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The Tyranny of the Fit-Bit

My Fit-Bit is a tyrant. There. I’ve said it. I’ve needed to get that off my chest for awhile now and it feels good to finally get it out.

I’ve used Fit-Bits for about ten or so years, and for the most part, they are pretty motivating. Especially when I changed to a more sedentary career, I did learn to appreciate the little reminder that it gives me to get up and walk.

Recently, though, I realized how consumed I have become with my Fit-Bit app and all the other wellness apps that feed into it. For example, I have another app to log work-outs, and one where I plug in everything I eat and drink for the day.

And frankly, it’s just too much.

I began to feel bound to these apps, almost compulsively worried when I forgot to log a meal or a snack, or if I forgot to charge my Fit-Bit and let the battery run down.

Always counting, always focused on the body- what’s going in, am I exercising efficiently?

So I quit.

That’s right- I quit counting. Everything- calories, macros, steps, workouts, pounds, inches. All of it.

I know that statement probably knocked the wind out of you, so I will stop for a moment and let you catch your breath.

Now, there will be those who read what I’m about to say in a judge-y kind of voice, and it is not meant to be judge-y. I’m sharing my heart here with you- a very fragile, very broken and tender heart. I’m not saying do what I do here. I’m just saying, maybe someone needs to hear that it’s okay to quit counting.

For me, I finally realized that I had become a slave to my flesh. This thing that I am stuck with at this present time that is being worn away by disease, that brings me pain, that slows me down, that weighs me down- I was its slave. Constantly worried- should I go keto? Low-fat? Gluten-free? Vegetarian? Strength training? Cardio? Which supplements should I take? I’m not losing any weight- should I take pills? Every day. Hours of my time devoted to this thing that is (read this part slowly) going to pass away.

What has happened since I stopped counting?

First, I was able to identify that my constant worrying about what I would eat was in direct contrast to what Jesus said we were NOT to do Matthew 6. This worrying had etched its way into my heart in the form of a bad relationship with emotional eating. Since I’ve stopped counting, most of that has stopped, and I am re-establishing my regular practice of fasting and prayer.

Second, I’ve established a regular routine of exercise that is based on the fact that I go to the gym and do the things I like to do- which, by the way, I learned in my pre Fit-Bit days are the things that my body personally responds to the best.

Third, I feel emotionally and spiritually free from this tyranny of always being worried about doing enough. Most of my life I have felt inadequate. These fitness and wellness apps, while good for many people, at the end of the day just made me feel like I hadn’t done enough to take care of myself.

Lastly, I’ve been much more mindful of making my daily steps count in different ways. Being quick to encourage others, being aware of those around me who need a helping hand. Slowing my pace to walk beside someone who needs a friend is so much better for my soul than pounding the street to get in as many miles as possible before the sun sets.

Ultimately, I’ve been reminded that my life is not about numbers. It’s about freedom and righteousness. Being healthy means that I can express that freedom and righteousness effectively so that I can bring glory and honor to God. Being healthy is NOT the goal. The goal is to live an abundant, full life in Jesus.

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