It’s often said that it’s easier to identify the point at which something begins over the point at which it ends. Here are a few examples:

  • Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Your interest in basket weaving.
  • The novelty of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

And, of course, the diet. Everybody knows exactly when a diet begins but it’s pretty hard to put a finger on when it’s over. At least most of the time. For me, though, it was pretty obvious it happened at 9:42 pm on Sunday, May 1, 2011. That was the point I looked at the bottom of a tub of ice cream, the empty package of cookies, and thought, “This really doesn’t feel like a diet plan any more.”

In spite of this, I have some good news. I’m not stuck at 216 any more. The bad news is, I now appear to be stuck at 219. This was my previous week’s graph:

Graph: Attempt 105, Week 8

This week that followed looked more like this:

Graph: Attempt 105, Week 9

Week Nine
Starting Weight 224.0
Current Weight dunno
Change from Last Week dunno
Lost So Far not much
Pounds To Go too much

Before I started this round, I made a fairly lengthy post called Is It About Choice? In it, I tried to explain my belief that sometimes the brain just does things and we have no say in it. If I could summarize the overall theme of the responses, it went something like this: suck it up, choices are hard but you can do it if you choose to do so.

It wasn’t until then that I realized I didn’t get my point across at all. It was never about whether the power of choice was still within my grasp. It was all about whether the choice was easy or not.

True, I may struggle with should I eat that ice cream or not and the whole world could look at me and say, “You have a choice, sir! Make it!” What I’m saying is that when the Switch is on, we don’t have to make that choice. We just do what’s right without thinking. The diet is easy. We eat the right things, we avoid the wrong things, we annoy our friends with our unnatural perkiness. When the Switch goes off we may or may not stick to the program, but even if we do, it suddenly gets very difficult to do so.

THAT’s what I meant by the brain making decisions without consulting us first. It’s not about, “do I eat this or not.” It’s about, “is this easy or not.” I’ve done this when it’s easy. I know what that feels like. And I know that suddenly one day I wake up and it’s NOT easy and I’ll swear on a stack of Pop-Tarts that I never made a choice for it to become exceedingly difficult. My body did that all on its own.

So anyway . . . my plan now is to try and hold it here (below the magical 220 mark) until the pendulum swings the other way again. I know that before long, my brain will snap back and everything will be fine again. After all, I’ve done it one hundred and five times now.


8 Responses to “Sigh”

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said
May 3, 2011 at 5:05 am

Ok, I GET this more now. Acknowledging you have a choice either way but whether or not it’s easy or not.

Don’t make it your plan to stay under 220. You want to be back in the one’s right? Then just do it! Summers coming so get rid of that tummy already! 🙂

    Charlie said
    May 4, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Looks so easy on paper, doesn’t it? 🙂

Richard said
May 4, 2011 at 9:46 am

Hang in there Charlie.

The Switch is on for me and I’m more than a little scared about what I’ll do WHEN it goes off.

I hope maybe it’s like alcoholics that haven’t had a drink in 15 years. The longer the Switch is on the easier it is to keep it on?

Heaven help me, I hope so.

Mayura said
May 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Maybe the answer is that this whole approach just doesn’t work for you – trying to be careful about what you eat, consciously reducing calorie intake, keeping track with charts, etc..
What about this other “revolutionary” approach, popularly known as Intuitive Eating??

From my understanding and experience, this basically involves:

– eating whatever you want when you’re hungry (this doesn’t mean completely ignoring sound nutrition though)
– not eating when you’re not physically hungry
– not eating while watching TV, reading, checking email or your favorite mealtime distraction
– not eating just because it’s time or food will go to waste

Some people blame the dieting mentality for disordered eating in America. Just a thought!

    Charlie said
    May 6, 2011 at 7:22 am

    That sounds exactly like what I have been doing.


    I believe there’s just something else at work. It’s like I say in my book: the diet is just a tool. And there’s nothing inherent in any tool that imparts skill to the one who wields it. But that doesn’t stop us from hoping that will happen.

Biz said
May 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I am not sure my brother could intuitively eat, because then he would eat a whole box of Cheez-Its, and I could do the same thing 😀

I have been hanging steady, putting down the wine more – hoping that will help – I think my only saving grace is my exercise has been on track – although with no gym near my office, I have to walk for 50 minutes outside – day 3 and its nice to get out 😀

Hugs, love your prettier sister, Biz

    Mayura said
    May 6, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I know what you’re saying about intuitive eating becoming an excuse to just stuff yourself with whatever junk food you fancy, a box of Cheezits or (in my case) a bag of cookies. But really, what makes us want to eat a whole box of something? Is it because we really want to? I admit, there have been times when I’m ravenous and I DO want to eat 20 cookies or a giant bag of chips. But really, most of the time, I go overboard ONLY because I’ve already eaten half the bag of cookies and my mind’s saying, “Now that you’ve done that, you can’t have cookies for another week!” So I’m tempted to finish the rest of the bag just so it won’t be lying around anymore.

    But what if I allow myself to eat half a bag of cookies if I want and don’t beat myself up about it? And also give myself permission to eat the rest of the bag later if I REALLY want to. The thing is, usually I don’t want to. I find I overeat much less frequently when food’s lost it’s forbidden, “eat it while you can” quality. I understand everybody’s relationship with food is different though.

      Charlie said
      May 7, 2011 at 7:10 am

      I think your last statement is the key: it is different for everyone. While there are certain patterns we tend to follow, this definitely isn’t a “one size fits all” area. If it were, it would be easy and we wouldn’t have this elephant in the room.