eat, move, think, feel

Gadget Love May 22, 2010

Y’all know I am somewhat of a gadget freak. I’ve tried to swear off buying any new ones but when Phillips DirectLife contacted me and offered to let me test-run their activity monitor, who was I to resist?

And now I am pretty much in love with this little thingie and all it comes with. Once my four month trial dries up I might just have to continue the relationship on my own.

Before, I had a Bodybugg because I got all intrigued by that after watching the Biggest Loser contestants wearing it. And I liked it pretty much. But I never ended up getting the individual support they promised because they do it by phone. The “coach” and I played phone tag like 4 times but I am very hard to reach on the phone.  So after all the phone tag I gave up. Also, you wear the BB on your arm and it always felt like a blood pressure cuff to me. (bad connotations) It got sweaty a lot. It wasn’t a big deal, but it wasn’t the most comfortable thing ever. Also, I felt like it almost gave TOO much information. So. After a while I sort of abandoned it.

Enter the DirectLife! I like it because it’s simple. It’s a little plastic white box smaller than a matchbox. It’s very light. It’s WATERPROOF! (I took it in the pool today!) You also have three choices of how to wear it: around your neck on a light cord, in your pocket, or hooked onto your bra or other piece of clothing. So it’s very versatile. I like wearing mine around my neck if I don’t have a pocket.

How does it work? It measures your micro-body movements so it calculates if you are walking, running, whatever. MOVING. Which is basically the point of activity. It probably does not have the same physiological precision of the Bodybugg, but actually, I do not care. My husband pointed out that you could “cheat” it by just holding it in your hand and bouncing it up and down, but dude, that is just cheating yourself. It’s like doing the Wii Fit from the couch. Yeah, you COULD, but do you really want to do that??

So I love the simplicity, the ease of wearing it. When you take it off, you plug into a little USB device on the computer. This turned out to be 100% easier than BB too, which was always having glitches and technical difficulties and causing me to re-install the software every five minutes (can you say ANNOYING?). So I love it. It goes right to the site and tells you your activity output by the day. You see the hills and peaks from the most active times. Then you can see the details from each hour, which is addictively fascinating to me. (WOW that’s when I took a walk at lunch! That’s when Shannon and I climbed up Lombard Street! That’s when I… ohhhhh. SAT AT MY DESK motionless for four hours.) It’s GOOD. And yeah, another great accountability tool.

But I didn’t even get to the best part yet. The best part is the fabulous, awesome, mindblowing coaching!!!!! I was assigned a coach named Jen. I was assuming that either I’d never hear from “Jen,” or that she would send me some one-sentence sound bites like, “Good moving today, Foodie!” But NO. I got an email asking about my goals and if I had questions. I sent her an email back. She looked at my activity for last Sunday. She noted that I was rather inactive between 2-5 and 6-8.

I said, “Welllllllll, I was taking a nap at 2, and then a shower (didn’t realize it was waterproof!) and then my show, I didn’t have a pocket and didn’t want the necklace on, but darn I was VERY active!” So she clued me into the waterproof and clip-on-bra thing. (um, in my case, clip-on-Spanx) She read my blog. She had such thoughtful things to say about my return to more than full time work, my fitness frustrations, my schedule, EVERYTHING.

She has emailed me EVERY DAY THIS WEEK. And they’re not just stock emails. They’re totally personalized, thorough, and all about me me me and MY situation. It has been so amazingly, astonishingly supportive and helpful. She’s also sent me some awesome PDF articles about various things we’ve discussed, New York times article about the hazards of sitting, etc. Just SO HELPFUL.

So I am over the moon about my little gadget and about the amazing support I’ve received from DirectLife’s coach Jen. They are a lot simpler than Bodybugg but in my mind that is a good thing, a very good thing.


9 Responses to “Gadget Love”

  1. terrepruitt Says:

    Glad you blogged about this because I think you mentioned somewhere when you received the package and I didn’t know what it was. So thanks.

    Very interesting!

  2. Shannon Says:

    You went swimming🙂 The local pool will be open in a week and I will be back at it, can’t wait!
    I am kind of amazed that little thing can do so much. Pretty cool! Very impressive that it is all so personalized. I think you may be in love after 4 months and have to keep it.
    Good luck tonight my friend!!! XOXO

  3. laurajane Says:

    That looks like such a cool gadget. I, too, love gadgets like that and I love looking at graphs and numbers. I considered the BodyBugg but it was too expensive and I couldn’t imagine wearing it to work and things like that, because it’s not all discrete. I like that this can be worn more discretely.

  4. Sweeter Says:

    hmm, that sounds interesting, especially the awesome coaching. how dare you make me want another gadget lol!

  5. Larkspur Says:

    Oooh, I would love one, but considering the Gowear Fit band that’s sitting in a drawer, I don’t think my husband will be too psyched.

    The smaller, lighter waterproof features do sound alluring.

  6. Miz Says:


  7. […] blogger wrote a pretty good review and spoke positively about the device and especially her coach.  Another review also spoke positively about the same coach, although it has to be taken with a […]

  8. This is the first time reading your blog and I love it. I also love ( am obsessed ) with Jillian Michaels and the Biggest Loser and have wanted a BodyBugg for-EVEah!, but it was the price factor that was stalling my purchase. I’m VERY much intrigued with this little gizmo, and it seems that it’s working great for you. Thanks for the informative post!

  9. Fran Says:


    After reading about this on a blog I’ve been checking out the Dutch website about this and guess what …. look for yourself:

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