Willpower Doesn’t Matter

In my last post I talked about the importance of motivation and the use of tools to help turn motivation into action.  But what about willpower?  How important is having willpower to achieving weight loss?  In all the years I’ve worked (or not) on weight loss, I’ve so often heard people say something like, “I need more willpower.”  And, I’ve heard some criticize others for not losing weight, saying that all they need is willpower and if they just had willpower, then they would lose weight.  Is this true?  I’m not sure that it is.  I certainly don’t think that it mattered much for me.

Part of the problem with “willpower” is that people mean different things by the term.  This definition of willpower at Merriam-Webster is “energetic determination.”  I’m not sure that definition really tells me much.  Sometimes “willpower” seems to be used to mean self-control or being disciplined.  With many people who say that all you need to lose weight is willpower, there is a sort of implication that willpower is a kind of inner strength that allows you to prevail against temptation.  And, if you don’t have “willpower” then the implication is that you are weak.

Regardless of the definition of willpower, I still find it too vague to be helpful to me in losing weight.  Willpower is often treated as something that one has or doesn’t have and that with it you succeed at weight loss and without it you are powerless to do anything against the temptation of food.  The problem for me comes with trying to put my hands on it to figure out how to get it.  It is easy to say that I want more willpower, but how do I get some?  Where does it come from?  Is it something I can consciously go get or is it something innate that I either have or don’t have? [Read more…]

Explain This Weigh In Page! (And FitPoints Again)

Can anyone give any rational explanation for the layout on this weigh in page?  This is the Weight Watchers weigh in page as seen on my browser.  I am sure regular readers here know that I am a big fan of Weight Watchers.  I think it is a good program and I’ve been very successful on it.  But, I am actually dumbfounded that the layout on this page hasn’t been improved during this year.

weigh-in-page [Read more…]

Weight Watchers Tracking of Fitbit Walk

I walked today recording my walk as an activity using my Fitbit.  I had posted recently that Weight Watchers had apparently fixed the problem they were having in double tracking steps.  To recap, previously when using an activity monitor and recording walking (or running) as an activity, Weight Watchers would double count the steps from the walk with your steps for the whole day.  During the time that I wasn’t exercising (due to surgery), this got fixed and Weight Watchers now tracks the activity and then deducts those steps from the daily total.  So, you get extra FitPoints for the steps that are in excess of those for the tracked walk.  I was glad to see that since it meant I could now tracking walking as an activity on Fitbit and not worry that the steps would get double counted.

Today, though, I noticed another great change.  One of the negatives on walking (and reportedly running) when activity was synced using an activity monitor was that Weight Watchers awarded FitPoints solely based upon steps.  The intensity of the walk or run didn’t matter.  If you walked 5000 steps at a slow pace you got the same FitPoints as if you ran 5000 steps at a fast pace.  Of course, the latter would take much less time.  But, it was the same FitPoints.

This contrasts with how it is when you manually record walking or running (that is, you don’t use an activity monitor).  In that situation, you give the length of time and intensity and the FitPoints vary based upon both time and intensity.

It bothered me that intensity wasn’t a part of how activity points are given.  I happen to live in a hilly neighborhood.  When I go for a walk there isn’t much that is truly flat.  So, I burn a lot more calories than I burn if I walk the same number of steps when I go to a shopping mall.

But, that wasn’t reflected in my FitPoints.  But, good news.  I noticed today that it is now reflected.  This what Weight Watchers showed after my walk.

fitbit-walking

I went and checked on Fitbit and found that I walked 3825 steps during the walk.  If Weight Watchers was still going solely by steps, I would have earned 3 FitPoints for the walk.  But, I earned 4 FitPoints which is what I would earn for 37 minutes of walking at moderate intensity.  So, it appears that Weight Watchers is now using the information it gets from Fitbit to determine the intensity of the activity and awarding FitPoints accordingly.

I don’t know if this applies to all activity monitors or all activities.  But, this was really good news for me since I feel this gives me much better results on my activity.

To anyone using an activity monitor:  Are you seeing intensity being a part of how FitPoints are being awarded?

A Few Weight Watchers Changes I Noticed

I just wanted to mention a few recent Weight Watchers related changes that I noticed.  Two of them are FitPoints related dealing with situations where there is an activity monitor being used.  The third relates to the demise of the Weight Watchers message board.

Tracked Walk No Longer Double Counted

I haven’t been exercising for a few months due to my plastic surgery.  But, I was finally able to start walking again. So, the other day I went for a walk in the neighborhood with my husband and tracked the walk using Fitbit.

When I had last been doing that a few months ago, I found that if I tracked the walk as an activity on Fitbit that my steps got double counted.  So, I would get FitPoints for the number of steps in the walk plus I got FitPoints for my total steps for the day, including those in the tracked walk.

Apparently, while I was away from exercising that was fixed.  It seems to now track the steps in the walk and to then deduct those steps from your daily total before giving you FitPoints for your total steps. [Read more…]

Received New Fitbit Blaze Bands

In my last review of my Fitbit Blaze, I mentioned that I had ordered a leather band and a stainless steel band.

They arrived yesterday.  I was really pleased with how they look.

Bands

As I mentioned in my review post, the leather and stainless steel bands from Fitbit come with a frame.  Many third party bands and the Classic Bands from Fitbit do not include a frame.

As you can see, my plum band (this came with my Fitbit) has to be held down as it won’t lay flat.  The leather band does lay flat which is nice.  The stainless steel has a clasp rather than a buckle. [Read more…]