Diet day 2, 232.5 pounds

February 9, 2010

Target Weight: 233

Weight: 232.5

Rules: None

New Target Weight: 232.5


Diet, day 1 233

February 8, 2010

Target Weight: 233

Weight: 233

Rules: None

New ratcheting diet motivation system

I am always looking for something to help motivate me to diet more consistently.  I am usually somewhat laid back in my dieting. I eat everything, but when I diet I emphasize whole grains and less fat. When I do diet, I tend to count calories which is as close to obsessive as I get. I don’t fret about carbs or what time to eat different types of food or whether skipping breakfast is smart. I just try to cut back and keep under a certain calorie count for the day. I tend to start diets when I am upset with my weight. So I usually pick a calorie level that is probably too low and hence hard for me to follow consistently. When I fail to achieve that one daily goal a few time, I get angry and then splurge, which ruins everything.

I ran across this dieting system at Mark Forster’s blog. He is no dietitian, and his site is more personal productivity, but I like his ideas about dieting. (His work on personal productivity, particularly Autofocus is particularly nice if you are looking for a simple way to get more stuff done.)

The diet works like this.

  1. Everyday you have a target weight.You weigh yourself in the morning and if your weight is over your target weight, you add one rule for the day. Each day your weight is over the target, you add one more rule. Each day your weight goes under the target, you subtract one rule.
  2. When your weight goes under the target weight, the new weight becomes the target weight.
  3. Your initial target weight is your current weight when you start the diet.

For example. My weight this morning (starting the diet) was 233 pounds (surprisingly, I do not think it is all muscle.)

Therefore, my target weight is 233

Here is an example of what might occur.

Day 1/ 233 (no rules)

Day 2/ 234 (Add Rule 1–I am over target weight, add one rule)

Day 3/ 234 (Rule 1,Add  Rule 2–Day two over target weight, so I add a second rule.)

Day 4/ 233 (Rule 1, Rule 2–I am back to target weight, so I don’t add more rules.)

Day 5/233 (Rule 1, Rule 2)

Day 6/233 (Rule 1, Rule 2)

Day 7/232 (Rule 1, Subtract Rule 2)  ***new target weight of 232

Day 8/232 (Rule 1)

Day 9/231 (Subtract Rule 1)  ***new target weight 231

Day 10/231 (no rules)

Day 11/232 (Add Rule  1)

Day 12/231 (Rule 1)

Day 13/230 (Subtract Rule 1) ***new target weight 230

I keep my rules and weights in an excel spreadsheet. You could easily keep it in a notebook.

Now for the rules (you can write your own.)

  1. No second helpings (All meals must be no more than approximately 700 calories and the calorie total for the three meals should be around 1950 calories.*)
  2. No snacks
  3. No sweets
  4. Smaller portions (All meals must be no more than around 600 calories with an overall calorie total for the day of around1700)
  5. One course at each meal. (1400 total calories)
  6. Skip one meal
  7. Skip two meals
  8. Skip three meals (I hope I never get to this level, but it would be a problem if I got here and had to stay several days. So, my meta-rule is, once I get to rule 8 I try to fast that day, and then immediately drop to only the first 4 rules. This rule can only be invoked every couple of weeks. But I figure if I ever have to get this far, I have probably cheated on the other rules as well.)

You generally have to eat 3500 extra calories above your metabolism rate to gain one pound. So if you fluctuate up one pound, the first rule or two will probably make up for that. By the time you get to rule 4, you will definitely lose that pound back. My scale shows half pounds so I hope to get on top of weight gain early and often.

Water is a different matter. A couple of extra cups of water weigh about a pound. So don’t drink a huge glass of water right before stepping on the scale. But do not dehydrate yourself. That is very dangerous. If you are really thirsty, you probably need that 12 to 16 ounces of water to make up for what you lost during the day.


You could modify the system. You might have a meta-rule that says, “Never add more than two (or three) rules for any one pound gained.
You could easily just use the first four rules and dump the last four.
You might also limit the drop in target weight to no more than one or two pounds a week.
The sky is the limit. Let you know how it goes.
I have a good idea of how many calories different foods have. I do not do more than roughly approximate these totals.

Teaparty off to a rousing start. Bring back literacy tests!

Tom Tancredo was the opening speaker at the Teaparty convention. He shows his lack of understanding of America’s racial past by:

… asserting that Obama was elected because “we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country.”

Um, Tom, we did have a literacy test. The test was used successfully to disenfranchise black people in the south, keeping people like Obama not only from the White House, but from the voting booth itself. But I suppose he is right. If we had reinstated the literacy test, we would never have had someone like Obama in the White House.

Do abstinence programs work or not?

Two abstinence research studies were released in the last month or so that seem to lead to differning conclusions about the effectiveness of abstinence only programs.

The first study, released in December, and reported in the Washington Post, reached the conclusion that abstinence only programs just don’t work and that not only are kids who take abstinence only pledges just as likely to engage in sex as those who do not, they are slightly more likely to engage in unsafe sex when they do.

This is hardly surprising.

But this week the Washington Post reports on a new study that reaches the opposite conclusion. This is the lead in the Post.

Sex education classes that focus on encouraging children to remain abstinent can persuade a significant proportion to delay sexual activity, researchers reported Monday in a landmark study that could have major implications for U.S. efforts to protect young people against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Well, not so fast. The earlier study, besides supporting numerous other studies that question the effectiveness of abstinence only programs, gathered information from 11,000 students from mixed backgrounds ranging over several years from grades 7-12. The latter study only gathered information from around 650 African-American children in the 6th and 7th grade. The latter program was not, in fact, an abstinence only program. Abstinence was merely one part. The children were not asked to refrain from sex until marriage, and apparently the program did not provide incorrect or negative information to the children concerning condemns or or sex in general. More importantly, abstinence was presented in a morally neutral manner.  It seems that the latter program was closer to a regular sex-education with abstinence as an option. But simply the fact that the sample was so small makes any conclusions drawn from the latter study suspect.

What we did, as a nation, back in the eighties when terrorism was really bad…

Glen Greenwald, in Salon, writes:

To see how radical our establishment consensus in this area has become, just consider two facts.  First, look at the Terrorism policies of what had previously been the most right-wing administration in America’s history:  the Reagan administration.  In this post yesterday, Larry Johnson does quite a good job of documenting how Terrorism by Islamic radicals had been a greater problem in the 1980s than it is now.  There was the 1983 bombing of our Marine barracks in Lebanon, a 1982 and 1984 bombing of Jewish sites in Argentina, numerous plane hijackings, the blowing up of a Pan Am jet, the Achille Lauro seizure, and what the State Department called “a host of spectacular, publicity-grabbing events that ultimately ended in coldblooded murder” (many masterminded by Abu Nidal).

Despite that, read the official policy of the Reagan Administration when it came to treating Terrorists, as articulated by the top Reagan State Department official in charge of Terrorism policies, L. Paul Bremer, in a speech he entitled “Counter-Terrorism:  Strategies and Tactics:”

Another important measure we have developed in our overall strategy is applying the rule of law to terrorists. Terrorists are criminals. They commit criminal actions like murder, kidnapping, and arson, and countries have laws to punish criminals. So a major element of our strategy has been to delegitimize terrorists, to get society to see them for what they are — criminals — and to use democracy’s most potent tool, the rule of law against them.

It was also Ronald Reagan who signed the Convention Against Torture in 1988 — after many years of countless, horrific Terrorist attacks — which not only declared that there are “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever” justifying torture, but also required all signatory countries to “ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law” and — and Reagan put it — “either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution.”  And, of course, even George W. Bush — at the height of 9/11-induced Terrorism hysteria — charged attempted shoe bomber Richard Reid with actual crimes and processed him through our civilian courts.

How much clearer evidence can there be of how warped and extremist we’ve become on these matters?  The express policies of the right-wing Ronald Reagan — “applying the rule of law to terrorists”; delegitimizing Terrorists by treating them as “criminals”; and compelling the criminal prosecution of those who authorize torture — are now considered on the Leftist fringe.  Merely advocating what Reagan explicitly adopted as his policy — “to use democracy’s most potent tool, the rule of law against” Terrorists — is now the exclusive province of civil liberties extremists.  In those rare cases when Obama does what Reagan’s policy demanded in all instances and what even Bush did at times — namely, trials and due process for accused Terrorists — he is attacked as being “Soft on Terror” by Democrats and Republicans alike.  And the mere notion that we should prosecute torturers (as Reagan bound the U.S. to do) — or even hold them accountable in ways short of criminal proceedings — is now the hallmark of a Far Leftist Purist.  That’s how far we’ve fallen, how extremist our political consensus has become.

What happened to us was 9-11. But in many ways, despite all the positive that came out of the act in the initial months—how we pulled together and shook our fists at the terrorists saying “no more,”—we, in the end, became worse as people. Much of the persistent invective and hate that we see today in our politics (not to mention a couple of costly wars) are a direct response to that attack. Too many on the right drew a line in the sand (far to the right, even, than Reagan) and declared that everyone to the left of this line was not merely wrong but evil. That this included most of the progressive and middle left was taken as a given. That it would have included the Reagan administration and most of the US in the far worse 1980’s (in terms of terrorism attacks) is more surprising. But that is what fear does to a nation. And make no mistake, we are talking about fear.

This nation did not ultimately react to 9-11 out of strength but out of fear. It is fear that brings out the worst in people and brings out the worst people, like Cheney.

What is sad is that too much of the left and moderate left let it all happen.

H/T dailyKos

Krugman on “This Week” commenting on the Senate

Has to be frustrating sitting next to that pompous blowhard of Fox News, Roger Ailes. But Paul does get in some good points.  Paul Krugman is a progressive but is not afraid to point out the failings of his own side.

Here he is commenting on George Will’s argument that Brown is just one Senator and is not really that big of a deal.

WALTERS: So why the fuss, Paul?

KRUGMAN: Well because we have a super majority system. Because we have a system in which you cannot at this point get anything done without 60 points in the Senate. I mean, what I’ve been thinking about right now is at this point, the House of Representatives has passed a health care bill and has passed a strong financial reform bill. It has passed a strong climate change bill. In any other advanced democracy, that would mean that all of these things would have happened. But in the U.S. system, it takes 60 votes in the Senate to accomplish anything and because the Democrats nominated somebody in Massachusetts who didn’t know her Red Sox, that entire agenda has run aground — incredible. WALTERS: That was his opponent.

KRUGMAN: And it’s important. Let me just say on health care, that was the most evasive answer. If you think this is a straightforward guy, that was an incredibly evasive answer on health care because the Senate bill, which has now stalled, is identical to the Massachusetts health care plan, the same thing. Only in the finest of fine print is there any difference. He voted for the Massachusetts plan. A majority of voters in Massachusetts who voted for him approve of the Massachusetts health care plan. Nonetheless, their plan is dead.

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