Self-tracking device? Got it. Tried it. Ditched it.

It took a while to improve upon the humble pedometer. This tiny wearable device, typically attached on or near one’s waist, has been tracking how many steps and how much distance we travel each day ever since its invention by Abraham-Louis Perrelet back in 1780.

But with the relatively recent explosion of wearable digital activity trackers on the market, I’m now waiting for the randomized control trial that compares Fitbit or any other similar device head to head with that simple old-fashioned pedometer. In other words:

Q:  Just because you make it digital, does it make it better? 
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The three elements that can change behavior

The last vestige of childhood tradition for many of us recovering Catholics is deciding what to give up for Lent. This year, I decided to give up sugar. Usually I prefer to give up liver or Brussels sprouts, which I find ever-so-easy to deny myself compared to sweet treats, while admittedly less likely to fit the Lenten goal of character-boosting deprivation.  As a heart attack survivor, I’m not even really a big eater of sweets, ironically.

But lately, ever since I made this stupid Lenten resolution, all I dream about morning, noon and night are butter tarts, cinnamon buns and that divine Espresso Chunk chocolate from Denman Island. Continue reading