Breaking up with my FitBit

Photo+credit+Laney+Green

Photo credit Laney Green

Laney Green, Staff Writer

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I don’t know about you, but my FitBit smartwatch is my biggest cheerleader. It illuminates with fireworks and a parading rubber duck when I reach my 10,000 step goal for the day, gives me a green star when I sleep more than 8 hours, and when I connect to the app at the end of the day, the rings satisfyingly link and explode almost like an encouraging “you did it!” high five. These reports symbolize that I’ve reached my active minutes, steps, miles traveled, and calories burned goals. The whole system feels so rewarding. 

But on the other hand, my FitBit is also my harshest critic. It buzzes me when I haven’t met my hourly and daily step goals, and if I take a day off, the disconnected rings feel more scolding and judgmental than congratulatory. If I have a busy day—one where I’m glued to my computer screen or stuck on a Zoom call and can’t get up to please my nagging watch—I often feel downright bad about myself.

As it turns out, everything I originally wanted from my FitBit are now all the reasons I feel guilty. I originally wanted the watch to feel like I was accomplishing more from my workouts. I guess my mindset followed the trajectory that if my workouts were recorded, it would mean more to me than how I actually physically felt after working out.

And it did for a while. I found quite a bit of satisfaction from having my FitBit track my workouts. Essentially, my watch flatters me with affirmations when I workout and scrolling through my stats after sends another round of endorphins through my body; almost like a second workout! My watch is my built-in support system every time I exercise. The only downside is that I’m now completely reliant on my watch to inspire my self worth, and I know I can’t be the only one feeling this way. 

I’m not sure when I developed this desperation for proof that I exercised. It’s pretty disgusting to constantly grieve the thought of not having any verification. My little rectangle of a watch should only inspire me to workout and yes, occasionally be used to reaffirm that I am, in fact, a badass. So I will no longer permit myself to fall victim to an inanimate object or allow its daily reminders to control how I feel about my physical effort on any given day. 

This is me putting my foot down. Or more literally, taking my watch off.