Results, Experiment #5: Eat 3 Scheduled Meals A Day

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I don’t know what I think about this.  I noticed a few things from doing this experiment:

1.  Whenever I ate breakfast in the morning it made me hungrier for lunch earlier, and hungrier in general.

2.  Sometimes eating breakfast made me feel like I was waking up, sometimes I felt like I was waking up soon after I ate.

3.  Dinner became less important to me.  I usually ate breakfast, then had a pretty decent sized lunch, then wasn’t that hungry for dinner.

4.  I expected to find myself with more energy, but that didn’t really happen.  I didn’t notice much difference.

5.  I gained about 5 lbs.  That may not mean anything though, I had lost about that much just a couple weeks prior due to stress.  I could have gained it all back naturally or it may have been because of the change in my eating habits.

My take away from this experiment is this:  I don’t know if it makes a difference how often, or when, I eat.  Some diets advocate eating several small meals throughout the day, some say breakfast is the most important meal, some say you shouldn’t eat after a certain time of day.  I don’t know if any of that matters, I’ll have to do more experiments.  But for me, the most sensible way to work my meals is this:

To eat when I’m hungry, but before I’m starving.

To not eat unless I am hungry.

And, obviously, to just eat normal sized portions.

Other than that, I’m not sure time of day or frequency of meals matters that much.

Three meals a day?  For now, it doesn’t seem that important.

Experiment #5: Eat 3 Scheduled Meals A Day

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I don’t eat breakfast.  Well, I do, but I eat it at noon.  I love breakfast food and brunch is one of my favorite things that can ever happen to me.  But I don’t like to eat breakfast at breakfast time.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?  Not for me.

When I wake up, I’m not hungry.  The last thing I want to do before 10am is eat.  Anything.

Sometimes I don’t eat lunch.  Or I skip dinner.

In fact, most days, I only eat 1 1/2 meals.  Sometimes I’ll have 2 meals.  I guess I just don’t get hungry.

I recently read an article that suggested people only eat when they are hungry, which is what I do.  But that’s only one article suggesting that.

It seems like every other article I’ve ever read and every doctor or nutritionist giving advice all advocate the same thing:  people should eat several small meals throughout the day.

When I was in college we had dedicated nutritionists constantly coaching us on how to eat properly to stay healthy and they all advocated eating 3 small meals a day.  Or more, depending on how active we were.  Whenever you watch a show like The Biggest Loser or some other fitness show it’s the same advice.

So, maybe I’m doing it wrong.  Maybe I should be eating at regular times on a schedule.  Maybe I should be eating 3 times a day instead of 1 or 2.

I usually do these experiments for a week, but to really see the effects of this change on my lifestyle I’m going to go for 2 weeks.

For the next 2 weeks, I will eat 3 meals a day at the same time each day.

Results, Experiment #4: Be A Beach Person

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The beach is a cool place.  It’s beautiful, the scenery is amazing, the water can be fun.  I’m not a beach person though.

The beach is boring.  I just don’t like laying there on a towel doing nothing for long periods of time.  Why?  The beach also has no shade.

I can sit around in a park soaking up the outside and enjoying the scenery, doing nothing, because I can spread my towel out underneath a tree and enjoy the shade.  There is no shade at the beach.  Being a very white guy, I just don’t enjoy being blasted by the sun for hours at a time.

For me, the beach is fun in small doses.  I like meeting people there for a BBQ, or going in the evening once the sun has started to go down.  I don’t like just going to the beach and hanging out.  I prefer the park for that.

I like beach activities.  I like volleyball, I like paddle boarding, I like doing active things.  I don’t like hanging out at the beach for no reason.

So, I’m not a beach guy.  I’m a park guy.  Or a city guy.  Or a mountains guy.  Or a camping guy.  Or a lake guy.  Not a beach guy.

1 Second Everyday

This is something I’ve started doing.  I’m saving 1 second of movie everyday, at least, everyday I remember to do it.

I forget a lot.  But when I do remember I usually get something good.  I’ve already got a pretty good little movie going.

I got the idea from this TED talk, which I’m sure most people have already seen or heard about, but here it is anyway.  It’s about 8 min long.

 

 

Experiment #4: Be A Beach Person

I’m not really a beach person.  I don’t go to the beach that much.  I don’t go to the beach at all really.

I grew up near the beach, right on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.  It was beautiful.  In the summer, the beach is absolutely amazing.  I almost never went.

I think the ocean is beautiful.  I think the beach is pretty.  I like watching the sun go down over the water.  I like to see the green flash at the end of sunset.  I like the way the sand feels on my bare feet.  But I never go to the beach.

I live in San Diego, perhaps one of the greatest beach towns in the country, if not the world.  In the twelve years I’ve lived here I bet I’ve gone to the beach and hung out less than 10 times.

I’m just not a beach person…

Or am I?

Maybe I’m missing out.  The beach is free.  There’s no admission, no parking to pay for.  It’s beautiful.  Maybe I am a beach person but I’m just not in the habit of going.

For one week, I will go to the beach everyday and see what happens.

Results, Experiment #3: Obey The Speed Limit

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For seven days I tried to only drive the speed limit, and no faster.  Would my stress level behind the wheel be reduced?  Would I enjoy driving?

The Results

Uuuuuuuuuuuggggghhhhhh, the speed limit is sooooooo sloooooooow.

The speed limit is so slow!  Driving the speed limit was hard.  Admittedly, a lot of the time it isn’t possible to drive the speed I want because there is so much congestion on the roads of San Diego.  However, when the road is clear, I have to say that the speed limit is set atrociously low.

By driving the speed limit, I didn’t notice that my drive was more relaxed.  I didn’t notice that I enjoyed driving more.  I didn’t notice I was less frustrated with other drivers on the road.

So, I have decided the best thing is to drive the speed I think is most safe and most appropriate for the given situation.

Experiment #3: Obey The Speed Limit

What if I drove the speed limit?  Would I enjoy driving again?

I used to love driving.  LOVE IT.  Not anymore.  Now, I am constantly annoyed by the actions of the other drivers on the road.  It seems like no one is paying attention to what they are doing.  People are cutting each other off left and right, not looking where they are going, and generally acting like selfish assholes behind the wheel.

What if I slowed everything down, at least for myself?  Would I feel more calm and less stress?  I hate getting behind slower drivers, even though I realize they are not doing anything wrong, as long as they are going at least as fast as the speed limit.

Maybe I’m in too much of a hurry?

For the next week, I will try my best to only drive the speed limit, and no faster.  I can already tell…this one’s gonna be hard.

Results, Experiment #2: Use The Hell Out Of Facebook

For seven days I tried to use the hell out out Facebook.  I tried to post as much as possible and to check it several times a day.  I’ve never been a fan of Facebook. Was I missing something by not using Facebook more?

The Short Story

After a week, thanks to facebook, I had lunch with a friend, found a new dentist, and saw some cool pictures, but I still think most of facebook is spam.  I will keep the facebook app on my phone and I will post more than I used to.  I suppose it’s kind of fun to put up the occasional picture or check in at a cool or interesting place.  However, I’m certainly not addicted to facebook after a week and I’ll probably be using it mostly when I’m just bored.  For advertising, I think it can be a useful tool, but I already knew that. As a way to get in touch with people, it isn’t bad, but why would you contact someone on facebook when you could just text them?

I suppose facebook has some value, or I should say, some potential for value.  If you are willing to sift thru and ignore a lot of meaningless crap you can find the value.  For people who are already in touch by other means facebook is just another way to communicate and send pictures, and it’s pretty cool.  For people who are not in touch, it’s a way to possibly get in touch and catch up on old times, even if you both forget about each other again almost immediately after the encounter, but what’s wrong with that?  Nothing.  In the end, Facebook is a slightly useful communication tool that is filled with spam.  Perhaps I’m still missing something, but I believe if facebook were to somehow evaporate tonight and be completely gone by tomorrow morning, two weeks from now the entire world will have moved on and no one would miss it.

The Long Story

Here’s the day by day:

Friday

Using the hell out of facebook is hard.  What is everyone posting on here?  It’s hard for me to get over the idea that facebook is a waste of time.  I tried a new recipe and it came out really good so I took a picture and posted it.  To my surprise, comments and likes blew up right away from people telling me how good it looked.  I have to admit, I liked the attention.

Saturday

I had made plans to go to lunch at a mexican restaurant with my friend Ross.  Before leaving my house, I posted a quick status update that I was heading to the place for lunch.  Not ten minutes later I got a text from my friend JD.  He was just down the street and wanted to know if I wanted company for lunch.  I told him to come on over and he joined me and Ross at the restaurant.  In this case, social media really was “social”.

Sunday

Watched Felix jump out of a balloon from the edge of space and posted an update about it.  Also posted to let everyone know I was performing that night at NCT.

Monday

I posted an advertisement for the two man improv show that I’m a part of.  In the past, I’ve always tried to remember to post advertisements for shows on Facebook.  Prior to this, advertising my performances has really been the only thing I’ve used facebook for and I don’t advertise all of them.

Tuesday

I realized that I’ve been wanting to find a new dentist.  I posted on Facebook to ask if anyone wanted to recommend their dentist to me.  Three people replied right away with their dentist’s phone numbers and website information.  Score another one for Facebook, one of these guys will probably be my new dentist.

Wednesday

Didn’t post today, too busy at work.  I did check throughout the day when I had time to see what everyone else was posting.

Thursday

I was thinking about how badly I wanted a bacon cheddar chicken tender melt from this bar I used to go to in Maryland.  I posted about it.  I got plenty of “likes” from people who either like Maryland or like bacon cheddar chicken tender melts.  I also found a really cool graphic on the BBC website that shows how big our solar system is.  I found the graphic just fascinating and posted it to my page.  Sadly, no one else thought it was interesting.  I’ve noticed that when I’m bored, I’ll check the facebook app on my phone to see if anything is happening.  Usually, nothing is.

Friday

I performed an improv show last night and posted today to thank everyone for coming out to the show.  Marc, the other dude I performed with, also posted a picture of him and I at the theater.  I did enjoy seeing all the “likes” and comments to what he and I posted.  It’s nice to know that people are supportive and happy for us.  I’ve noticed there is a decent amount of that going on on facebook.  People tend to really enjoy posting their support for their friends, or friends of friends.

Experiment #2: Use The Hell Out Of Facebook

I don’t like facebook.  I think Facebook is the new spam.  In fact, I think most of social media is a waste of time.

Twitter?  I just don’t get twitter.  At all.

I’ve often thought about completely deleting my facebook account.  The only thing that stops me is I know that everyone else is using it.  It’s kind of like, if you’re the only person with a fax machine, the fax machine is worthless.  Who are you going to fax?  But if EVERYONE else has a fax machine and uses it to communicate, and you don’t have one, you’re missing out.

Am I missing out?  I keep a very basic, rudimentary presence on facebook.  I’m just barely there.  I see other people post pictures all the time and update their status all the time and even put their work schedules on there for everyone to see.

I’ve never thought much of Facebook, in fact, I’ve always kind of looked down on it.  With a few exceptions, I think most of the posts people put on there are because they are fishing for compliments or fishing for sympathy.

But I might be wrong.  Facebook might be a great way for my friends to know me better.  Facebook might be an awesome tool for making plans or getting a bunch of people in the same place at the same time.  Facebook might actually be SOCIAL-media.  It might make me and my life better.  Maybe facebook isn’t spam?

I wouldn’t know because maybe I’ve never given facebook it’s fair shot.

For the next seven days I am going to use the living shit out of facebook.  I’ll post my status all the time.  I’ll post pictures.  I’m gonna use the hell out of it.

Results, Experiment #1: $1 = 5 Minutes

For seven days I put a limit on my spending habits.  I could only buy something if I was willing to wait 5 minutes for every dollar the purchase would cost.  Spending on groceries was exempt from this restriction.  How would my spending habits be impacted?

The Short Story

I definitely like this.  I’m going to keep doing it.  I think I’m pretty deliberate about big purchases, but small purchases I can sometimes be impulsive.  The biggest change I noticed was eating out and ordering in less.  I like to cook, but when I’m tired after work I don’t feel like it.  Forcing myself to wait gives me time to get home and de-stress, then I do feel like cooking.

Also, people say that time is money, but I think it’s the other way around.  Money is time.  We only have money because we spent time out of our lives earning it.  It only makes sense to take some time to reflect on whether money is being spent wisely.  Putting a hard requirement of five minutes for every dollar is an easy way to focus attention on spending and help adhere to a budget.

The Long Story

Here’s how my week went:

Monday

I decided to get dinner at Panda Express.  I figured it would cost about $10 so I waited at least 50 minutes from the time the idea came in my head.  Wasn’t really tempted with money other than that.

Tuesday

I left work at about 8:30 pm.  I didn’t feel like cooking dinner since it was late.  I had lunch meat and cereal at home.  Usually this situation would result in my laziness taking over and me grabbing fast food or take out on the way home.  But fast food isn’t fast anymore.  Anything I get is going to cost around eight to ten dollars.  That’s a wait of 40 to 50 minutes before I can order it.  Instead, I went to the grocery store and got food for dinner, breakfast stuff for later, and buns and brats for tomorrow.

Wednesday

As I was getting ready for work, I knew I was still kind of hungry, but didn’t want a full meal.  I also knew I would want something to drink while I was teaching.  I decided I wanted a small milkshake and coke from McDonalds.  I thought the two of those together would cost about 4 bucks, so I needed to wait 20 minutes.  The drive to work was twenty, so I drove and hit the McDonalds at work.  I still wanted the shake and drink so I got em.

I thought about buying a drawing app as I was lying in bed messing with my iPad.  It cost about $7.  I set an alarm for 35 min later.  When the alarm went off I didn’t want the app anymore and I was really sleepy.  Went to sleep, the next morning I woke up and still haven’t bought the app.

Thursday

Bought a haircut and a coffee for the girl who cuts my hair.  The appointment was made weeks in advance so I think that counts as appropriate waiting time.

I still wanted that app.  I set another timer for 35 minutes and went about my day.  At the end of the time my mind hadn’t changed, so I bought it.  I also saw another app that looked cool that only cost a dollar.  Usually I would have just bought it.  Today, I waited five minutes and didn’t want it anymore.

Friday

Leaving work today I wanted to pick up pizza on the way home so bad, but I couldn’t stand the idea of waiting long enough for it to be legal.  I went to the grocery store instead and bought ingredients.  Then I went home and made chicken teriyaki stir fry.  It was delicious and the leftovers lasted for two more meals.

Saturday

Had a great show tonight.  Wanted to get a beer afterward with CG.  We went across the street to San Diego Beer Company.  I totally forgot about the experiment and spent 6 bucks without waiting.

Sunday

Went to the bar again after the show.  Once again, I bought beers and food without waiting for the time to pass.  I need to figure our how to make this work with hanging out with friends at the bar.