After a recent trip to the doctor and stepping on a scale after avoiding it for a LONG time, I decided that I needed to make some changes. To be honest, I was not really looking forward to drinking lemon and cayenne pepper water or snacking on some yummy Styrofoam popcorn chips.   Seriously?  Who has time to weigh every single bit of food before a meal?

The mere mention of the word “diet” made me cringe. It felt as if I spent most of my life battling the scale.  I remember in the 90’s when the supermodel “waif” craze was in full swing and I actually thought I could get my 5 foot 8-inch frame down to a Kate Moss size of negative 1.  The best I could do was a 6.  I can tell you I will probably NEVER see that size again.

If I was going to undertake this massive task, then I was going to need all of the help that I could get. Since there is an app for everything, I decided to download a fitness app on to my phone.  How hard could it be?  I would just plug in my meals on a daily basis and the app would calculate calories and I could also log athletic activities as well.  What a win-win situation! 

Some of you out there might be wondering why I didn’t purchase a Fitbit.   Well, there is a very good reason for that. While I will agree, the Fitbit is lightweight and doubles as a watch in theory it sounds terrific.  However, I bought my husband 2 of them and after 90 days they ceased to function.  It was almost as if they had a built in “kill-switch” or something. Of course, trying to return them or get any kind of customer service to correct the problem is a mass undertaking that involves several time zones, a 24-hour flight and a whole lot of swearing on my part.  It just isn’t worth it.

The fitness app is way more convenient.  I installed the app, looked around at all the bells and whistles and was thoroughly impressed.  It had charts where I could see my progress, helpful articles with tons of advice on how to get washboard abs, thighs of steel and a booty that Beyoncé would drool over. Armed with these tools, I felt like I could kick some serious ass!

In order for any weight loss regimen to be successful, you have to be dedicated to accounting for EVERYTHING.  You have to log what you eat for every meal along with any cardio that you may have done throughout the day. Shortly after I started using the app on a regular basis I began to notice that the app was actually judging me!  Yes, you read that correctly. Now I know it is just a piece of software but it definitely let me know when it disapproved of my actions.

One day, it didn’t like what I had for breakfast so it screamed at me.  It told me that I needed more fiber. Really? A cup of oatmeal with fruit is not enough?  What do you want me to do, app?  Should I eat some tree bark or something? The fun was just beginning.

Not only was I having to get used to documenting every morsel of food in my world but I also had to make sure that I was burning the appropriate number of calories as well.  I understand the logic behind it.  However, if I am not on a treadmill every second of the day, or jumping about like a coke fiend, then my app will holler at me that I am FALLING BEHIND!  Falling behind what, app?  Am I training for the Olympics all of a sudden? I’m doing the best I can.  I am moving.  What more do you want? I have to be Usain Bolt now?

I am human.  I am going to make mistakes.  I am going to lack judgment at times.  My fitness app/wench is not so forgiving. This past week I decided to ease up a bit on the calories and just enjoy a meal.  Because I am superbly “trained,” I documented what I ate.  Holy amazing shitballs, Batman!  You would have thought that the world was coming to an end!  Everywhere I looked, all I could see was blinking red! This was accompanied with the following warning. “NOT ON TARGET! YOU COULD EXERCISE MORE BY 200 CALORIES!”

Terrific!  It’s 9 PM.  I guess I could find a 24-hour gym to do a quick hell on wheels spin class.  Who am I kidding?  It’s 9 o’clock at night and I would much rather watch a movie then get all sweaty and gross.  Is it possible to break up with an Android phone? 

I hate to admit it but because the fitness app holds me accountable for my actions, good, bad, or indifferent, I am compelled to be active. Despite the fact that I feel as if I am being cross trained by Arnold Schwarzenegger, I feel better about myself and I am able to enjoy activities without feeling winded.  So at least for now, I will remain joined at the hip with this relentless fitness app of mine.

Published by Susan Leighton Woman on the Ledge