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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

It started with a button falling off on my Up band. Not my pants. First, the button that lets me switch between modes fell off and then the band had trouble syncing to my phone. For the last few months I've just been arguing with my fitness tracker over the number of steps I've taken in a day. I'd look at my Up app on my phone and see that it had only tracked me at five thousand steps for the day. I'd literally yell "...the fuck!?" at the screen because I knew that I had walked so many more steps than that. There was no way that all those loops outside, thirty minutes of treadmill time and the evening dog walk came out to a measly five thousand and something steps. All of that is at least a sixteen thousand step kind of day. 

So I got mad and I stayed mad at the Up band, at myself, and at the injustice of all those lost steps I wasn't getting credit for. Which is ridiculous. The whole point of that particular fitness tracker was for me to track my movement without becoming obsessed with tracking my movement. Then I got obsessed with tracking my movement. Oh, I tried to pretend on those days when I'd only done about eleven thousands steps that this was good, this was enough, but really I was always a little disappointed in myself for walking only eleven thousand steps. My fitness tracker just became yet another thing that made me feel inadequate. What's worse, is that the whole time I was tracking my steps and my sleep and sometimes my food, I wasn't losing any weight. I weigh the same as I did when I started. 

A few weeks ago I was having one of those days where I felt skinny. I would catch my reflection in a window and shake my head while thinking "damn, girl! you look T.H.I.N." Maybe I did and maybe I didn't. The point is I felt good about myself. That was also the same day I had a doctor's appointment to see if my cholesterol medicine was working. The first thing they made me do when I got there was to stand on the scale. At first I was really excited to stand on that scale, until I did. The scale said 175 and I shouted "you're a fucking liar, Scale!" Except I didn't really shout that out loud because then my doctor would have probably started prescribing me even more meds. But that's when it hit me. I had gotten caught up in numbers instead of just being. 

I don't need to track my daily activity. I stand the same amount of time as I sit during the day. I walk. I get on my yoga mat daily. My meals require me to chop up fresh vegetables and cook them. The most my can opener has been used this week is to open a can of black beans. I don't need a $100 bracelet to keep me accountable. I'm pretty good at doing that on my own. I'm pretty good at being my own worst judgmental critic too. The Up band was like that one mean judgmental girlfriend you had in high school. She'd say terrible catty things about others and you knew it was wrong, but you stayed friends with her because you were afraid she'd be mean to you if you didn't. I didn't really have that kind of friend in high school because I was good at politics and I don't see why I need that kind of so called friend now.

Sorry, but not sorry Up band.