What Taking a Break From My Fitness Watch Taught Me

Fitness trackers are something I’ve wanted to address for a while now. It’s been on my mind and after taking a break from my fitness watch over Christmas break while I was in Hawaii I knew it was the perfect time to write about it. I’m not going to lie, I LOVE my Polar A360, but fitness trackers are such a complex issue for me.

I was always very opposed to them (as were my parents), especially when I was in the worst of my negative relationship with food and fitness, because I knew it would only make everything worse. At that point in my life I would have continuously obsessed over the number – the number of steps, of calories burned, of minutes I had trained for … you get the picture. When my mind wasn’t in a healthy spot, this watch would have controlled my life.

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But, over the summer, when I finally committed to getting better and getting healthier (both physically and mentally), I realized how useful a tracking watch would be. The sports nutritionist I was seeing at the time also suggested one, and after talking with my parents, they too realized how helpful it would be to have an accurate picture of how much I was truly burning so I knew how much I needed to eat to get back to a healthy weight.

This watch was seriously a life saver. I finally got the reality check I needed – I was burning WAY too many calories and taking in WAY too little. Slowly but surely I not only repaired my body, but also my mind, and I can truly say I’m the healthiest in both aspects than I have been my entire life.

My watch never seemed to create an issue for me – it helps me track how far I’m running and it helps me gauge how hard I’m pushing my body during my lifts.

I never thought I was falling into the number trap, but after accidentally ‘pausing’ my lift on my watch one day at the gym and getting way more upset than was necessary over the fact that my lift wasn’t recorded, I realized I may still be focusing too closely on the numbers, rather than how my workouts were making my body feel. With that realization in mind I decided to take a break from it during vacation (except for when my dad and I ran so I knew how far we were running so we didn’t over-do it lol).

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And let me tell ya, it was so freeing. During that week, as I discussed in my travel workout post, I was doing HITT and bodyweight workouts, and just listening to my body during those workouts was amazing. I thought I would miss my watch, and although it was weird because I’m used to wearing it 24/7, it was honestly so nice to just do my thang without numbers defining my workout.

Let me reiterate – numbers do not define your workout. We live in a world where too many people think numbers are a direct correlation to health, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Sure, there are healthy weights to be at, healthy amounts of protein to eat, healthy amounts of cardio to do per week, but our health shouldn’t be defined by those things.

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Do you have fun during your workouts? Do you love your body? Do you feel strong while you’re lifting? Do you feel like you had a good workout? Did your run leaving your feeling high on life?

THESE are the questions we should be asking ourselves and I’m so happy I finally learned that. :)  Ever since Christmas break I’ve been focusing more on how my workouts make me feel, rather than what my watch tells me.

Technology rocks, but listen to your body always – it’s smarter than you think. :)

XO nat