I’m a social media buff. I love everything about technology, connecting with others, visually, aurally, however. Some of you may know about the social geo networking site / app – “Foursquare”. The basis is that you check into places you are, earn points for being places, share and meetup with people, leave tips, etc. I’ve been using the app for a little over two years now, and accomplished something today that I have been fighting for for awhile. If you are the most frequented person at that location (within a 60 day interval), you become the mayor. Some stores have perks for being mayor (discounts, etc.), but it’s mostly just a bragging right. Although mayorships are fun to gather, I never cared much about the bragging rights, except that it was kind of neat that I was a committed visitor to a specific place. 

Today, I became mayor of our fitness center on campus. At #153 check-in. Although all of those were not within the last 60 days (although a lot were), it’s hard to say what the magic number was. I am pretty sure that the person who was mayor before was a person who worked the front desk (this is a debated topic in the world of 4S). Anyways, at 5:50 this morning, that magic screen popped up 

Now, as much as this post is about being the mayor, it’s not about saying “oh look, I go to the gym so much, i’m so awesome”, the reason I am excited about this is due to the juxtaposition of my old mayorships. 

Below are my stats for the recreation center as well as Governor’s Restaurant, which is a homestyle food local chain restaurant. I’ve been the mayor of Governors several times over the last couple of years, and the discrepancy between the check-in count of the gym vs. the restaurant, is really the last 3 or 4 months. 

I used to eat at Governor’s way more than I should have. I would be eating there 2 – 3 times per week, and there are little to no healthy options there (I maybe am there 1 x a month now). For me, this mayorship is just a symbol of a lifestyle change that I have made through the facility of this app that I have been using over the last couple of years. It may seem odd, maybe it just seems like I am toting being a gym rat, but, at the core, this is about moving on from a chain of bad habits to new, healthy ones (in a visual way). 

Growing up, had I had Foursquare, I probably would have been the mayor of McDonalds, the local pizza place, and the Movie Kingdom (a video rental place). My teenage years were mostly made up of eating low-cost (financial) and high-cost (health) foods. Although we didn’t have a lot of money growing up, we did eat out at cheaper places quite frequently, almost always pizza or McDonalds. Neither of these foods are healthy, and part of the last year and a half has been answering the question, “How do I eat out, without hurting my health?” – As I learn more about the world of nutrition, I feel like I am more limited in my choices of going out. I eat a lot of subway, or I eat steak when I go out to restaurants. I can certainly find healthier options, but in this next phase of changes, I am trying to clean up my diet a bit more (I’ve tinkered with the idea of paleo, but really do not know that I am ready for that). Regardless, over the last year and a half, I have had a constant battle with take-out and restaurants. About 6 months ago, I gave up pizza for quite a long time, and was able to overcome needing to have pizza so much. I can say that I was a pizza addict. I could have eaten pizza every single day — AND A LOT OF IT. Now, I can eat a little pizza, stop, and be fine with it (Although, it’s one of those foods that I try not to eat too often). It is hard when you’ve been conditioned to eat a certain palette of food, made mostly of saturated fats and refined sugars, especially when eating out. 

I would say one of the biggest struggles in transitioning was the role of social eating. Even outside of eating out, pot lucks, etc. were extremely difficult for me to resist the temptation. Even if I would take “just a little” of EACH thing, it would add up, and as the night went on, the snacking did as well. I feel like I have more self-control now. I still get cravings, and I still eat-out, but having done this for awhile, I know exactly where and what I should be doing. It’s still a battle, it may always be, but it’s one that I am more prepared for each day. 

So, today, I celebrate my transition through social media, a definitive way to say goodbye to an old way of eating and being. My goal is to never be mayor of Governor’s again! Will I still eat at Governors, sure, it just won’t be 2 – 3 x’s a week 🙂