The Number Game

Yesterday, as I set the stopwatch on my iPhone to time how long it took me to get ready (20 minutes for showering/teeth brushing, etc; 40 minutes to get dressed, do my hair and put on makeup), I realized how much numbers have snuck into my life in the past few years. And despite being a journalism major–which means as few math classes as possible!–I’ve become addicted to them.

How fast can I get ready in the morning?
How fast can I walk to work? 18 minutes yesterday, 16 today–I totally PRed.

How fast can I run a mile? <— I actually have no idea because I usually run at least 3

How fast can I run 26.2?


How much can I grow my blog?

How much am I spending?

When I was losing weight–how much was I losing?

I’m not sure if the decision to lose weight influenced getting my life together in other ways (or this random love for numbers), or if I’m just a foot soldier in the whole quantified self movement, but it’s interesting to think about.

What sort of things do you track?

14 comments on “The Number Game

  1. Eliana

    It’s funny but i was thinking today that i am number obsessd too. I weigh myself once a week cause i’m trying to lose weight (2lbs more to lose 50lbs). I try as much as possible to count the cals that i consume and the protein/carb amounts. I check my running stats all the freakin time and i count the days until my first Marathon in May 2012! Numbers are everywhere!

  2. Tracey Leffler

    I keep track of mileage and how often I do something – like running or spinning. I try to track spending, but that can be a losing battle.

    I always track how many cups of coffee and water I drink each day, which is just weird.

  3. Cait @ Beyond Bananas

    Numbers can be so controlling.. How many miles will I get out of this tank of gas? How much will it cost to fill up my tank? How many calories will I burn in this gym session.. How long will it take me to burn XX amount of calories.. how many miles.. how many reps..

    How many minutes left until the end of the school day.
    How many school day left until Christmas break (answer: 14)

  4. Corrie Anne

    Ha. Ha. Ha. I love your PR on the way to work. You crack me up, girl. I sometimes walk up the stairs (when my shoes are decent) 12 floors to my office. And I definitely stopwatched that baby on my iPhone!!

  5. Irina G (Fit Flexitarian)

    As a fellow journalism major and math-hater, I have to say that I’m kind of numbers obsessed too. For me it probably also stemmed from losing weight (pounds lost: 100, regained: 20, need to lose again to be at my “happy weight”: 15). I also keep track of how long it takes me to get ready, how long it takes me to get anywhere and how much money I’m spending.

    I also almost obsessively track time. Like, as in my calendar. I track my work hours, my workouts, my social events, my blogging time… it’s kind of crazy and most people think I’m insane but it actually helps to keep me on track to have everything written down. Or, well, in my iPhone anyway. But it’s a BIG tracking thing for me!

  6. Cynthia (It All Changes)

    I am obsessed with numbers. I have a mild case of OCD so I count everything. I know how many steps are in my house just in case the power goes out. I know how long it takes me to get ready in the morning; how long it takes me to drive to the gym; how fast I can type; how many pairs of pants I currently own.

    I love numbers so much I took Advanced math classes in college for fun (I was a Spanish Literature major). It’s a sickness I tell you.

  7. Kimra

    I don’t know if it’s living in the Bay Area and having all these tech companies and productivity apps around, but it feels like it’s ground zero for Quantified Self and everyone’s tracking something! For me it definitely started with Nike+ and tracking my running mileage (and later my pace). I mostly track workouts, and my spending somewhat (or saving … I *love* a deal). But I also definitely set a timer for the shower! It’s mostly so I can make my train on time, but I do get a thrill when I get out before the alarm goes off.

  8. Amy

    Love your finisher pic! I am also obsessed with challenging myself in the numbers game. I do little time trials for everything. I thought I was the only person who did that! πŸ™‚

  9. Katie @ Livehalffull

    This is a hard question for a type A personality like me because I track everything! My goals, how often I work out, how far I run, how much I sleep, how much I weigh, how much work I got done at work, etc. etc. It’s a crazy, never-ending cycle! But it keeps me motivated so I guess that’s a good thing! πŸ™‚

  10. cindylu

    I definitely track mileage and pace. I try and keep note of the books I’ve read (but not pages) on GoodReads. I’ve tracked my flights/trips through Dopplr to keep a running total of the miles I’ve traveled. I used to track weight loss and daily points when I was actively doing WW. I’ve tried to get back into it as I’ve regained a little, but I’m lazy.

    I’m not so in to numbers about myself, but am more interested in population statistics. I’ve always been interested in being above/below average depending on what’s being measured.


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