January 2018
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Do I Look Fat in this Fitbit?

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Tapping into the latest trend, my well-intentioned husband recently bought me one of those omnipotent fitness tracker wristbands. This tracker monitors your every move (literally) with a built-in GPS and loads of features, making it a top-seller that (supposedly) fits every lifestyle.

That is, every lifestyle but mine.

I practically hung my head in ungrateful shame as I returned his gift, because isn’t it the thought that counts? What does this say about me if I returned a gift, not because it didn’t fit or it’s the wrong color, but because I just didn’t like it? What kind of monster am I?

And yet, I’m ready to be branded with a scarlet letter as I returned my fitness tracker that my husband scored at a 20 percent discount, no less! I’m probably the only person in the world who’s jumping off the wearable technology bandwagon.


For starters, I’m just not into exercise. I mean, I occasionally walk and do yoga, but only because I know I should. And I’ve given up trying to master the Dance Off the Inches Hip Hop Party DVD I bought a few years ago, foolishly thinking I could do complex choreography “so simple anyone can do it.” Well, thanks for making me feel like an idiot, girl-with-rock-hard-abs-on-the-DVD-cover. When Fit Blonde Girl instructs her hip-hop wannabees to “pop it,” the only thing that pops (and cracks) is my arthritic hip.

And I do try to incorporate movement into my daily life. I kick butt in word games, throw a fit when my teen mouths off to me, run daily errands, jump to conclusions and dance around uncomfortable conversations. These activities don’t really burn many calories, but, at least I’m not totally sedentary.

But the fitness tracker is a little too Big Brother for me, with my every movement being monitored 24/7. To get the most out of my tracker I need to wear it all the time, even when I’m sleeping, shackling me like an I’m-on-house-arrest ankle bracelet. It just dangles on my wrist all day, recording every arm swing as I walk or reach for another glass of wine. Who needs that judgment all day long?

I feel like I should be wowed by this “wonder product” that is chock full of features that track not only your exercise, but also your sleep patterns, your water consumption, your calories and your heart rate.

High-Tech Features for a Low-Tech Girl

• I don’t need a wristband to monitor my water intake. When I can feel the cotton in my mouth, I know it’s time to take a drink.

• I don’t need anything to tell me I was restless 35 times last night. I looked at the clock 14 times during the night, felt exhausted in the morning and see the dark circles under my eyes. I’m very aware I had a crappy night’s sleep.

• I don’t need a device that’s waterproof up to 10 meters, given my penchant for never going scuba diving.

• I don’t need a fitness monitor to vibrate every hour to tell me I’ve been inactive for too long. When I feel my derriere going numb from sitting at the computer too long, I know it’s time to get moving.

And then there’s the whole guilt factor. On days when I think I’ve been somewhat active I check my wristband only to discover that I racked up an unimpressive 415 steps – and it’s already 3 p.m. This sets off a mini-rage, as I yell at my wrist monitor, “Why are you silently judging me? Who are you to tell me I’m below my goal today?”

On top of all this, I’m always just a few steps behind what’s trending. Case in point – Breaking Bad was three seasons old before I even heard about it. And I just read a fashion article that pantyhose are coming back in, which made me wonder, when were they out? So, it feels a bit premature for me to jump on the fitness tracker bandwagon just yet.

I’m also not what marketing experts would call an “early adopter.” I don’t upgrade my cell phone every year. I have zero desire for a smartwatch. I don’t want a drone. And, after great resistance, I finally forced myself to get on Twitter now that it’s almost 10 years old. I’m always late to the trend party by choice.

Now, if my husband can find me a Witbit to monitor my sarcasm, I’d be all over that. But a Fitbit? Thanks, but I’m good.

Lisa Beach is a freelance journalist and copywriter. Her work has been published in Good Housekeeping, USA Today Back to School, Parents, Edible Orlando and more. LisaBeachWrites.com.

Posted 12:00 am, January 1, 2018
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