My Husband’s Fitness Journey Is Pissing Me Off, And Here’s Why

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My Husband’s Fitness Journey Is Pissing Me Off, And Here’s Why

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I thought I was opening an Amazon box o’fun. I didn’t know what kind of fun, but maybe some surprise goodies, like the unicorn mug my husband bought me that proclaims, “I AM FUCKING MAGICAL.” We Amazon-prime incessantly, often presents for each other, and often fun stuff we’d never buy. Could it be a dress? Some new lube? A t-shirt or phone accessories or something else you could argue I kind of sort of needed.

Nope.

The package was not for me.

It was a fucking Fitbit.

Fitbit, in case you live under a rock in the hinterlands of Mongolia, is a little doohickey that straps to your wrist, syncs to an app on your phone, and tracks fitness and wellness stats. Like how many hours you slept, or how many steps you took, or your heartrate. You can log how much water you drink (get your 64 ounces, asshole!), scan your food for calorie counts and then estimate how much of those calories you’ve burned. It’s like this perpetual diet monitor tied to your wrist. It will also tell you who is texting you.

I am in the process of going totally body positive. I’m sick of living like I’m not good enough, like I have to meet some arbitrary industrialized Western standard of beauty that does not include a childbearing tummy and anyone over a size, like, 4, except for Ashley Graham. Or anyone with saggy boobs. Or anyone who in any way deviates from the norm.

So, after a lifetime of living in terror about my weight, which included some time with an eating disorder and years on restrictive breastfeeding elimination diets, I said, Satan, be gone.

I eat — food. When I want. I don’t eat huge portions, unless I’m hugely hungry. I eat to saiety and then stop. This is very hard when you spent a lifetime ignoring the flashing red light that says, “I’m full, bitch.” I try hard, very hard, to be okay with this. I try hard to look in the mirror to be okay with me. I ignore fitness stuff and exercise gurus and your half-marathon times because they make me depressed at this stage in my life. I’ll get there. But I’m not there yet. My husband is wildly supportive of this effort.

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I waited a whole three days before I said something. “I saw you got a Fitbit, Polly Prissy Pants,” I said.

“I want to track my sleep cycles to see if I have apnea,” he shot back.

Oh. Well then.

“I didn’t want to tell you because I knew you’d be like this,” he said.

When you’re married for a decade, you learn certain things.

And if that’s where it had ended, that would have been fine. But it didn’t. Suddenly, the Fitbit began creeping into our conversations. “I made my 10,000 steps by 11 am,” he sighed, a teacher who paces his classroom while he talks. Or, “I walked five miles today,” he’d say. “Indoors.

And I panic, thinking, oh fuck, I didn’t walk five miles indoors. I’m lucky if I walked a half mile in between housework and homeschooling and that great Target parking space I scored. I should have walked five miles. I should have hit 10,000 steps by 11 am. But, alas, I didn’t. 

He’ll talk about his exceptional hydration habits too. “I hit 64 ounces of water by the time I got to school!” And I’m over in the corner with my cup of joe thinking, “Well, at least I mainlined 32 ounces of coffee by that point in a desperate attempt to stay upright.”

Every point became a competition. And every point I came up wanting. I started to hate that stupid black box strapped to my husband, which was probably geotracking him like a darted howler monkey. This was not body positive. This was wrecking my mojo. This was driving me into the arms of salads and extra pushups.

We finally had to make a pact. He had to shut up about Mr. Fitbit for my mental health. I supported his desire to get healthier, if that’s how he wanted to do it. I just found it highly triggering. It makes me competitive, this stupid little watch. So much so that I started to feel like I needed to buy that stupid little watch. Which would send me into a spiral of obsession and despair.

So the Fitbit and I have an agreement: I pretend the Fitbit doesn’t exist, except for comments about sleep (its original purpose, and a good one), and the Fitbit does not inject itself into random conversations.

My husband has his brother for that. I’m supportive. I believe in my husband. I believe he can fly, and touch the sky, and do whatever the fuck he wants to his body, though I also believe his beefy Scots-Irish body looks quite fine, if the frequency of our sex life is any indicator. So I go my own body positive way.

One day I’ll be able to hear fitness talk feeling triggered. But not today, Satan. Not today.

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My Husband’s Fitness Journey Is Pissing Me Off, And Here’s Why

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