Why I Returned My Apple Watch Series 5

Why I Returned My Apple Watch Series 5

This isn’t a techy post about the Apple Watch, I’ll start there.

This is an intuitive eating blog that helps women to live joyful, intentional (non-diet), calm lives, one day at a time. I also encourage women to honor their bodies with exercise and, as I believe that the way we do one thing is the way we do everything, love seeing my clients apply theses same principles/behaviors with money as well.

When I was first thinking of writing this post, I was planning to share about how I bought an Apple Watch and how I use it without getting obsessed with the daily activity numbers (I didn’t fully understand the concept of the daily activity rings until I had it on my own wrist for a few days).

For any of you who know my story, you know this is how I got started in coaching more than 8 years ago. I was once obsessed with numbers, tracking my calories, my weight, and even the (small) number in my bank account. I was very attached to “good/bad” behaviors. I lived each day feeling proud of myself for my ability to eat “clean” for a few days, or in extreme guilt over the binges that always seemed to follow my clean eating (no matter how much I swore after the last binge, that I’d never do it again).

Now, 10 years later since first breaking up with diets and following a more intuitive lifestyle, I’ve invited back in some “healthy” habits on the premise of: “I like these things!” “These things bring me joy!” Thus, entering a new topic I’ve been talking more about around here: Health Without Obsession.

Health Without Obsession is my idea of Authentic Eating and Living. It’s intuitive, yes, where I’m listening to my body, but it’s also just “what feels right,” and what I believe would add value and bring joy to my life. It’s health that “sparks joy,” as Marie Kondo might say.

So, a little backstory before I get into why I returned the watch…

About five or so months ago, I started running. And by running I mean that I would go for my normal daily walks, which I was already in the habit of taking with my dog Abby, and on those walks I would run as much as I felt like running. I told myself “even if you run 10 feet, good for you. Just give it a try.”

For years I had felt like I wanted to run. I’d think things like: “I really want to run… Something about it just seems like it would make me happy.” But now matter how much I thought about this, there always seemed to be something stopping me from just getting out there and doing it. So finally, with the help of my own coach walking me through my blocks/thoughts about running, I started… slowly. And I found that I enjoyed it so much. I found that it DID in fact bring joy to my life.

Here’s what I love about (my kind of) running:

  • I can do it outside, with Abby (when it’s too cold, I use the treadmill)
  • It’s fun! I feel like I’m almost just playing! Like a little kid, running through the neighborhood
  • It’s a great practice of listening to my body – I run when I feel like it, and I slow down to a walk when I need a break. And then when I’m ready again, I go back to running
  • I’m outside, soaking up Vitamin D
  • It puts me in a great mood
  • It’s quick – I feel like I got in a great workout, relieved stress, and soaked up joy in about 20-30 minutes
  • It’s something I can take with my anywhere I go
  • It’s free!

Now, here’s where the Apple Watch comes in.

I’d been thinking about getting the Apple Watch for a while, but had been holding off. It felt like an expensive investment, coming in at $499 (plus about $40 of tax) for the Series 5 with cellular, plus an added $10 per month to my phone plan (with a one time $30 activation fee, as well).

I wanted it because I imagined that it would make my runs better. I could finally see just how far I was going! I could finally run without carrying my phone! I could have music in my ears, and no big phone in my hand! I could call someone if I needed help, without carrying my phone! I could see the time. I could even work on improving my runs, or training for a big community race! How fun!

So I bought the watch when two friends, who also had Apple Watches, were visiting. I thought that they could help me to figure out how to use the thing (which they did, thank you friends!).

The first thing I learned that I did not like about the Apple Watch was how much it hurt my wrist. Yikes! Aching pain from my wrist all the way into my neck. So I took it off, was sure I’d need to return it, and then decided to try my right wrist. It was totally fine on my right wrist. Now, before the Apple critics find this post and yell at me, let me just say, I know I know I know! It’s not the watch. It’s my wrist. I know. I’ve always struggled with my left wrist being extra sensitive when anything puts pressure on my Ulnar nerve. So, if you have a similar ache in your wrists, beware, the extra weight of the watch doesn’t help.

The next thing I learned about the watch that I didn’t love, and ultimately the reason that I returned it, was that it didn’t add joy to my runs as I thought it would; in fact, I felt it to be much more difficult to listen to my body as I was on a run.

Instead of having fun running, I was now glancing down at my watch constantly to see how long I’d been running; how far I had run. I was glancing down to see “Am I to the end of this mile yet? Keep running!”

Now, let me say this: Apple Watches are not bad, and you CAN have an Apple Watch and not be obsessed with the numbers. Even I could have chosen to do that.

But at the end of the day I asked myself: Is this watch bringing you the joy and the value that you assumed that it would? The answer was no.

So I returned it. Because I thought of all of the other things I could do with $540, plus $10 per month, plus the one-time $30 activation fee… and I thought to myself, I could get a lot of manicures and buy myself a lot of flowers for that price, both of which, make me extremely happy! Haha.

This isn’t to say that I’ll never get a watch to help me track my runs or to help me improve with running, but it is to say “not right now.” Five months into running and really enjoying it, I feel quite protective over keeping running a fun, peaceful experience for myself.

I find that in order to be consistent longterm with something that only benefits you, you have to like it. I didn’t want the watch to burn me out, as a new runner. So I parted ways with it, and have since been having a blast on my runs again. Just me, Abby, the sun, off-leash freedom, and good music. I do carry my phone with me, but stick it in my FlipBelt (not an Ad) so I don’t have to carry it.

I hope this perspective of the Apple Watch was helpful for you if you’re someone who is focused on intuitive living, if you’re trying to focus more on joy, or if you’re just curious to hear another perspective.

Again, many of you probably have the Apple Watch. I’m not saying that it’s bad to have, or that you can’t be intuitive with it. Not at all, but what I am saying is that if you feel the way I feel but haven’t heard anyone talk about it, well… here you go. You’re not alone 🙂

Bottom line: I pictured that the watch would add loads of value, and while it was nice not carrying my phone on runs, I decided that it didn’t bring the perceived joy and value that I imagined it would.

Love, Paige
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