is not water-proof, although it is sweat- and water-resistant, and even if it were, how the hell would it count distance swam?!
[raw]

FitBit

[/raw]
To recap, in less than a month I have managed to go from 94kg to 91kg and am still going down by exercising 2 to 3 times a week at the gym, cutting out sweets and be a bit more mindful of what I eat. I could have pushed even harder, but why do so? I feel much more energetic and happier with myself. I thought that going to the gym would take away from my free time but it actually added to it, since now I stay awake more than before. As a bonus, I have managed to evade a cold 3 times in this period despite the god-forsaken British March weather.

In my book that translates as AWESOME; you should try it as well! Go get a TicTrac account (it’s not like you have to pay for it) and maybe think of investing in a gadget like FitBit One or something similar; there’s plenty of choice out there.

Let me know how it goes and do tell me what you think in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *