Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Big Brother is Counting Your Steps

So my work has given us all FitBits.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this yet. On the one hand, it's nice that they're concerned about our health and willing to shell out for this not-cheap device. On the other hand, there is a departmental "challenge" aspect to this that I did not actively agree to, and also a certain amount of implied weight policing I'm not sure I'm comfortable with.

If I want to go home and lie on the floor all evening and not move, that's no one's business but mine, and to have my activity levels broadcasted to the people I work with feels somewhat invasive. But I'm not sure this is a situation in which refusing to participate would be acceptable. No one wants to be the whiner, after all.

For those who don't know me personally, I work in healthcare. I'm not a doctor or nurse or anything like that, mind you -- I'm an admin. I'm also a fat person, who has worked hard at accepting herself and her body as it is. I think I've mentioned my stance on dieting here before, and I continue to believe that my life is not even the slightest bit improved by torturing myself over every bite of food I consume. My body is what it is, and even though I might not be considered asthetically pleasing by society at large, I have perfect blood pressure and cholesterol, not a hint of the dreaded diabeetus.

But even if I DID have any of those ailments, is it any of my employer's business? I pay for my insurance just like everyone else, and frankly I probably am much cheaper to them than the people who have a bunch of kids or hereditary issues or weird food allergies. I am under no obligation to anyone to be a "good fatty". If recent events have given me nothing else, I've gotten the freedom to be whomever the fuck I want, without having to justify my life, my choices, or my behavior to anyone. If I want to eat quinoa and kale and sweat to the oldies, that is okay. But if I want to eat chips for dinner and spend the weekend watching CSI reruns, that's okay too, because it's no one's business but mine.

I appreciate the idea that they are trying to motivate us to integrate more activity into our lives, but the onus is on us to do this outside of work, since my work by definition requires that I sit at a desk all day. Also, the FitBit requires entering a weight before you can even set it up. Is that going to be made public? Is this campaign focused on activity or weight loss? And will I be shamed by my coworkers if I don't measure up?

I guess I'll try it out and see how it goes.

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