No Sweets for 30 Days: Recalibrating the Palate

I started doing 30 day challenges in 2014. For me, it was just a game. I wanted to see how much discipline I can enforce upon myself either by detoxifying from something I have become addicted to (ex. social media) or adding a habit to my daily routine (ex. journal writing). When it comes to food, I’ve explored 30 days with no rice, no alcohol, no junk, no sweets – but all at different times. In an ideal world, we should just stop eating all of those at the same time, forever and ever. But different people have different methods of shaping their lifestyles. I have found, accidentally, that, this one works for me.

When I cut up a big challenge into smaller challenges, it becomes easier to swallow. So easy that it is inexcusable for me not to do it. I set myself up to gain a streak of small successes every day, which encourages me to tread on towards the end. Continue reading “No Sweets for 30 Days: Recalibrating the Palate”

Just Don’t Do It: Subtraction is Creation

Usually we stop doing certain things because they’re bad habits. I consider my Facebook addiction a bad habit, for example, so I got off it for 30 days. 2 years back, I did the same for social media in general. Since then I realized how effective 30-day challenges are in terms of letting go of previous habits and building new ones. And so I started applying the same for food: I’ve done a month of no rice, another of no junk (spell: fast food, chips and soft drinks). I’ve attempted a month of no alcohol (and failed on the 27th day). The latest I’ve done, which I finished 2 weeks back involved not eating sweets. Sweets, for chrissakes!

In every challenge, the basic rule is this: choose one thing you think you need to let go of, and just don’t do it. For 30 days.

It’s so simple, and yet it’s a very big commitment. There’s so much teeth-gritting involved, that I won’t be surprised if normal people would think of it as self-deprivation. I mean, Vida, why the hell do you do this to yourself? Continue reading “Just Don’t Do It: Subtraction is Creation”

Why Facebook is like Junk Food

I’m one day away from going back to Facebook. I’m not excited.

Once in a while I give myself these mini challenges in which I get rid of one thing I’m addicted to for 30 days. Today is my day 29 without Facebook.

It started back in 2012, when I caught myself mindlessly refreshing social network feeds every single second. At that time, I remember I wasn’t even reading the feeds anymore – my finger just sort of automatically swiped down within my social apps as a force of habit. It was time consuming, to say the least. So one day, I was just, hey you know what, I’m gonna get rid of you all. And I did. I let go of my four basic sins completely: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare.

4 days came and went, and then 14 days… You’d think that at day 30 I’d be so concerned about all the things I’ve missed out on in the online world. But it was quite the opposite. Being offline meant I had extra time and mind space to be more productive, read real books, write blog posts that are more than 140 characters long, and in general, ingest things that are of quality and value. Continue reading “Why Facebook is like Junk Food”

You Got An Anti-social Badge!

In the spirit of gamification – yes I have come to that point of geekiness – I am awarding myself an Anti-social Badge! And for those who don’t know why, it’s because this day marks my 30th consecutive day without social media consumption. Whoopee! I’ll be opening my social accounts for the first time after thirty days!

Day 14 Without Social Media

Here I shall explain how it feels like to not be on social media for 14 days.

But first off, when I say social media, I mean, mostly, consumption of the top 4 which I find myself mindlessly typing on the browser or tapping on my mobile phone:

  1. Twitter (which is my greatest addiction thus far),
  2. Instagram (which is my top sharing tool during my travels and events),
  3. Foursquare (which I use just because, and perhaps also to earn those surprise badges), and
  4. Facebook (which I check just to see if anyone tagged or messaged me, and also because everybody talks there). Continue reading “Day 14 Without Social Media”

What Did I Miss On Twitter?

There are four things that I missed today, on my fourth day without social media consumption:

  1. That Tito Sotto made an interesting speech about the RH Bill. I will need to research on that. And perhaps finally read the full RH Bill text. It isn’t too late, is it?
  2. That PAL offers unlimited domestic flights per month at a very cheap rate. Or something like that anyway. I will definitely need to research on that as well.

  3. The #instachallenge0812 theme of the day for the past four days. (Background: I joined an Instagram challenge with some friends in which we’re supposed to take a photo on the theme of the day and post it with the hashtag #instachallenge0812 – 0812 means August 2012, in case you’re wondering. The prize and mechanics? We’re still deciding. It’s just fun I guess! You may still join if you wish. Simply add @installenge on Instagram. The theme for today is Symmetry.)

  4. And lastly, what you had for lunch. And as I speak, I am also missing out on what you’re having for dinner. Continue reading “What Did I Miss On Twitter?”

30 Days Without Social Media

Five: The number of tweets I post per hour. Five million: The number of times my thumb slides to refresh Twitter on my iPhone everyday. Okay, fine, that’s an exaggeration.

But to give you an idea of the amount of content I consume everyday through social networks: I currently follow 1,061 people on Twitter and 727 on Instagram. I’m not much of a Facebook user, but as I speak, I have 1,531 friends. I suppose that isn’t even a lot yet, but can you already imagine how many types of food I see everyday? Continue reading “30 Days Without Social Media”