My Visit to the World’s First Gym for Your Face

Self-improvement imperatives always offer the seductive notion of untapped potential: it’s a bummer to feel like you have to change, but a thrill, sometimes, to imagine that you can. The trouble is that there is no feasible end to this process.

And this, too:

Today, young female professionals have an unprecedented amount of economic and social capital; at the same time, our adulthood has been defined by constant visual self-surveillance, a market-friendly feminism that favors any female acquisitive behavior, and an overwhelming redirection of anxiety into the “wellness” space.

How external cues make us overeat.

Why not make the fruit bowl more visible? Put your fruit on the table and not in the refrigerator bin. People say, “That’s okay because I have self-control.” Why not give your self-control a break?

Excellent interview about various findings from research on eating habits. External cues, exercise, perceptions, norming, status, mindfulness, and more generally, over-confidence.

How external cues make us overeat.

The value of physical pain is that it is finite. It ends when the ailment ends. We can use this as an opportunity to push on through, with the safety net of knowing it will eventually be over. It is practice.

Ryan Holiday. Just this weekend I was talking about the value of exercise qua mild self-harm. This is more articulate than I was.


Helen DeWitt, Chart 2008

The things that drive us crazy don’t do so once a month, or once a week, or even once a day: we have to fight them minute by minute, hour by hour.

In a fascinating piece over at Incongruous Quarterly, DeWitt recalls charting her year. The red blocks signify days she didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, or went to the gym. Very Lodwickian.

Spinning class, the scarcity heuristic, and me

When I really feel like dogging it at spinning class, I engage in some self-talk that goes something like this: This is 45 minutes out of the entire day, and 45 minutes is all you get. In an hour you will be at your desk, where you’ll stay for most of your waking hours. You’ll be envious of the joggers outside in the middle of the day. It’s very unlikely that you’ll get more gym time once this 45-minute opportunity has ended, so treat it like gold.

Spinning class, the scarcity heuristic, and me