I Stopped Wearing My Smartwatch

For almost 4 years, I have worn my Apple Watch every day. I've gotten satisfaction from closing my rings, getting in my steps, overachieving on my calorie burn, competing with others, and being fully connected to every text, call, and email. I've had enough. For the first time in 4 years, I chose to not wear it for over a week. In fact, I went on vacation and left it in my nightstand drawer. Guess what? I didn't miss it at all. In fact, since coming back from vacation, I've only worn it a handful of times.

I haven't delved into my Nutrition Response Testing journey yet (it's coming), but I will share one thing with you because it was a big part of my decision to limit my watch wearing. During my test, we discovered I have nickel toxicity in my body. I've never had a nickel allergy, but the buildup has caused my body has started to respond in some not so great ways. Now, I am NOT saying I have it because of my watch. Nickel is in so many things. Our phones, bathroom faucets, jewelry, kitchen appliances, etc. I'm dedicating a post just to this, so I will save the rest of my experience with you soon, including what I'm doing to detox.

With that knowledge and my on-going self work of trying to be present in my family time and less stressed, it was a pretty decision to ditch my watch for a week. But, there was that small nagging feeling that I wasn't sure how many steps I had, or how many calories I was really burning during a workout. I think we can get into a mindset that if we don't track a workout, it doesn't count. Or, we're not doing enough. And, that is SO not true. When I lost 40 pounds, all I had was my Garmin. It tracked mileage and calories. It also had a heart monitor so it was simple, but accurate. I loved that thing. I didn't track every single workout. I didn't worry about having it on all day - only during runs and cycling. Now, it's become second habit to put my watch on every morning as I get out of bed. Some people even sleep with them on!

In the 2 weeks since my watch detox, I have noticed I'm more present in what I'm doing in the moment and my anxiety over my own workouts has decreased. It's nice to go out for a walk just for the sake of getting exercise and enjoying the beauty. It's freeing to have my day uninterrupted every few minutes with alerts. I've only used my watch for teaching (to control my music) and for some client sessions. Otherwise, it's been in a drawer.

Will I go back to wearing it every day? Maybe. Maybe not. For now, I am enjoying a new found freedom from technology. One I imposed on myself and one that I have control over to reapply in my life. Technology is wonderful, but we all can benefit from taking a step back and assessing how much time is consumed by it ad how it may possibly be affecting our mental and physical health. You can do your own research about other potential health risks, but the main thing is to do your due diligence to yourself and stay informed. Do what feels right for your body and mind.

How does this apply if you are trying to track calorie burn/mileage/etc? Get a simple pedometer to track steps, FitBit, or a great heart monitor watch to track calories and use it for your workouts. Otherwise, maybe you'll enjoy a tech break of your own!


patty lauren


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