Why I Stopped Wearing my Apple Watch


Yeah, you read that right. After 2 years of wearing my apple watch every single day (unless standing in a wedding or at the beach), I decided to stop wearing it all together.

Now, this was not a decision I sat on for awhile. It was actually a thought I randomly had while going through my goals and intentions for the new year.

I am not telling you this to scare you into joining me, I am just sharing my story so that maybe you think a little deeper about that electronic on your wrist and how much it impacts your day.

Let’s jump into the story, and give you some insight on your activity tracker.

The start of my wearable device

I got my apple watch around Christmas time from a previous personal training client of mine. Yes, best gift ever! But before that I wore a Fitbit for about a year, and a Polar for 6 months or so.

So, that means everyday for…3.5 years I wore an electronic device on my wrist.

The first one I got I wanted because I really just wanted a watch on my wrist. I am not one for fancy watches since I work in the fitness industry, so a Fitbit or fitness tracker was ideal.

I was so excited to see things like my steps and my sleep that I would wear it 24/7 just so that I could see that data.

Not to mention my watch was great for timing and checking the clock during training sessions, and also making sure I was on time for each client since my Anytime Fitness days had me training 8 hours straight with 2 minutes to pee and eat between sessions. Not ideal.

So while I loved my Fitbit for a little over a year, I wanted to see more data from my personal training. I did my research and landed on a Polar watch so I could see my heart rate and a more specific “workout” setting for calories burned.

It was a great watch and helped me stay on track with heart rate training and rest periods during my own workouts.

You see, as a trainer we tend to overanalyze everything.

So while we are “supposed” to be fit and healthy to be a role model for our clients, we tend to over do it and think we need to do ALL OF THE THINGs, all of the time.

So, my watch helped me do that.

By the time I got my Apple Watch I was completely obsessed with steps, distance walked during the day, calories burned etc.

So, the apple watch actually just made it easier to visually see on my wrist.

I started out with just a general watch face that showed mostly the time, and then things like my activity, the weather and steps were all additional information. Well, because it was shiny and new and everyone had one, I made sure I used it all the time.

I never worked out without “starting” the watch, and I never went a day without wearing it so that I KNEW how much I was walking and moving.

I bet you know where this is going…

Why I stopped wearing it

I became obsessed. I always needed to know how many calories I burned and if I closed all of the activity rings for the day.

And from a science aspect, a wearable device cannot track calories accurately. Why? Because your watch doesn’t know how much you eat, what your metabolism is like, where your hormone levels are etc.

So if you are wondering why you aren’t seeing results even though you “burn 700 calories a day”…it’s because you aren’t actually burning that much, or you aren’t in a deficit with your diet.

I would turn my watch on while cleaning so I could see the calorie number go up…as if turning my watch on validated my movement for the day?

I seriously think if I didn’t start my watch for a workout I would have re-done it just to see (thank god this never happened).

I made it a point to try to reach 10,000 steps a day because I know how important NEAT is.

So many people in the industry were talking about how we need to get our movement in and that 10,000 steps a day should be a minimum.

So…I did it.

I would make sure every day I hit those steps. Even if it meant going for a walk in the dark, doing jumping jacks next to my bed or pacing around the house (yes, my fiancé thought I was insane).

I then decided that I needed to see on my watch face where my activity was for the day. So I changed the setting so every time I looked down I could see my calories burned, standing hours and workout minutes.

It was insanity.

I was obsessed and I chalked every workout up to good or bad depending on what my watch said.

There were times I was physically frustrated and anxious because my watch didn’t track my exercise minutes when I was walking…

You see, this was an issue.

I started focusing a lot of my self worth on that watch.

From not getting enough movement in, to not burning enough calories, to not having a good enough workout.

Everything I did revolved around my watch. And I hated it.

I hated that it had so much power. I am a fitness professional and this watch is going to dictate how my workouts go?! Hell no.

So, I stopped wearing it.

I vowed to myself that an electronic on my wrist was not going to dictate my progress, self worth or overall health. And I hope you will join me.

I am not saying you need to be extreme like me and stop wearing it all together, but maybe back off.

Maybe stop “starting” it for your workouts (because even before on a random day I didn’t focus on it I had a much better workout).

Take it off a night to free yourself.

Stop obsessing over the steps you got, or didn’t get, throughout the day.

The accuracy of these things in not 100%. It cannot perfectly tell you the amount of calories you burned because it doesn’t know enough about you.

So let this be a lesson…you are worth more than your watch tells you.

Your watch doesn’t have to dictate how good your workout was, or you day was. So let’s start focusing on what feels good for us and what allows us to be balanced!

Skip the workout function and just sweat.

Skip the distance function and just start running.

Free yourself from the watch!

Do me a favor and share this blog if you are with me in ditching the watch (at least a little bit) and moving more freely in a way that just feels good.

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Haley Rowe January 27, 2021