Thursday, October 12, 2006


I've said too much

Tom, I wasn't implying that you had no life. But the fact that you did might say something.

I apparently implied in my World of Warcraft post that all WoW users have no lives. That is not true. But I think it would help to excel at the game.

Before I start my "How to tell if you have no life" checklist, here is a NY Times article about how people's eating habits are affected, even if you tell them ahead of time.

Brian Wansink’s quirky experiments in the psychology of overindulgence.

You must be a registered member or head on over to BugMeNot to get a password and user name.
To his mind, the 65 percent of Americans who are overweight or obese got that way, in part, because they didn’t realize how much they were eating.

“We don’t have any idea what the normal amount to eat is, so we look around for clues or signals,” he said. “When all you see is that big portions of food cost less than small ones, it can be confusing.”

Although people think they make 15 food decisions a day on average, his research shows the number is well over 200. Some are obvious, some are subtle. The bigger the plate, the larger the spoon, the deeper the bag, the more we eat. But sometimes we decide how much to eat based on how much the person next to us is eating, sometimes moderating our intake by more than 20 percent up or down to match our dining companion.
It really is amazing how we are affected by the smallest detail. Here is a link to a few specific examples I actually read this article in the NY Times last night. I was on campus waiting for Joan to finish running and found it laying there. Great stuff and I'm going to try my best to incorporate these tips into my life.
The Scene The test lab.
The Test Do visual clues help slow down mindless snacking?
The Setup Subjects were invited to watch a video and eat from cans of Pringles, some with every seventh chip dyed red, some with every 14th chip dyed red and some with no dye at all.
The Result People who ate from cans where every seventh chip was marked ate an average of 10 chips. Those with every 14th chip marked ate an average of 15. Those with no marked chips ate 23. A similar test used bags of 200 M&M’s, half broken into smaller bags of 10 M&M’s and half with no extra packaging. People who had to open only one bag ate almost twice as the others.
Here is the brief synopsis on his suggested tricks:
Employ a few tricks and you can take in 100 to 300 fewer calories a day. At the end of a year you could be 10 to 30 pounds lighter.

For example, sit next to the person you think will be the slowest eater when you go to a restaurant, and be the last one to start eating. Plate high-calorie foods in the kitchen but serve vegetables family style. Never eat directly from a package. Wrap tempting food in foil so you don’t see it. At a buffet put only two items on your plate at a time.
The "never eat directly from the package" is a big one and also use smaller bowls when pouring cereal and the like.

Okay, now for the checklist.

How to tell if you have no life:
Are all your friends on-line?
Are you over 30 and still live at your parents house?
Do you only leave the house to get more ramen noodles and Hot Pockets?
Do you measure how long you've been playing video games in one session by days? (I don't want to think about how many days of my life have been devoted to video games, but it is spread out a bit)
Is the most comfortable chair in your house in front of your computer?
Have your eyes ever bled from staring at a screen for extended amounts of time?
Have your muscles ever atrophied and you weren't in a coma?

These are a few good indicators that you may have no life. Don't try and get a life all at once. Start out easy. Go to Barnes & Noble and read a book. Go to a park. Walk around the block once or twice. Join a book club. Join a video game club. Try taking a class at a local community college. If this seems like too much work, then enjoy your life!

It should also be noted that I'm not 100% happy with my life, but I'm doing things about it. I would go 73% happy. I need to get out of grad school.


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