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My Fitness Tracker is a Watch

October 12, 2014

Photo from October 12, 2014

I just looked at my watch and it’s nearly approaching 10:00 a.m.

My watch is supposed to be much more than that. That’s why I bought it.

My watch was supposed to do all sorts of things for me. It was supposed to track my activity, tell me when I’ve been sedentary too long, tell me how many calories I’ve burned in a day, what my heart rate is when I am exercising and how many more steps I need to take to achieve my daily step goal.

I bought my Garmin Vivofit ( It’s the spiffy looking teal band in the picture to the left. ) as tool in my weight loss toolbox, but much to my disappointment, for the most part it’s just a watch.

On the plus side, it does have what I now refer to as the “Red Bar of Inactivity.” A little red bar of dashes that gets longer and longer when I have been inactive for too long that reminds me to get up and get moving.

But as far as an activity tracker, then device is extremely inaccurate. I’ve had days I have run half marathons that it’s calculated at nearly 8 miles more than I actually ran. I’ve had days I ran 8 miles and it’s tracked me at over 13 miles.

When I was in Orlando for the RunDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon last October I had the opportunity to speak to a Garmin Vivofit representative at their booth at the Fitness Expo. I asked specifically about the alarming inaccuracy in distance and was told that the device wasn’t meant to track running, it was meant to track activity. Needless to say I tilted my head to the side for a moment.

As a Fitness Instructor and Weight Loss and Wellness Coach, I do understand the difference between exercise and activity, Activity is considered the little things we do in a day that put our body in motion. Motion of any kind creates a caloric burn. Our body expends energy with every step we take. Activity is walking from the car to the door, doing housework, window shopping at the mall. Exercise is when we purposely get our heart rates into much higher zones to burn calories. It’s our time on a treadmill or elliptical, an hour of a step or kickboxing class.

Now if I had known that the Garmin VivoFit was only intended to monitor low intensity activity I probably wouldn’t have purchased it. When a device has a heart rate monitoring feature and asks me to spend even more money purchasing the additional heart rate strap that allows it to monitor my heart rate I expect it to utilize that information a bit more efficiently.

Let’s just be blunt here. If I am going to go the trouble of strapping a heart rate monitor under my chest which is the equivalent to me of wearing a small-scale torture device, I expect it to actually ascertain my heart rate and use that information to decide how vigorous my activity is and how many calories I am burning. The VivoFit does’t even really give me a true heart rate reading. If I set the screen to display my heart rate I get a reading of 0 – XXX where the end number is the highest heart rate it’s registering at that given time.

Last week I was doing a H.I.T.T. training workout on a treadmill where my heart rate was well into the 170s at times and it never registered my heart rate above 70.

According to the Garmin website the VivoFit “You can also pair vívofit 2 with a heart rate monitor during fitness activities, such as a run or a cardio class at the gym, to record your heart rate and zone data and get more accurate calorie burn information.”

Sorry, I’m not believing them.

The distance discrepancies on my device while annoying are also understandable. Everyone has a very different stride when they run. Many devices ask you to set your stride, the distance you take between each step in order to more accurately calculate your total distance. If there was a way to change that setting or actually calibrate the VivoFit it would probably be more accurate, but it failed to provide that feature.

So if my heart rate is being calculated wrong and my distance throughout the day is completely inaccurate, then I can pretty much bet that the daily step goal as well as the daily calorie burn count is also incorrect and thus when I look down at the $130 dollar device on my wrist and wear that $60 heart rate band, my first thought is, “I spent $190.00 on a watch that tells me when I’ve been sitting down for too long.”

All in all, if I wanted a device that told me the time and reminded me to get up and move I would have set movement reminder alarms on my smart phone and called it good. Lucky for me I bought mine at REI who let’s you exchange any purchase you’re not happy with within a year of purchasing it so hopefully I can find the packaging it came in and take it and trade it in for something more along the lines of what I was looking for and not a product that bills itself as an activity and fitness tracker and ends up being a decorative watch on my wrist.



 Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker and currently works as a Fitness Leader, Weight Loss and Wellness Coach in Wilmington, NC

Desperately Seeking Protein Powder Giveaway!

So when I find a product I really like I tend to like to share it.

Lucky for me, some of the companies I like, like to share their products too!

IMG_1570I had been desperately seeking a protein powder that I really LIKED for going on three years. Then I found CHIKE! One taste of their High Protein Iced Coffee and I was theirs. Then, they really sealed the deal when they sent me a sample pack of their products to review for my site and I found that I liked them all! You can read my review. CHIKE gives me the confidence to make a 2013 Protein Goal if you want… but CHIKE is willing to prove it to you the way they proved it to me!

They are willing to send you the same care package they sent me. Including samples of their different protein flavors and their Iced Coffee. Plus you get the nifty CHIKE Blender Bottle too!

So the typical rules apply you have to “Like” Both CHIKE and Desperately Seeking Slender on Facebook to be eligible to enter.

To enter comment on this blog post. Leave your name and email address to contact you if you’re chosen in the comments section. ( Remember first posts on my blog are moderated, so if you have not commented before it won’t show up right away )

You can earn extra contest entries by doing any of the following:

  • Tweet about this contest and post a link to your tweet in the comments section of this post.
  • Post about this contest on Facebook and post a link to your Facebook post in the comment section of this post.
  • Blog about this contest on your own blog site and post a link to your blog post in the comment section of this post.

e71c5826553511e2866422000a1f9c90_6Contest begins January 03, 2013 and runs through January 31, 2013

A Winner will be selected by random generator selection and announced on February 01, 2013

Don’t miss your chance to take home a Blender Bottle and AMAZING protein samples for FREE

Whether you are a pre-op looking for a good protein powder you can depend on, a post op still searching for a protein that doesn’t make your nose curl or a CHIKE enthusiast that just wants to save a little on their monthly protein bill! Enter today! Someone will win! Why shouldn’t there be chance that it’s YOU!


Visit CHIKE Nutrition’s Website

02/01/2013 10:14am PST – And the winner selected by Random Number Generator is Diane Cary! Diane please make sure you contact me with your Facebook Contact Information and your shipping information.

02/03/2013 07:54am PST – The new winner of the Desperately Seeking Protein Give away is Charlene Canfield. The first winner didn’t have all the appropriate folks liked on Facebook unfortunately. Charlene, I can’t find your email address in the comments of my blog post but I’ll keep looking hopefully you see this and contact me 🙂


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Page 3 of 512345

Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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