Do You Know Yourself better than a Bracelet Does?

Do you have an activity tracker? Are you on a new diet? Are you searching for a set of rules to “fix” you?

A lot of people have something like a Fitbit which is supposed to make us more aware of our activity levels and therefore more active-more healthy.

I had an activity tracker once, a glorified bracelet (not an attractive one either). It was for a week. I found myself tapping it constantly to see how close to my goal I was, cross that roller skating and yoga “didn’t count” and had to be logged manually and that I had to block out my driving as it was altering my precious, precious statistics.

I thought the idea was that it was supposed to track my activity? Not make me do it. Oh and for the “calories burned” data to mean anything it meant I had to log my food.

So that took a lot of time. It was also extremely boring. It also had me focussed on my “goal” which actually in the scheme of existence and happiness had little meaning. It turned a good idea about being aware of activity levels so you don’t lie on the couch all day into a tedious exercise of data collection and anxiety about reaching arbitrary goals.

So I sold it on eBay. It irritated my wrist anyway.

I felt so relieved when it was gone “I am free!”

I tried it and it did not suit me.

I know that part of me is looking a for a quick solution to life “Tell me exactly how I should be living and exactly what I should be doing and that my bum looks awesome and I will give you a financial consideration and control of my life” but it doesn’t work.

We seem to be losing the ability to rust ourselves to listen to what it is our own minds and bodies are telling us. Is it easier to have a book written by someone you have never met or feedback from anonymous tech tell you what to do, than it is to learn to trust your own reactions?

Maybe.

Maybe we are all too scared to follow our inner voices because they can be wrong. They tell us to be scared of things that aren’t scary or to do something completely at odds to where we want to go.

I say it’s time to start listening to ourselves more. In doing this we can identify where our cognitive distortions lie. Something makes you feel bad? Analyse why that is. Is it reasonable? Is it something most people would feel in the situation? Do you think it is based in reality?

I have had a lot of distorted thinking in my time.

Hiding under the bed, hyperventilating, can’t go into my own bank or I will throw up sort of distorted thinking. People will reject me because my thighs are too fat and I say stupid things too often thinking.

We need to face this sort of thinking head on. Face our catastrophisations and break them down. Remove their powers.

Once we start doing this we can start to see ourselves more clearly, find our trust and move away from a stranger’s rules and automated technology dictating our movements.

We don’t need wearable technology and food rules.

We need to learn to trust ourselves.

Let’s begin.

2 comments

  1. Tegan Churchill says:

    I think it’s also about finding what works for you, because it’s not going to be the same for everyone. I have an activity tracker and I also log my food in an app. It works for me, because it shows me in black and white where I can improve. It doesn’t work for everyone though. I also think that being in different health groups has taught me that it’s definitely not a one size fits all kind of thing, as I am sure you are aware. So I think that if people need something to guide them through the steps to being healthy, and they need a device to make them move more…well then that’s up to them. How is hurting us if that is the way they do it?

    • Jessie says:

      Absolutely, but that would be part of learning to trust yourself. I become anxious about statistics if I am logging everything whereas someone else may find out that logging things helps keep them on track. I see people becoming anxious because the activity tracker says they are having a disturbed sleep or beating themselves up because they haven’t hit an arbitrary goal when being unhealthy isn’t actually a problem for them. If having a tracker works for you then that is part of learning to trust yourself and finding what works for you too. it is when people let tech or strangers dictate rules that don’t fit for them that I see a problem- not meaning to attack them generally.

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