My Fitness Tracker Is Messing With My Head

My Fitness Tracker Is Messing With My Head

I used to have a great relationship with my fitness tracker – see blog titled “My fitness tracker is messing with my family”. Thanks to it, I managed to shame my kids and husband into doing more work around the house, while I lazed on the sofa. If my device was capable of love, it was totally reciprocal.

Unfortunately, it looks like the honeymoon phase is over. I am sad to report that lately, our relationship is not doing so great. I’d say, we are almost at breaking point. And by that I mean, I am going to rent myself a nice Zamboni, and roll over the little shit.

Maybe I should have known better than to ask its help managing my weight, given that it is completely useless at managing my sleep. But what can I say? I was blinded by love, and trusted my sweet little device, blissfully unaware of the monster that lied within. *Note to self: do not trust electronics to be mindful of your emotions. Artificial Intelligence has not reached the stage where it can handle women in general, menopausal ones in particular. Will it ever? - end of note to self*

What happened was, the app had been teasing me for months with its not so subtle messages “Log your weight in!”,  “Manage your weight here!”. And I fell for it.

What a f*cking disaster this turned out to be.

I entered my weight, as honestly as one can, using the universal methodology known to all menopausal women:

  1. I tiptoed on the scale, because I read somewhere that if you treat a scale gently, it might reward you with good news – that didn’t work.
  2. I stared at the horrifically high number, got off, and on again. Surely, it couldn’t be true . . .
  3. I grabbed my glasses to double check
  4. I took them off immediately so as not to add any more weight
  5. I adjusted down the number for clothes (-4 lbs), inaccuracies (there is no way that scale was telling the truth, so let’s minus another 3lbs), and as I felt really optimistic, I took off another 2 lbs.
I logged the result of this complicated, yet faultless calculation as my starting point.

 

Then, the tracker asked me to enter my goal. So I went through the exact same process: I took my former weight, from before I became a balloon, added 4lbs for clothes, 3 lbs for inaccuracies, and 1lb for the heck of it, and logged that in. All of a sudden, it didn’t look so bad. I only had 9 lbs to lose, in order to reach my “adjusted” goal.

Then, my device pretended to be my friend. What a sneaky little f*cker! Instead of displaying 9lbs to lose, the app showed 8.9lbs, which is basically 8lbs, so hurrah! I hadn’t even started yet but was already on my way to awesomeness.

That’s where the friendly relationship ended. . .

Before I go any further, let me explain the rules of menopause weight loss, which are different from any logic known to regular humans. If you are not in menopause, it won't make sense to you, but I assure you, it works. 

In menopause, when you lose anything between 0.01lb, and 0.4lbs, it gets rounded as a 1lb loss.

If you lose more than 0.4lbs, it gets very close to 0.5lbs, which is basically 1lb. BUT, because 0.4lb is the same as 1lb (see above), and 0.5 is way more than 0.4lbs (duh!), anything between 0.5 and 1lb loss should really be labeled as a 2lb loss. That's how it works. I didn’t make the rules. . .

Finally, for thoroughness’s sake, if you end up gaining weight while trying to lose some, you don’t need to count it. You just ignore it, and pretend you are still at the same weight. Whatever you do, do not go and revise your current weight to a higher number. What are you? Crazy?! Trust me, there are things that your tracker does not need to know.

Now that I have clarified the very complex algorithm behind menopause weight loss calculation, we can get back to the story of how much of an asshole this little device can be.

Without going into the details of how many ice creams are necessary for daily survival, let’s just say that my attempts at losing weight were not really successful, so it took a while. But eventually, after sheer exhaustion, the scale decided to reward my “effort” (stepping on a scale five times a day must burn some calories, right?) and gave me a slight nod in the right direction. Yay! Finally, I had shifted 1lb – ie 0.2 lbs, but that’s not the point. I immediately put my tracker back on – I took it off for the weighing, you have no idea how heavy that thing is – and logged my new weight, with the pride that no mom watching their kindergartner step on stage at the holiday show to sing out of tune could ever match. YES! I had done it! I had lost some weight!

You would think that if there are any women working at the companies who make awful devices to call you out on your weight 24/7, they would have designed a reward program, you would receive a congratulation email, your device screen would be overtaken with confetti. At the very least, you would get a bottle of their finest champagne in the mail. But no. None of that. Instead, the tracker went “You still have 7.9lbs to go” 

I couldn’t deal with this nonsense, so I deleted the app, put the device in a drawer, and went for a glass of wine, and more ice cream. It took me weeks to get over this affront. Eventually, I recovered, and started to wonder: what happens when if one eventually reaches their weight goal? Do you then get the confetti, the hurrahs, the champagne?  So I reloaded the app, and there it was, staring me in the face “you still have 7.9 lbs to lose”. That’s the problem with electronic lovers, they don’t forget! I went in and logged my new weight, 7.9 lbs lower, so it would be the same as my goal. Some call it cheating, I call it “an eye for an eye”. I waited for the congratulation phone call, the recording of cheers, Something nice, anything. But guess what happens when you reach your weight goal on your fitness tracker? It tells you “Goal achieved. Set a new goal”

So I got my hammer. What else was there left to do?

Nadege

 PS: In all seriousness, I really have a fitness tracker and absolutely love it! It has motivated me to move more and make better choices. But that doesn’t make for a fun blog! Although FYI, when you eventually reach your weight goal, it does tell you to set a new one. For real!