I thought I’d write this after I posted a picture on my Facebook account of my dinner last night. It was a bowl of ice cream. Yes, I scream for ice cream too but I thought that through this blog I’d point out something about ‘dieting or non-dieting’ mentality.
This is a screenshot of my Fitbit from yesterday. You’ll see that I haven’t met the targets set…
I haven’t done my 10,000 steps.
I haven’t reached my 10 floors.
I haven’t completed the 8km distance target nor have I supposedly burned the random allocated number of 2,184 calories.
DO I CARE?
NO! NUP! NOPE! GIVE A SH&%!
LET ME TELL YOU WHY?
Firstly, these wearable devices aren’t accurate and I don’t like to rely on this technology to measure my health status. I have strength goals and this can be directly ascertained by me considering how I feel before, during and after exercise. I can also measure this by the ease or difficulty of the movement I’m doing and the feedback my body gives me as well as if I’ve performed more reps or lifted a heavier weight. I really don’t need a Fitbit to tell me that.
Secondly, I don’t buy into the idea that I have to do compensatory exercise or eat less or not at all because I ate ice cream. Compensatory behaviours are grounded in the idea of trying to ‘undo or correct’ something. If this is the kind of behaviour cycle I’m using then this will not give me any quality to life; my thinking will be skewed, it will create stress, the exercise I choose won’t be for fun or enjoyment, the food that I choose to eat (when I do decide to eat) won’t even hit the spot or even be tasty. I won’t even think about the quality of the exercise but rather thrash myself, risking injury and I’ll never reach my desired goals because hey, they’d be realistic, right! Um..NO! NUP! NOPE!
The 10,000 steps a day is an exercise myth. It was first suggested in the 1960s by a Japanese researcher that people would be twice as healthy if they did 10,000 steps a day. His data indicated people were on average doing 3,500 to 5,000 steps a day. This idea has now been picked up by the developers of fitness devices and inbuilt as a feature. These then become a ‘golden’ rule to adhere to. It’s just another rule that is part of the dieting discipline.
Let me be clear in saying that these devices aren’t at all bad but our relationship with them can be harmful.
In the glass half full scenario they’re great for the variety of exercise modes, the features they have and the opt-in workouts you can do. They’re community oriented as you can become part of groups for motivation, inspiration and fun. They do remind you of the behaviours that you should monitor for health reasons, eating well, sleeping well and moving for enjoyment.
In the glass half empty scenario they can consume us because the focus might be on the stats (that aren’t even accurate) and you may try to overachieve more than your body is ready for. They become time consuming if you’re logging in extra information and the device stats become the motivation rather than what you would like to achieve. Once again this is part of the results/progress model I discussed in my Learning to Change Your Eating Habits article. Remember process over progress!
I personally use mine for a variety of reasons but I take it at face value. When I’m not taking it as face value, I’ll have days or even weeks when I don’t bother wearing it. That’s usually because my head space is back in the ‘diet culture’ mentality. It’s not the fault of the device but it’s usually bigger picture stuff in life that I’m dealing with. That’s why I have my breaks to reset my thinking and reconsider the meaningful activities in my life. I’m not immune from the traps of these devices and the culture that surrounds them. I’m just like everyone else.