Saturday, August 13, 2011

BodyMedia FIT Armband System Review

Okay, so I've been wearing my BodyMedia FIT Armband and weight loss system for a few months now and feel I can write an honest, fair and practical review of this product. The BodyMedia FIT Armband is a pretty cool advice but it's also got room for improvement.

BodyMedia's armband is a great source of information. It really helps me to get my activity in and I'm amazed that it can tell if I'm laying down awake or actually sleeping. Thanks to the BodyMedia FIT Armband I realized I wasn't getting enough actual sleep at night, I was laying down but I wasn't asleep.

Also I can plug it into my computer at 8pm and see if I've burned enough calories to lose weight for that day, and if I haven't I just pop in a workout DVD or go for an evening walk and get the physical activity I need to stay healthy and lose weight. It takes the uncertainty out of weight loss. If you're considering getting one I totally recommend it.

I do have ideas for improving the band and the site in general. If you're going to get one of these armbands you need to continue reading BEFORE you purchase the BodyMedia FIT Armband and Weight Loss System.

1. Arm Band - They do sell accessories and backup bands which you're going to need. You need to wash the armband a lot and you'll need a back up band to wear while one is drying. They sell fashion skins for the device and colored frames for the device but the band itself just comes in gray. I'm supposed to wear this all the time - so why not sell the armbands in colors to go with different outfits. They'd make a ton of money if they came in fun fashion colors and maybe even patterns and the arm band needs to come in flesh tones. Sometimes you want to wear a dress with short or no sleeves and you want the arm band to be as inconspicuous as possible. Also get use to talking to strangers because at least once or twice a week someone will come up to me in public and say, "Is that one of them arm band weight loss thingies, how do you like it?" One guy asked me if I was diabetic and if it was some kind of medical device. I laughed and said, "Nope, I'm not diabetic, just fat."

Also, what about a thigh band so that you could wear it under a skirt, or a waist band to wear it under your shirt? Somewhere that everyone and their mother can't see as you're walking around? I wonder if I could just tuck it into my bra? Would it work?

2. Sleeping - The first few nights were fine but since then I almost always take my armband off in my sleep. I don't even remember doing it. I wake up and it's on the night stand next to me. It's a little constrictive and sweaty. I wish they sold a softer band for sleeping. One that was more plush, breathed better and was less constrictive, perhaps even wider. I would buy it in a heartbeat.

3. Swimming & other water sports - You cannot wear the armband in water. It is not waterproof which means that if you like to swim as a workout you have to take the armband off. I contacted them via their website to ask about swimming and water sports and the representative basically told me that the device doesn't do that and not to hold my breath for a waterproof one. Okay, so it's not waterproof, no biggie right? Well, the problem is that even when you log into your account you can't go in and add extra activity. You can't go on your computer and mark a box that says that you swam for 45 minutes and then have the calories added to your total for the day. Your band is simply blank and those calories NEVER get counted into your total for the day. This would also come in handy for people like me, who take the band off in their sleep. I'm still burning calories in my sleep and I should be able to log into my online account and punch into the computer that I have been sleeping and add those calories into my total for the day. Again, if this feature is available I couldn't find it and it should be easy for the average user to find. I actually work on websites and couldn't find this anywhere.

4. Weight Loss - I have lost 60 lbs before I got my BodyMedia Armband. When it asked me my weight I punched it in at the time. As I lose weight it says ,"I have lost 7.8lbs" So I went in to try to punch in my actual starting weight, not just the weight I was when I got the armband. I want to see the big numbers, and my TOTAL weight loss, not just what I've lost since I got the band and there is no way to do it. At least not that I can find and again, I'm pretty savvy. It always makes me sad to see the small number at the bottom of the page, I should be able to see my total weight loss, not just the weight I've lost on the band.

5. Sounds & Beeps - I wish there was a way to turn the sound off. It only makes a few beeps when you put it on, and a few peeps when you take it off which is fine. It lets you know it's working but I was at a play once and the theater was very cold and my arm was so cold that the arm band thought I had taken it off and started peeping in the middle of a play. Very embarrassing for me and distracting for the actors. I never wear my armband to the theater or movies anymore, just in case. If you're going to a funeral or something, take the band off. You never know.

6. There is not one photo of a single overweight person on their website that I could find...

This tells me that the people at BodyMedia find the people that actually need the band, and could benefit the most are too unattractive to help them sell their product. As someone who has struggled with her weight, her entire life, this is insulting, offensive, and hurts my feelings to be honest. It makes me feel like this band is not for me. The people in the images on their site clearly do not need to lose any weight. They are all perfectly at goal or a healthy weight. Think of all of the overweight people who come to the site and look around and decide that this product must just be for skinny/pretty people and leave. People want to see people that look like themselves using the product.

I was able to find this image on another website that also sells the BodyMedia Armband but there is nothing like this on the actual BodyMedia site.

You can find a few overweight people if you click on the testimonials page but they are strategically placed BELOW THE FOLD - which for you regular people out there means that you have to scroll down to see them. They aren't at the top of the page. No, at the top of the page are two hot women.

Okay, so it's a cool device and it's definitely helping me and I got it through Jenny Craig and let me say it's worth every penny. This armband combined with the Jenny Craig program has made weight loss very easy, but you have to do it. Nobody can get up and exercise for your or rip the food from your hands. Losing weight is hard work and an adventure, but it's a lot of fun and I love the smile on my boyfriend's face (who loves me no matter what size I am) when I tell him that I lost 2 pounds this week or tell him my grand total so far. I'd do it just to see him smile proudly at me.

After a while the novelty wears off and you do get sick of wearing the armband. That's the honest truth. It's a little constrictive, and you're always aware that it's on your arm. When it's loose enough to be really comfortable, it slides down your arm, so the only way to really secure it is to make it snug but for all of you who think this might be uncomfortable... get over it, you've been hauling around pounds of extra weight that I assure you are far more uncomfortable than this little armband.

If you have anything to add to this review for the BodyMedia Fit System or FIT Armband please do so in the comments below and feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

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