Monday, August 01, 2005
out of mouth, out of mind
Monday is my weekly weigh-in day, and I'm sure all of you have spent most of the day hitting "Refresh" again and again as you wait for the update. To end the suspense: the losing streak continues. Through 10 weeks, I'm down 27 pounds. Rarely in my life does something go better than expected, especially something so contingent on my own actions.
Sometime during the Great Weight Gain of 2003, I became sufficiently corpulent that I had grown beyond the most generous hole on the belt I wear most days. So I bought a new one. Now, I'm off the smallest hole of that belt. I looked around for my old belt in vain. And then I realized it was in the Box Of Resignation in which I had packed a bunch of clothes that no longer fit. And, lo, they fit now, so it's like a world of new-but-familiar wardrobe choices awaits. So, now: do I box up the larger clothes that I've shrunk out of, or do I show some confidence and get rid of them?
Anyway, following a theme from comments on yesterday's post, I wouldn't claim to have learned much about the craft of weight loss from the experience of this downward journey. However, there is one not-necessarily-obvious thing about this diet that I do think I have done right. And that is: I've tried to be militant about avoiding having "just a taste" or "low-calorie" versions of the foods that I know are the most problematic for me. Namely, before all this started, I would have enormous cravings for (milk) chocolate. I don't know if I felt like I had to have something chocolate every day, like some friends I could mention, but chocolate certainly found its way into my gullet with high regularity. Back when this diet started and I was full of abstemious resolve, I kept myself away from chocolate. And, now, when my resolve is not nearly as strong as it was, I don't actually miss it. Meanwhile, if I had been messing around with those fat-free chocolate snacks, I suspect it quite likely I would have graduated up to full-blown-full-fat chocolate consumption by now. I've never believed the saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I'm even more sure it doesn't apply to the stomach. Absence makes you forget.
Quick postscript on chocolate and fatness: It wasn't until graduate school that I learned there were all these dog owners out there who believed adamantly that you shouldn't give chocolate to a dog. I mean, I have friends who react as strongly when they see their dog about to snag a morsel of chocolate as you might expect a new parent to react if they saw their toddler about to snag a morsel of rat poison. I don't know the evidence from veternary science, so I'm not saying these friends are wrong in being so mightily concerned. But: back on the farm we had a dachschund that was the victim of my mother's pathological need to feed. From whenever it was, early on, that my mother figured out that it liked chocolate, that dachschund had chocolate every day of its life. "And she loved it!" my mother would chime in here. It was, by a ways actually, the fattest dachschund I have ever seen. The weight problem caused some serious issues for its doggie quality of life when it got old. If the chocolate ever caused any problems for that dog beyond helping it toward being so fat, I never saw it. 'Cause it did get old, dying at an age certainly in line with the average for its breed.