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Diet Day 671 - There is no Mars

It turns out weight loss isn't a trip to Mars. Sure, there's a goal, a weight I'd like to reach, but it's not a landing place. It's a more like going into permanent earth orbit. And the orbit will decay without a little maintenance.

Liftoff required a massive amount of effort: intention, enthusiasm, conscious change, and (yes) hunger. Once I reached escape velocity, however, the energy requirement dropped off significantly. I was no longer hungry, and I could replace mental and emotional work with routines and technology.

Of course, once I'd lost 65 pounds I started to coast on complacency (or maybe I just needed a rest) and I began to lose altitude.

It was five months and a 20% regain before I admitted that I was goin' down too quick, likely to crash and kill us all. I'd stopped recording my food, my clothes were getting snug, and I was afraid of the scale.

I caught myself just as I was accelerating into a dive, and it's taken four more months to reverse the process. It'll be another couple before I'm back to where I was when the orbital decay began. After that, who knows? It could take me two more years to lose the final thirty pounds.

So I really have only three choices: crash--just give up, regain it all-and-then-some like every other time (can't endure that one); suffer wide cycles of neglect-and-difficult-correction (actually the hardest thing to do); or keep an eye on the instruments all the time, and fire a thruster as needed to stay in orbit.

There is no Mars.

It's not complicated. And greatly to my surprise, it's not hard, either. The instruments are simple: a daily weigh-in and the resulting trend-line. The thrusters consume very little energy: recording calories in and out with an eye to the daily limit.

Here's a picture of the trend-line of my whole diet from October 2010 to the present:
Weight Chart August 2012
(from the very excellent Libra Android app, about which I can't say enough good things)

And here's the aerospace-metaphor version:
Weight Chart August 2012

I note that at about 205 pounds I seem to have a stable band. I loiter there on the way up as well as on the way down. I just got past it again yesterday and it's like someone cut a rubber band: I'm accelerating again after a long pull.

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