8:34 PM, Wednesday, June 20th, 2012:
It's been 2 years since I talked about a product with the passion I'm about to throw down, but for me? This is actually life changing. After over a day with it, I feel like it was made specifically for me. It actually solves an issue I've had for over a decade and does it in the coolest way possible... Let me quickly explain the issue...
I'm now about 10 pounds away from my goal of losing 40 pounds. I've proven over the years that losing weight is something I can do if I put my mind to it. I can even maintain it for a bit, but inevitably I lose interest in the exercise and eating right because I hate it. As I've said a billion times on this site, I am not a runner. I do it because it works. I'm getting better at it, but I still just hate it. So I know what's going to happen when I hit my goal weight. I'll stick around it about 5 pounds, and only run maybe once or twice a week... and it will start to fade away. I mean, I like shooting hoops and running up Journey mountain from time to time, but there's no way to really track that activity. And for me? Tracking it is why I keep going. Ya know, kinda like this ridiculous website? Entry #1244? I think you get it.
I've had a pedometer but they're never very accurate and they don't really track, say... playing basketball. Or playing the Xbox Kinect. It's just steps. Zzzzzzz. If they could just invent something that tracked overall activity and gave it some sort of metric, I could figure out how active I need to be to maintain my healthy weight.
Holy, shit:
In case you can't see the video, I'll explain it here:
Simply put the: band has a 3-axis accelerometer that can sense movement left/right, up/down and forward/back. Combined with the speed of that movement it can sense how active you are and Nike assigned the metric of "fuel points" to the activity. For example a normal sedentary day would be 2000 "fuel points" and a very active day would be 5000 "fuel points". But of course it's all relative to YOU. Basically you see what you do in a normal day, and set yourself a goal of a bit more than that and then throughout the day you see where you're at. If you're just shy of your goal, you may decide to clean up the house and get moving. Maybe take a walk around the neighborhood... again any movement does it. Brushing your teeth will give you a couple. I'm sure you can imagine the possibilities (uhhhh hehehehe).
Now? Throw in the other thing that makes this made for Journey Adam. You can make your "score" public for accountability and so you can compare it to your friends who have the band. Seriously, it's like the entire world has realized the therapeutic benefits of what I discovered about The Journey over a decade ago: being open (with CERTAIN information) keeps you accountable. On top of that it gives you a point of reference that you can look back on and see the progression. It's exactly how "The Journey" is therapy for me. Being open and honest about what's happening (like the band tracks your activity level) keeps me accountable to my initial goals (whatever you set your band to) and setting each entry in stone (your points are tracked and set in stone at midnight when the band resets) allows me to look back and see progression (there's an entire site with all your stats and even an app for your iphone). It's what everyone's inadvertently doing with Facebook or any information sharing site. You're recording little bits of yourself over time. Of course if you don't want to share the information if you don't want to.
Now I know this band won't mean as much to everyone, but for me? This is literally an answer to what has kept me on a constant yo-yo of weight for my entire adult life. Once I achieve my goal in 10 pounds, naturally my interest level will wane. Now? I will always have an idea of my activity level each day and have very easy and attainable ways to keep going. Fuck running. I hate running. LOL. I do however, love shooting baskets. I love going for walks. Big fan of sex.
Joking aside, you guys see the value in this thing? I want my parents to get these YESTERDAY. Not because they need to hit 5000 every day, but I would love for them to just see what a normal day is, and creatively find ways to be a bit more active. I mean, pedometers don't mean shit for someone who has bad knees... but with this? You can sit and just move your arms and dance. You can sit and bounce a basketball. You can knit, you can play piano... just make that band move. And no matter what? You're doing more than you were before.
Now, let me throw out some "Cons" for those considering this...
1) Lazy doesn't give a fuck about "points". Unless you're a gamer, and oh, wait before I get into this con - a note to gamers:
Nike just turned life into a fucking videogame. You're the main character collecting points by moving 24-7. At the end of the day you get achievements and trophies and shit and you can compare your score to all your friends and try and get more points than them. Oh fuck this is awesome. Get it. Get it. Get it.
So where was I? Yes, unless you're a gamer most lazy people aren't gonna be motivated by an abstract number that doesn't actually mean anything. I happen to have the gamer bug but if you don't? This whole point system thing just isn't gonna move you. Maybe the accountability aspect of the points will work, but shaming people to move seems a little twisted. Bottom line, you know if this will work for you before you get it - and I'm sure for many people, they will have zero motivation to get that band to read a certain number everyday.
2) The other "metrics". The band will also show the fuel point equivalent in "steps" and "calories burned" and on the site it'll show your distance traveled throughout the day, but it's more of an equivalent. Meaning if you brush your teeth for 60 seconds it'll show you the equivalent of walking 9 steps... not that you actually went 9 steps. To some people (if you read reviews) this lack of accuracy is a deal breaker, though I'm not sure why. They're kind of missing the point. And some people take the "calories burned"accuracy to such a level they want it to track calories burned in sleep and the normal calories your body burns without any movement. Jesus people, really? Would you like it to be inserted in your ass? How would you monitor that? Again, they're missing the point - but if you want exact steps, or exact distance - there are GPS watches for that.
3) A heart-rate monitor does basically the same thing. I don't know of a gadget that monitors your heart rate throughout the day for a total count, but even if there's one that does? It would only motivate me to get my heart rate up and ugggggggggh, that's what burns me out. That's exactly what I'm doing for my hardcore workouts now, I don't want to continue that shit. THINKING about that makes me tired. But with this band? Even though I'm not hitting my target heart rate? This thing made me take an extra 30 minute walk today with Talya. I got 500 points and enjoyed it. My heart rate barely budged since my body is conditioned to running right now, but the activity is what will keep me fit in the long run.
4) What about cycling and swimming? People keep bringing up cycling like it's a total fail with this, uhm, snap the thing to your shoe guys. Easy to secure to your foot if you want to go for a ride. Swimming however? Yeah, it's only water resistent. You can shower with it, it's fine in the rain, but it can't be held underwater for any length of time. That is indeed a bummer for swimmers. If that's you? You're out.
5) It's HOW MUCH? I don't get it. I really have no idea why this is $149. Now, the technology is stunning. The LED lights just come through the RUBBER band... it's ridiculously futuristic. And how it connects to your iPhone (or online on your computer) is remarkable. The honest-to-goodness truth is, had Talya's mother not decided to get one for all three of us for Talya's birthday (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU)... I never would've bought this. $99 maybe. But at $149?  All I think is about what it can't do. No GPS? No heart rate monitor? I instantly become all those people that slam it without ever owning one. Now that I do? I couldn't not have it. And here's the best counter to the price:
You wear it without thinking about it. It's as light as a livestrong bracelet. Even watches are more bulky. That means that you inadvertently use it everyday. This isn't a piece of equipment you need to find time to use and motivation to use, it just is. That simplicity is what makes it work. Your brain figures out the rest. Everything is exercise if you have a way to track it. I joked that all the work I'm doing to the house was more than my 5k runs every other day, but I had no way to actually know that. Now I do. And yes, it actually was. Conversely, when we came home from the grove after getting them, Talya noticed her mother had 100 more points than her. She's like:  "How the shit?" and gets up and does something to beat her mom. Without this? We don't really have any idea how active or inactive we are. What an amazing piece of technology.
Then again, I'm sure there are several people that really don't want a daily reminder that they sit on their ass all day. But even at the Nike Store, the guy was showing me his and he joked:  "Yeah, I'm pretty low today, after work I'm gonna have to run around the block a few times to get to my goal". It's so simple. When technology makes goals this effortless? And you don't have to create complicated excel spreadsheets (that would be me) to calculate all these aspects? It's actually fun. Throw in the cool factor and the integration with the website and sharing? This will change my life. I just may have beaten the weight gaining curse that has plagued me the last 20 years.
Time will tell.