Sunday, September 20, 2009

Recidivism and Weight Gain.

Journal Entry, September 16, 2009: Weight = 171.2; Coinage = $1.86; 59 pennies, 7 nickels, 5 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved and riposted = 9; Ground Scores = 0 but an earlier man’s shirt (Claiborne designer series) was placed on the clothes horse and lasted less than 30 minutes. Best coinage find = a three coin scatter (nickel and two pennies) found in the darkness of 6 a.m. A glimmer of moon light reflected a roundness and size with just enough cues to be recognized as a coin. Next to the nickel were two pennies. This was an unexpected find and it excited the MoneyWalker’s VS, the ventral striatum, the brain’s center that emotes pleasure as a result of an accomplishment.

Journal Entry, September 19, 2009: Weight 172; Coinage = $1.49, 14 pennies, 1 nickel, 8 dimes, 2 quarters; Ground scores = 2; Best coinage find = 2 quarters at the bottom of the coin return tray at the drive-through car wash—very rare.

Journal Entry, September 20, 2009: Weight 174.0; Coinage = $3.21, 151 pennies, 3 nickels, 8 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved = 9; Ground scores = 7; Best coinage find = 5 coin scatter including one quarter and one nickel following a hunch into an isolated parking lot.

Feature Entry: It is no secret that the MoneyWalker has been in a funk recently. I think it started when Ms. MoneyWalker created a spreadsheet with prioritized and dated tasks for yours truly. I could tell she meant business. Spread sheets make me feel corned.

But it could have been my weight. After dropping below 170 and just 1.8 lbs from my goal of 168, the score BMI (body mass index) tables indicate as my upper range for my age and height, and bragging about it on this blog; I promptly zoomed right up to 174, 6 lbs overweight. Just a year ago I was hovering around 179/180. But having worked so hard to break below 170 and then regain so quickly, the question for myself using “cognitive cuing,” had I descended into recidivism, the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after having previously conquered or extinguished that behavior? In the evening of the day that I dropped below 170, at about 8 p.m., I remembered that a big piece of cheese cake was in the fridge, down it went. But still, the weight gain could have been just the random up and down fluctuations usually caused by water loss or retention?

The MoneyWalker will complete his comments about recidivism in the next blog and answer the question, is the MoneyWalker heading back to 180 lbs if not higher?



  1. Hey, I'm glad to see a new post. I was worried that you had met the business side of a car fender. If another day had gone by I would have been searching the internet for you. "Hey, anyone out there see a fast-walking professor, probably bent over picking up coinage and carrying glass bottles and used shirts?"

    About the recidivism, I'm right there with you. That 65 lb weight loss of six years ago partially disappeared over the last two. I'm now back on the diet wagon since the day after Labor Day. So far, so good. I'm not as meticulous as you when it comes to tracking the weight. Two or three times a week on the antique scales is all that I need. The fit of my jeans tells me how I'm doing. But still, I fell off the wagon and am now paying the price. At least this time I know what to expect and after two weeks of serious calorie counting I'm still plugging along. I expect it to take three months. I've also tried to increase my activity level and my aching quads are proof of that. I don't have a specific weight goal but rather a comfortable fit in my smaller jeans.

    I know that returning to the size of six years ago is impossible. At that time I was not physically active. My smallest jeans will never fit again due to increased muscles in my legs. I'll never wear that beautiful black suit again but that's okay. BMI right now is at the top of normal, goal is to get to the middle of normal.

    I think I really like Ms. MoneyWalker. Maybe I can use the spreadsheet tactic to get Zeus to do his chores instead of the passive-aggressive behavior that I was planning.

    Corned? Please explain.

  2. Ha..she beat me to it, I'd hate to think that Ms. corned you for gaining 6 pounds.

    To be honest I read your blog often and didn't realize you were trying to lose weight, I was always mentally congratulating you for keeping intentional health at the forefront.

    If you'd prefer to do your tracking elsewhere SparkPeople has lots of good tools and is free. Or Calorie King's little $3.00 10 week food tracker is worth it's weight in gold for showing where we went wrong. Keep on keeping on, Sharyn

  3. The National Geographic Channel had a very interesting program on the Science of Obesity. They made an argument based on the idea of human homeostasis to suggest that once you make behavior changes to loose weight, your body makes its own changes to attempt to restore balance. Essentially, the program stated that your body doesn't know that normal was overweight and interprets the weight loss as starvation. It then uses several mechanisms to get you to eat more and burn fewer calories.

  4. ectwarrionr: My mind understands that concept but unfortunately, my too-tight jeans just don't get it. They keep on screaming "MORE SPANDEX! MORE SPANDEX"!

    Seriously, it's not fair that the human body packs on the pounds effortlessly but fights getting back to a healthy state.