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Okaaaaaay. So today I read about a new bracelet that is coming on the market that will give you a respectable electric shock if you don’t exercise. This thing is the Fitbit meets the Spanish Inquisition and it scares the living crap out of me. It tracks your daily steps and should you fail to meet your quota ZAP! Don’t get up on time? POW! Don’t get your daily free weights power lift in? KABLAM!
Oh how can I even begin to explain all that is wrong with this picture? It looks like a superhero bracelet. It SHOULD be a superhero bracelet, because that would be cool. Instead it is a torture device designed to disconnect us from our bodies, disconnect our own experience with exercise and infantalize us to the point that we are functioning like lab rats in a freaking maze.
AAAAAARGH! Let me lay out 10 reasons why I think this is the exact opposite of what what we want to do for exercisers:
1. This stupid thing supports the idea of no pain, no gain. This idea MUST DIE as it convinces people to work out in a way that is unsustainable, causes injuries and prevents them from exercising.
2. This stupid thing associates exercise with something extremely unpleasant instead of something deeply awesome and wonderful.
3. If you hate your exercise program so much that you would rather experience torture than do it, I humbly suggest that you need to find a new program STAT! Exercise should be fun.
4. Rather than seeing exercise as a loving thing we do for our beautiful bodies, this stupid thing encourages us to see exercise as a punishment for not having the right body.
5. This stupid thing encourages me to think of myself as less than human. I have to use torture to do what’s good for me because I can’t be trusted.
6. Company wellness programs are already punishing people who refuse to use biometric recording devices to track their “habits”. How long before my boss can deliver a shock to me for not meeting corporate wellness goals?
7. Eventually it won’t be enough to sit around in the locker room with stinky, sweat-stained garments. You’ll need to be sporting one of these to prove your commitment.
8. This stupid thing is the fitness equivalent of a purity ring.
9. Anyone think it’s a coincidence that this thing is in development at the same time as Shades of Grey the movie?
10. Yellow and black just don’t color coordinate well with my wardrobe.
I could go on and on. The only bright side I see to this is a side market in these bracelets that have the shock thingy removed. All the cool with none of the zap! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.
Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)