< ♜

Healthy People Don't Drink Diet Coke

I periodically talk about my technology set ups on the site, so I wanted to review where I stand in terms of technology now that don’t wear an Apple Watch. The following items are a part of my technology repertoire; those who have followed the site will know that I try to keep my technology setups to a relative minimum in line with my minimalistic tendencies:

  • 13" M1 MacBook Pro
  • iPad Pro 12.9" (3rd Generation)
  • iPhone 11

Note that these are only the devices I use frequently and have with me most of the time; I also have a Kindle, but it is used rarely.

The MacBook Pro is my main machine and I use it for basically everything work-related. In recent years, I have tried to replace it with the iPad Pro, but have had difficulty replicating some of my more complex technology support workflows in that form factor. Nonetheless, I keep the iPad around because it is a superior device for large amounts of my work, especially when focus is involved. I can only hope that Apple continues to chip away at the cognitive dissonance of certain workflows on the iPad.

The iPhone is where the majority of my time is spent. I often joke that I would be able to do 90% of my work and play on that single device. For better or worse, it means this device also feels the most cluttered. Apps for work and personal endeavors must co-exist in a way that often leads to blurred lines when I use the device. However, it is often freeing to only carry around the phone and feel like I can take whatever life throws at me.

As a supplement to the aside about the Move ring in my previous post and how my iPhone can track certain movements, I thought it prudent to document what I am noticing in my use of the phone alone for health metrics in comparison to wearing the Apple Watch. I will note up front that since removing the Watch from the equation, I have not successfully closed my Move ring a single time.

I set the ring conservatively at 650 calories, a level I was able to close easily with my normal activity when wearing the Watch. Understandably, the Watch has a deeper level of connection to the actual work being done when say walking down the street, but given that I have been wearing the Watch as long as I have, I would have thought a consistent pace, a 15-20 minute mile, for thirty minutes would produce something akin to the same outcome in the ring. Seemingly, not so.1

I have heard the adage that rings true, "healthy people don't drink Diet Coke". The intent of the statement is to communicate that Diet Coke is often used by the unhealthy to try to lose weight, when in fact those who are already at what is deemed a healthy weight likely drink Coke (albeit rarely) or something else entirely instead.

I liken the statement to the feeling I get when using technology. We can steal the ethos of the statement and direct it at the Apple Watch as a fair albeit false example due to the extra utility found in that device: "fitness instructors don't wear Apple Watches... for fitness". As I said, false, but now that I am not wearing the Watch, I will quote what I said the other day: "I no longer have an Apple Watch on my wrist, but I'm still motivated toward my health goals."

Being a healthy person is not defined by the technology we use to track such things, it is defined by the steps we physically take to be who we strive to be, the habits we form, the behaviors we prioritize. Similarly, using a given piece of technology to bolster a workflow should not define the workflow unless it is a specialized piece of equipment.

This leads me to a valid question: what is getting in the way of the life I want to live? From a technology perspective, perhaps I should try to separate the use cases for each of the devices to enable me to control the clutter I feel when using these devices outside of their intended context. For all other areas, a deeper inspection to understand the differences between current and ideal states may be warranted.

  1. Note too, however, that I have not used Fitness+ yet with just the phone and those types of workouts could potentially affect the rings positively. I will do something like that over the weekend and perhaps share another supplementary aside in a future post.