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The Austerity Plan

posted at 11:29 pm
on May. 30, 2005

Comments: 1 so far



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So, Susie and I are on The Austerity Plan.

It’s a new diet I came up with.  It’s got an interesting twist: we can eat whatever we want, but there’s a terrible price.

The basic setup is this: We both put on a noticable amount of weight on our long trip to Los Angeles and New York last month.  Too many delicious restaurants with good friends, and trips to our favorite fast food places, too.

So, we’ve each set a weight loss goal.  As motivation, we’ve also given up four things that we love.  We’ve divided that goal into four parts, and each time we lose a quarter of the weight, we get back one of those things.

We chose for each other, to make the items hard and appropriate.  Susie chose these for me:
* no television
* no chips (tortilla, potato, etc.)
* no Flickr (online photosharing service)
* no sleeping in (for me, sleeping in is 10 a.m.)

For Susie, I chose these four bad boys:
* no knitting
* no television
* no using her library card
* no sugary soda

Now, every time we sit down to eat, or decide if we have the energy to exercise, it’s a rather serious decision: do we want a snack, or television back? Do we want a cupcake, or would we like to sleep in?

So far, we’ve been doing it about three weeks.  I’ve earned back one thing: Flickr.  Susie’s close to getting something back, but is having a hard time chosing what she misses most of all.  She’s thinking of knitting, but without TV to sit in front of, it’s only half worth it.

Of course, we’re both clever, devious people, so we keep coming up with loopholes and ways to get around these restrictions.

There’s one big exception: the Social Exception.  It would be rude, and harsh, to cut ourselves off from friends if those friends were doing a forbidden activity.  This mostly applies to television.  For example, we’ve gone over to Martin’s place where he was viewing a few shows.  Of course, it’s exceedingly unlikely that someone will require me to eat chips at a social occasion, or sleep in.  Susie keeps trying to figure out some way for using her library card to be socially permissible, but it hasn’t happened yet.

I like this plan, because there are defined goals, and clear rewards that really mean something to me.  I’m giving something up, but it’s not just desserts.  I get to chose, and that’s great.  At the same time, I’m really motivated, and have been eating much smaller and healthier.  I’ve also been up before 10 every day except for one day that the alarm didn’t go off—weekend included.

I’ll let you know how thing progress, but I’ve already gotten into some pants that haven’t fit for a while.



Previous entry:
How To Remove a Key From Your Keyboard

Next entry:
Keeps on Running


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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