I got my first fitness watch when my baby was going through a particularly heinous sleep regression. I bought it to track my sleep and see if the situation was as dire as it felt. It was. The data showed I was getting just an hour or two of sleep each night. Clearly I needed to start taking my own bedtime a little more seriously. Sporting one of these devices hasn't come without some judgment, though. As a result, there are some things moms who wear fitness watches want you to know, myself included.
My latest tracker is really quite beautiful, if I do say so myself, and looks more like a piece of jewelry than a fitness watch. I've gone through a few models up to this point, from my first tracker, which only measured steps, to the one I have now, which offers guided meditations and even tracks my periods and ovulation. Now that I've been wearing a fitness watch fora significant amount of time, however, I've noticed people tend to want to ask questions about these pieces of wearable technology. Maybe it's because they're a fairly new invention, maybe it's because they are just cute, and maybe it's because, as a society, we tend to harbor some preconceived notions about people who wear fitness trackers and the like.
Either way and for whatever reason, I know my fitness watch is pretty and unusual and bound to invite a few questions or unsolicited comments. That's why moms like me, who wear these bad boys on the regular, would like you to know a few things:
It's Not About Losing The "Baby Weight"
Unfortunately, when you're pregnant it seems like complete strangers, and even family members and friends, think your changing body is a suitable topic of conversation. Then, once you have the baby, there's this ridiculous obsession places on new mothers to "get their body back," as though you've lost it or it has been abducted by aliens.
My tracker gives me information about my fitness and my daily activity, but this information isn't important to me because I'm obsessed with "losing the baby weight." I did that a while ago, when I gave birth to my baby.
It's Not An Invitation To Talk About Our Bodies
When people see someone making healthy changes — whether it's exercising, eating nutritious food, or using a fitness watch to track whatever they want and/or need to track — they seem to think it's an open season to offer their opinions.
It's not, so please don't.
It's Not A Request To Start Counting Calories
More often than not it feels like we live in an "all or nothing" society. However, making small steps towards fitness and wellness is a sensible goal. Sometimes I go for a run, only to enjoy a nice piece of chocolate cake later in the evening. What can I say? I'm versatile like that.
So, please, remember that wearing a fitness watch isn't an excuse for you to micromanage someone else's food intake. In fact, that's a thing you really shouldn't be doing, ever.
It's Not A Request To Hear About The Latest Diet
Likewise, I really don't need to hear about every diet, shake, and cleanse out there. I am not on a mission to re-haul my entire being, I just like having information about my daily activity.
It Does Make Us A Little Obsessive
I have to admit that having all this information at my fingertips does make me a little obsessive. I mean, on one tiny little screen I can see my monthly cycle, my sleep patterns, my activity, and even my stress levels. It's so cool. Overwhelming, at times, but still cool.
It Can Be Another Reason We Lose Sleep
My sleep deprivation is mostly child induced. However, now that I'm also an activity tracker devotee, sometimes it's my device that keeps me up at night. Whether it's digging in my side (it can be tricky to find a comfortable spot to sleep in) or I'm over-thinking the reasons why I'm not getting the "right" amount of sleep, there have been nights when it's the watch, and not my kid, that keeps me awake. Oh, the irony.
It Means We're Informed
Yes, I'm that annoying person on a run that says, "No, we didn't hit three miles yet. We have to keep going." I'm also the person who lovingly informs her partner that she was up seven times last night (and I have the data to prove it) so it's his turn.
You see, I have all the information. [Insert evil laugh here.]
It Might Be The Reason We Overshare
Having all this personal information about fertility, stress levels, sleep, and my daily activity, means sometimes I don't think about the audience before I share information. For that, dear friends, I apologize. I am just so enthusiastic about the way technology manages to actually improve our lives and our health. After trying out four fitness watches and activity trackers I am becoming quite the expert.
So go ahead and ask me about them, just don't count my calories and don't get in between me and my chocolate, OK?