Recently I gave in to societal and family pressures and purchased “FB”, a fitness bracelet with a tracker inside to record my fitness and health stats. After syncing the tracker, I could view my info on my computer or Smartphone.
“FB” quickly replaced the couch as my BFF, coach and confidant. I started zealously tracking everything possible:my sleep patterns, water intake, activity time, and calories. Soon, however, my seemingly innocuous new friend began to show its other face.
One morning, after days of streamlined eating I happily looked forward to reviewing my success, but it smirked at me malevolently. I’d been ingesting way too many fat grams each day. Also, although “FB” input my steps and sleep patterns automatically, my food and water intake and activities were not. Slavishly logging my intake began biting chunks out of my day and I ignored my friends and lengthening “to do” lists.
“FB”’s mesmerizing effect was strongest when it came to tracking the steps I took each day. A maniacal happy face popped up when I reached the preset target of 10,000, and I received a virtual prize. Soon, I began to crave these noncaloric goodies. On days when I didn’t reach 10,000 steps, “FB” noncommittally reported how many I had taken, but I knew what it really thought of me. I began aimlessly tramping about the house and inventing errands within walking distance to win “FB”’s approval.
Like a parolee’s ankle monitor, my fitness bracelet knew my status, everywhere and at all times. There was no escaping it. Worse, I couldn’t bear the thought of it looking into my soul and being disappointed in me. Ask for a caramel latte with whipped cream? I could almost hear “FB” bang down the gavel and sneer, “motion denied”!
Was I doomed to trudge down the conveyor belt of life, frantically tapping in grams, ounces and calories? And then it happened. One step on the scale and the sun broke through the clouds, birds began to sing and flowers to bloom. I had lost 5 pounds! Giving “FB” a kiss, I ran down the street to ask a neighbor if I could walk her dog.