I use to track my calories and weigh myself daily. I felt controlled by the calories I ate. I forced myself to limit my calories because I FEARED eating too much. I weighed myself daily and would get angry if I didn’t lose weight. I stopped doing both of these for about half a year already. I stopped getting caught up with those numbers but eventually, my watch did the same leading me back to the same mindset of depending on numbers. These numbers told me how much I can eat or how much more I needed to exercise.
I use to wear my watch 24/7, except when I showered. It was like my little toy I kept near me. If my watch was charging and I had to go to the restroom, I would wait until it’s done charging so I can track those steps. Sounds stupid and obsessive….I know 🙁 But I’m just admitting how the truth!
I felt accomplished getting those those daily steps in. The more steps, the better. Which is true except when you let those numbers and daily activity percentage control you. I felt dissatisfied very very often. If I was super tired but I was low on activity that day, I would STILL force myself to get up and get moving so I’d “satisfy” my watch.
Why did I decide to take off my fitness tracker?
1. I became obsessive over that calorie burn number during my workouts.
I know it’s not 100% accurate and there’s elevated post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), but I still got way too caught up on that number. I wouldn’t leave the gym or stop working out until I hit around 250-300 calories per workout. This is when I felt that it was a “good” workout because it burned a lot of calories. I decided to take off the fitness tracker because I didn’t want that number to tell me when it was or wasn’t a good workout. I wanted to change this mindset into a healthier one and stay more in tune with my body.
2. I also became obsessive over the number of steps and daily activity.
I always tried to hit around 15,000 step a day. Honestly, the more number of steps I took, the more I allowed myself to have treats and “unhealthy” foods. If I had a lower activity level that day, I would less likely treat myself. If I didn’t hit at least 100% of my daily activity, I felt inadequate. I felt like I didn’t work hard enough and often felt disappointed with myself.
3. It distracted me from listening to my body.
If I was sore or a certain part of my body was in pain, I ignored it during my workout because I needed to get that heart rate up high. Higher heart rate = more calories burned. This was something I noticed was turning into a bad habit because we NEED to listen to our body. We need to care for our bodies.
4. I wasn’t enjoying working out as much as I should be.
Since my watch distracted me from listening to my body and more focused on higher calorie burn, I wasn’t enjoying my workouts as much. After a while, I lacked motivated because I was disappointing my watch… yes, sounds stupid but that’s how I felt. Arm and ab workouts didn’t burn as many calories as legs, so I dreaded those workouts. I tended to be “happiest” on leg days because my watch “told” me I got into high heart rate zones & burned lots of calories from it.
Overall, my mindset was unhealthy and I needed to do something about it ASAP. I knew it would harm me mentally and emotionally if I didn’t make a change. The more I allowed myself to be controlled by a watch, the deeper of a hole I was getting into. I knew this was an unhealthy habit months ago but I feared taking off my watch. “Would I not be exercising enough? Would I not be taking enough steps everyday? Would I be overeating since I don’t know much I worked out today?” These questions bounced around in my brain, but FINALLY I decided to take a big step and take off that watch.
Below is a recap of how I felt everyday!
Tuesday Dec 7:
This was half a day without a fitness tracker because I took it off around 5PM. It was weird not to have something around my left wrist. It felt so empty. I unconsciously lifted up my wrist SO many times. I didn’t even realize how much I checked it until I took it off. Admitting this choice to all of you on Instagram definitely helped me through it. I got many sweet caring messages regarding my choice to take it off! You all are so supportive and I’m so so thankful <3
Wednesday Dec 8:
I woke up and did my typical errands like take out my dog, brush my teeth, cook my breakfast, etc. All untracked steps. I thought of it so many times. Maybe I can estimate the number of steps I took? No, no, no Winnie. This isn’t the point of the challenge! The point is to change my mindset into a healthier way of being active. During my lunch break at work, I went on a run to Whole Foods (~3 miles roundtrip). I would say I checked my wrist about 3-4 times during that run. However, I paid more attention to how my feet were moving, how I was breathing, the scenery around me and just the overall enjoyment of being able to go on a run. There was no watch telling me to stay within a heart rate zone or to work harder to burn more calories. It felt so great! I’m enjoying Day 2 of being watch free. Still difficult to adjust but I know I can do this.
Thursday Dec 9:
DAY 3. I worked from home today so I was up on my feet doing food photography at home. I knew I would’ve gotten in many steps from those hours of just cooking and walking back. I had thoughts of taken steps and how much activity I would’ve accomplished (this is a process to overcome) but it’s just a mindset I need to change. During my workout, I paid attention to my form and how my muscles were contracting rather than a number on my watch. Back when I used my watch and realized my heart rate was too low, I would get internally angry and drag my workout longer to get a higher calorie burn. If my body was sore or I was in slight pain, I didn’t care. I just wanted that high calorie burn & high heart rate. Today, I learned to listen more to my body and what it needs. I STILL challenge my body and push myself out of my comfort zone but now, without a watch to tell me to do it. It’s been sooooooo goood.
Friday Dec 10:
Today was my rest day so I just went on a brisk walk during my lunch break. I listened to music and didn’t feel rushed to get in any specific number of steps. I’m still staying in tune with my body. I admit I did feel a little “worried” since it was my rest day but you know what? If I’m tired, I’ll rest. If I want to get in some steps, I’ll walk for however long I want. I’m still adjusting but it’s been going well!
Saturday Dec 11:
I took a class at Bespoke Cycling Studio in Downtown LA today. Wearing my watch during spin classes was my favorite because my heart rate and calorie burn would always be HIGH. It was satisfying to see those high numbers. However, today was different in a good way! I had to get use to it at first because I did look at my wrist several times. After a while, I was totally just focused on the class. I was focused on my form and the simplicity of being able to workout. I was focused on appreciating how my body was able to get through such an intense workout.
Sun Dec 12:
I took another class today! It was at a studio called SpeedPlay in Beverly Hills. It was a High Intensity Interval Training class on a rooftop, which was gorgeous. I actually wanted to put on my watch but I’m so glad I didn’t! The workout got me sweating like a mad dog!! It was strength training, body-weight training, rowing and running on curved treadmills. There was a bit of everything so it was a great mix. Such a fun way to end the weekend!
Mon Dec 13:
I went on a run to Whole Foods and didn’t look at my wrist once! I enjoyed my run, stopped by some grocery stores and cafes to explore shelves. I still sweated like crazy. I see my perspective slowly shifting to working out in a much healthier way and I’m proud.
Tues Dec 14:
It’s been a whole week since I took off my fitness watch. It started off a bit rough because it took a lot of courage to get over that fear of “not working out enough” and “eating too much”. These 7 days helped me appreciate what my body is capable of. It reminded me that food is meant to be enjoyed. It reminded me that eating treats and “unhealthy foods” are NOT only allowed on days I have good workouts. It’s all about balance. I workout because I cafe for my body, health and being. This week, I reminded myself that I DO find joy in working out. I do find joy when I get in a killer workout that burns tons of calories but I ALSO find joy in a shorter light workout. I’m grateful and blessed. I don’t want to take this for granted. I want to take care of myself. By not wearing the watch on a daily basis anymore, I’m doing myself a favor. It’ll help me continue growing in the most healthy way possible.
What you think or how you think affects you. We may start something to get ourselves with intentions of being healthier but you’ll never know how it may affect other parts of you. Care for yourself! Be aware of your thoughts and how it affects you. If you see any unhealthy habits sprouting, ask yourself where it’s coming from. Then do something about it or else you’ll be digging yourself deeper into a hole.
Whatever it is, you can overcome it! YOU CAN DO IT!! 🙂 <3
Overall, a watch does have many benefits. It’s a great way to keep track of your workouts, see how hard you are pushing yourself & to get yourself moving! I loved it when I first started working out because it allowed me to understand heart rate zones, how many calories certain workouts burn & fat burn percentages. It helped me get more active!
But.. this is how I see it now.
We all have struggles and problems we are unhappy with. We need to take initiation in making better changes, which takes courage. It’s so worth it though! We need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. It helps to share these problems with others because you won’t know who else is dealing with the same thing. We aren’t meant to deal with things ourselves. We need friends and family to walk alongside us in all circumstances. We need support and encouragement!
If any of you need anyone to talk to, feel free to message me or DM me on Instagram. I would LOVE to help out a friend! <3