As I shovelled the last Oranberry Roses chocolate into my mouth I knew it was time for a change (FYI Oranberry is a unique Roses flavour I’ve developed by mashing the Strawberry and Orange creams together, in many ways it’s the speedballing of the chocolate world).

The change came in the form of a fitness tracker, I’ve opted for the Jawbone up3. It measures steps, heart rate, sleep and also counts the amount of times you say ‘oh this, it’s a fitness tracker, because I’m such an active go-getter’.

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I’ve been living with it for a month now and this is what I’ve discovered.

ONE: Mother me (in a non-creepy way)

The band itself does the step counting and heart monitoring and that’s displayed on the accompanying app. There’s a nice little feature called ‘Smart Coach’ that essentially is the mother you’ve missed since you moved out of home and realised you’re still not a fully functioning adult. It gave me a bollocking for not drinking enough water (it told me to aim for 8 glasses at the start of the day, I managed 6). Then I got a very stern telling off one morning, because I’d missed my bedtime BY 1 MINUTE the night before. I half expected a Julie Andrews type figure dressed in fully Mary Poppins regalia to jump from my phone and give me ten lashings before consoling me and telling me that I was forgiven.

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Still there was some interesting science behind another late bedtime

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TWO: Stockholm Syndrome

With the ‘Smart Coach’ feature I found myself enslaved to an overlord who I was desperate to please, I would get sweaty and uncomfortable when I saw that at 8pm I had only completed 30% of my stepping goal for that day, prompting a walk in the pitch black to top up the numbers.

‘Oh no Smart Coach, I’m not just walking round to ‘up’ my steps, I needed some milk from the shop, and I don’t like to go to the one round the corner, it has a bad vibe, I’ll go to the one 2 miles away…..’.

I found myself looking forward to a run, not because it was healthy or would help burn off my alarming post-Christmas pasta intake, but because IT WOULD MAKE SMART COACH HAPPY. I’d completely fallen into some weird fitness Stockholm Syndrome only 3 weeks in. (God I love you, Smart Coach, never leave me).

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strong>Three: Food Shame

The other nice feature on the app is being able to manually enter what you’ve eaten that day to give an estimate of calories burnt and eaten. There’s stock foods listed as well as a bar code scanner and menus from various places like Starbucks, EAT, Ask, Costa and more (via Foursquare). You are essentially shamed into eating well, and let me tell you there’s nothing like the shame of realising you haven’t had lunch yet and you’ve already exceeded your Sat Fat RDA.

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Christ, sorry Smart Coach

All in all it’s actually made a difference, somewhere between all the shame, Stockholm Syndrome and mothering, I’ve become healthier. It’s a triple threat effect, and if like me you have no will power with an addiction to the worst food groups, THIS IS FOR YOU.

I’m off to buy roses for Smart Coach, the flowers NOT the chocolate….she wouldn’t approve.

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