Part One: BodyBugg didn’t want me…

So it’s been almost a month since I wrote my last entry. Whether to buy the Bodybugg or the Fitbit? I tried to weigh the pros and cons. I looked at the Facebook page for each to see what customers had to say.

I was still torn.

The Fitbit was smaller, less expensive, and use of the website was free, unless you upgraded.

The Bodybugg seemed to be more popular. My trainer said she was trained in it and could help me set mine up.

There wasn’t much out there about the Fitbit. No sites offering reviews.  Was it something that would last? Also it seemed to be back ordered and their site said it would be after Oct 1st before shipping.

The Bodybugg was on a band you had to around your upper arm, all the time. And after 6 months you had to pay to access the online website.

In the long run my biggest concern with the Bodybugg was wearing it all the time on my arm as opposed to the fitbit that you clipped on your waist band. My biggest concern with Fitbit was how long it would take to get it from them.  My need to get things right away won out… I was buying the BodyBugg.

So a week ago Wednesday I sat down to make my order. I went to the Bodybugg site and you have the option of going in through Apex or through 24 Hour fitness to place the order. I clicked on 24 hour Fitness.

The Jennifer Chat Half Human-Half Bot came on and asked if she could assist me. I asked about the comfort of wearing it around the arm and she told me that after a couple days you don’t even notice it is there. She offered to walk me though the purchase. So I let her.

It was on sale for $175 and I had a code to get another $10 off and it seemed as if shipping was free. I set up my account and placed my order. I hit “Place my order”.  A receipt page came up and oddly I decided to print it. I never print these things. I normally wait for the email receipt and just save that. Ah.. but the email confirmation never came. That was my first clue something was wrong.

By the next day when I still didn’t get an email confirmation, I checked the 24 Hour Fitness site and while they had my account there, they showed no orders outstanding for me. What did that mean? No order was place or that it had shipped so there wasn’t an “outstanding” order in that sense. I checked my bank account online and there was no charge.  I didn’t have the print out of the receipt with me at work that day, so I waited until the following day, Friday, and I brought the printout with me. I checked the website. Still nothing for my account. I checked my bank account, still no charge.

I went back to the 24 Hour Fitness site and clicked on “chat”. Jennifer the half human half bot came on and I typed out everything.  Jennifer the half human half bot couldn’t assist me with that and gave me a phone number.

I dialed the phone number and went through the call tree. A man came on and I told him my story. He asked for my account sign-in and I told him. He showed no account. He asked if my account was with Apex or 24 hour Fitness. I told him it was with 24 Hr Fitness and of course he was Apex. He couldn’t help me.  He gave me the phone number for 24 Hour Fitness.  I hung up and redialed. A woman answered and I told her the story. She said “Hmmm…”  “Okay….” “Hmmm” and then informed me that she was unable to handle customer service problems of this nature. I would need to go through the 24 Hr Fitness website and hit “Contact Us”. So I thanked her, hung up and went back to the website. I had to search around and finally found “Contact us”. I wrote out the whole story.. once again, and hit sent. The site said it would be 24-48 hours before someone would get back to me.

I wasn’t happy.

Later that afternoon, I was checking my email on my cheapy little non-smart phone and had an email from them telling me that they had no order from me and I would need to replace the order. Thank you for you business… whatever.

Obviously BodyBugg didn’t want me, and after their “fine” customer service, I knew I no long wanted the Bodybugg.

So early in the evening I was looking around the internet at the Fitbit and was reading their Facebook page to see what people were saying about it. The main complaint was shipping.  Once they got it, everyone seemed happy with it.

Then I read a comment by someone who said he bought one at Best Buy. So over to Best Buy’s Website I went. I signed in and checked my local store and it was the only one in the Des Moines Area that had them in stock. Suddenly that shipping problem was no longer a problem.  Of to Best Buy I want.

About a half hour later I was home, with one of the two Fitbits that my local BestBuy had in stock.

Coming next: The Fitbit.

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On My Own

I am on my own for two months. Two long months.  I knew it was coming. Amanda, my trainer, didn’t just get pregnant yesterday, so I knew it was coming,  however I didn’t prepare myself.  I am on my own.

Our last session was Friday, and she made sure that she had an Endurance workout, a Strength workout and an Stability workout ready for me. I have them and can rotate weekly or every other week. Provided I get myself to the gym.

See.. that’s the problem.

I have been, for want of a better cliche, “off the reservation” for about 3 weeks.  Once it hit me that I wouldn’t have a trainer for 2 months, I seemed to put myself on a training and dieting vacation.  Even before I had my final session with her! Certainly it didn’t help that I took a mini-vacation during that time, and while I didn’t go anywhere, a friend came to town, and for some reason in my head, that is like a light going off saying “EAT EAT!”  And boy did I.

My monthly weigh-in for August was on the 6th. I have since gained 5 lbs.

See that’s a vacation!

June 2009 is what I use as my starting point with Amanda as that is when I got serious and went from once a month to twice a month sessions. Since then, weighing in every month, I have never once had a gain.  There have been times when there was barely any movement, but at least it would go down a little. I have never had a gain.  So I am a week away from what would have been my September weigh in and I am up. Up. Up. Up.

I am pretty angry at myself as well as those pizzas and donuts I have eaten, but I really only have me to blame. They were all innocent, really.

So what do I do? What are my alternatives? Amanda had offered to hook me up with another trainer, but I decided to apply the saved training money and pay off a little debt. I spent the September training money without a thought of that debt. Oh well.

I have talked to one of the women who Amanda trains and we talked about checking in with each other on Tuesday nights since we both tend to workout at the same time. Okay, that’s nice. That will get me there on Tuesday. What about the other days of the week?

I am thinking about making a purchase (I guess with October’s training money??).

The SportBrain

Quite a few years ago.. maybe about 2000 or 2001, I bought something called a Sportbrain. In fact I looked it up on line and was intrigued to see they are still around.  Or back in business, more like.  Here is the link:

http://www.sportbrain.com/Home/Home.cfm

Their site doesn’t seem to be very informative and just glancing at it quickly I am not sure I wouldn’t even know what it is, if I hadn’t had one 10 yrs ago.  It was like a pedometer that you wear on your waist band. At the end of  the day you set it on abase with a phone line and it dialed in your information and loaded it on a website. It gave you graphs on your step count, how many steps and what time of day you were most active, etc.  I liked it and found myself doing anything to increase my step count. I would get off of work at 11pm and come home and walk until about midnight and then put the brain on the station and wait for my numbers.  I liked it and it got me moving.

So looking at their site now, for $99 you get the Sportbrain.

The SportBrain monitors: Steps (whether you’re walking or running) Distance, Calories, Speed, Pace, Heart rate (when used in conjunction with a compatible Heart Rate Strap) .

The strap is 29.95 and to use their website (which from what I can tell is the only way to read the data is 14.95 a month.  When I had mine 10 yrs ago, they didn’t charge for their web access and I think they lost a lot of money and basically had to close down. My sportbrain was usable for about 3 months I think.

My past experience with the Sportbrain makes me wary to go that route again. It also makes me question what to do.

Fitbit

$99

http://www.fitbit.com/

The Fitbit looks like a clip and you can put it on your waistband, in your pants pocket or in your shirt pocket.  It comes with a wristband to wear when you are sleeping. It monitors steps taken, miles, calories consumed, calories burned. It also will monitor your sleep – how long did you sleep, how long did it take you to sleep, how many times you woke up and for how long. That information really intrigues me.

Like the Sportbrain, your Fitbit Data is downloaded, more or less, and you access a website to get the the read out.  Then general information is free to access but they do offer a premium membership which seems to give you a personal training session (over the phone one assumes) and more indepth information. That premium membership is 49.99.

The Body Bugg

Price seems to vary but about 199.00

When I mentioned the Fitbit to Amanda, she had never heard of it, but told me that she is trained in The Body Bugg and I know I have seen signs for it at the gym.

http://my.apexfitness.com/vip/bb_enrollment_info_public.php

http://www.elizabethsherman.com/bodybugg.asp

This one has an arm band so you wear it around your upper arm. All day long.  Apparently they came out with a second smaller version because people were finding it too big and bulky under blouses, etc.  It seems to so all the things that the Fitbit does. You get 6 months web support (with 3 options to renew (9.99 for month to month, 49.99 for 6 months or 79.99 for 12 months). You also get one personal phone training session. Oh and your online information is accessible by iPhone, iTouch or Android.

Also when I was googling Body Bugg I came upon one called GoWearfit which, investigating further, turns out to be the Body Bugg (same company) just a different name. Not sure why.

Oh and this site tells a little review of the BodyBugg:

http://www.elizabethsherman.com/cs/blogs/ambassador_of_wellness/archive/2010/03/22/Is-the-bodybugg-worth-it_3F00_.aspx

So those seem to be my choices.  I tend to be leaning towards the Fitbit due to the lower purchasing price.  However free web access worries me that they will crash and burn like the Sportbrain originally did.  My trainer is a fan of the BodyBugg but do I really want to fork out $200 on this? The $99 is much easier to swallow.

I have tried to find Fitbit reviews on line and haven’t found any. I did go to their twitter page and saw that they were responding to people who were having problems, and they were offering to replace their devices.  So does that mean that it is a small company that really cares about their customers, or a small company that might be giving away their product and putting themselves out of business.

It’s a quandary and I wish I knew what to do. By the time I make a decision, little Charlie will be born and his mom will be back to work cracking her whip at me to get on that Bosu.

What to do… what to do…