All of my actions are currently being monitored. Not like Big Brother or a Lindsay-Lohan-court-mandated-ankle-bracelet type of way, but in methods of my own choosing.
On my wrist, my Fitbit keeps track of how many steps I take per day as well as how many minutes I am ‘active.’ It tells me if I slept soundly or tossed and turned all night, and during which hours. My Lumo Lift, clipped to my bra, watches my posture; it vibrates an alert to remind me to straighten up if I slouch for more than 2 minutes. When I eat something or work out, I enter it into MyFitnessPal to calculate calories in and calories out.
I am flooded with data about myself. I am swan-diving into stats like Scrooge McDuck swimming in his piles of money. My daily movements are compiled, tabulated, and translated into brightly colored pie graphs I view on my iPhone. I can challenge other friends with step monitors to contests where I attempt to out-step them in a predetermined period of time. My Lumo Lift can tell when I’m walking with a strong sense of purpose and confident demeanor, or when I’m curled up on the couch crying over Pit Bulls & Parolees. My phone knows exactly how many times I’ve eaten pizza this week.
I do all of this to “keep myself accountable,” to “get back on track.” I’ve attempted similar plans before. A few years back, I deleted a calorie counter app from my phone when it didn’t know what Jägermeister was. But now, I am older, wiser, healthier. And I can prove it to you on my phone.
Tracking all of this data may sound tiring, and let me tell you–it sure is. I’m constantly on my phone, checking how many steps I squeezed out of that walk with the dog, or seeing if a yoga class will earn me back a fun-size KitKat. Also, I. Have. So. Many. Chargers. But before this dissuades you from buying a rubber wristband of your own, I have to tell you that it’s also kinda fun, and really interesting. I do find myself more motivated to move around; just last night, I volunteered to buy tacos for dinner because I’d get 4 more blocks of steps in. I find myself standing up straighter, which undoubtedly makes my grandma happy. Sometimes, I even rethink that tupperware of chili mac in the fridge and throw together a spinach salad for dinner instead.
I don’t have a weight goal or anything like that; instead, I’m going for balance. Work hard, play hard. Now I must be off; the weekend’s just a few days away so I’m going to go figure out how much elliptical machine equals a bottle of red wine.