Things: Withings body scale + Weightbot

Not long after we moved into our apartment, Kelly and I began going to the gym semi-regularly. In the last few months, I’ve been going at least three times a week, oftentimes more often (heh). Years of sitting at a desk had taken its toll. I don’t have regular work commitments at the moment, and there’s a gym in our building, so this year I’ve made it my priority to get into shape.

Being a geek, this wasn’t so easy. Fortunately there are tools for us geeks that make the whole hellish1 experience of going to the gym a bit more bearable: the Withings body scale, and Weightbot.

The Withings body scale is a slick WiFi scale that reports your weight and sends the data up to you Withings account. The Withings monitoring webpage tracks and provides a visual display of your progress. For me, seeing my progress is a great motivator. This is the good part. The bad part is the webpage is quite unintuitive (ugh), built in flash (ugh), and not natively on my iPhone (double-ugh).

Weightbot is a beautiful weight tracking app for your iPhone. It’s fun, well designed (visually and usability-ly), and is natively on my iPhone. I’ve been using it for a long time, always entering my weight manually from the scale at the gym. But, I’d forget sometimes, or worse, I’d weigh myself at various times of the day when I’d finished a session at the gym, resulting in large variations in the data. That’s the bad part. The good part is…

Voltron! The Tapbots team have designed Weightbot to work with this scale — it’s the whole adding up to more than the sum of the parts. Here’s what happens: the scale sends the data to the yukky Withings monitoring webpage, Weightbot connects to yukky page on launch, Weightbot downloads the data and stores it in the beautifully designed app. The process is automagic. And fast.

Geeks love need stuff like this; motivators to get away from the interwebs for a while and move around a little. The scale is expensive (as far as weight scales go) but the combination of the scale, the weightbot app, and the geekability, gets me down to the gym regularly. In my opinion, this combination could be as hallowed as vanilla ice-cream and crushed peanuts, or even vegemite and cheese. Radstix.

  1. I’m convinced I’ll never enjoy the gym experience much — it’ll always feel like hard work. Those people who say “you’ll get to the point where you’ll just want to work out everyday” are either lying, or special. I’m not one of them.