I have a confession; I’m addicted to my fitness tracker.
There’s something about seeing those three rings light up when you close them that sparks this sense of satisfaction. Look at me, I did it, again.
It wasn’t until I read an article in Women’s Health Magazine last week that I realized this relationship I have with my device might not be as healthy as I thought.
Sure, it’s a great motivator. It reminds me every hour on the hour that I’ve been sitting, likely working, and need to take a breather to stretch my legs and “get moving.”
But it also acts as a constant ticking time bomb. I found myself checking my rings rather than checking the time - seeing how close I was to closing them all and if I had time left in my day to make those sparks fly (Apple Watch users will get it).
The issue I have is my competitive nature, not only with others, but myself. Having a device, like a fitness tracker, helps me see whether I am progressing or digressing.
While that can be a good thing, the article I read made a very valid point. It explained how fitness trackers don’t take things such as heat, body aches, or exhaustion into account. So, when I run a slower five-kilometres than normal in 30-degrees Celsius temps with shin splints, I really shouldn’t beat myself up about it, but I do.
Why? Because my tracker reminds me that I can do better. Maybe not during a massive heat wave, but that isn't necessarily my first thought. Rather than celebrate that I dragged my butt out there to begin with, I am down about the fact that I just didn't run it fast enough.
So, after reading the article, I made a decision. It’s not as bold as throwing my fitness tracker into the lake and walking away for good, but it’s something.
I decided to just simply not care.
Instead of obsessing over closing those three rings, I have decided to change my perspective. I'm focusing on moving and being active in ways that make me happy. I decided to make my priority not about meeting the goals of a device that knows nothing about me or my circumstances, but my own goals in my own time.
What that means is rather than staring at that move ring, I will pride myself in taking the time to focus on just being active.
Once I dropped the “my watch rules all” mentality, I found myself enjoying my workouts even more, because I’m not focused on how many calories I am going to torch. I’m thinking about how my body feels and how, in the long run, being active is just plain and simply good for me.
And for once, I’m not worried about those stupid little rings.