Tag Archives: exhaustion

Quis traversum elit? Is your fitness tracker running your life?

Click to check out an interesting article about the “quantified self”.

Quis traversum elit?  Who is tracking the trackers?  I feel compelled to write about this as I’ve run across so many people on our Fit Fatties Forum and on Facebook who are sharing the fact that they have become a slave to their fitness tracking devices.  Don’t get me wrong.  Fitness trackers can be wonderful!  For many people those gorgeous, full-color interactive graphs are just the thing to get them up and moving  in the morning.  But I feel like I need to address the fact that interest in these things can and does sometimes tip a bit towards obsession in some people.

I have experienced this myself in the past.  I was wearing one of those trackers that shared your steps and speed and cadence with a group of friends online.  I distinctly remember almost missing a plane because I was obsessively walking the terminals to “get in my daily steps” before midnight.  Every day I would pull up those stats.  If the stats were good, I had a good day.  If the stats were bad I was despondent.  Sound familiar?  If  you think this sounds a little like an obsession with numbers on a scale, I would say you’re right!

I think another dangerous aspect of this is that we are encouraged to hit these goals regardless of how our bodies feel on any given day.  Just like the body signals when it is full or hungry or needs cheese, the body signals when it needs rest.  If we continually ignore our body’s signals in order to maintain an appropriate slope on a pretty digital graph, things can get kinda dicey.  We’re risking chronic physical exhaustion which can lead to overuse injuries and even chronic illness.

So what’s a person to do?  Here’s a few tips:

1.  If the graph feature of the tracker is making you feel a little bit obsessive, turn that part off or ignore it.

2.  Try to build rest days into your schedule.  Instead of insisting that you work out every day, how about 5 or 6 days a week?  Then take a break when your body says you need to.

3.  How about keeping a journal where you map how your body is feeling on any given day.  Then maybe you can identify that Thursdays are tough and plan a yoga session or a meditation session for that day.

4.  Remember that cardiovascular fitness is only one part of wellness.  Maybe schedule in some other forms of wellness work like stretching or weight training or breathing exercises.

5.  If you are truly becoming obsessed with your tracker, maybe you need a trial separation.  This is true even if you spent a metric butt-ton of money on it.  Try taking it off for 2 weeks and see if the effect on your OVERALL well being is positive or negative.

Hope this helps you in all your wellness endeavors.


Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want me to speak to your group about fitness trackers and all kinds of other wellness stuff?  Send me an email at: jeanette at thefatchick dot com.  You can learn more right here.

Making Fitness About Fun, Not About Weight Stigma

Today, I’d like to direct you to the blog I wrote for Weight Stigma Awareness Week.  BEDA is doing absolutely amazing work in this space, and I am very proud to be called to participate.  You can read the blog post here.

Thanks so much for your support!


Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want me to speak at your school, organization or group?  Click HERE to book me!

P.S.S. Want to get free stuff, click HERE to join my list!

Filling the Barns

We had the house tented for termites this past weekend.  This is a rite of passage that nearly all Southern California folks go through at some point in their lives, and it is a big pain in the tuckus.  We had to be out of the house for several days and we had to spend many hours prepping the house for the process.  Frankly we were dreading the whole thing.  We had researched some hotels in town that could accommodate us and our dog and we were frankly less than thrilled with the options.

Then my awesome husband came up with a brilliant idea.  “Let’s go camping!” he said.  I was skeptical.  I was waiting to hear back from a show producer.  I had piles and piles of work to do and I knew the campground didn’t have wi-fi.  How could I realistically take the weekend off?  I also wasn’t sure that prepping to live in a tent while we were prepping to tent the house seemed like such a good idea, but I agreed.  And getting ready for the trip was kind of tough with everything else going on, but boy am I ever glad we did.

We finally had just a breath of fall.  It was so nice to don a light jacket at night and to live without the whirr of the AC for a few days.  The weather was frankly, perfect.  Warm, sunny, clear and gorgeous.  We spent a lot of time doing nothing.  We walked.  We talked.  We looked at trees. We tasted apple cider.  We played with the dog.

This was definitely a lemons to lemonade situation here.  I had been wanting to take some time off, but just felt that I couldn’t.  I was clearly tense, frustrated and completely out of energy.  But somehow I felt I needed to keep slogging.  I was trying to keep the farm running and the livestock fed with an empty barn.

It was just a reminder that sometimes you have to stop and fill the barn.  Sometimes you have to quit waving the pitchfork around and you need to go get some hay.  Sometimes you’ve got to refuel.

Sure, I took almost a whole weekend off.  (I still took a producer call on Friday night and taught class Saturday morning.)  And you know what?  The world kept on turning.  I remembered that I have a family who loves me.  And I am ready to face that huge pile of stuff to do again with renewed energy and purpose.

I’m remembering again that I am one very lucky fat chick!


The Fat Chick