• grace scheidler

why i broke up with my fitbit

the first step in overcoming compulsive exercising for me was getting rid of my fitbit. my fitbit was like having the ED voice in my head externalized and validated on my wrist. to have every metric of my existence—steps, sleep, heart rate, calories burned, distanced walked—tracked in detail on my phone became overwhelming. it sounds silly, but when i would get the hourly move reminders if i hadn’t walked at least 250 steps in an hour, i felt like i was failing, and it provided further motivation to restrict.

10 minutes into my first therapy session last summer, my doctor asked me to take off my watch and see how the weekend went without it. i’d never though to just…take it off after almost three years of consistent tracking. i took it off, left it in my desk at work for the weekend, and never went back.

my watch had turned exercise, something i enjoyed, into an anxiety-filled event focused on calorie burn. when i’d take a yoga class, for example, even if the practice felt great, when i’d check after and see a “low” calorie burn, my whole mood would plummet.

these days, i have an old-fashioned analog watch that tells the time…and that’s it. i feel so much more present in life without the constant buzzing on my wrist. i don’t track my workouts. for my runs, i still like to know the distance after the fact, but i turned off the audio notifications for mid-run pace and mileage updates. this was a true game-changer in terms of finding JOY in my runs. for the majority of the last half marathon i ran over the summer, i had no idea where i was distance-wise or how fast i was running during the race, and it ended up being my fastest race yet—and the most fun.

this is all just my perspective, and i can only speak to my experience. what are your thoughts on intuitive exercising or tracking metrics in general? i’m curious to hear your thoughts!