Fibromyalgia, Fitbit, Thrive, geekery, and why I canceled my Weight Watchers membership.

This will come as like zero shock to regular readers of this blog, but I am an unrepentant geek, especially when it comes to things like gadgets. Specifically, gadgets that will in some way simplify my life. No, I won’t go out and buy the newest iPhone (I will wait and buy an older one when the newest iteration comes out LOL) or update my system software immediately when a new version comes out.

As a Taurus, however, I stick to the motto of working smart. So a couple of years ago, when I started doing the Weight Watchers online-only program, I got one of their ActiveLink gizmos to track my activity points. (For those of you who’ve never done WW, they have a “points” system assigned to food, and you can trade activity “points” for stuff you’ve done to get more food points.)

I’ve done WW (online only, no meetings) for several years now. I am down over 20 pounds from my heaviest weight (but a lot of that actually happened this past winter, unfortunately, due to chronic-pain-induced nausea during fibro flares that basically made it impossible for me to eat much of any damn thing).

However.

Being a Taurus, and being very slightly OCD in some ways (stop laughing) for WW to just out of the blue last week to announce they were dropping the ActiveLink program as of November really pissed me off. And not only were they dropping it, but the manufacturer wasn’t going to be supporting the device AT ALL. (So it’s a light-up brick clipped to my shirt, at this point.) (I’ve been paying $19.99 a month plus $5 for the ActiveLink subscription.) For the most part, that’s pretty much the only part of the program I’d been using for a while now, because it got to be a pita to convert food to points if it wasn’t in the database already, even with the app.

So I looked into a Fitbit. Which, yes, I could sync to my WW account, it turns out. But to buy a Fitbit Flex at $99, and I can access the dashboard FREE (that pretty does ALL that the WW apps do and then some, including tracking sleep automatically), I started doing the math. In 4 months (at full price) or 5 months (without the ActiveLink subscription) the Fitbit pays for itself. (They have a premium plan that’s $50 a YEAR, but not sure if I’ll go with that or not because I don’t know if I need the extra metrics.)

Of course I got the pink. Duh.

Of course I got the pink. Duh.

Not only a savings, but the Fitbit also tracks my sleep automatically, and it gives me calories burned in addition to steps taken, whereas the ActiveLink did not give me that much detail.

So today, after a couple of days of using the Fitbit, I cancelled my WW membership. (Did I mention I can get a Hello Kitty wristband for the Fitbit? Yes, I already have extra wristbands for the Fitbit in different colors, including animal prints and pawprints.) I also like being able to set it for silent alarms.

Ooooh...aaahhh...

Ooooh…aaahhh…

I still have 30 pounds I want to lose, and I’m hoping this helps me. My fibromyalgia is a massive issue for me, and I go to the cardiologist next week for a holter monitor to wear for 4 weeks to track stuff to see if they can figure out my new symptoms.

The thing is, I am literally a Sheldon Cooper creature of habit. But anything that makes nailing down a habit more difficult means I won’t take to the habit. Having to sync my Fitbit into WW and then still do the conversions, etc. when I could do it all in ONE dashboard app…it’s a no-brainer. Especially when I’ll save $20+ a month in the process, AND be able to geek out over the stats. AND the Fitbit app has a barcode scanner. HELLO, happy geek here. I like being able to plug nutritional data straight into the app instead of having to convert to points or guesstimate stuff I didn’t know to make the points not read eleventy billion and still not know how that related to caloric intake.

Even better, there’s a comparison in the dashboard where I can compare my calories burned for the day to my calories expended. (Um, hell YEAH!) And it gives me historical tracking on things like steps taken, so I can compete against myself. (Again, hell YEAH!) Because hello, TAURUS, competitive. The sleep thing is VERY crucial, however, since my fibromyalgia is tied into not getting good, deep sleep. (It makes it a LOT worse.) So being able to see how restless I am during the night is extremely helpful for me.

Also, today I started doing Thrive (it’s a supplement nutrition plan, has vitamins, a shake, and a stick-on patch). A friend of mine has fibro, too, and she was using it, and told me about it. She gave me some samples to see if I’d tolerate them, and since I did I placed an order. Apparently it’s also a multi-level marketing thing, too, but if it works and helps me lose weight and keep it off and helps me feel better, that’s honestly all I care about at this point. (If you want more info, here’s the link.)

And yay me, I managed to figure out how to enter my Thrive shake packet into the Fitbit console as a meal. LOL

I think the Fitbit will make it easier for me to get more movement into my day as I try to do things like, “Well, I only need X steps to make it over the Y level today, let’s go do that.”

Hey, I never said I was a complicated Taurus. I’m really not. (Well, I am in some ways, but the average person never sees those ways. That’s all Hubby putting up with me for 18+ years. LOL)

So today, Hubby and I went to the high school of the son of friends of ours for their autumn festival. (There was this WEIRD hot thing up in the sky that Hubby said is called the sun. I vaguely remember that thing, although literally it’s been DAYS since I left the house for any length of time.) And here was me every few minutes geeking out checking my Fitbit stats on my phone.

Yes, I’m pitiful. It honestly takes something like that to hook me into a habit like this. I need to get back to the gym but driving has been problematic on many days with these new damn symptoms (which apparently aren’t magnesium because I went back on magnesium supplements and while there was a slight improvement in my generalized pain levels, no improvement on the dizziness/near-syncope). Any advantage I can take to keep on losing weight, I need it. I did get down to 179, right now I’m at 185. My goal is 155, which is still actually more than what the charts say is “normal” for my height of 5’8″, but it’s a healthy weight for me that I’ll be able to maintain and won’t have me looking like a skeleton, either. I’m already back down into jeans I hadn’t been able to wear for a while, and some of my jeans are now so big on me I’m barely able to keep them up even with a belt. (Yay!)

So, that’s me and my current health issues. That’s what I’m currently dealing with. How are y’all doing?

5 thoughts on “Fibromyalgia, Fitbit, Thrive, geekery, and why I canceled my Weight Watchers membership.

  1. That is so good that this is working for you. I’ve had a Firbit for two years. I just upgraded from a Flex to the HR. I’ll tell you their customer support is great. I have an autoimmune condition, so I completely understand your issues with fibromyalgia. I had nerve damage caused by my immune system attacking my nervous system. They thought it was dobro at first. The pain was unbearable. I’m basically on fibro meds now to control the nerve damage.

    • While the pain is not good, in my case, it’s the fatigue/exhaustion that debilitated me to the point that Hubby forced me to the doctor a few years ago and that’s when my fibro and CFS was diagnosed. But I know getting the extra weight off will be a huge help, too.

  2. I had tried the Fitbit HR. My only issue – I’m allergic to so many metals that I have a hard time wearing it. In fact I had to take it off because I’ve developed a rash. 🙁 I loved my fitbit however.

    • Try the Flex. The band is all…not-metal. And you can order different bands. That’s one reason why I didn’t go with one of the higher-end ones, because I wanted to be able to change the band out when I wanted to.

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