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Welcome to Orcmid's Lair, the playground for family connections, pastimes, and scholarly vocation -- the collected professional and recreational work of Dennis E. Hamilton

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Weight Loss and the Cravings

Creating Passionate Users: The strangest, easiest way to lose weight.  Kathy Sierra posted a remarkable experience on changing her physical-weight “set point” using Seth Robert’s Shangri-La Diet: The No Hunger Eat Anything Weight-Loss Plan.  Based on Kathy’s account and on observations made on the Freakonomics blog, I have ordered the book.  To achieve the no-shipping level, I had Amazon toss in Freakonomics, a book I’ve not yet read.

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In Winter 2004–2005 I successfully brought my weight range from a high of 168 to a comfortable-for-me 155.  Along with the exercise and diet regimen, I also brought my cholesterol levels to the best they’ve ever been in the 20+ years that they’ve  been monitored and medicated.  I relaxed out of that, and lately my weight is stuck around 160 and is not budging. 

I have become careless about exercise, so I’m putting daily exercise practices back in.  I am working with an e-mail “vitality buddy” and reporting my weight, exercise, and other actions I’m taking every day.  This seems to have stabilized the creeping weight-gain, and it is extremely valuable in having me perform in this area.  But I have pretty constant cravings and I respond by wolfing down snack foods.  There are baby carrots in the refrigerator, and I must put that in.  That’s not where I look when I want a quick snack fix.  I will make snacking on carrots, fruits and other vegetables an addition to what I account for with my vitality buddy and I’ll put that into practice right now.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to the book.  I will also getting a cholesterol check-point in a month or two and it will be interesting to see if I have reclaimed any or all of my prior victory.  I know that exercise was a big factor, and it was the only way I’ve ever managed to raise my HDLs into the desired range.

My vitality buddy has been cutting back on caffeine, and I know Jeff Sandquist stopped drinking caffeine when he managed the weight reduction that inspired my previous victory.  I started doing the same, and I’ve managed to reduce my intake to 1–2 cups of lip-smacking French Roast drip every two days.  I learned something that I should have known.  Caffeine works for me in managing my regular occurrences of sinus inflammation.  So, in addition to becoming more lethargic than I was willing to continue, I found that caffeine was the best treatment when low-level allergy/sinus symptoms kick-in.   That’s my story.  I don’t think it is caffeine withdrawal. 

Unfortunately, while in Mountain View on May 1–3 I became great buddies with the barista at the IIW2006 workshop and now must go into recovery.  That’s working, although I find that I have begun to crave coffee too.  I also see, in reviewing my previous experience, that I no longer measure calories and that I lost my original coach’s attention after that success.  

At the bottom of all of this, I must embrace this effort as a journey and not as an end-point.  I will never not be managing my weight, exercise, and overall health and vitality.  Now it is time to click post and get on the rowing machine.


Hi Dennis! I've been playing around with this Morale Meter. I haven't been good at all about keeping up with it, but I would like to start trying to figure out a correlation between sleep, caffeine intake, and how good I feel.
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