This is unlikely to come as a surprise to anyone that’s been following my blog since it started but I miss my Apple Watch. The poor little thing is unwell currently and since Sunday afternoon has been with Apple to be repaired.
In some ways it was a good thing that this happened because its presence definitely dictates my behaviour.
On Monday I really needed to recover from my epic 17 mile walk instead of gallivanting all over the place. The soles of both my feet ended up with quite large blisters on Sunday and although I’m a big boy and can deal with the discomfort neither of them have been pleasant to move about on.
Despite this Apple Watch was noticeably present in my mindset yesterday – and I found myself turning to the blank space on my wrist to check what I’d done (or more importantly NOT done) with the day multiple times.
I have to say that (rather worryingly) part of me feels like I’m on holiday – and that because I’m not being continually monitored I can relax a bit more than usual.
Although I’ve always known that it helped motivate me I’m not entirely sure that I realised how much it was actually driving me.
Rather than it doing this by shocking me when I’m bad or pushing pins into me if I haven’t moved enough, this is mostly because it panders to the habitual and slightly OCD side of my personality. I tend to get a bit obsessed with ‘neatness’ in statistics, or achievement scores in things like video games.
Currently it’s driving me slightly insane that my stats for this month are completely ruined (I have a cavernous visual gap opening up in this month’s data) and my achievement for a perfect July is now toast.
When I’m working towards something outwardly innocuous (such as filling my activity rings for the day) I’m absolutely focused on not failing – and until yesterday I had a continuous 183 day streak where I’d exceeded all of my move goals.
In the great scheme of things it’s just a number on a device that no one but me can see (unless I share it) but it still means something.
I’m not entirely sure of the psychology behind this particular obsession – but it does from time to time make me think about what would have really happened with my slimming efforts if I’d never have owned one.
I’d like to think that I’d still have been very focused on the diet side of things (I can be equally obsessive about what I eat and what it contains) but that the exercise that I stared back in June/July 2016 may have been little more than a passing phase.
I say this mostly because that’s what happened 10 years ago. Bit by bit my interest in activity (and meal replacements on the Cambridge Diet) waned and I went back to more sedentary habits as I piled the weight back on.
At the very least this time around it might have been something that I did occasionally rather than with daily regularity and with a view towards continual improvement.
I know for instance that before the focus on exercise that Apple Watch enabled my diabetes didn’t change much at all. When I stopped drinking it remained largely unchanged. When I changed my diet the numbers were still high, and when I slowly started to lose weight it didn’t move much either.
However as my exercise grew in intensity and I started to regularly do at least 30 minutes a day – that was when I saw everything change.
I read with interest today (link) that Apple have been trialling blood sugar monitoring wearables that are related to the Watch and are non invasive (i.e. Not sub dermal and with no blood testing). For many people suffering with this awful condition – and those wanting to avoid future problems something like this could be a game changer.
Imagine watching in real time on your wrist what happens if you eat or drink crappy food! What a motivator to be virtuous that would be!
I’m sold on virtue either way. Today (to make sure I don’t lose focus) even though my feet hurt I’ve done a 5 mile walk to the shops and back.
It’s not quite the same though…
It’s nice because I can stop and look at things without having to pause a workout – but (bizarrely) I feel like I should know my heart rate and how my cardio stats for the day are progressing!
I guess I have to be patient.
I have a several friends who’ve suffered with operations and injuries recently – and all of them (big hugs) have been driven slightly nuts (and suffered with feeling down) because they can’t exercise.
When I spoke to one in particular about this we laughed about how different things are these days. A couple of years ago I remained completely perplexed by her continual quest to tone up a bit more or run a little faster all the time.
She was already fit – so what was the point? It all seemed like a complete waste of time. Why didn’t she watch a Sopranos box set, like me?
Now I totally get it.
Furthermore I’m now the same. I need the movement and I feel that if I stop for too long then somehow I’m failing at life. My mood dips almost immediately and I feel sluggish after only a day or two.
Today though I’m just taking my time as my feet heal up and my little friend gets repaired. It’s kind of nice just to walk without an objective or to grind away at steps and miles.
There will be plenty of time for that in the future. Today internet I’m just going to enjoy the scenery.