Attempt 106, Week 2

It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. You may have heard that Einstein said that. Or Mark Twain. Or even Benjamin Franklin. Well, it wasn’t any of them. It was me. Because I can’t think of anyone else offhand who’s lived by those words quite like I have.

For one hundred and five times now, I’ve played out this particular cycle:

  • Get fed up
  • Get fired up
  • Get movin’
  • Get skinny
  • Get complacent
  • Get hungry
  • Get it all back
  • Get fed up

I blame the shampoo manufacturers for indoctrinating me with the lather-rinse-repeat infinite loop.

Now if we look more closely at the fourth bullet, we find a highly repeated pattern there as well. It goes something like this: diet, diet, diet, diet, diet, diet, diet, diet, diet, diet, diet, crash. During the diet phase, I always lose ten, twenty, or maybe even sixty pounds. And it works because I’m all fired up and I don’t let things like pasta drenched in olive oil get the best of me. Unfortunately, you know how it eventually ends.

There’s gotta be a better way. (There isn’t, but let’s just set that sticky point aside for now.)

The Latest Attempt

I got back from vacation all fired up. And in the first week I dropped six pounds. What’s my secret? No secret. I just didn’t eat as much. Why don’t I just do that all the time? Well, if I had the answer to that, I would bottle it, sell it, and then eventually the entire global cookie industry would fall to its knees.

But what if I didn’t do that? I mean, on purpose. What if I didn’t just not eat every single day of the diet until the inevitable crash. This is the convoluted thought that struck me one week ago. In short: what if just this once, I tried something different: one week on, one week off.

And that’s just what I did. One week on, one week off. How did it go? I’m glad you asked.

The Graph

Before getting to the first graph of Attempt 106, I need to explain the graph. In particular, the background images used.

At the top of the graph you find fire. This level covers weights between 220 and 230 and represents the burning I feel in my heart for pasta drenched in olive oil:

Level: fire

Next up are the storm clouds. This level covers weights between 200 and 220 and reminds me of the movie Twister because of how turbulent this part of the diet is, and also of flying cows.

Level: clouds

As I drop into Onederland, we see the rising dawn background. This level covers weights between 195 and 200 and represents that twilight period between just being in Onederland and really being there. Because, let’s face it, when a single encounter with oil-drenched pasta can make you gain four pounds in two hours, a number like 197 doesn’t solidly feel like Onederland.

Level: twilight

It’s not until we’re solidly in Onederland does the graph background image turn into a Corona commercial. This represents weights from 185 to 195.

Level: beach

Those are the main categories. However, I have two more special categories. For those truly awful times (like now) where the weight goes above 230, I have the Windows Blue Screen of Death graphic:

Level: blue screen of death

And on the absolutely unthinkable possibility of going below 185, I have the equally fantastic image of Robocop riding a Unicorn:

Level: Robocop

So, with the key defined, let’s look at the first graph—the first two weeks of Attempt 106.

Graph: Attempt 106, Week 2

Week Two
Starting Weight 233.0
Current Weight 227.8
Change from Last Time -5.2
Lost So Far 5.2
Pounds To Go 28.8

That actually looks just like I planned it. The bump at the end was a bit higher than I wanted, but for the most part, that’s it. I had a great week of moving forward followed by a week of (more or less) regular eating. (And I do want to emphasize that part: the “week off” plan doesn’t mean “free for all.” I’m not out to create a saw-tooth graph. I’m shooting for a stair-step pattern.)

It may take twice as long, but the way I look at it, that just means double the success in the end. I’m really looking forward to the big Onederland party. Robocop has already said he’ll be bringing the pasta.

8 Responses to “Attempt 106, Week 2”

Michelle said
July 25, 2011 at 5:08 am

Love the backgrounds, especially Robo-Cop on the unicorn. Now I need to find that movie and watch it again! 🙂

Thanks for making me smile this morning!!

TexasDeb said
July 25, 2011 at 10:04 am

Sounds like you are trying the Windshield Wiper Diet… now it’s working, now it’s not….

Greatest of luck with that (sincerely) and if it works for you then I might engage in the sincerest form of flattery (copying you I mean) unless I get even closer to my Robocop/Unicorn status here in which case I’ll just stick to what got me this far…

Flexible, sure, I can be flexible….

    Charlie said
    July 26, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I like that name. Windshield Wiper Diet. If this catches on and I make millions, I’ll be sure to send you $10 for the idea. 🙂

Biz said
July 25, 2011 at 11:20 am

Loved this post Charlie!! Especially Robocop on the unicorn!

I gained 1.0 last week – high heat = no exercise = more wine = +1.0.

And now I am waiting for my blood sugar to rise enough so I can walk outside – stupid diabetes!

Love, your prettier sister, Biz

Biz said
July 25, 2011 at 11:20 am

Hey, I just saw I am your 13,000 commenter – do I win a prize??

    Charlie said
    July 26, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Oddly enough, before this post, my number of approved comments was exactly 3900. And the difference, of course, between 3900 and 13000 comments is spammers. Thank you, kind people, for wasting all that time, energy, and resources on nothing.

    I’m definitely in the wrong business if all it takes to make millions is writing robots that post gems like these:

    • Hey your good article, ive looked for the answer long time.
    • Is your site listed at the top of searches? Send us $100 and we’ll make sure you’re #1. Never mind the fact that we’ve promised every business they’ll be in the top spot!
      Charlie said
      July 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      Here’s one I just deleted:

      “As I website owner I conceive the content material here is real wonderful, thankyou for your efforts.”

Personal Trainer Glendale said
August 15, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I love the illustrations here, they really help the visual reader. Keep it up!!

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The Other Week 13

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Week 13: Getting Worried

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The Other Week 12

November 12th, 2010

Welcome, once again, to my side-by-side comparison. This is where I take the current Week of this diet and compare it to the same Week of my last return to Onederland. The reasoning behind this is simple: what better way to motivate myself than with myself. After all, if I can do it, then I […]

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Half a Draft

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Week 12: Look Familiar?

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Okay. This is three weeks in a row now where I’ve started the week low, gone up for a few days, then come back down to where I started. In fact, last week was nearly identical to Week 11. Check this out: The week’s start and end points are identical to the prior week. The […]

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Healthy Fast Food

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I wrote this as a guest post last week for Anne and since I’ve prepared next to NOTHING this week for my own blog, I thought I would share it with you today. I missed this week’s side-by-side comparison and I did not write about my Big Secret Which Isn’t a Secret as promised. What […]

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Week 11: Mirror Mirror

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Well, this was interesting. Just like last week, I’m going to do a day by day, play by play. Let’s start with Sunday. As you can see by these two yellow dots, Week 11 began a full three pounds below Week 10’s starting point: I thought to myself, if this week follows last week’s pattern, […]

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Happy Halloween

November 1st, 2010

I hope everyone had a happy Halloween yesterday. Here at the Fridge Halloween can only mean two things: 1) the candy report, and 2) the pumpkin. First, the candy report. How much did I have? None. Yay me. In fact, total caloric input for the day was just 1770 calories. I’d go eat more but […]

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The Other Week 10

October 27th, 2010

Original Post: Date: October 6, 2008 Title: Dodged a Bullet I’ve changed up the format slightly this week. I’ve moved the original post date into this block and in doing so realized I was leaving off the original post title. The side-by-side comparison now follows the original post. And I do like this particular post, […]

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Week 10: the Play by Play

October 25th, 2010

Okay, so remember last week when I was bragging about spending an entire week below 220? Well, apparently the evil weight loss demons got a hold of this information and decided to have some fun with me. It began on Sunday with a slight uptick to 219.5: That made me very nervous, considering a spent […]

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Brag Sheets

October 22nd, 2010

When I was a senior in high school, somebody asked a very strange question. “What college are you going to?” I replied, “College? What’s that?” “It’s next four years of your education,” the same someone replied. “My what?” Apparently I was supposed to be giving this some thought. Who knew. Being from Illinois, I looked […]

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The Other Week 9

October 20th, 2010

The most fascinating part about this week’s comparison is that both times I’d lost fourteen pounds (or as they call it in England, a fortnight—ha ha, just a little obscure linguistic humor there—although I do like the idea of coining the term “fortpound”). Anyway, be sure to check out my amazing diet menu below. It’s […]

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Week 9: Feelin’ Fine

October 18th, 2010

Today’s entry will be short and sweet since I’m hot and heavy into writing writing at the moment and would really like to get back to that. There’s only so many hours in a day, right? So let’s take a look at the Week Nine graph: The good news is that not only did I […]

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The Other Week 8

October 13th, 2010

I actually really like this post. It’s fascinating to come back and read something I wrote nearly two years ago. It’s like someone else wrote it. Someone who, unlike me, can actually write good. Side by Side Comparison But first the charts! Check out this time’s Week 8 compared to last time’s Week 8. Caloric […]

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Week 8: Almost Two Months

October 11th, 2010

Two months from “now” always seems like a long time away. Can you imagine if you were given two whole months off from work, school, or whatever it is that keeps you busy against your will, and you could do whatever you wanted? You could conquer the world in two months. Or at least make […]

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October 8th, 2010

At times there are foods so spectacularly good, I alone cannot find the words to properly describe them. Though I do not speak of Pringles as often as other foods around here, this does not diminish my love of this well-formed, duck-billed potato crisp. So let us turn to the works of prose of the […]

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The Other Week 7

October 6th, 2010

I’d like to revive a Back to the Fridge feature I started (and then abandoned) over the summer. I’m going to republish my original Return to Onederland posts. Each week of this Return will be followed by the same week of the previous Return. The idea is to help keep me on track and remind […]

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Week 7: Back on Track

October 4th, 2010

We entered October on Friday. I can almost see Halloweentown now way down the tracks. But I’m not worried. It’s not as if thirty-seven “fun sized” candy bars ever hurt anyone. Especially not for someone back on track this week. Check me out. No, really. Check me out: Those aren’t missing days on the graph. […]

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Warning: Baked Potato Ahead

September 30th, 2010

This topic came up today at work so I thought I’d do another rerun. Question: does anyone mind the reruns? I look at it this way: I spent thousands of hours writing lots of creative posts once upon a time and a fair number of current visitors weren’t here then. It’s not that I’m trying […]

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That’s the First Ten Again

September 28th, 2010

Today’s post is brought to you by the number ten and the letters Déjà and Vu. Hey, guess what? No, not “chicken butt.” Guess what! I have something to tell you. Go on, guess! No, I didn’t get an advance copy of the next Harry Potter movie. Try again. No, I didn’t win twenty million […]

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Week 6: Back to Reality

September 27th, 2010

I must admit it felt a little strange typing “Week 6” in today’s post title. In some ways it feels like I started this program last week. In other ways, it feels like it’s been two years. I’m not sure what to think of that. That aside, the most important part of the post title […]

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Week 5: At Last!

September 23rd, 2010

Sorry for the delay this week. Gots lots going on, that’s all. So, in light of that, let’s not waste a lot of time on mindless jibba jabba. Let’s get right to the graph: While the graph looks good, it wouldn’t be a true Charlie post if I didn’t spoil this silver lining with a […]

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Week 5: Film at Eleven

September 20th, 2010

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Rerun: Grilled PB&J

September 17th, 2010

My mom will attest to the fact that for eight years I consumed nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I’m positive that this strict and rigorous diet is what made me the man I am today. And why not eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches over and over and over? This sandwich is nature’s […]

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That’s the First Ten

September 15th, 2010

Hey, guess what? No, not “chicken butt.” Guess what! I have something to tell you. Go on, guess! No, I didn’t get an advance copy of the next Harry Potter movie. Try again. No, I didn’t win twenty million dollars in the Powerball. (Sheesh, that was last week. This is real news, people.) Guess again! […]

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Week 4: Levelling Out

September 13th, 2010

Is it Monday again already? Must be time for another graph! While each week’s graph is still pointing down, there are two emerging trends: 1) the slope isn’t quite as dramatic as it used to be, and 2) the lines are a lot closer together. I don’t understand this. This is me we’re talking about. […]

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The Popcorn Issue

September 10th, 2010

Have you ever gone to a movie and not gotten popcorn? I did once and let me tell you I regretted it for years and years afterwards. Going to a movie and not ordering a fifteen dollar tub of buttery heaven is like eating peanut butter without jelly, or macaroni without cheese, or ice cream […]

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Another Plateau

September 8th, 2010

The word “Plateau” is of French origin. Etymologically speaking, it comes from the words: “pla” meaning, “The easy weight” and “teau” meaning, “loss period is definitely over.” I know I said I was stuck a short while back and ended up losing nine pounds in three weeks. But this time I can feel it. It’s […]

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Week 3: A Week of Firsts

September 6th, 2010

Time is flying by faster than a . . . than a . . . than a thing that goes very fast. It still feels like this latest diet just started a couple days ago, but suddenly here we are three weeks into it. If this pace keeps up, it’s going to be Christmas soon. […]

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Rerun: Chocolate Chip Cookes

September 3rd, 2010

I’m not sure if there’s a cookie more “cookie” than the chocolate chip cookie. Sure, there are sugar cookies and snickerdoodles, peanut butter cookies and oatmeal scotchies … but there’s just something just so … just so quintessential about the chocolate chip cookie, it’s hard to put into mere words. If you think you know […]

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Male Brain, Female Brain

September 1st, 2010

So last week I happened to mention that my super-duper-high-speed weight loss phase of the diet was over and presented “six days in a row at basically the same weight” as evidence. I thought it was a very straightforward statement, but the ladies did not quite take it as I intended. Paraphrasing several replies: “You […]

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Week 2: So Far, So Good

August 30th, 2010

You’ll be happy to know I made it past my little plateau. After six days in a row essentially “stuck” around the same weight, I did manage to lose a little more. Here’s the graph, with Week 2 overlaid on Week 1, for comparison: You can see how many days were in that 229-ish range, […]

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Unnatural PB&J

August 27th, 2010

I first came up with this idea some twenty years ago. I think it happened one day when I ran across one of these: Much like pizza, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are, of course, proof of intelligent life in the universe. The first day those two people bumped into each other at the corner and […]

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Short Honeymoon

August 25th, 2010

Welcome to the post I typically write at the end of the second or third week of a diet. The first week of a diet (I as posted just two days ago) is filled with rainbows and unicorns. I stay on track, I eat like a bird, never get hungry, and lose nearly a pound […]

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Week 1: A Few Good Graphs

August 23rd, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010: Day One #104. Sunday, August 22, 2010: Week One Results Are In Monday, August 23, 2010: Week One Results Are Public But before we get to the results, let’s take a look at a few graphs. First, I’d like to go back in time to a happier era. This is what […]

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Weapon of Choice

August 20th, 2010

So! Now that you’re on board, whatcha gonna do? Just saying you’re ready to get back in shape isn’t enough. We each need a plan for how we’re going to accomplish our goals. Everyone needs to choose her (or his—are there any hisses out there?) weapon before heading into battle. And, yes, I’m mixing warfare […]

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All Aboard!

August 19th, 2010

The great thing about trains is there’s no arbitrary upper limit to the number of cars it can pull. Theoretically, with a strong enough engine and a long enough track, you can keep adding cars to a train forever. That means it’s never too late to hop on! Officially, there are three, four, five of […]

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This Train is Rolling

August 17th, 2010

This past Sunday I took a vote among myself and it was unanimous: enough is enough, after all. It seems I had it right the first time. Now I know I’ve said this before, but trust me, this time will be different. This time it’s going to click. This time I won’t hop off the […]

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That Other Blog Again

August 13th, 2010

If you missed it last week, I announced my new blog on writing called Elsewhither. There were three posts this week: The Creative Process The Journey of a Thousand Miles Query Letter Fail The last one falls under “Friday Fun” so if you had to pick just one of them, I might go with that […]

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A Law is a Law

August 10th, 2010

First, let me acquaint (or reacquaint) you with an important concept from my book, The Four Physical Laws of Dieting: Law I. Weight returns at five times the velocity at which it was lost. Unfortunately, most of us are all too familiar with this law. In some ways, this seems impossible. “How can it take […]

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That Other Blog

August 6th, 2010

A short while ago I mentioned I had another blog in the works. This won’t be the first time I’ve had more than one blog. Some of you may remember I used to have two: Back to the Fridge and Lord of the Onion Rings. The latter was intended to be a place for recipes, […]

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August 3rd, 2010

Okay, never mind what I said last week about enough not being enough. Never mind that I sounded a bit resigned. Never mind that it sounded like I was giving up. I’m pretty sure all of that was due to the fact that my blog was hijacked by Glum and he can’t write anything but […]

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Enough Wasn’t Enough

July 27th, 2010

Back in June, when I got fed up, I really thought I had what I needed to get my rear in gear. Apparently, enough wasn’t enough. I tried, then slipped, then tried again, then slipped again. At least fifteen of the days since were spent on trips to three different cities—never a good thing for […]

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Lose Weight, Feel Great!

July 15th, 2010

When I’m on a diet (which is essentially always), invariably at some point I’ll get hungry and go and do something stupid like eat seventeen orders of McDonald’s hash browns in a three minute period. When something like this happens (which is essentially always), invariably I feel guilty about it. Before you nod your head […]

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Do Over

July 13th, 2010

One of humanity’s greatest inventions just happened to be developed by its most resourceful faction: kids. Over the ages, as children developed impromptu and casual sports such as kickball, four-square, or (my personal favorite) whack-each-other-with-sticks, they also developed the best unwritten rule ever: the Do Over. If both sides agree that a particular play just […]

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Rerun: Words of Ill Omen

July 8th, 2010

Ah yes, the dreaded Cheez-It: encountered at Day 42 on my last Return to Onederland trip. This was a good post, not only because it dealt with the omnipresent Cheez-It issue, but also because I spoke of myself in the third person. Charlie should do that more often. The astute reader will also notice that […]

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Back from Vacation

July 6th, 2010

I tell you, there’s nothing like spending the second week of a new diet program on the road. We left on Saturday, June 26, and got back just a few hours ago, around three in the morning. Zzzz… Over the years, I’ve learned there are many pairs of terms which should simply never be used […]

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Rerun: Could Be Worse

July 1st, 2010

It’s funny sometimes how memory works (or doesn’t work). My general recollection of this last Return to Onederland trip is all rainbows and unicorns: at 224 pounds, I made up my mind to lose weight, then two or three weeks later, I hit 194 pounds. Okay, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the […]

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