Monday, May 9, 2016

The Fitbit Curse

Man’s steps are ordered and ordained by the Lord. How then can a man [fully] understand his way?
Proverbs 20:25 (Amplified Version)

A new phenomena product has swept the nation. Hoping to change a generation of couch potatoes, the Fitbit is all the rage. And, while this little device is awfully handy at tracking your steps, calories burned, etc., we need to call it what it is: an obsession. And a dangerous one at that. Admittedly, I asked for (and received! Thanks, baby!) a Fitbit and it has opened up my eyes to a lot: namely that I'm not as "productive" in terms of steps that I thought I was. 

Also, my sleep quality was poor. Like I didn't already know that, amiright?

But here's the deal: I've seen more pictures of the app posted on Facebook than political posts (I didn't say it was all bad) and people's children combined. People talking about how many steps, or walking a circle in their living room at 11pm so that a friend doesn't beat them to a challenge? Really? GO TO BED! 

All I kept thinking was, if this had existed when I was deep in to my eating disorder, I'd never have come out of it alive. I'd have obsessed over entering every single thing I ate, activity I did, steps I took to make sure I was at a deficit each and every day. I think most treatment centers should use them in reverse - you could make sure the residents didn't go over - and you could see if they were exercising in the middle of the night. Just a thought. 

Nowadays, I check it when it buzzes at me to keep moving, and it pisses me off. I'd be busy sitting down to stuff diapers, fold laundry, or nurse the baby, and it goes off and says, "Let's go for a walk" Screw you, Fitbit. The baby is sleeping, and unless you can lactate and fix this whole mess, I intend to stay here for a second. 

It's a tool. Just like anything else. Just like the scale in your bathroom can only measure your gravitational pull to the Earth, this wristlet can only measure the steps you've taken - not the tears you've dried, the meals you've cooked, the little hearts that you've read to - whilst SITTING DOWN. If it means that I don't get 7/7 hours of a million steps or more, then so be it. 

While I do love the idea of how it measures how active you are, let's let it be a fun toy, Mommas. I love being active with my kids. I love that we go for walks, play in parks, go to zoos, and play silly games. But if I cheapen that whole experience with, "but I won't get as many steps in because the kids are doing all the running at the park, and not me" then I've killed it. The whole time I'm pushing my boys on the swing shouldn't be an obsessive, "gotta march in place, gotta march in place" type of activity. 

Just take it from someone who has had an obsession of this already - and it almost killed me - as a gentle warning... Sometimes, the steps you take with a little heart in mind are the best ones. 


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