I know I still need to write my review about my Fitbit. (Short review: I love it and it loves me. I know this, because it told me that once.) But I do have something to say around measurement and accuracy. And I’ll have to bring the Fitbit up because it is doing a lot of that measuring for me, bless it’s wee little heart.
In my attempt here to lose weight and be a healthy size (finally), I am using a few different tools for measurement:
1. A Withings scale – to track my weight, BMI, fat mass and muscle mass
2. The Fitbit – to track my food, activity, sleep
3. Runkeeper and Fitocracy – to track my exercise
4. A kitchen scale and all the little measuring cups and such
5. Measuring tape.
None of these things are always 100% accurate.
The Withings scale I know is weighing me light. When I went to the doctor’s office, I weighed in heavier. And I don’t completely trust it for the body fat percentage either.
The Fitbit doesn’t know my heart rate, so how can it measure my caloric burn exactly? And some of the time when I enter food, I over-estimate. Or I over-simplify… surely not all “chef salads” are the same, so wouldn’t there be some caloric variances from that salad from the salad I ate if I choose that?
Runkeeper and Fitocracy are as accurate as the information I put into it. But I think the GPS on Runkeeper gets lost sometimes. And I can’t always find the exercise I am doing (like Tabata sprints or reclining rope pull-ups) on Fitocracy, so it doesn’t get recorded.
And the measuring cups and spoons? I may not always fill them properly. I don’t think everyone does. It’s either a smidgen too little or a little too heaping.
And I’m pretty sure I have no idea how to properly measure myself with that tape thing. In fact, I know I don’t.
But does this matter? I don’t think so. It isn’t that it is 100% accurate that matters. What matters is that you are getting feedback about what you are doing and how you are doing it. It matters if you are becoming more aware of your actions.
As an example, the scale that (very kindly) weighs me light by a kilo or so… does that matter? Fuck no. What matters is that the number keeps getting smaller. That’s the part I should focus on.
Same with the Fitbit. It doesn’t matter if it is 100% accurate about my caloric burn versus the intake. What matters is that I am paying attention to what’s going into my body and how active I am being. And I can see that it doesn’t matter that I went to the gym that day if I’m going to eat an entire large Papa John’s pizza that night.
I think that’s what I need to keep in mind. It doesn’t matter if I’m measuring accurately. What matters is that I keep things moving the way they should be.