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I’m not sure why Fitbit named their scale Aria.  Unless, of course, it’s a reference to a “fat lady” singing – an old stereotype of opera singers and the old expression “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings.”  Fat people and scales, I guess.

The Fitbit Aria records your weight, calculates your body fat percentage and transmits, via wifi, your information to the Fitbit web site for you to see on the Fitbit Dashboard.  That’s pretty much it, as far as anything warm and fuzzy this scale does. Oh, and you can have up to 5 users and it remembers them and their data.

In any event, I coughed up the $107.99 for the Fitbit Aria scale on May 31st of last year.  That’s 32½ weeks ago. It comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty against defects.  Well, here’s the problem. It works, it just doesn’t work accurately. Three weeks after I bought it, I went to amazon.com and wrote a review.

I like this new scale – it’s sleek, attractive, and does some interesting things. However, FitBit needs to take a look at a couple of things:

First, they need to explain the cause and effect of decreasing weight and increasing body fat percentage. I “googled” it and I understand now that as the weight comes off, the body fat may not decrease at the same rate so if you have lost less body fat than weight, the body fat numbers are going to go up. It just needs to be explained in the instructions or something.

Second, and most important of all, is that it is nowhere near accurate. Now, if you have one and you’re reading this, before you get all riled up because you love your new “accurate” FitBit Aria, let me explain why I say it’s not accurate.

Stand on your scale with your big toes almost touching the circle in the middle, and write down your weight. Let it go through it’s thing, until it shuts off. Now get back on it with your big toes an inch from the circle. You weigh more now, don’t you? Now get on the scale with your feet aligned with the outside edges. See what I’m talking about? If you stand pigeon toed, it’s another number. If you stand with your feet in a V shape, there’s another number. There’s up to a full pound difference, just based on how you position your feet.

I don’t call that accurate. It should be weighing me the same regardless of how I stand or even if I stand on my hands (which would be impossible for me, given my age and weight). Had I known this beforehand, I would not have purchased this scale. I’d have spent far less money on one that would probably be equally as inaccurate, but my wallet wouldn’t be weighing less.

It then all of a sudden started working consistently about a month or so later, so I figured maybe it had gotten some sort of firmware update via the wifi and it was going to be okay. However, in the past couple of weeks, it started acting up.

I was highly offended by it’s insistence that I “step off,” when in fact, I wasn’t ON it. It just kept looping around between “Thinking” and “Step Off.”  So, I pulled the batteries and replaced them, even though it showed that the batteries had plenty of juice.  That seemed to do the trick, but yesterday it started acting up again and this morning, it didn’t matter how many times I pulled the batteries and “rebooted” the system, it kept telling me to “Step Off.”

I finally called Fitbit Customer Service and was connected with “Diego,” a personable man with a delightful Hispanic accent and a cute sense of humor.  He helped me to literally reset the scale (who knew there was a pinhole on the bottom?) and it seems to be working okay for the time being.

I’m still troubled by it’s operation, though.

I have my primary user ID on the scale, set at my initials, PJM. I only weigh myself once each day, at the same time each day, under that user ID. It weighed me, and established my body fat percentage at a whopping 43.2% (I was, after all, up to 193 lbs.)  A week or so later, I created a second one for any “just for giggles” weigh-ins I might want throughout the course of the day (it was PJ2). It weighed me (and it was just about the same weight as when I first set it up), but set my body fat percentage at 38.3% (fully 5 points below the PJM user ID).

As I’ve lost  18 lbs., my body fat percentage has increased on both accounts – with the PJM one at almost FIFTY percent now, and the PJ2 has increased only by roughly 1%.  In the Fitbit forums, it is explained that, as you lose weight, you don’t necessarily lose fat at the same rate, so you might see those numbers go up.  Well, I KNOW I’ve lost fat because I’ve lost inches around my waist and my (considerable) backside. And yet, those numbers have yet to ever go down.

I love my Fitbit tracker and it has been HUGELY instrumental in my weight loss program, but honestly, I could have bought any old digital scale that “measures body fat” and spent a third of what I did for this Fitbit Aria.  But, because of my love for all things techie, I just had to have this toy.

I’m tossing this product on the list of things that, if I had it to do over, I’d do it differently.