Two Problems

In my world of software development there’s this interesting little thing called a regular expression. Without going into too much detail, a “regex” is highly structured and very flexible method for finding text that matches a given pattern. At its simplest form, the regex “rib” could be used to positively match the strings “rib”, “ribbon”, or “this blog is horrible.” At its more complex form, well, there’s this one:


Believe it or not, that will pick any email address out of a sea of text. So what’s the point of bring this up? Well, we have a saying in this world: if you have a problem and you decide to solve it with regular expressions, you now have two problems.

Funny I should mention two problems. Because that’s how many I have.

Problem One
The last diet has completely crashed and burned. It’s time I just come out and admit that. I can’t blame this on holidays or work or anything in between. What I can blame it on is hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and the other elements that make up my machinery. They all got together and decided they wanted some snacks and didn’t ask me if it were okay first.

On the upside, I’m only up a couple pounds. So I haven’t completely fallen apart. But, alas, The Switch is off, and everybody knows what that feels like.

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For everyone who climbed on board and is still on board, yay to you! There’s an empty spot up in the engine if you’re interested. For anyone else who fell off, you can now join the former conductor as he stands just to the left of the tracks. And for everyone involved, I apologize for being a sucky driver.

My best hope now is to simply maintain until The Switch turns back on. That would be a first, but hey, there’s a first time for everything, right? (Yes, I realize “time travel” and “fat free potato chips” both fit in that same category.)

Problem Two

Problem Two, odd as it may sound, will probably be a lot harder to fix. Problem Two is this blog. It’s boring. “Blah, blah, blah, I weighed this much. Blah, blah, blah, I weighed that much. Blah, blah, blah.” I look back on the Good Ol’ Days and think, “Wow, I wrote me some pretty good bloggery back in the day.” Of course, I easily spent twenty hours a week or more on it, and never did get any huge amounts of traffic out of it. Most writers (I assume) write to be read. If no one’s reading, it’s difficult to stay motivated to write.

So I keep thinking, “If I just put some more effort into it, it could probably be worth reading again.” But then I think, “I did that once already. Am I ready to do all that again? Or should I invest that twenty hours a week into something more meaningful, like catching up on the last fifteen years of television?”

I guess what it all boils down to is just that: time. I have to work and I have to sleep. That pretty much takes up twenty hours of each day, which leaves little time for dilly-dallying. I’m still working on the novel writing, which should be done in as little as two months or as much as fifteen more years. And there’s also the million little things which take up the other twenty hours each day.

What to do, what to do. Well, I don’t have any answers right now, but I thought I’d at least give everyone this update. I owe you that much. Now just look for my next post sometime in the next twenty hours. But probably not twenty consecutive hours.

p.s. if you’re still wondering what I weigh, it’s about 219. Still down fifteen pounds from last August.

10 Responses to “Two Problems”

Michelle said
February 7, 2011 at 7:30 am

I can completely understand the lack of time in a day that’s why I’m lucky to post once a month on my blog. There are only 24 hours and a good portion of those are taken up with the things we “have” to do.

Keep writing for yourself and keep trying to turn that “switch” on permanently!! I’ll keep checking in on you.

Take care and if you find “great tasting fat-free” anything let me know!

Christine @ Merf In Progress said
February 7, 2011 at 8:27 am

“Or should I invest that twenty hours a week into something more meaningful, like catching up on the last fifteen years of television?”

This is what I tell myself: Invest in yourself. Blog to motivate yourself. Blog for accountability, even if no one reads it. If it’s meaningful, you’ll draw readers. I don’t like blogs where people just talk about what they ate or what they weigh, but I like when they talk about how they felt about those things. What are they struggling with? What do they feel proud of? That’s something I can identify with.

Biz said
February 7, 2011 at 9:47 am

You are alive! With how much you work I wonder how you have time to blog and eat! Hang in there Charlie – I am still on the train. I am down 5.6 in the last six weeks, which easily could have been +5.6 with everything that’s going on in our life.

Slow and steady wins the race – that’s going to be my motto! 😀

Love, your prettier sister, Biz

Quix said
February 9, 2011 at 9:48 pm

I am with you, and with you.

Motivation waxing and waning. Barely enough time to open my rss reader, let along post meaningful stuff. Never had much traffic myself either, so it’s like… eh? If I post once a week or 5, if I spend 1 hour or 20, what’s the difference?

It will flip on sooner or later and we’ll do what it takes. Hopefully. Or we’re just screwed, one of the two. 🙂

Julie said
February 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Well Charlie I boarded your train in the 200’s and I made it to onederland with you as my conductor. I’m now 183.2 and still trying to lose 20 more. You gave me the push to really get going and I thank you very much.
Now take care of yourself, do what you can and the switch with click when you’re ready.
God Bless you Charlie. I’ll still be back from time to time to check on you. Just to see what you’ve been up too.

Charlie said
February 14, 2011 at 8:51 am

Thanks for the comments. Still pondering the future at the moment and hanging at or around the 220 mark.

. . . and as for you Julie, way to go on hitting 183. I remember when you said something about just hitting 199, so “wow” that you kept plowing on. Looks like you really are going to be the new you.

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said
February 17, 2011 at 7:15 pm

It’s your blog. You can write boring, exciting or anything inbetween.

While I agree with “The Switch” theory, (I read the book). I now believe that there is a measure of control with it. You either want to lose weight or you don’t. If it’s important to you, put the stupid fork down and eat correctly. It’s just food, you KNOW how to do it. Take control, don’t let the switch control you. Food is fuel, not a habit.

It took awhile for me to truly get “aboard” but I am now and there is no way I am getting off!

    Charlie said
    February 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Actually, you touched on one of the cores of my theory. You said, “You either want to lose weight or you don’t.” I agree with that completely. What a body does at any given point in time is what it wants to do. Even when you’re doing something you don’t want to do (like dragging yourself out of bed to go to work) you really do want to do it because you probably could use the paycheck. There are millions of decision vectors all working at once in your brain and whatever you do at any given time is the average of all of these: some are weak, some are strong, but eventually the brain works out what it “wants” to do, and you do it.

    My whole thing with The Switch is that when it’s off, you don’t want to lose weight anymore. You may think you do but some other decision vector overcomes it. If life were as easy as just “choosing” what you want at any given time, we wouldn’t have this problem at all.

    Sometimes the brain just does stuff without consulting you and you really, really can’t do anything about it. Next time you doubt this, think about all the times when a song gets stuck in your head. Do you just “choose” it away? Nope. Your at its mercy until that particular neuron party runs its course.


Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said
February 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm

I wrote out a reply but I don’t know what happened to it.

In a nutshell, I do SEE what you mean by the switch, I’ve experienced it. I sorta get it but I still think there is an element of choice.

Getting a song stuck in your head is annoying and no, you can’t choose it away. Being healthy and fit is more than just annoying, it could be life altering and I think we all DO have control over it.

If you are happy at 219 and don’t mind gradually gaining 15 – 20 lbs. then fine, you are CHOOSING to keep the switch off. But. If you truly want to do something about it, you CAN control the switch. You CHOOSE to do the important things in your life because they ARE important. Like going to work, visiting the inlaws, that kind of stuff.

IF losing weight is important to you, you CAN do it. It’s not like you don’t know what to eat. You’ve been on enough diets that you know that taco bell will not cause you to lose weight, even if it is just one taco. You have done this so you KNOW how to do it. I think that it’s BS to say that you have no control over it. I think that is an excuse and just giving up. You control what goes in your mouth and what you do.

This is coming from someone who used to be 325 lbs and clueless. Then got down to 217, then climbed to 246 and the scale this morning said 220. I still have a long way to go. I am a bit hungry right now but I am CHOOSING not to eat as it is not part of the plan at the moment. I am choosing to stick to the plan and succeed. The switch is totally on here.

    Charlie said
    February 21, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Actually, your first reply got caught by my spam filter. I just saw it this morning. My reply to this comment is coming in my next post. Stay tuned.