Cover Photo: photo via genevieve719/flickr
photo via genevieve719/flickr

How an Abundance of Fitness Data Keeps Me From Obsessing Over a Single Number

It is the act of recording all this data that has helped me step away from identifying so strongly with it.

Gadgets like the ShapeScale and the demand for them—there was a waitlist for its private launch—suggest that many of us believe that arming ourselves with numbers will lead to a better life.

image courtesy of ShapeScale

But I’ve learned to distrust “intuition” as a guide—and here I’m not just talking about food. So many of my instincts seem skewed, so many of my thoughts shaped by forces that hinder me. Too often have I believed that simply feeling something strongly is proof that it’s true. How many times did I trust my gut and become convinced someone was angry at me, when they weren’t? How many times have I had to remind myself that the feeling I’m about to fail isn’t ironclad evidence that I actually will?



everythingThat’s natural, Things bounce back.


Angela Chen is a senior editor at Wired Magazine and the author of Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex, which was named one of the best books of 2020 by NPR, Electric Literature, and Them. Her reporting and essays have also appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Guardian, National Geographic, Paris Review, Lapham's Quarterly, and more.