Despite being a health nut, I was hesitant to hop onto the wearable fitness tracker bandwagon. At first I thought it was creepy that it could track your location and your sleep patterns. But soon after I found myself addicted to the data, even checking my sleep stats the moment I woke up every morning.
Having a fitness tracker is like having a clingy significant other. Your relationship is fun and exciting at first. You’re trying things you’ve never done before (aka walked around your neighborhood) and it’s pushing you to be a better version of yourself. But you soon realize that it’s actually controlling your behavior. Telling you to move every hour (excuse me, I’m busy) and making you a slave to everything it says. Not sure what I mean? Here are some signs that you should kick your fitness tracker to the curb.
You stop doing workouts you love because it doesn’t help you reach your step goal.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Fitness trackers are smarter now and can tell the difference between walking and weightlifting. But they’re not perfect. There have been more than one occasion in which I hit my step goal while driving. Trust me, if commuting was exercise I’d be able to bench press an ox.
Speaking of things that don’t help me reach my step goal, how many of you have passed on workouts you used to love because it’s not cardio? I always felt guilty taking yoga classes and would intentionally swing my arm while using the stair stepper so I could at least get some credit for going to the gym. Note: Stop letting your fitness tracker tell you how to live.
You obsess over your goal and will do anything to hit it.
Let’s get this over with. Everyone is on a diet. You, your best friend, even your dog. According to the dictionary, a diet is, “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.” Have you ever been on a restrictive diet? It doesn’t matter if your diet involves avoiding peanuts because you’re deathly allergic or decreasing your calorie intake. You’re always thinking about food.
I stopped counting calories years ago because I was eating processed, nutrient-poor food (e.g. 100 calorie snack packs) to meet my calorie goal. I lost focus on the health benefits and paid attention solely to the data. If you have a fitness tracker, you know what I’m talking about. You’re low-key obsessed with your step-count and calorie burn. So much so, I bet you’ve paced around your house like a lunatic to get in your last few hundred steps. We’ve all been there, no judgement…but your watch shouldn’t make you feel guilty or keep you up at night.
You’re checking it every few minutes (and you’re not even looking at the time!)
Do you remember in school how you used to get in trouble for “checking the time” on your cellphone? Everyone knows you were looking to see if you got a text from your crush. Fast forward years later and now you’re poking your bracelet every 10 seconds to see if you crushed your fitness goals. Spoiler alert, you didn’t. Don’t let these stats distract you from actually getting a good workout.
You have anxiety when you’re not wearing it.
Anxiety may be a strong word, but I 100% felt naked when I had to take my FitBit off for one reason or another. Has charging your device become the bane of your existence? Sure, you want a full battery but is life even worth living when you can’t track your vitals? I often tried to charge mine while I was showering so I’d still get the satisfaction of knowing I’m a terrible sleeper. Don’t even get me started on how frustrating it is to start a workout and realize you forgot your partner in crime.
You take every stat as gospel.
Those numbers are estimations, don’t let them rule your life. Most of those stats are a lot harder to calculate than you think. For example, your tracker’s calorie count is based on your heartrate. Sure, you added some fun facts about yourself in the setup process (height, age, weight) but you’re missing other things. Such as genetics and metabolic rate (aka how many calories your body burns at rest.) View your data as a guide of how often you’re exercising, but trust me, ignorance is bliss.
Why I broke up with my FitBit.
Truth be told, I never officially broke up with my FitBit. It’s still tucked away in a drawer, waiting for the day I take it back. But I never will. Our relationship way always a little rocky. I felt like it was never being honest with me. I worked hard every day but my stats never felt like they were enough. I put a lot of effort in our relationship, charging it every few days and religiously taking it off before showers.
So how did our relationship sour? I may have broken it on my trip to Europe last year. I didn’t use an adapter and the voltage difference did something to it. Or maybe it was exhausted from walking 100 miles in 2 weeks. I’m not sure. But after I came back from my trip it was never right. I loved having a wearable fitness tracker, don’t get me wrong, but after a few weeks of not wearing one, I didn’t miss the negativity it brought on the daily (thanks sedentary desk job.)
While I do miss being a part of the FitBit cult (everyone gets so jazzed when they find a fellow user), it’s nice to know that you’re in on a secret that they aren’t. Fitness freedom.
- Have you ever used a fitness tracker?
- If you have used a tracker, did you find that it helped or hindered your fitness goals?