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As someone who's lost over 250 pounds through healthy eating and exercise, I'm thrilled to wear a smartwatch that not only tracks my steps and exercises, but also reminds me to get up from my desk. from time to time. Spend time on breathing exercises. Unfortunately, as someone who gets bored easily with food, I've learned over the years that I can worry about hitting calorie and exercise goals set by my smartwatch. Not so long ago I was doing things not for my health, but for watch recognition. If the watch says I haven't reached my sleep goal, I will go up and down the stairs until my watch confirms it.
While humorous versions of this scenario are played out in various forms of entertainment, the potential problem is very real for people (like me) who aren't safe enough to eat or even exercise. I forgot that this technology, while probably well-meaning, could be flawed.
For example, the exercise reminder comes at the same time every day, five minutes after waking up in the morning. After almost two minutes, I get a note to think about. I soon realized that the "helpful" reminders on the watch weren't random. they came every day at the same time and were more annoying than encouraging. Am I allowed to brush my teeth and go to the toilet before going to work in the morning? Or do you have to work different hours on different days? Or they don't work for a few days? Why does my smartwatch tell me to go to the gym a few minutes after I wake up?
We can attribute this potentially dangerous technology to programming. I'm surprised the makers of these watches and devices haven't spent more time programming with more random patterns. But these devices have other troubling aspects, including an "activity calorie burn" counter that sets the user's numerical "goals." Before I knew it, I was being encouraged to reach my daily goal of burning 950 "moving calories" (as opposed to burning "regular calories").
Not only is this unhealthy, but it also encourages a constant need for self-doubt. For some, this may not be a problem. But for people with eating and self-esteem issues that I've struggled with all my life (I started gaining weight my freshman year and was over 450 pounds by the time I graduated from college), "enthusiasm" can be very healthy and can motivate a person. a new. Health problems. Eat a lot, exercise a lot.
Of course, there are those who wear and use these devices without feeling guilty, or who go to harmful extremes to achieve unrealistic goals. But for those of us who have worked hard to love ourselves, regardless of our size or how much we exercise daily, this kind of inert shame can be harmful. Not to mention that these devices are extremely inaccurate, wildly inconsistent and often provide false information that we can misinterpret as the wearer is not wearing well enough.
Some different and practical ways of motivating us include wanting to know the pets or children in our lives, paying attention to how our clothes fit us, not making noise when walking up the stairs, and liking ourselves when we look at ourselves in the mirror. We are more likely to change than worry about where we are today. No smartwatch or wearable can tell us. It's something we all have. It comes from within us.
Variety is the spice of life. While eating healthy and doing something quite fun is a great way to live for everyone, we should do it for the love of life and health, not because we want to please the shame machine attached to our wrists. Our feelings can be a real indicator of whether we are living our best life. In other words, we don't need approval from anyone or anything other than ourselves.