Fuelbands, Fitbits, Jawbones.
All making it easy to track every day’s movements, calorie intake and calorie output, and I won’t be buying any of them anytime soon. Since I’ve been aware of them they’ve troubled me, but it’s only since reading this article today that I’ve been able to put my finger on why.
Between the ages of 18 and 20 I was obsessed. Totally obsessed with what went into my body, and much I had to exercise to counteract any thing that I ate. I knew EXACTLY how many calories were in every single tiny morsel I reluctantly ate and EXACTLY how many minutes of exercise I was going to have to do to get rid of those calories. I was miserable: more miserable than I ever thought I could be. Luckily, my family were honest and firm with me very quickly, and I got all the help I needed before the illness could grab a-hold of my completely. It’s not been an easy journey into being me again, but thankfully, I think I am pretty much there.
However. Fuelbands. Fitbits. Jawbones. As helpful as these fitness technologies are, I think for many people – like me – they could be terribly damaging. I actively avoid looking at how many calories I have used up on a run these days, and try very hard to ignore calorific values on food. I am extremely lucky in that I have a very special boyfriend who keeps an eye on my behaviours, and has a very, very sensible approach to food and exercise and I am thankful every day that I found him. I still have to shut that voice in my head up sometimes: a Fuelband would make that voice louder.
If you do wear one and find it helpful, that’s great. Just don’t let the stats take over your life in a damaging way. I’ve rediscovered how important, lovely and fun food and exercise are. I don’t need to monitor and register this enjoyment with anyone anymore.