How Smart is Too Smart?

Do you like tracking devices? I love them. I’ve got a smartwatch that tracks my sleep, my activities, and my step count. All the information is uploaded to an app on my phone so I can check how well I’m sleeping, or how I move on the weekends vs. during the week. I’m in a social group on the app with the people I work with, and I do my best to outperform all of them in terms of activity every day. I guess I should mention here that I’m obnoxiously competitive. The leader of each month gets a prize. We all originally joked that it should be a dedicated parking spot furthest away from the building’s entrance; we settled on a gift card to the smoothie place around the corner from the office. I’ve only lost twice in the six months we’ve been doing it. Once was because I had the flu and the other time, one of the guys went on vacation and set a new record for steps taken. But even if it wasn’t a competition, I just think it’s fun. It’s so helpful to have all that information available. I know so much more about my health now that I document what I eat and chart my sleep and heart rate. My doctor’s appointments have been much more productive because now I can show him the app and we can make decisions based on what I’ve been doing.

I weigh myself every day. I know that seems a little excessive to some people. Some sources recommend weighing yourself once a week instead, but as long as I’m within 1 to 2 pounds of what I weighed the day before I really don’t stress about it. However, I do feel like it’s a sobering reality to get on the scale every morning and see where I’m at. I can spend the whole weekend eating pizza and ice cream, but when I get on that scale come Monday morning, I’m not going to feel so great about myself. Our bathroom scale broke recently, and I found out there’s a range of WiFi Smart scales that talks to my tracker app. I just thought that would be so cool because now I’m not just logging my weight anymore. It automatically records all kinds of cool information, like my bone density and BMI. My boyfriend, on the other hand, does not share my interest and enthusiasm with smart devices. He is kind of an analog all the way kind of guy. He prefers the term old school. He likes the scale with the little dial on it. He is not a fan of my smart scale. He doesn’t enjoy the fact that it can talk to other things–he thinks that’s weird. I think that is doing yourself a disservice. There is so much more information out there. You can relate those things back to your health so you can make improvements and start to feel better really quickly when you have a system like mine. If I did it his way, I’d have to write down my weight every time I measured myself, and then go look back at my handwritten activities for the week and my guesstimate at how many steps I took and how many calories I think I burned. That is a waste of paper and my time. Instead of carefully writing down and then calculating how many calories I’ve eaten each day, I can use my app. I can copy down the nutrition information from any recipe I make, and then it is there every time I want it. Or I can just scan the barcode of a food item, and it’s usually already in the database. There’s no math or guesswork involved. I know how much is going in and how much I’ve burned. I have felt a lot better and made more healthy choices since I got my tracker.

What do you think, readers? How smart is too smart?