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Trying to attain orbit

It's common knowledge that few people keep lost weight off, and a big part of my hypothesis in this current experiment is that full consciousness of what I'm doing will increase my chances of becoming one of them.

I'm still in the liftoff phase, geeking out over my charts and graphs, delighting in getting out the kitchen scale, and even looking forward to my next weigh-in. A more temperate state will come soon, and I need to anticipate it so that I can keep taking right action without the high-octane booster rocket of enthusiasm.

Even if I could keep up this level of enthusiasm for more than three or four months (which has never happened to me), it wouldn't be wise. This is a lifelong undertaking, an infinite game, not an exciting one-time challenge. I need to break gravity, and then maintain permanent orbit.

Ooh, fun with analogies.

The difficulties I see peeping over the horizon fall into three main areas so far: doubt, denial, and defaults.

Doubt: Am I doing the right thing? Am I deluding myself that this is possible? Will I wind up ashamed and embarrassed at my failure?...that sort of thing, stuff that could tempt me into a preemptive surrender before I'm defeated.

Denial: Eh, I know what 30 grams of mayonnaise looks like, and then I dish out 45. Seems like nothing, but overestimating by 50% is how I got here. It's the thin end of a massive wedge, and keeping it away is going to require commitment and consciousness. My documented propensity for denial is why I'm using weights and measures in the first place.

Defaults: I burn 178 calories riding my bike to work in the morning. Every morning. Or do I??? I checked a number of things once at the beginning of the project and have never re-assessed them. Accuracy is critical, particularly on the calories-out side of the equation, where accuracy is harder to come by. I need to remember exactly where I'm working with estimates, and upgrade to solid data wherever I can.

(It seems like a no-brainer to err on the high side for calories in, and on the low side for calories out, but a drift of a few percentage points could result in my going too hungry, which would almost certainly cause the project to fail. My margins are actually fairly tight, and I get as few brownie points for coming in low as for coming in high.)

Meanwhile, I'm making my data prettier and prettier!
Scatter Chart

Translation: "So far, so good."

Longer version: My caloric intake has been all over the map (the scattered dots) but on average (the upper squiggly line) it stays within my target range (the two straight gray lines). By this measure, I should be losing weight at a predictable rate, but I need more actual weight data over time to test that hypothesis.

By the way, what I'm doing isn't too much different from The Hacker's Diet, and the whole book is available for free online, along with some tracking tools that make my geekery look practically suave.

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