“I wanted to see what I weighed, so I used your scale. Hahahahahaha!”
My husband got a scale that talks to the Fitbit. I’m starting to think the Fitbit is more trouble than it’s worth. Then again, it provides me with so much writing material, how could I give it up?
The Fitbit scale tracks weight and body fat and sends loving messages to my phone to let me know when I’ve done well. It’s the kind of scrutiny that I’d divorce my spouse over–or at least withhold sex. The problem is that it’s insensitive in every sense of the word. Rather than sensing that it’s me, because I have my Fitbit with me, it guesses who is standing on it based on weight.
My son is six inches taller and five pounds lighter than me. He has the body fat of a stinkbug. Does it occur to the scale that I couldn’t have lost five pounds in three hours and cut my body fat by 2/3? No, it can’t. So my phone starts buzzing as my Fitbit account begins to send me congratulations.
Congratulations Jeannine! You’ve lost another five pounds! You’ve earned another badge!
Congratulations Jeannine! You’ve lost ten pounds total! You’ve earned another badge!
Congratulations Jeannine! You’ve exceeded your weight loss goals! You’ve earned another badge!
Time to set new weight goals Jeannine!
My husband and my son find this hilarious, because they know how my mind works. I will feel guilty that I haven’t earned these accolades. I will bemoan the five pound gain next time I step on the scale, even though I weigh exactly the same as I did this morning. I’m so grateful that I don’t share data with anyone other than my husband (and the wisdom of that is debatable as well) because that would make my humiliation complete.
I skulk to my computer to delete the latest weight entry, and wonder how their program works. Will the Fitbit take the badges back?
We retract our congratulations, Jeannine.
How could you lie to me, Jeannine?
I’m disappointed in you, Jeannine.
It’s not my fault Fitbit. It’s yours. You’re the one who misidentified the daddy longlegs that is my son for a 48 year-old woman. He is a head with limbs attached. I have boobs, okay? This is not that complicated.
Talk to the hand, Jeannine, the scale ain’t listening. Your Fitbit suggests that you get moving. Apparently, you still have weight to lose.
Luckily, my Fitbit dashboard says nothing, but the badges still sit there, making me feel guilty. It’s like getting something I didn’t buy in my shopping bag. It’s happened before. I took the items back. The customer service at Whole Foods couldn’t figure out why I’d bothered. I’d probably burned more gas than the 3 bars of glycerine soap cost. My decision was not carbon neutral. Something new to feel guilty about.
I will never outgrow my Catholic guilt, any more than I will lose ten pounds. I don’t need to lose ten pounds, but dammit, I will see that unearned badge and feel guilty. My son keeps ribbing me about it, so I tell him that since he’s committed me to losing another five pounds, I won’t buy anything but kale and sparkling water until I get there.
Who’s laughing now sunshine? You want ice with that drink?
Words by J. B. Everett
Photograph by DavidD © 2012 Creative Commons