One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

PRODUCT REVIEWS

Product Review: The BodyTrace eScale

37 Comments 3364 views

Let me start this review by saying you are either going to think this product is genius OR ridiculous. There is no in between.

Why?

Well you are either a scale person or you are not. I know many (Charlie comes to mind) that have years and years of weight data about themselves. Heck, I do as well! Remember my Weight Progress page?

Yea.. I haven’t updated that in quite some time. Mostly because I stopped going for my official Weight Watcher weigh ins but also because my scale habits have changed. I talked about this is an older post called Scale Habits? Gone Full Circle? where I broke down a bit of my scale history.

One of the stages I mention in that post is my daily weighing that lasted all through my losing phase and at least a year into maintenance. Not everyone will agree with this but for me daily weighing was a big part of my weight loss success. In a weird way it helped me disconnect from the number. To look at it as simply data, information. It kept me going and conscious of my food choices and how they effected the number.

During that time, every morning I’d wake up, pee, strip, hop on the scale and get into the shower (was that TMI? lol) it was a routine. I’d then jot down the number and post it on the blog like in this old post from 2007 – Yikes!

In addition to daily weighing I’d attend my Weight Watchers meeting once a week to get the "Official Weigh In" results which I would post on my Weight Progress page. Sometimes the numbers were the same, sometimes they were different but it didn’t matter. This is where I worked on that perfection gene I carry. By seeing that the scale so easily changed it’s mind (he’s a fickle jerk, isn’t he?) it helped me see that regardless what the number said on any given day, I was making progress. I was making good choices and the scale would reflect that over time.

This is a VERY long introduction to the product I’m about to review but I thought you should know where I’m coming from before giving my opinion on what I know will be a controversial product (controversial as in whether or not it’s a good idea.)

Basically the BodyTrace eScale is a regular bathroom scale with a big mouth. It wirelessly uploads your weight to the BodyTrace Web site so you can see your progress online!

Now.. I know it sounds scary and I realize this isn’t for everyone BUT if you are a like me and want to daily weigh, this thing is a life saver! I spend hours tracking my weight by hand and figuring out Excel to make my cheesy little graph…

Then I stopped after getting a new computer when I refused to buy Microsoft Office. Part of me wishes I kept them up. I like looking back at the data. I’m a geek, what can I say?

If I had the BodyTrace back then I’d have not only a prettier chart…

…but one that also tracked my BMI AND is interactive (you can slide and zoom into particular time periods when you are logged in). I may be alone, but I think this is freakin’ cool! –yes I know, geek, already established. ;)

Here’s how it works… you tap the scale to turn it on, hop on, get your reading and then ZAP! it sends it to the web site for you. It couldn’t be any easier.

The scale is sharp looking too. Something you wouldn’t mind having in your bathroom. And I believe if you don’t want to use the upload feature, you don’t have to. It could be used as just a regular scale as well.

I only have one teeny tiny complaint about the whole BodyTrace weight management concept and it’s this…

I absolutely HATE it when I get generic advice from a tool. This reminds me of the Wii and how absolutely brutal it could be with it’s weight loss advice. I wish it would just report the facts. That’s it. That’s all. I don’t need some backhanded comment about how long it’s taking me or how much I gained or whatever. Simple show me the figures. That’s all you need to do. And besides, being down 5 pounds in 2 months is FREAKIN AWESOME! no?

Regardless of that one little nit picky fact, I really do like BodyTrace. I recognize not everyone agrees with the daily weigh in philosophy but if you do this is a fun, easy way to record your scale readings.

I’ve joined the BodyTrace Affiliate program so if you are interested in learning more and possible purchasing one of your own, please click here. I’d appreciate it! Thanks. :)

Update: Gyula the Founder of BodyTrace has replied to our concerns about the unsolicited weight comments. Click here to read her response.

FULL DISCLOSURE: BodyTrace contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to review their product. I was not paid for this review but they did send me the scale free of charge. I’ve been using it for a few months now. I did join the affiliate program and will make a small percentage of any sales that are made when a customer follows this link. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. I refuse to endorse produce I do not like or would not use myself.



Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 37 comments so far.

    Krista S.

    July 7, 2010

    I was totally on board with it right up until the end. If my scale said something that freaking RUDE to me, I’d chuck that POS right out the window. How insulting and quite possibly eating disorder inducing to get a message like that. Yeah, no thanks. I won’t be buying this one even though the rest of it is pretty neat.

    roni

    July 7, 2010

    It’s was harsh.. wasn’t it! I’m hoping to influence the company a little to stop the messages. No red or green or whatever just give us the numbers! Right?!?

    Krista S.

    July 7, 2010

    Yes, for sure! It’s such a great concept and they go and ruin it like that…gosh, what a slap in the face after working hard to change eating habits, exercise, etc, ya know? Shame on them and hopefully they will see the reactions and change that because really, nobody needs that kind of negativity regarding their weight.

    Michelle

    July 7, 2010

    Genius and stupid at the same time! But only stupid because of the unsolicited weight loss advice. I do wish I had a record of every time I stepped on the scale. I like data like that.

    diana

    July 7, 2010

    Roni
    I agree that it is the scale that reflects your good choices over time! I weight in weekly official for the program I am on…it is that weight I lice with the daily number is like a reality show for entertainment purposes only! I to am an inner geek n this reminds me if the body bugg kinda inthat it has cool graphs…but like most web apps it is a walled garden if u can’t get the data out that u send it…u still end up with excel charts n the like so…once a week for me…n I know if I eat poorly the scale reflects neg…if I eat healthy the scale is pos it is that simple …I have my own rude comments n don’t need a computer chip to add insult to injury! Keep up the good work u do I enjoy your sites n blog posts recipies extra kudos! Diana

    Karen@WaistingTime

    July 7, 2010

    How cool is that! A scale that links to the web. Right now I log my weight every day on fitday. But my hubby makes an excel spread sheet of mine and his and I love the little graphs. I am a very visual person. Interesting to see my yo-yo years in color-coded graphs.

    That’s a pretty cool scale. I like the tracking feature.

    Jen @ KUrunner

    July 7, 2010

    Love it (I think)! I’m a numbers person. I have spreadsheets of my weight loss — average, total, standard deviations, etc.

    But, last I checked, 5 lbs in 2.5 months is a completely reasonable loss. Studies have shown that the slower you lose the weight, the more likely it is to stay off. And what’s with the “you’ll never reach your goal” crap. Um, I’m pretty sure that any loss is in the right direction. Life isn’t like the Biggest Loser where you are going to lose 100 lbs in 2 months. Hell, it took me over a year to lose 20 lbs. If I was getting negative feedback everyday (especially from an inanimate object), I probably would have thrown in the towel.

    Jana

    July 7, 2010

    Like last posters I thought this was an awesome prodoct until I read that last part about the little comment on the scale when you weigh in. Harsh and rude…I would not buy something that has negativity written all over it, who’s the mastermind behind that idea, they should be fired!

    Gyula Borbely

    July 7, 2010

    Hi Everyone,

    My name is Gyula Borbely, I am one of the founders of BodyTrace and also the one who should be fired. :)
    We will definitely discuss the “rude comments” within a few days and remove it if necessary. I will let Roni know if we have an update.
    Thank you for all the feedback,
    Gyula

    Pubsgal

    July 7, 2010

    I was intending just to read and not comment, but I had to put in my two cents after reading about its commentary “feature”. I felt that it warranted more than a “teeny tiny complaint.” My reaction was more like Krista S’s, though I think I would choose a sledgehammer for crushing it, rather than throwing it out the window. Much more satisfying, given that I live in a single-story residence.

    Also, I’d prefer a scale that gives a body comp reading, instead of a BMI number. Definitely more interested in the actual % body fat.

    Kerry

    July 7, 2010

    Daily weighing works for me, although I know it’s not for everyone. I agree that BF% would be useful, since my Tanita has that feature. And the message about slow weight loss is awful! But overall, I would totally love this product since it would do the graphing for me. I have a little notebook where I write it down, but never do seem to get it into Excel….

    i think everyone said it: cool scale, stupid commentary. but for me, the commentary isn’t insulting, per se, it’s just, well, pointless. no matter what it read, i’d probably just laugh at it then go eat my bagel.

    that said, i myself may be able to view the scale as mere information, no judgement (yes, i’m weird like that), but it isn’t that simple for all women. and i don’t think negativity helps when trying to lose weight. it’s when people feel positive about themselves that they start taking care of themselves, so the commentary could be more hindrance than anything. it’d be interesting to see if the company ends up changing this feature in the future.

    RG

    July 7, 2010

    Oh, gosh, just get OpenOffice for free. I have my daily weight for the last 5 years (minus a few weeks here and there) as well as putting together a chart for 20 years worth of random weigh-ins. I also include a trend-line for this year’s weight. I started off using hacker’s diet (also free software).

    RG

    July 7, 2010

    PS – BMI is easy enough to get from weight, since it’s just a linear scale of weight (unless your height is changing over the years).

    roni

    July 7, 2010

    RG – I actually have neo office (another Office knock off)… but my chart just never translated over correctly and I didn’t feel like fixing it. I also calculated my own BMI on my chart as well. Regardless, I still like the idea of hoping on the scale and having it all done for me. Less things to maintain and track.

    RG

    July 7, 2010

    Okay. Open office works on excel files, which other spreadsheets don’t do. And I like having to input my weight every morning, forcing myself to look at the trend. What does it do if you weigh in more than once in a day? I give myself the lowest weight of the morning, but does it take all of them and does it handle multiple people? Oh, the website points out how useful it is for the professional, since it tracks lots of people.

    Reinaldo

    July 7, 2010

    Sorry, but I LOL’d at that! What were they thinking! Other things they could have put in there “Yep, you are still fat” or “Please help me, I’m being crushed!”
    By the way, the response link is not working :P I really want to know what they’ll say about it

    roni

    July 7, 2010

    Thanks for letting me know! All fixed! :)

    Barry Hughes

    July 7, 2010

    I want to buy but I can’t figure out which one $9.99 and then $9.99 each month for a year OR $59.99 is that correct? Does the $59.99 come with a lifetime membership free? They aren’t very good at explaining the costs to me? The way it seems is that I just pay $59.99 and that’s it. If it’s true then I’ll take one :)

    roni

    July 7, 2010

    Barry – I got the scoop!

    Choice 1:
    One time setup fee (incl. tax): $9.99
    1st year monthly fee (incl. tax): $9.99 – 1 year contract
    Monthly fee afterwards (incl. tax): $5.99
    Monthly fees are charged quarterly.

    Choice 2:
    $59.00
    No monthly fee for one year
    Monthly fee afterwards (incl. tax): $5.99

    Charlie Hills

    July 7, 2010

    Did they even go out of their way to bold the never in that assessment? Really wanted to drive the point home, didn’t they! I have to admit the Snarky Wonder (i.e., me) chuckled darkly at this scale’s “motivational” tactic, but let’s face it: this should be filed under missed opportunity. If you’re doing great, it should tell you so. If you’re not doing great, it should offer at least a modicum of encouragement.

    Of course, “encouragement” means different things to different people. Therefore, I think you should be able to tell it your personality type and it will tailor its messages for you, like so:

    Truly need all the help you can get? Scale says, “You’re a little off this week, but that’s okay! You can do it! My tiny electric brain believes in you!”

    Enjoy the occasional snark? Scale says, “Maybe you should lay off the donuts this week.”

    Want to feel totally in a position of power? Scale says, “Please don’t hurt me, but, uhh, well, uhh . . . well, you were a teensie bit off your game this week. Sorry!”

    Pilbara Pink

    July 8, 2010

    Totally agree with other commenters – love the idea but will NEVER use one of these if any message like that is going to appear. I struggle quite enough to remind myself that progress not perfection is the goal along with life-long changes without negative nonsense like that appearing. I would love to know if the person who thought that was funny has ever been overweight. I suspect not. I am not now but know when I was a comment like that would have been the last time I ever stepped on that scale!

    Jan

    July 8, 2010

    Okey dokey, let me run right out and pay for something that is going to throw negative messages at me.

    I immediately thought that this scale should have Jillian Michaels name on it. It sounds like something she would yell at you.

    Sue

    July 8, 2010

    Ha! You will all want to bash me for this, but I would be motivated by that rude message. It would just make me angry and want to prove that I could do it. I must be sick in the head :) Anyway, I want this thing – seems so easy to use!

    roni

    July 8, 2010

    To each there own! I like the idea of having users pick their personality type! Then you could get yelled at and I could get just the facts.

    Nicole

    July 8, 2010

    So Roni — the scale is included in the cost of the $59 – along with the website information? This seems reasonable for $59, I like the scale and the commenting, like you said to each their own. I need a new scale and this seems like a pretty neat idea, I am a tracking freak as well!

    tessler

    July 8, 2010

    OpenOffice.org is awesome! I have no trouble transferring documents back and forth between Microsoft Office (work) and OpenOffice (home). Love love love it!

    On the “updating the graph” thing–I used to have a beautiful graph that I’d done in Excel on my website, but it was a pain to go through what seemed like fifty billion steps just to get the new version on my website every time I updated it. I didn’t mind so much when I was losing weight because the updates were exciting to me, but once I hit maintenance, it turned into a major pain.

    I decided to split my weight charts into “loss” and “maintenance” (which is why the loss graph on my site is still so pretty) and then transferred my maintenance data into Google Docs. As soon as I update the spreadsheet, the maintenance graph on my website is updated. It isn’t as pretty as the one I generated from Excel, but I love being able to plug in the number every week, take a quick peek at the graph, and then go on my merry way and not have to worry about updating my website.

    Just a thought. :)

    Kim

    July 8, 2010

    Ok, Roni, I put in an order (I used your affiliate link :-). I’m sure I won’t use the food analysis part (I don’t need or like that), but the tracking and data feedback could be cool. I have 30 days to decide… And I agree about the negative feedback. Very few of us will appreciate the boot camp approach, I’m guessing.

    Tara

    July 8, 2010

    I would love this scale and totally buy it – but they do not ship outside the USA. Once again, you Americans get all the cool products while us Canadians can only watch from afar and drool.

    Sigh.

    roni

    July 8, 2010

    Nicole – Yes I will verify but I’m pretty sure the scale is $59 plus the first year access to the website but after that it’s 5.99 a month. I’ll check on that.

    roni

    July 8, 2010

    Kim – I’m with you on the food tracking part. I have that covered on my own. I hope you like it.. keep me posted!

    Nikki Moon

    July 9, 2010

    I wish I had this at the beginning of my journey but I still like it because I have 35 pounds to go. Maybe I missed it but what about if you have several different people who weigh? I too just wants the facts. I am going to check it out more . Thanks for the tip.

    McLauren84

    July 9, 2010

    Wow, totally agree with all the commenters! I can’t believe they would tell you 5 pounds in 2 months will never get you to your goal. As that rate, you’d be at your goal in the next 2 months! ANY loss is getting you toward your goal. If I got that message, I’d think, “You’re right, I’ll never get to my goal at this rate. I might as well give up.” I think the product would be great if they stripped out or modified that feature. We’ve all had negative people in our lives trying to tell us we can’t reach our goals, so why would we buy a mechanical device to add more negativity?

    Joelle

    July 9, 2010

    Yeah, this sounds like a cool product. I was never a daily weigher because WW discouraged it and I’m afraid I’ll become obsessive about it, but this sounds pretty interesting!

    Foodie McBody

    July 15, 2010

    Jeez. I loved the product idea until the snarky. Comments. When you LOST 5 lbs? I can see maybe if you’d gained, it would be like, what are you doing?? But when you lost?? That is just WRONG. I do hope they will disable those comments and if so I will consider buying one because I have the same exact routine as Roni!

    Melissa (@MelGetsFit)

    July 18, 2010

    I think the scale concept is pretty cool. I’m also a daily weigher and numbers geek, so I would love having the info upload to the web like that. Like most everyone else, I don’t like the snarky commentary though. It would be nice to have a way to disable that feature if one weren’t interested in it.