Thoughts on the iPhone Health App and Trusting Our Bodies

Some of you may have heard that there’s a new iPhone out. If you haven’t, where have you been? Get with the program. A new iPhone for some means a software update for those of us who aren’t springing for the latest and greatest, and I was dismayed to find that an app called Health is included in said software update. To fit the update on my phone, I had to delete a whole lot o’ text messages and pictures, which was annoying enough. Then, finding that I had no choice about whether or not I wanted to have a health tracking app on my phone made me even more peeved.

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I know that the app can be used to display important emergency medical information, which I understand. But seeing a commercial for the Health app confirmed my worst fears: its primary market gears toward those who want to monitor caloric consumption and exercise. Six weeks ago, I made a huge step in my recovery by deleting a comparable app off of my phone. This app held every single morsel of food eaten, much of it weighed to the gram, and every single second of exercise that I had engaged in during the last 22 months. Deleting it from my life was huge. And although there have been moments of struggle, I look at that decision as a major turning point for me. I do not regret deleting it one bit and I have no interest in using Apple’s version of the app that contributed so significantly to my sickness.

What bothered me most about this mandatory app, however, was not so much that it took up space on my phone. It wasn’t that it was triggering to me because, at this point, I am glad to say that it is not. What bothers me about this app is what it says about our society. We are moving farther and farther from trust in ourselves, from trust in our bodies. I saw a commercial today for a mattress that tells you how you slept when you wake up in the morning. Are you serious? My mattress has to tell me how I slept? I can’t just think about how I’m feeling and use that as a gauge? I was disturbed by the commercial and disturbed by the startling reality that we are, in fact, removing ourselves farther and farther from…ourselves.

Relying on outside information was my main game in the time leading up to my eating disorder and throughout the worst of it. I didn’t use my hunger to gauge if I should eat. I just looked at my app. I didn’t think about how my body was feeling to know whether I was at a healthy weight. I stuck some numbers in an online calculator instead. This led to a deep mistrust of my body, the clutches from which I continually struggle to escape.

I am not sure if this is a call to action, a lament, or somewhere in between, but I encourage everybody (including myself) to give our bodies more credit. Our species has continued to exist without a mattress telling us how we slept for quite some time. Our bodies knew how to eat well before the word calorie entered our vocabulary. If you believe, as I do, that we were wonderfully made, I encourage you to trust in the wonder that is your creation. Trust in the wonder that your heart beats without you telling it to do so, that your brain dreams while you sleep, that you can feel emotions and jump on a trampoline. Our bodies are miraculous. Let’s all try to start treating them with the respect that they deserve.

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on the iPhone Health App and Trusting Our Bodies

  1. I was also really annoyed that the health app automatically installed itself and won’t let me delete it! It’s currently buried deep in a folder within a folder, just because I don’t want it there at all. Bad move, Apple!

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