Fit…bit by bit

Resolutions, resolutions…ah, the dreaded New Year’s resolutions through which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve his or her life.

Every year, my weight-loss, exercise, reading Moby Dick, learning-how-to-blow-glass resolutions pile up like the packing peanuts that cradled many of the Christmas gifts we enjoyed last month. And, just like packing peanuts, my resolutions flutter away at the slightest breeze. It’s a sad truth: my resolutions are as fake as expanded polystyrene foam.

But this year promises to be different. Mostly, because I feel handcuffed to my resolutions. Literally.

Yes, I am now sporting a Fitbit. The ubiquitous slender “bracelet” that knows all, sees all and reports all to the nearest smartphone. Even when I’m not wearing it, I feel like it’s watching me from the kitchen counter, judging my choices, registering the leftover cheesy nachos I’m reheating.

It’s like being in a relationship: you feel like you should be together all the time, and yet, sometimes you just need to be by yourself, and not be reminded to “move, move, move” (the warning it flashes when it feels I’ve been sedentary too long).

Sometimes when I’m wearing the Fitbit, I just want to sit on the couch and move my arm up and down, so it thinks I’m really walking.

The whole thing is very Star Trekish—I’m constantly tapping my wrist to see what time it is, how many steps I’ve taken, how many calories I’ve burned (enough to keep eating nachos, I wonder?)

At first, it felt like the proverbial Jewish mother with its reminders and nudges. These little vibrations that seem to randomly occur and make me feel guilty for not doing whatever it is the Fitbit thinks I should be doing.

Other times, it feels like Big Brother—reporting information to my phone. I can see how this spirals out of control. What if it starts informing on my spending, my trips to the 99 Cent Store, my binge watching of Law and Order SVU? I believe it would even monitor my sleep patterns if I didn’t make it stay in the kitchen overnight.

Sometimes when the Fitbit flashes the “move, move, move” reminder I want to scream at it, “Hey, maybe I’m doing some other well-being-expanding thing like finishing a crossword puzzle or checking memes on Instagram!”

My dad doesn’t like to use the microwave because he is leery of the process that makes it work. Basically radio waves that enter food at a specifically set frequency to agitate water molecules in whatever it is on the turntable—pizza, nachos and even a product that makes single-serving cakes in coffee mugs.

I am starting to feel the same way about my Fitbit. When it tells me I didn’t reach my fitness goal for the day, it gives me an inferiority complex. It thinks it knows everything about me—right down to my pulse rate. But can anything really know you?

If only it would flash “eat, eat, eat” as I near a bowl of mashed potatoes. Then, and only then, would I be able to believe that it truly has my best interests at heart.


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