Tuesday, March 13, 2012

EmpowHER BodyMedia FITness Challenge Wrap Up

Wow I can't believe the BodyMedia FITness challenge is officially over! Six weeks sure flew by.

Worn bodymedia fit band

Previous Weeks:

Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four
Week Five

End of Challenge Wrap Up:

Wearing the armband and collecting data about my movements and habits for the last six weeks has been really eye opening and I wanted to share some of the lessons I've learned.

1. It's not all about calories in vs. calories out all the time. There were weeks when I'd definitely hit the calories deficit I was supposed to be hitting, but the scale didn't reflect a weight loss. There were other weeks when my eating was far from perfect and the scale would drop. Maybe that's just a wonky scale, but I think a lot of it has to do with other things going on with my body -- retaining water or being dehydrated from a long workout or not eating enough post-workout and then making my metabolism come to a crashing halt.

2. Quality of sleep is almost more important than number of hours of sleep. There were a few nights where I'd get 10 hours of sleep, but I'd toss and turn all night long and wake up feeling exhausted. Other nights, I'd get six hours of solid sleep and feel like a million bucks.

3. Tracking my food definitely made me more conscious of what I was putting in my mouth, but it also made me feel guilty sometimes when I wanted to indulge. I think it's totally OK, and actually healthy, to indulge my sweet tooth every once in a while, but I always felt super guilty writing down sweets.

Did wearing the armband change my behavior?

Absolutely.

It gave me an extra kick in the butt some days when I just didn't feel like working out and might have otherwise skipped a workout. It also definitely impacted what I was eating, as I mentioned above.

So how did I do on those goals I set?

So-so.

Get 7 hours of sleep each night: I wasn't too far off on this one. Some weeks were definitely better than others, but I usually averaged just less than 7 hours each night.

Track my food: I was pretty diligent about this. I really wanted to get the most out of wearing the armband and I knew an important part of that was tracking my food intake.

Lose 5 lbs: I came close but didn't quite get there. I'm down 4 lbs since the beginning of the challenge, but more importantly I feel stronger than ever when it comes to my workouts. Runs are feeling easier and I'm feeling longer and leaner in the pool.

Overall, I'd say this challenge was a big success, and I'm really happy I participated. I learned a ton about my eating, exercise and sleep habits over the course of six weeks, and it's all information I can use as I continue to train for my triathlons.

About the BodyMedia Fit Band:
BodyMedia FIT automatically tracks the calories burned during your daily activities — from pumping iron to using an iron — and monitors the quality of your sleep, an important factor in weight loss. Add in the easy-to-use food log and you have the information you need to improve your weight loss. The 3 part system includes:
1. An Armband that automatically captures data
2. An optional Display device or free downloadable mobile apps that give you up-to-the-minute readings throughout the day
3. An online Activity Manager* that analyzes raw data, allows you to log food and presents info in an easy-to-understand way (*subscription required)

Standard Legal Disclaimer:
Device and accompanying online Activity Manager subscription was provided by BodyMedia via EmpowHER. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of BodyMedia or EmpowHER.


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