The Best Laid Plans

Curious whether my new catpcha solution was now blocking legitimate humans from leaving comments, I turned it off, just as an experiment. Well, the actual number of human-provided comments did not go up at all. But the spam hose was back on:

Do note, this number represents just two weeks’ worth. I’m really never, ever going to understand this phenomenon.

I am also never going to understand this whole weight loss thing either. I’ve being doing it for some twenty-three years now. I’ve been writing about it for at least six. I’ve been pondering its most deepest mysteries for four straight minutes now. And I’m at a loss.

I still believe The Switch is what controls it and that The Switch is patently NOT under our control. I also still believe people always do what they want. These things are easy to believe in because there’s overwhelming evidence to support them while absolutely no counter-examples to refute them.

So with happy thoughts such as these out of the way, let’s just jump to this week’s graph:

“Gained it all back” is a term often heard around here, in our common area of interest. It’s the same sad story every time: that somehow after months and months and months of hard work, exercise, and skipping that seventeenth slice of pizza, we hit our goal and celebrate by undoing it.

Once the goal has been reached, we’re allowed to reward ourselves with “just one small dessert today.” The next day we’re, “back on!” We rationalize our prize because “deserve it.” We don’t worry about it because, “I lost the weight once, I can do it again. No big deal.”

What we fail to see and/or refuse to admit is that The Switch has gone off. We try to convince ourselves that we’re still in control using various words, platitudes, and inspirational posts from other bloggers.

For me, as I saw the scale quickly approach that 200 line again, I panicked. I was NOT going to do that again. I finally got below that mark last year, not due to hard work, but by a near-death experience. Not a lot of people know this, but cancer isn’t fun.

Worst. Diet. Ever.

For that reason, it would take a volume of apathy on my part large enough to fill the Grand Canyon for me to just “gain it all back” again this time.

So on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 (yes, we’re finally almost all caught up with The Missing Year), starting at 198.0, I declared it to be Day One #111. As they always say, the eleventy-first time’s a charm.

I would, at this point, normally tell you, “Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion,” but let’s face it. We know it’ll be three months before I remember I still have a blog and post the next episode. Let’s just hope it’s a good one.

6 Responses to “The Best Laid Plans”

Helen said
December 2, 2013 at 3:55 am

On one hand, I suppose cancer would make one want to be as healthy as possible – on the other hand I wonder, if I had been through your last year, if I might not just say screw it when it comes to dieting and just live my life. At what point do we ever stop caring or having a “panic” scale number? Interesting…

    Charlie said
    December 2, 2013 at 7:08 am

    And, as you might expect, both of those hands come into play: being as healthy as you can vs. the what’s-the-point-just-live-your-life. In short, then, I’d say the cancer did absolutely nothing to change this ongoing yin & yang we all experience.

Biz said
December 2, 2013 at 6:37 am

Hi Charlie! My Switch has been on since June and I guess the only difference this time is that I had no goal weight or goal date. Years past, I’d get to Labor Day, realize I my weight was exactly the same as it was on January 1 and then say “I’ll lose 40 pounds by my birthday!”

Then around February, I realize I’ve only lost 8 pounds, know I am not going to goal anyway, so I say “f_ck it” and then go buy a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos.

It’s still a challenge each day, don’t get me wrong. But for me it’s not about deprivation, it’s about choice. My choice on whether or not I am going to eat the donuts someone brought to work. My choice to stop at two pieces of pizza. My choice to kick the wine to the curb.

Here’s to Diet #111! I love you! Love, your prettier sister Biz

Julie said
December 2, 2013 at 10:14 am

The switch seems to go on and off sometimes more than a light switch for me. I understand Charlie, it’s just plain hard. For some not so much, for others very much.
I try and try, and I really do try, and the 50 lbs gone have came back to haunt me when my sister passed away (well awhile before that it started but it was than I really took note). It’s now been 4 months since she left and I have started over yet again but it’s hard. I have my excuses but really I am the one that feeds me.
Good luck with diet #111 (by the way that’s my county road number, it’s a good number).
Take care and have a blessed week.

Kristen said
December 4, 2013 at 8:10 am

Ya know, I’ve been thinking about your switch theory a lot, and I have to say that I think you’re right on. The problem, for me anyway, is that there seems to be a million things that can make the switch turn off, but it is impossible to manufacture or even define whatever it is that occasionally turns it on for real. I try to force it on all.the.time, but it only actually works when it happens naturally.

I think that for those of us who struggle with this (based on obesity statistics in the US, we’re in the majority at this point), the switch might be one of life’s biggest mysteries and frustrations.

    Charlie said
    December 5, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Oh, I know I’m right on. 🙂

    I realize that this theory seems (at best) like a realist attitude and (at worst) like a defeatist attitude. But frankly, I’m not in that category of people for whom unfounded optimism works. Upbeat phrases of the “You Can Do It!” variety simply have no affect on me.

    My theory is based observation. First, personal observation of my own mental and behavioral patterns. Second, external observation that if “You Can Do It!” phrases actually worked, we would have solved this little problem about 24,000 Self-Help books ago.