Stupid Switch

Post ImageIf you’re new to my blog (and to be honest, I don’t know why you would be since my rabid fan base is made up of the same half dozen returning readers) then you already know all about The Switch. If by some great miracle you’re new here and about to become the seventh rabid fan of my blog, here’s a quick primer:

The Switch is a mysterious internal biological mechanism that determines whether you’re sticking to a plan or not. It can actually apply to anything in life: work, hobbies, etc., but I typically use it in the context of dieting. If The Switch is on, then you eat right, exercise, stick to your plan, bounce back immediately if birthday cake happens, and in general, the weight comes off. These are the times where it’s “easy” and you claim to have made that elusive “lifestyle change” and people flock to your blog with comments like, “YOU ROCK”, “I’VE BEEN INSPIRED”, and “I SO NEEDED THIS POST TODAY.”

On the other hand, if The Switch is off, then you’re doomed. You might start the day with the best of intentions but invariably you’ll end it in a bucket of ice cream. You’ll fall at the donuts Bob brought to work. You’ll collapse at the merest scent of pizza. Your “lifestyle change” was anything but and you realize that Sisyphus had it easy. In short, you’re doomed.

Week 2
Start Date June 1, 2010
Change from Last Week ugh
Start Weight yikes
Current Weight bleh
Total Lost nm

I’m following the exact same pattern as I did with Day One #99 back in April. I started off well. I had a great first week. I had a miserable first weekend, then completely fell apart after that. This can only mean one thing: The Switch is not on. And, as all you Cool Kids already know, The Switch isn’t something you can just turn on at will. It may turn on in response to something you do or experience, but you just can’t wake up and say, “It’s on today!”

Losing weight is easy. Weight loss is hard. The former simply requires expending more calories than you take in. There’s nothing “simply” about the latter. Unless, of course, The Switch is on. And that’s my problem: it just ain’t on right now.

But I’m not going to let a little thing like that stop me. After all, this boulder isn’t going to roll up the hill all by itself, whatever comes next.

17 Responses to “Stupid Switch”

Helen said
June 15, 2010 at 10:00 am

Oh, that really sucks. But you know what’s worse? When you’re going at it full steam ahead, you THINK the switch is on, the the friggin’ scale tells you it’s not. Worse. Way worse.

Maybe your wife could help you flip your switch? I’m just saying.

Tish said
June 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

Hilarious! And soooo true. Did you ever wonder if your switch was on when you didn’t know it and were face planting in tubs of ice cream? My switch is on right now (finally!) and I’m tippy toeing around so as not to toggle it to the “off” position by mistake.

Tish said
June 15, 2010 at 10:29 am

(the prior post “sent” before I was finished).
AND, I meant to tell you that you we’re spot-on with your 100th 1st day post. I keep a weight loss journal, through thick and thin, and there are so many bright-eyed first day posts.

Shar said
June 15, 2010 at 10:40 am

I wanted to respond because I hope you have more than 1/2 dozen readers, keep blogging. I totally understand the “switch” mine having been off for the last 6 months or so. Hopefully on now. Good luck to you.

inannasstar said
June 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Losing weight sucks balls, no matter what angle you look at it from. Usually, people (and by people I mean ME) got fat by LOVING food. I love to think about what I’m going to make, search for new recipes, prepare the dish and eat it the eff up. Because of that and relying on just food as a pleasure, I’ve become out of balance and FAT. I need to lose around 50 lbs. My health has gone down the shitter and I’m waaaaaaaaaaay to young for that garbage so I’m begrudgingly losing weight. I guess I feel like if I can give FAT the middle finger in the end, it’ll all be worth it.

Quix said
June 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Reader #5 checking in, hehe.

Maybe it’s not time to go all gangbusters on losing the weight, but pick one really nasty habit and try to make it better. Maybe doing the whole “baby steps” thing can trick your switch on.

Then again, I can give advice, but it doesn’t mean I’m anywhere closer to ridding myself of these last 10 infuriating lbs. So there.

Happy Fun Pants said
June 15, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Does it bother you that is *is* off?

If it doesn’t (and you’re maintaining), maybe it’s not time to do anything else.

I lost 55 pounds in 8 months and then stopped – for a year.

I’m just now starting again, but HOO BOY did it take me a while to realize that I wanted to start again.

Now, I never gained back more than 5 pounds in the year hiatus, but I just wasn’t ready to keep going.

Maybe that’s you too.

Biz said
June 15, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I loved Helen’s comment Charlie!

I actually did okay over the weekend in Hilton Head – I thought I would be in “vacation” mode, i.e., eat anything I wanted because calories don’t count if you are vacationing in a different state.

I am proud to say I got in 3 days of exercise out of 4 – and only ate three small pork bbq sandwiches the whole weekend – and it was Aunt Martha’s bbq, so you know that’s good!

I went to gym at lunch, beat my previous ride on the bike machine and did my upper body – still have a long ways to go, but at least I didn’t fall too far off the wagon!

Check out my last blog post with pics from the weekend – Aunt Cele could not have been happier!

Liz @ life in liz's shoes said
June 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm

I feel for ya…I feel like am kinda trying and that I want to but I am not really putting in a lot of effort. I need to figure out how to flip my switch too. Good luck Charlie!

tuscanystone said
June 16, 2010 at 5:34 am


But dont give up! All those days that you at least start off right are better than starting off wrong!

Tusc 🙂

TexasDeb said
June 16, 2010 at 8:57 am

Reader #6 reporting in for duty.

Why is it I keep hearing “the heat is on” playing in my head now (only with “heat” swapped for “switch”…). Cough-cough *crazy!*.

I was doing pretty well until I bought peaches at the store. Fresh peaches led to cobbler which led to ice cream (cobbler and ice cream never come out even any more than hot dogs and buns) and then somehow to home made Moon Pies.

So yeah. I can eat salads all day long but if I’m following that with a huge dessert chaser? HelLO backwards slide. BuhBYE lost ounces.

And yeah – that too. I am now celebrating losing FRACTIONS of a pound. So pass me that boulder please and let’s get rolling.

Your prettier sister said
June 16, 2010 at 10:24 am

I wish there was a switch you could buy that would be “on” all the time! I would pay a lot of $ for that!

Just keep going Charlie!! At least you get back in the game….

I’ll send you my “I’m back on” shirt if that will help!

Love you!

Michelle said
June 17, 2010 at 7:51 am

That switch sucks when it doesn’t want to turn on yet we really want it on. Unfortunately no one can make us turn the switch on….that’s what I keep telling my mother in law who wants me to “get after her”.

Keep at it Charlie! You motivate me to keep at it too….with your honesty and humor!

I think I need to pull your book out and reread it for some encouragement!

Siobhan said
June 18, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I am SO glad to hear about the switch. (Thanks, Tish, for sending me this way.) You described my life exactly, right down to the “this is easy” part. Thanks. 🙂

Roni said
June 18, 2010 at 7:32 pm

The secret to the switch is to simply keep it on MORE then it’s off. Accept that it will always flip on you now and then, it’s inevitable and do small things that coax it back on like Quix said.

Chin up. 🙂

Oh! and one more thing STOP devaluing your blog and yourself be pointing out your “half dozen readers”. As you can tell by the comments here people care about you. They like what you have to say. Write for you, write for them and stop worrying about your traffic. We love you Charlie.

    Charlie said
    June 21, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Re: “the secret to the switch,” I must disagree. Had you said, “The secret to maintaining a long term healthy lifestyle is simply to stay on your program more often than off,” then I would wholeheartedly agree. Unfortunately, that’s one step removed from having The Switch on or off, which, I maintain, is not possible to toggle at will. If it were that easy, this problem would have been solved centuries ago. The fact that the vast, overwhelming majority of us struggle and struggle and struggle indicates that this isn’t a simple matter of just sticking to the plan.

    Re: “devaluation,” you know this is just my shtick, Ron. 🙂 Buuuuut, if it’s that bothersome and if it really does get in the way of my message, then I can stop. It’s just that I’m the most unpretentious person on the planet, and this self-degradation is a simple manifestation of that attribute.

    In any case, I do appreciate the kind words. Don’t think I don’t. 🙂

Charlie said
June 21, 2010 at 11:11 pm

@Everybody Else: thank you for the comments and also a big welcome to the few new Cool Kids I haven’t seen before: Tish, Shar, Siobhan. Hope to see you all around again.