I'm not using fitness apps anymore. Here's why.
When I was at my lowest point — in size and in spirit — I was a numbers addict. I tracked every calorie burned and every calorie consumed. This was before all the fitness apps that do that for you, so it was even more of a chore.
I had a little notepad I kept with me at all times. That notepad was my world. If I ate more than 500 calories, my day was ruined. But truthfully, even if I met my ridiculous "goal" for the day, my day was already ruined. Numbers ruled my life. (Which is kind of ironic because I'm a writer and now my world is words.)
When I was recovering, I had to stop all the numbers. It was an addiction, and it was difficult. Really difficult. Long story short, I did it. I found my happy.
Years later, I was able to start tracking again with a healthier mind and the help of the app world. I regularly use MyFitnessPal, Gympact and my FitBit. (Side note: What do these fitness apps have against spaces? I'm sure their biceps are strong enough to reach for that space bar.)
I often take breaks from tracking my calories with MyFitnessPal. If I find myself consulting the app several times throughout my day and it's impeding my ability to be present in life, I take a break until I have a healthy mindset again.
So I'm now at one of those points when I need to take a break, but this time is a little bit different.
Lately I've been really interested in the yoga off the mat — having that unity of mind, body and spirit all the time, not just in the yoga studio... taking that peace with me everywhere I go.
But those darn apps and numbers are getting in my way.
This morning, for example...
I woke up and did some easy yoga twists and meditation, a new routine I'm trying out to start my day mindfully. It went well. I felt awake, refreshed, peaceful and ready to start my day with intention.
Then I got on my phone and started logging my food for the day.
It felt all wrong. How can I live in the present and truly listen to my body if these apps are determining what I'm doing with and putting in it?
So I'm taking a break from all of it. I'm removing MyFitnessPal from my phone, pausing my Gympact account and retiring my FitBit to a drawer.
I'm not certain whether or not this is permanent, but it's what I need right now. It just doesn't make sense with my goals. My goals have nothing to do with numbers. Numbers of calories, numbers of steps, numbers on the scale... the only number they have to do with my goals is ZERO. (I'll follow up with a quick post about my goals.)
I don't want to be my body's dictator. I want to be in a truly loving relationship with my body. And any marriage counselor would tell us that a loving relationship isn't one-sided. It's about communication; a give and take. That requires listening, not just telling.
So I'm listening. I'm listening, I'm enjoying, I'm taking it moment by moment and I'm letting those numbers go.
I'll keep you posted on how this goes. It is entirely possible that I won't find this non-number life peaceful. Or maybe I will. Either way, the experiment is worthwhile. Stay tuned!