Pavlok : Day One

Jeremy and I backed a project back in March called Pavlok. In a nutshell, it gives you an electric shock when you want it to. Here’s how it works.  It’s called ‘Aversion Therapy’ and it’s going to help me lose weight and be more productive. I can make these claims only because yesterday I used it to help control two things I want to change about myself. First: cravings for food not included in my chosen diet, and second: wasting time when I’m attempting to focus on a task.

The food aversion therapy was surprisingly easy.  Earlier this year I lost 30lbs of fat and gained 10lbs of muscle without any aversion therapy, but I became complacent soon after. I haven’t gained any weight back or let my body fat percentage slide back up the scale, but I’ve had trouble kickstarting the second half of my weight loss. Doctors, nurses, and the ‘know your numbers’ ladies for our insurance have had one metric I should meet: lose 40 lbs of fat. I want to gain an additional 15-20lbs of muscle to go with it. The Pavlok has arrived at the right time!

It’s amazing how many times throughout the day I think about food even if I’m not physiologically hungry. I zapped myself yesterday on accident, and it was enough of an aversion that I chose the right foods for the rest of the day. The thought of having to zap myself for choosing wrong and zap myself with each bite made it totally not worth it.  In terms of diet, when it comes time to make a conscious decision, the Pavlok is my extremely persuasive friend.

The issue that has been harder for me was the time-wasting when attempting to work. Last night I worked on wedding photos, but my efficiency has been reduced (greatly) by the fact that I wind up alt+tabbing to goof off. Sometimes it even starts out sounding reasonable:  “I’m just going to check out how other photographers handled this particular processing issue”… and I go down a black hole of links.

I zapped myself like 20 times yesterday while editing photos for four hours. From 6 pm – 10 pm I felt like a foolish rat. However, after about 2 hours of zapping, I was able to focus more. The last hour was just a solid block of productivity. I think part of the reason this was harder was that unlike the amount of presence my mind had to have while pursuing bad food choices, it’s almost a brain stem activity to alt-tab. I didn’t THINK. It was a habit in the worst way.

Today at work I’ve got my chrome extension all setup and if I wind up on my list of time wasters, I get zapped.  Just kidding. I thought I had it setup but it’s actually down for maintenance until later this month. I’m hoping they’ll do a little IFTTT integration so I can really take advantage of this device.

Day two, here I come.


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