My new toy

Yea, I got a new toy to play with … it’s a scale!  WOOT! 

(no one has ever accused me of being normal)

Okay, it’s more than just a scale — it’s the Withings Smart Body Analyzer scale and it’s really cool.  It’s all sleek and modern looking and it talks to my computer (well, technically, it talks to my network, but I won’t bore you with details) and reports my weight, heart rate and other fun stuff every time I step on it.

And then I can see my stats in beautiful graphs online (and on the Android app, of course). And seriously, folks — the website that Withings has is pretty dang good.  I’m a fan.

I didn’t buy a wi-fi enabled scale for a long time because it seemed to be overkill — I mean, it’s not like I lack the brain cells to weigh myself in the morning and then remember that number until I get in front of a computer.  But, what I found was that on days when I weighed myself and I didn’t like the number it spat back at me?  I wouldn’t record it. I’d only record the weights where it was lower than the last time I recorded it.

This scale keeps me honest.  It’s virtual accountability because somehow it makes a difference to me when I see the graph of my weight every day. And when the graph goes up, it makes me want to make choices to cause that number to go down.  I’m not getting fixated on what the scale tells me (there are better ways to measure progress), but knowing that the feedback is out there really does prod me into making better choices.

I’ve had it for about two weeks now and the novelty hasn’t worn off yet — it still might — but the Withings web site keeps me coming back.  It breaks down all the stats and keeps track of your main goal and then breaks it out into weekly goals. It’s one thing to say “I’m going to lose 10 pounds by summer” and another thing for an app/website to remind you each week what you’re trying to accomplish, telling you how far you have to go, congratulate you when you hit your goal and even moving your end date around, depending on your progress.

And another upside to it — it also integrates with a number of other websites, like Fitbit.com and MyFitnessPal.com.  And that integration is another form of accountability — with it also posting results to MFP, I know that my pals over there are going to see it! Pressure!  

And I like all that. I think it’s been a good investment so far and if it keeps pushing me to do better (like the new habit this week:  a little more, a little better), then it’s worth the money.

So…

Pros:  automatically updates via wi-fi after weigh-in, Withings website is impressive at presenting data and managing goals (especially since I also have the Pulse to feed data into it), virtual accountability via updates to other affiliated websites, is at least as accurate as my last scale (for a week, they were always within .5 pounds of each other)

Cons:  surface could possibly become marred if harsh cleaning chemicals are used on it, when I tried to use it on carpet (using the add-on feet made for that purpose), the scale calculated my weight as 30 pounds lighter (which, sure, is awesome, but unfortunately not correct)