Unplug Every Day

I’m a fan of social media, but one day recently, I became quite annoyed at Facebook. After only about ten minutes, I witnessed hostility amongst local business competitors, insincerity in the form of a birthday wish and negativity from the “Debbie Downer” friend we all seem to have. It was a Friday afternoon, and I pledged to stay off Facebook for the rest of the weekend.

51zbcuoT8GLI was wandering through a new shop at Trenholm Plaza the next day and found a great book: Unplug Every Day, 365 Ways to Log Off and Live Better. Finding it was truly kismet, and I quickly grabbed a copy and made a beeline for the checkout.

This inspiring and cheerful journal lists 365 fun and easy ways to unplug from electronics, appreciate your surroundings and connect with those around you. With a year’s worth of prompts, I’m hoping it encourages me to take small steps to refocus my attention of life’s simple joys.

My first step? Unsubscribe from excess emails. This step is more than a “done in a day” step, but I’m loving it. Today, I unsubscribed from Shutterfly’s emails. I love Shutterfly, but when I need their services, I know where to go. I don’t need what seem like daily email reminders to use them. It felt GREAT to take an extra 30 seconds to simply unsubscribe.

I’ll be sure to report back on my efforts to unplug more, but in the meantime, how do YOU unplug? Do you have any family rules about using electronics? Any personal goals to limit social media? Please share your tips!

Customize My Fitness Pal Settings

I keep my food log online via MyFitnessPal, which I access via iPhone or internet. (There is also a Droid app available, as well as one for iPad.)

I just realized that MyFitnessPal offers even more flexibility than I realized via the Settings tab. It turns out you can rename and/or add up to two additional meal categories. Here’s how:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Under Food and Exercise Diary Settings, Meal Names is the second category down.
  • There, you  can change the meal names and/or add up to two  more.

I just set it up so I have the three main meals + places for morning, afternoon and evening snacks.

If you aren’t familiar with myFitnessPal, you need to check it out. It’s been a great tool for me, much more convenient than trying to keep paper food log. You can also use it to track your exercise and connect with other friends who use MyFitnessPal.

Social Media + Health Goals + Points = Great Motivation

Earlier this month, I told you about HealthMonth, a great social media health challenge! You set goals, check in daily and play for points and other goodies. And at the end, you Foursquare folks can get badges!

I’ve really enjoyed HealthMonth, and I’ve already signed up for July.   Here’s info from the website; take a look and consider playing! If you have any questions, I can try to help.

Health Month is all about making small improvements to your health, one month at a time. Players  can choose 1 or more rules to try to stick to for a month from the many different dietary, fitness, relationship, mental health, and financial health behaviors that are currently in the game.

For first time players, 1-5 rules is a nice way to start. Choose rules that you want to work on, and try to make small improvements to your current behavior rather than going cold-turkey, whole-hog, or crazy-wombat. You can always ratchet up the difficulty next month, once you get the hang of it.

After you commit to your rules, you start each month with 10 shiny new life points. The goal is to end the month with at least 1 life point. You lose a life point whenever you don’t stick to one of your rules, but don’t worry if you lose all of your life points — that’s what friends are for!

Friends and other players of Health Month have your back when you need to be healed (this is a big part of why Health Month totally rocks compared to other health plans and services). This game is NOT about making you feel guilty. It’s about helping you discover what works for your current lifestyle (do more of that) and what doesn’t (skip it).

I’m playing with a group of folks from #fitblog chats, an online group of people interested in health and fitness, most of whom have a blog, like me. You can play alone, start a group or join one like mine…