Hi, I’m Sylvio. This is my journey.
There are various reasons why people can struggle with weight loss, I know from personal experience. My early life was fraught with years of gaining and losing the same 20 pounds, over and over, without consistent and sustainable progress. This ended with the arrival of my first son. I decided that I needed to make a permanent change not only for myself, but for my family.
As a software engineer I focused on fighting my weight issues by approaching it as an engineering problem. I have always understood that to lose weight you just need to burn off more calories than you consume, building a calorie deficit that leads to weight loss over time. In theory it always seemed so simple, but then why is it so difficult to lose weight?
Feedback was the key
In engineering, feedback loops are used to stabilize all kinds of systems. Feedback is a vital part of creating momentum and sustainability, and I realized that this same concept could be applied to weight loss and long-term health maintenance. I cold quantify my calories ingested and my calories burned, giving me the hard, quantifiable data I needed to take the guesswork out of weight loss. When I started logging my calorie intake with a food journal I realized that my ‘rough estimates’ of my calorie intake were very off. I had been in denial.
My food tracker was one part of the equation, and I used it religiously. I slowly began to understand my calorie intake, and this made it easier to adjust my lifestyle, but in order to complete my feedback loop I needed a better idea of the exact number of calories I was burning each day.
Heart rate monitor: where have you been all my life?
When I started adding exercise into my routine everything clicked for me. I was doing an hour of cardio every day and tracking my heart rate and calorie burn, which allowed me to accurately measure my daily calorie expenditure. I was excited to see that when I was accurately tracking all of my data I started actually seeing results. At an average rate of 3 pounds lost per week I achieved my weight loss goal of 85 pounds within 6 months.
How FITIV was born
While my heart rate was a valuable tool for quantifying my workout data, I began to crave more in-workout feedback. I experimented with different gauges and visuals to help give me context about my workout intensity. Eventually I developed the intensity halo: a tool for visualizing all of the most important metrics you need to maximize your workout.
It was around this time that Apple announced the release of Apple Watch and I knew that working out with the intensity halo on Apple Watch would be a perfect pairing.
The first iteration of my fitness app was very rudimentary, but by using feedback from early users it quickly evolved into something bigger than I ever could have expected. I developed tools for runners, cyclists, weightlifters and more, and the FITIV community grew and grew.