There’s a kickstarter fund for a new fitness tracker called Rocketbody. It tells you when to eat and workout based on tracking your metabolism. As an intuitive eater, I had a negative and visceral reaction to this.
For one thing, it’s no secret that I dislike tracking. It feels like a type of surveillance under which I do not thrive. See my post about tracking as the panopticon. It’s a topic I’ve revisited a number of times. See here and here and here (for an alternative approach). We also recognize on the blog that there are diverse views about it. “For and against” tracking post here.
It took me a long time to get into the rhythm of intuitive eating (took 27 years to be exact), where I actually sense hunger, respond to it with the food I want in the amount that satisfies me, and get on with my day. It has been the key, for me, to freedom from obsession. That more than anything to do with weight and body image, was a transformative outcome for me, increasing my sense of well-being and my confidence in my ability to make good decisions for myself, and my ability to have a loving relationship with my body.
The very idea of Rocketbody, a fitness tracker that monitors metabolism to tell you when to eat and when to work out, is antithetical to every value I hold dear. In this age of trackers, where monitoring our steps and our activity, tracking our food intake, and deciding in advance when/what/how much we should be eating, I’m often a voice in the wilderness in my call for less (no) surveillance and more self-love.
People are often surprised to discover that I do not use a fitness tracker. Who ever heard of such a public fitness enthusiast who doesn’t wear a thing on her wrist 24/7 to monitor activity and report to her about how well she slept? I’ve taken various forays into tracking and they always end badly. I am in the process of resisting the temptation to enter the corporate step challenge at work — 100 days of counting steps as a member of a team. The first year I signed up without thinking, vowing never to do it again. The second year (last year), I caved after some time, ultimately becoming my team captain. To see how I felt about it that time, read my post “100 days of counting steps is like a marathon, only longer.” This year…not doing it. I already said that at the end of last season. 100 days of step counting just does not work for me, even if it did (I admit) get me to walk further last summer than I otherwise would have.
I know not everyone is of this mind and that for some people, who have adopted tracking as a way of life, the possibility of having a thing tell them when to do things like eat and work out is a welcome way of taking the decision-making factor out of the equation. When it’s the tracker’s decision and not yours, you might be more inclined to do it. I get that, and if that’s your style, go for it.
But this intuitive eater is sticking to her hard won freedom from surveillance and won’t be signing on to the kickstarter campaign for the Rocketbody tracker.
Would that sort of tracking be welcome or unwelcome to you?