The Numbers Game

Posted: August 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Fancy meeting you here again this afternoon! I bet you didn’t expect to see me until a bit later, huh? Well, with Makenzie in preschool and Braedon getting in his morning nap, I found some extra time and decided to use it to hang out with some of my other favorite people. That would be you. Open-mouthed smile

Plus, I couldn’t wait to give you more of the details on the panel discussion – The Numbers Game -  Janetha, Beth, Lisa, and I shared at the Healthy Living Summit!

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What exactly does “The Numbers Game” mean? Well, as healthy living bloggers many of us have goals in some form or fashion. They may be specific…or just to live healthy in general. No matter our goals, numbers usually play a factor in some way.

Allow me to break it down for you here so you can feel like you were right there with us. Or so you can be there again. PS – If you came, you’re my new best friend. <3

Examples of How We Use Numbers In Goals 

  • calories/points/number of veggies for a dietary goal
  • scale weight or measurements for a weight loss goal
  • mileage or pace for a running goal
  • number of workouts done a week for a fitness goal
  • blog subscribers, page views, etc for blogging related goals

Our panel touched on our own personal goals to share a variety of perspectives on each of these. Numbers can be a very useful tool in our goals and should be used accordingly. The use of numbers has many positives to helps us in achieving our goals.

Positive Use of Numbers In Goals

  • to serve as a benchmark to help track our progress in a concrete, measurable way
  • to give us feedback on our actions so we can adjust as necessary
  • to motivate us to keep going when we see the desired results

Numbers obviously have their place when it comes to our goals. If you want to PR in a race, complete a set of 20 pushups on your toes, or eat more vegetables – you will likely use numbers to help get there.  However, the positives of numbers in goals can easily get sucked into a negative black hole if you don’t proceed with caution.

Some Negative Ways We Use Numbers In Goals

  • the comparison trap with others OR with our previous selves
  • feeling frustrated and wanting to give up when the results aren’t as great as hoped
  • getting prideful and not putting in the effort when get close to achieving a goal
  • losing sight of realistic goals or wanting to continue progress beyond what is healthy for you or your body

Just because there are some negative ways goals can crop up doesn’t mean we need to say “forget about it” and not use them at all. Definitely not! They have their place. Our panel hoped to emphasize a few things to help keep that healthy balance and that could take up a whole other post. So, stay tuned for ways to use numbers without going insane in the membrane. I don’t want to send you into overload right now. Heck, my mind still needs a bit of a break so it doesn’t go into overload after this weekend! Winking smile 

But for a little fun…let’s end this post with some quite interesting blooper shots. I can get pretty intense!

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Time for me to catch you later! Now, if only I had time for that little cat nap…

  • What are some ways you use numbers for goals and their pros or cons?
  • Do you get nervous public speaking? I surprisingly didn’t once I got up there!

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63 Comments to “The Numbers Game”
  1. Even though this post was short and simple, it’s point struck to the mark for me! Most of my teenage/young adult life has been spent using numbers negatively, and obsessively: watching the scale (as the numbers fell far too low), counting and recounting calories, to make comparisons, and to determine my value. Once I finally felt like I was on the recovering side of this spiral, I was too afraid to give any weight to numbers, for fear of falling back in. However, today when I read this, you inspired me to start to think of a few positive ways for numbers to help rather than define my life. I feel ready to reintroduce them for a second, healthier try! Thanks for your post :)

    • Tina says:

      Check for my next post on it sometime later this week. I’ll get into more of how to have that healthy balance. :)

    • I find it so interesting how many people struggle with the numbers – as in the scale, calories, etc. – even back in the days that I was “restrictive” and obsessed, I still never counted calories or did the scale thing. However, I guess I did always check labels for general calories, fats – just didn’t add it up or write it all down.

      Unfortunately, that didn’t matter. All I cared about bottom line was how my clothes fit and how fat I felt…:(

      Nice post Tina. I get caught up in “non-number” comparisons. Comparing how awesome others’ blogs and ideas and careers are, etc.

      Like your blog ;)

  2. Yay for our panel!! I really loved speaking, more than I thought I would! I was a little nervous beforehand, but like you, once we were up there the nerves faded as I was met with so many friendly faces!

  3. I used to get nervous about public speaking, but after teaching for two years I now feel a lot more confident!

    I do weight myself and keep track of my measurements – I like doing it regularly so there is no surprises. It keeps me on track!

  4. Khushboo says:

    The Numbers Game defo has its ups & down!

    Upside: by using a scale to track my progress, it helped me lost 33 kgs
    -seeing my readership go increases my drive to blog and pride in how far I have come
    -increasing my speeds while running

    Downside: it spurred on a disordered view of calories: ie each day I would try to eat less
    -It made me very obsessed with comparing nutritional stats and food in
    general
    -not seeing a loss on the scales despite my hard work was discouraging
    -I find it hard to listen to my body and run at slower speeds when it’s tired because if fear of losing fitness –> def recommend running outdoors without a timer/pacer every so often

    AWESOME TOPIC!

  5. Oh man, I had such a great time on this panel. I felt like you did SUCH a good job choosing all of us–we all brought our own side and i think we were able to reach everyone!

  6. Kelly says:

    I love public speaking! I am good at it (is that conceited??) and I rarely get nervous. It works for me.

    As for numbers..I think I use both them both for the positive and the negative…99% of the time it depends on my mood. For example, I will admit that I weigh myself every Monday. Last Monday I weighed “X” and was pleased with what I saw. The next week I weighed the exact same and felt gross and disgusting. So for me…the numbers game is all about attitude towards those numbers rather than the actual numbers themselves.

  7. Thanks for sharing your presentation. I think you made a lot of spot on remarks!

  8. Erin says:

    Hi Tina, wow! Great presentation. Thanks so much for sharing. I find myself playing the numbers game sometimes and I think you were spot on discussing the positives and negatives of living by the numbers. I can’t wait to read your next post!

  9. janetha says:

    So glad you took the time to write this up! I am a lazy bum and am going to send people your way :)

  10. Loved this talk. You and Lisa are two of my favorite bloggers so I was thrilled when I read that you were both going to be on this panel.

    One of the ways I used numbers recently was during my pregnancy. I wish I had shared it during the Q&A. I gained slightly more than the upper recommended limit of 35lbs and it drove me nuts because I was regularly exercising and eating well. Obviously my doctor was not concerned that I had gone slightly over as I was healthy. What I was not thinking of was that these trackers don’t take a lot of individual factors into consideration (like water weight for example) and I want to reiterate that to other women that may be pregnant and are noticing that they don’t fall into the range. Your doctor will tell you if you are at an unhealthy range. So eat healthy, stay active and enjoy your pregnancy! I probably would have enjoyed my pregnancy a little more had I not used these annoying ‘trackers.’

    • Tina says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Each body will do different things. All you can do is care for yourself and make healthy decisions as often as possible. :)

  11. Sorry, what got deleted somehow in the above comment was that I used online pregnancy weight gain trackers. Which I will not do again.

  12. janetha says:

    Oh also I love that I can read your posts now and think about how you are in person while I read :) Absolutely perfect! Love you!

  13. lindsay says:

    ahh yes, numbers. they can be so good to use or so bad. I like the way you outlined this Tina. But the bloopers are the best!
    p.s.
    You and Lisa look like sisters.

  14. Can’t wait to read the follow-up to this post! This definitely hits home for me in both professional life (hello sales qoutas) and personal blogging life (pageviews, stats etc.) and I could use some tips on how to not make the numbers consume you.

  15. The more I read about HLS, the more jealous I get!!! I don’t care how, I will be going next year!
    This topic is something that is near and dear to my heart. I think competing against yourself can be good and bad. We can be our biggest cheerleaders and biggest roadblocks.

  16. Using numbers in the past used to make me depressed and anxious because I’d set unattainable goals, would be stubborn and not change them, and then be disappointed when I couldn’t achieve them. Now that I have a little more life experience I try to set number goals with realism as an input.

    We all need goals, but they should be attainable and motivational.

  17. Love this post!! I think that it is so easy to get sidetracked by numbers and forget the whole picture. Case in point: I weighed myself at the gym the other day and knew I was going to cry so I just left without doing my workout. Counter productive I know but sometimes it’s hard! (And I should know by now to never weigh myself when PMSing)

    I love the second to last picture. It looks like you just ate something sour.

  18. jobo says:

    Well done Tina!! I am proud of you for putting together a perfect panel, as far as I’m concerned. LOVE the bloopers! Wish I could have been there to see it! (not the bloopers, the panel! hehe)

  19. I really enjoyed this session at HLS and I think it was great how you guys offered so many different perspectives. So often we hear people say, “calorie counting is the only way to go” or “writing down the stats of everything you eat” is the devil. I love that you guys weren’t so black and white but encouraged people to figure out what is best for them. Nice job Tina!

  20. I hate public speaking. I have an out of body experience where I am thinking “you sound dumb, stop talking”. Doh!

  21. I bet your presentation was awesome! I used to get sucked into looking at calories as a weight maintenance or weight loss goal (can you believe I’ve wanted to lose weight?)- that was definitely a con. Another con is that I sometimes can’t get over looking at my blog stats..but I try not to let it get to me!

  22. Jess @ Jess Go Bananas says:

    Excellent post tina! Numbers play a HUGE part in my life. I use them for fitness – 15 push ups every other day and add 5 on each month; I try to eat veggies at every meal which isn’t necessarily a number, but you could say I am for about 3-5 servings. Oh gosh, I almost don’t want to know the bad part about numbers – I just love ‘em so much! lol

  23. [...] p.s. check out tina’s awesome recap of our presentation! Cancel reply [...]

  24. Lauren says:

    LOVED your presentation. All of you were so real and upfront and gave incredible advice.

  25. Loved your presentation, Tina:) This is a topic I could talk for hours on! Too bad the conversation had a time limit. You ladies did so well!!

  26. I loved this panel! You did great :) It was so nice to meet you, too!

  27. Sarah says:

    I would have loved to be there for y’alls presentation! But I definitely agree that numbers can be a useful tool to reach goals. As long as the goals are resonable. For example, my goal weight is almost 30lbs heavier than what I weighed a couple months ago because that weight was incredibly unhealthy. Now my mom has an unhealthy number goal: her weight. She’s over 50, 5’9, has four children and thinks that 155lbs is too fat!! I think she looks amazing and she’s only hurting herself by trying to beat her body into submission. She has an unhealthy number goal!

  28. I wish I was able to meet you and see your presentation! Someday hopefully… :)

    There are many ways I use numbers, both pro and con. During my disordered eating days, numbers were a definite con in that I used them to log more and more minutes to my cardio and to be sure I ate less and less calories. Now healthier, they’re used in a pro to be sure I’m getting enough calories/nutrients and getting a healthy amount of exercise! :)

    I’m deathly afraid of public speaking…I turn beet red and fumble over my words! I give major props to you, you rock! :)

  29. I log my points in a journal and weigh myself weekly. It helps to keep me on track.. but I have to be careful and not let a number on a scale control my life.

  30. Love love love this post. I really wish I had been at HLS just for to go to this panel, because this is something I’ve thought about a lot and it would’ve been so interesting to hear all of you guys’ insights. I have a tendency to use numbers in a negative way, unfortunately. It’s a habit I’d really like to break, but it’s sooo hard to get past that mindset :/

  31. Love this and your panel! 4 of my favorite bloggers :) I use the numbers positively and negatively! I more lately, find myself comparing myself to others in my weight loss journey, and i KNOW that is not good! I am me, and that’s all i’ll ever be! People have be on similar journeys, but this is MY JOURNEY! And all i can do is the best i can do, and i just really do need to take it one day at a time! Love you!

  32. I’ve been reading everyone’s recaps from HLS and I’m so jealous I couldn’t be there!!! I would have loved to hear your presentation on the Numbers Game as well as Julie and Courtney’s on Negativity! Next year thereis no way that I’m missing it!! :)

  33. Thanks for the recap, Tina! I was sent your way by Janetha – she says GO, you GO! I love your blog so far!! How old are your children?

    • Tina says:

      My daughter will be 3 in October and my son is 7.5 months. Thanks so much for visiting! Look forward to becoming blog buds. :)

  34. Efka says:

    I would choose monthly cleaning and massage from a hubby :)

  35. [...] motivated to work on now that I’m going to be a broke grad student!), monetizing your blog, motivation through using numbers and a great keynote. I met more awesome bloggers like [...]

  36. [...] out to do my first public speaking appearance (Healthy Living [...]

  37. [...] in-depth recap of the entire presentation and what exactly was discussed from everyone, please read Tina’s recap. It’s fantastic and details point-by-point what was [...]

  38. [...] into this morning’s post. I realized at the end of last week I never gave you part two of my Numbers Game panel recap. I figured Monday morning made the perfect time to make up for it. I’m sure we all [...]

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