Lose It!

According to this month’s cover Atlantic story, The Perfected Self, by David Freedman, people, including the author’s brother, have lost weight with the free app Lose It!

The application seems a perfect way to use social media to connect people around positive life goals. I know I have blogged (almost) every day because of the prodding of my online community of Catherine Flowers, Julie Jordan Scott, Kim Koning and Meredith Cardenas Weis at Post A Day (Week) Challenge at Postaday2012 on Facebook.

I have another friend who regularly documents the pounds she is losing on Facebook and she receives a ton of support (and a bit of unasked-for advice!)

The Freedman article is an homage to the psychologist B.F. Skinner who advised positive reinforcement as a route to changing individual behavior for the good of society. Alcoholics Anonymous does this for problem drinkers who seek sobriety.

I’m not sure if an app can replace a support group (or peer pressure). For me, one real-world application for this app is: Sure, I feel good when I work out — but I feel even better when I work out and other people compliment, encourage and admire me for doing so! (Or compete against me!)

I’m always bragging (complaining) to my kids — “I did Pilates and rode my bike to work today!” To which, they shrug!

I like praise for working out! I’m just not sure if an app will praise me enough. Will the app shrug at my efforts for health and fitness? I may try it and find out and document my attempt at: Running Aground, my health and fitness blog.

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Daily Blog

For about 66 days I posted on one of my four blogs every single day. I started January 1, 2011.

I may keep up the daily habit or begin to post weekly.

Here’s how I did it:

1) Connected with a community of writers (Twitter, Facebook, 43Things, MediaBistro) 2) Gave myself permission to write only 100 words 3) Wrote early in the morning, late at night (and occasionally on my lunch hour) 4) Told myself ‘It will only take you 20 minutes’ 5) Showed my vulnerabilty 6) Showed my awesomeness.

For extra credit: 

1) Included photos 2) Told a story with a beginning, middle and end 3) Promoted books and philosophies I believe in 4) Piggybacked on other bloggers’ good ideas 5) Commented on others’ blog posts.

What I learned:

1) That writing improves your self esteem 2) That there is always something to write about 3) That I began to organize my life and thoughts around the four different blog areas — fitness, writing, spirituality and New York 4) That how-to posts and completely honest posts were the most popular 5) That my writing, especially the first couple of paragraphs, have to be simple and not witty (Humor comes later. Explaining the point of what I’m writing comes first.)