I’ve been playing Devil’s advocate with myself the last day or two, so naturally I thought it warranted a blog post.
This all started when I joined Instagram for the #100fitdays challenge. One of the perks is that I now have slightly better photo editing capabilities right at my fingertips. And really that only matters for my photos of Hurley.
I’m having mixed thoughts about the #100fitdays challenge itself. Initially I liked the idea of finding one health “success” each day so that I didn’t take an all-or-nothing approach (I love that this article dispels that “comply or die” health mentality). It seemed like a good way to start changing my mindset so that I can be more holistic with my health. The little things — good or bad — add up over time. Why not focus on incorporating more good, whether it’s drinking water or getting more sleep, into each day?
As I’m finishing up Day 11, though, I’m less convinced it’s helping me gain a better mindset.
For starters, I don’t know that I’ve necessarily made healthier options or choices, though that could be because it’s still early on in the challenge. I’d be going to the yoga and BodyCombat classes regardless of whether I had this challenge. The only difference is now I’m documenting it with some public accountability. That alone almost makes me feel like a bit of a poser. I went to yoga, which is great, but what people don’t get to see is that before and after class, I parked it on the couch for an episode of The West Wing.
Where I really struggled, though, is that life gets in the way yet there’s now an added pressure, even if it’s self-imposed. Last night Hurley hurt himself in a very dramatic fashion (and all for a squirrel…). I called the middle to get a second opinion about whether he needed to be rushed to the vet. Even though it didn’t warrant that type of emergency, I didn’t want to leave him home alone.
But what did that mean for my #100fitday challenge? I’d been planning to go to the gym that evening and all the sudden I had a choice to make. And you can bet I chose Hurley.
That situation seemed timely given just the day before I read this article about how, in some ways, these types of social media challenges can have a negative impact for that very reason:
Her thoughts were dominated by all of the numbers she entered into her phone: Did I run enough miles? Did I run them fast enough? Did I eat too many calories today? “There were just too many numbers in my head,” Lyonnais said. “I didn’t want to look at an egg as being 70 calories. I needed to look at it as something that’s nourishing and good for my body.”
What’s tough is that the number fixation is already there for me. I track my FitBit numbers. I track what I’m eating. I track my physical activity not only in an Excel document but also MyFitnessPal so that it syncs with my FitBit. Now don’t get me wrong, I love having data and being able to look at trends… but when is it too much when it comes to your personal health?
I can’t say I have a solution to this conundrum. I’ll continue with the #100fitdays challenge with the understanding that it’s not going to make or break me. Sometimes the healthy choice is to stay home and do what you need to do for your own sanity. I think just having an awareness helps so that I don’t let the numbers rule my life. Hurley already does that. ❤