I'm a Bit Odd…

… in that I like to be… even.  True confession day.  Another of my strange idiosyncrasies.  Yes, being even.

It plays out a lot with exercise.  Simply put – I like to do the same number of reps on both sides of my body with any strength training move.  Doesn’t sound so crazy, does it?  But, I have found that class instructors and trainers are not nearly as obsessed with evenness as I am and if I left it up to them I might have huge bulging (okay not really) muscles on only one side of my body!  My favorite instructor of group strength classes, for example, almost always starts any exercise on the right side of the body and as she explains things, does more reps on that side.  Well, knowing this, I sometimes start on the left side instead, and sometimes I just count reps in my head and make sure I do the same number on both sides while the rest of the class is doing whatever the instructor is leading.  Triceps, biceps, lunges, doesn’t matter.  And, when I work out with my mom and our trainer once a week, we often do timed sets instead of counting.  Well, I seem to always count in my head anyways and if I end up uneven, I will balance out the set.  They both find this pretty entertaining, my mother teases me often, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do.  And this girl has to keep things even!  And I anticipate an evenness problem when I get around to using my new hula hoop.  I am a counter-clockwise swinger.  Gotta learn how to hoop both ways.

It’s not just exercise.  I like to eat evenly as well.  Okay, before you judge me on this one, just think about it.  Because when I described this once to my brother he thought I was a total kook then paid attention and realized he does it too!  When I eat a small food, like dry cereal or blueberries or M&Ms or Cheeze-its, I eat one on first one side of my mouth and the next on the other side.  Really.  Sometimes, I might bite something in two and split it on the sides of my mouth.  Like a pretzel or a cracker.  I don’t do this will all food, just the “little” things.  And I know I am not alone in this because a couple of years ago I heard someone on TV confessing this as “something no one knows about me.”  But my teeth are better on one side than the other thanks to a lot of dental work so there are some food where I go against my natural evenness tendency and just eat all on one side.  See, I can adapt:)

Other even obsessions of mine:  my shoes have to be laced so that they are both equally tight or loose.  I will lace them again until I get it right.  I also like only even numbers on my car’s thermostat:  66 or 68 or 70 or 72.  I know – weird.  On my kitchen counters I have some Corian cutting boards next to the stove and I like them lined up nice and square:  even on the sides parallel to the stove and the edge of the counter.  And when I described this post to my husband, I found out I am not alone.  He has a little thing about the stacks of bowls in our cabinet being even that I never realized!  Kookiness loves company:)

Yep, I am a bit strange.  I admit it.  How about you?  Any idiosyncrasies you’ll admit to?



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72 responses to “I'm a Bit Odd…

  1. Oh my goodness my Mum is just the same as you are – even as far as the car stereo has to be on an even number!

  2. I MUST wear pajamas that match. And I will not wear night gowns. My skin must not touch itself.

    I’m the same as you about the shoe thing.

  3. Hee! I wonder what mine are… I guess one is that I always touch the ceiling of the car if I roll through a yellow light. But if the light wasn’t actually yellow, I take it back by snapping my fingers once.

  4. Seriously? I don’t have the time or energy to list all my crazy habits. I like odd numbers, though – although they end up being even with exercise – like 15 reps on each side.

  5. anne h

    A bit “odd?” My preference is “evens!”
    It just feels *wrong* to leave off one side!
    Pretty “Monk-ish,” yes. But true, Karen!

  6. 🙂 You are too funny!

    As for reps with workouts, unless one arm or leg or side of the body is weaker, you are better off doing the same number of reps on both sides. If I find that my left (less dominant) side is trailing, I might work that side a bit harder with a few extra reps but in general, same reaps on both sides. As for timed stuff, I feel the same way otherwise you can risk one side becoming stronger than another. Doing say dumbbell curls with your right arm for so many resp & then doing your left will show if one side is stronger than another. Maybe you can do 15 with the more dominant side & only 12 with the less dominant one…. I think you are fine Karen!

    As for the non exercise stuff… I think I am too lazy for all that! 😉

    • Karen

      It seems that class instructors always start on the right side, which is why I often start on the left, also my weaker side. I suspect some of the other participants are thinking “doesn’t she know left from right?” When my mom and I work out with the trainer we each start with our weaker sides – her’s is her right.

  7. Great post

    When I climb into bed I always have to start the night on my left side pretty much curled in a ball

    I always for as long as I can remember count to 10 when I turn the shower on (I think to let the water get warm?)

    • Karen

      Me too – I always start on my left side! It was making it so hard to sleep after my recent surgery when I could only sleep on my back.

  8. I have more indiosyncrasies than one can shake a stick at, but evens isn’t one of them. However, I claim essential oddness in other areas. Actually, the shoe’s being the same tightness definitely is essential – otherwise I feel lopsided all day. Also the reps – definitely have to even up the sides. I guess it’s the eating stuff I don’t do.

    One on my things is that I like a margin of plate between all items on my plate. I don’t want my green beans to touch my meat. I want each taste separate. And then when there is a cake around and I take a tiny piece, I have to leave a straight edge of cake, which may necessitate eating a whole row of tiny pieces. But NOT TODAY.

    • Karen

      Oh I could fill many posts with all of mine! I’m pretty careful with plate placement too. My dad used to say “it’s all going the same place.” My own cake eating obsession is about the frosting or ice cream being paced to not go before or last after the cake. Makes it hard when I share dessert at a restaurant with my husband who soooo eats it wrong!

  9. Too funny. I try to keep things even too. I also eat on both sides of my mouth.

  10. I think we all have these oddities but you are just honest enough to admit them!

  11. I think you’ve got me beat! My biggest quirk is that I don’t like the foods on my plate to touch, unless they’re supposed to, like salad ingredients. 🙂

  12. With you on the even reps. When I was a fitness instructor I was very conscious not to try to give my students ‘lopsided’ workouts because I hated when teachers did that to me (and I would just switch sides on my own anyway.) Only in very recent years have I learned that odd numbers are not going to kill me…

    • Karen

      I used to wonder if I should give feedback to this one instructor who does it all the time. But I really, really like her and did not want to hurt her feelings. She also teaches the yoga I took last year and when my husband joined me he commented on how much more time we spent on the first side of each pose as she got us into it!

      • I would – it will only help make her a better instructor. We actually used to be evaluated every 3 months, and always had other instructors in our class to keep us on the ball. Literally. An instructor is thinking about the cue-ing, time, trying to keep an eye on all her students’ forms, heartrate intervals, etc. By the way – a good instructor spends more time walking around & giving cues than in front of the room.

  13. If there is any color to the things I’m eating (candy mostly), I eat them in the color of the rainbow…ROYGBIV style. But only separated in groups…like if there are 5 reds, 2 oranges, and 6 greens, I’ll eat it like this:
    2 rounds of red, orange, and then green
    3 rounds of red then green
    1 green.

    I’m weird. 🙂

  14. I skip odd years when I tell people how old I am … so at 57 I said I was 58 and at 59 I’ll say I’m 60. I prefer even days and even years, but I also like 3’s.

  15. Quirky, OCD, or balanced? That is the question! LOL Yeah.. we all have our little “things.” 😉

  16. Awww, Anne stole my line. I wanted to say, “A bit odd?” LOL. I love my idiosyncrasies and people with them. When I was a kid none of my food could touch and I still don’t like to take a shovel full of food and eat it all mixed up. I like the individual tastes. I’m also proud that I have not seen a lot of movies that were “so important” – like Star Wars. And you should be doing the same amount of exercises on each side of your body. Especially if the right side is your dominant side (therefore more strong). Why would you want to do more on your right side? That is not Odd, but wise.

    • Karen

      I agree, but I guess it is unusual that I make a point of going against the class or trainer when everyone else goes along:) Star Wars!!!! I saw they are remaking “The Way You Were” and decided I should go watch the original.

  17. It seems very odd to me that fitness instructors would conduct classes without doing even numbers of reps on each side… very odd. Symmetry is important.

    I have plenty of idiosyncracies. I count steps as I ascend them if it’s more than two or three. Regarding food, I don’t like food to touch other foods on my plate… unless they’re supposed to be mixed.

    • Karen

      This gal is a bit chatty. She is my favorite. She was the same with yoga, spending a lot of time on the first side getting us into a pose. That food thing seems to be pretty common today:)

  18. Other than using a particular coffee cup each AM, I don’t think I have any. I used to have tons of them, but as I’ve had to become more flexible over the years, they seem to have disappeared. I’m not saying this is a good thing — I think idiosyncrasies make us interesting individuals. Whaaa!!! I’m boring!

  19. Being an OCD Virgo, I know I have ’em. Just not sure what they are except when they are happening. I will try to make mental note for you next time. 😉

  20. Too many to count! I too have to do the same amount of reps on each side but I thought that’s what we are suppose to do!

    I don’t mind even or odd numbers.

    I do have to sit on the right side of the sanctuary at church. I have sat on the left and it doesn’t feel right to me. This is not consistent everywhere though. At a movie theater I have to sit in the middle of the row.

    I don’t like to sit in those big round booths at a restaurant. I feel trapped if I have to sit at the back of them. I can sit in a smaller booth made for like 4 people.

    • Karen

      Oh I like to sit certain places too! In a restaurant I like to be facing “out” towards the room. In a row I really, really need to be on the right end.

  21. not odd i’m the same way if i do 6 right arm exercise i have to do 6 left i’mall about even as well

  22. I have never heard of anyone chewing on alternating sides of their mouth before!

    I have some weird quirks too…for example, when I sort the laundry for washing, all the black clothes have to be separate from any of the other colors. My husband will mix the other colors in with the black and it drives me crazy if I see him doing it. And when I put pillows in pillow cases, the tags/zippers have to be on the closed end of the case. I’m sure there are others, but I can’t think of them right now.

    Oh, and my stepdaughter has a thing for odd numbers.

  23. As someone else said, I’m also an OCD-inclined Virgo so I’m sure I have lots of these. I’m in complete agreement with exercise things and shoes being even.

    I have an old friend who can only do things in even #’s. Like he could never eat 1 cracker or chip–must be even. He’s a runner and must run even numbers of miles no matter how tired he is. Now that’s some good OCD!

  24. Wow. I do all the same but the eating thing…I find if I try to forcefully eat something on the other side then I will be uncoordinated and end up biting my tongue or cheek. Then on the off chance I do that anyway, I will inadvertantly switch over, bite the same area, but then get used to it and forget about it. It is quite a vicious cycle. Then I grind my teeth at night to even out all the wear down from chewing on one side. 😉

    Polar’s Mom

  25. Whenever I buy meat from the grocery store, the numbers have to end in 5 or 0 … anything else, I don’t care, but for some reason, my meat has to be 5 or 0. Just one of those things, I guess!

  26. I’m the same when it comes to working out/reps, but never thought about this in other ways. I’m a bit quirky in that I always think about things in terms of the number five – five things I’m most grateful for, the five steps to launch a new business line, the five fruits and veggies I need to eat in a day, etc. 🙂

  27. I don’t think you’re alone! I tend to read reviews of videos before I buy them [Like, obsessively read them!] and thats usually something people complaine about A LOT!

  28. I didn’t read the comments, but I’d bet that more than half of them admit to having the same tendencies, or similar. I know I’m guilty! I have to do even reps too, and only like even numbers. I also eat my food evenly, but in a different way than you. I eat a bite of each thing on my plate so that every item gets eaten at the same rate. I enjoy my food more, being able to taste the things together rather than eating all of one thing before moving on to the next. If I’m eating a salad, I just mix it all up really good so that I get a bite of everything with each forkful. 🙂

  29. Oh I’ve got all sorts of issues- like I can’t put something away with the label not facing out. At work I drive the interns crazy with this lol. If bottles are put out labels MUST face out- if they don’t I will fix them lol.

    I also must do things evenly- and it’s silly like if I scratch one arm I must do the other lol!

    I also chew more on my left side at first- never thought about it until now though! lol.

  30. I’m totally with you on the exercise…I’ll have to see about the food thing. I do have a tendancy to re-tie my shoes too.

    I tend to lean more toward mildly obsessive-compulsive behavior. 🙂 but in my mind it’s just quirky – no medication needed. lol. My worst one is probably the number of times I pee before bed… at least 3 times: I broke it temporarily when I had surgery a couple times, but I resumed as soon as I could get around again. I blame it on a teensy bladder. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

  31. Ewa

    Now you got me wondering and I am sure that for the next few days I will be checking if I am odd or even. I suspect odd. 🙂
    Funny post.
    You pee three times before bed?

  32. NOT weird…it bugs me, too! The new Jillian DVD I have are timed sets, bugs me that some of the reps are not even!

  33. We all have some eccentricities. Me: I count things all the time. You know the Count from Sesame Street-well that is me. Always counting things as I move through life.

    • Karen

      I sooo know the Count! I almost wrote about him in a post I have drafted. But I figured many would not get the reference. I actually have lots of Sesame Street references that come to mind when I blog. C is for cookie….

  34. I’m not a big astrology fan, but I have to ask, are you a Libra?

    Me? Well with anything to do with art, I’m all for odd

    Shopping, I always flip even… set of 3 panties… Oh no, have to buy 2 sets making a total of 6. Ah, relief!

    Eating? Must be like art… Three looks good to me, or 5, sometimes 7…

    This is going to make us both crazy if I keep listing all my odds and evens, so I’ll stop by saying I’m totally into evens when it comes to exercising. Yup, only way!

    • Karen

      That are thing makes sense. I think I have heard about odd with home decorating, for example. I have wayyyy more little quirks.

  35. Quirks are for awesome people! I didn’t think I had many but I have since discovered some strange ones since blogging. Crooked pictures drive me nuts. I can’t stand a messy cupboard (for me, don’t care about other peoples) – things have to line up (taller in back, shorter in front) and by use – i.e., one shelf is for spices & herbs for cooking, another for baking items, one for canned goods, etc. When I open the door, I want it neat and organized – which is strange because I am not an anal housekeeper! And yeah, I so relate to the even reps – I just have to because it feels strange not to! Isn’t it funny the things we get quirky about and the things we don’t??

    • Karen

      Oh I’m with you on crooked pictures the cabinet organization. The other day I explained to my husband that he put something in the wrong place in the walk-in pantry. I care a lot where things are but he doesn’t. Shouldn’t I win that argument?

  36. Barbara

    My husband walks on a different side of our carpeted stairs each time he walks up or down them in order to wear the carpet evenly. He knows I walk up and down the middle, so he takes the sides. Isn’t that a trip?!?!

    • Karen

      I’m thinking he’s a pretty smart guy! Ours are noticeably worn in the middle. I guess I should follow his example.

      • Barbara

        And sometimes, he even walks up with one foot on one side and one foot on the other side. So it looks like he’s been riding a horse all day!

  37. I’m sure I have several weird things that I do. I just can’t recall any. This is mainly because I had to shovel my driveway and am now out of breath. That was not fun.

  38. When I eat dishes with multiple components, I always try to eat a bit of each component with each bite and I ALWAYS save the “perfect bite” for last.

    Ah, idiosyncrasies.

  39. I have number issues, too! I do everything in 3’s or 4’s but NEVER, EVER 6’s. NO WAY! I have been known to look at the Wal-Mart cashier and laugh hysterically when they tell me my grand total is $66.66. I say…NO! And take something out of the sack and put it back then have her re-add my stuff. True story.

    So, no, Karen. I don’t think you are weird at all. Welllll….maybe the whole chew on one side/chew on the other side thing….;)

  40. I count things when I get stressed.

    And being a bit odd is attractive. interesting..

  41. Patrick

    Ah your idiosyncrasies are not all that odd. So many of us have them but either don’t recognize them or won’t. Myself, I tend be about ‘level’ & ‘centered’, pictures on the wall need to be so or they need not be there.

  42. My favorite number is 17. If I get out of bed for something during the middle of the night, I have to face the opposite direction when I get back in. I’m funny about loading my dishwasher and frustrated that no-one else gets it! But I guess all that is what makes me so lovable! LOL

    • Karen

      Oh the big risk there is that you always have to do the dishes! But between you and me, there IS a right way and a wrong way:) Shh.

  43. sunnydaze

    Sounds like we are all a bit OCD. It help to know that we aren’t the only ones, doesn’t it?

    I’ve also noticed on one of my exercise DVDs about the eneven reps and it drives me nuts. I’m also prefer even numbers.

  44. You got me, I’m an even freak, too! I especially hate that uneven workout thing!

  45. We’re all a little weird in our own ways because we have our little quirks! I like to do the same number of reps on both sides, because I worry that I’ll become lopsided!

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