People have been asking me how the diet is going. I'm still at it, although I cheat much more often than I'd like, so the daily caloric average is now 1500-1800. However, I've been stuck on one seriously cruel plateau. I've been bouncing around the 390-lb range for two months now, unable to get beyond that level. (Weighed just now: 392.2.) It's incredibly frustrating every day to keep eating diet food and denying myself what I really want, and get nothing out of it. I can wait out short plateaus, but two months without results is just painful. I keep waiting for progress that stubbornly refuses to come.

One big change has been the addition of Nutrisystem. Once upon a time, I really wanted to join the program. I liked that it took over everything that you ate – you ate what they told you to eat, when they told you to eat it, down to the number of glasses of water. I felt like there was no point of failure in that kind of system for me, because I had never invented a diet that I could successfully impose on myself. Last month, my mom gave me a very generous birthday gift by signing me up for the program and paying for it for the first few months. That's a huge gift; this stuff ain't cheap.

While I'm more than grateful for the help, and pleased to discover that most of the Nutrisystem food is actually pretty tasty, what I'm sadly coming to accept is that it just doesn't work for me. Nutrisystem gives you very tiny portions, like lunch that would fit in the cup of your hand, and asks you to eat constantly throughout the day to keep your metabolism up. They're all about eating a little bit every 2 hours, either a snack that they provide like a 100-calorie bag of chips, or some fruit or veggies from the grocery. But I don't have that kind of self-restraint: If I don't feel full after a meal, I eat another meal, and keep eating until I feel satisfied. And I don't just nibble on their little snacks when I start binging; I sometimes eat things I'm not supposed to eat from Kelly's stock. This results in me eating non-stop all day, consuming perhaps 1000 calories after work and as many as 3000 calories a day when I'm home on the weekend.

It's not the sole reason that I haven't made progress – I've been roaming off-diet for too many meals, particularly meals at restaurants, and I need to stop that – but Nutrisystem is clearly not working for me. I think I'm going to finish this month's shipment and go back to what was working, because I have to make some progress soon for sake of my sanity. It feels oddly vindicating to be beyond Nutrisystem: Once upon a time, I looked up to it as a solution because I didn't know how to diet, and I wanted it to teach me. Now I feel like I'm a successful dieter who came up with a better solution than they offer (for me anyway), and they're holding me back. Honestly, I don't really care how I do it; I just want to lose the weight already.

The encouraging feedback that I get from others continues to be a big help. I'm not getting as much attention as this guy (good luck, Banks), but it does keep me going, especially when the plateau is this cruel. I'm grateful to everybody who has cheered me on. I'm just saying that because i want to say it; not to fish for feedback. :-)

Two Replies to Day 178

Steve Dunn | June 29, 2010
Start trying a bunch of healthy low-calorie foods and see which ones you like. Then, eat the hell out of them. Maybe raw broccoli with no-fat ranch dressing - something along those lines. Vegetables, mainly. Figure some form of preparation that tastes good to you, and make that your "get full" fallback.

Also bear in mind:

1) It can take 10-15 minutes after eating for satiety to kick in. So if you're still hungry after eating, wait a few minutes. It often turns out you're satisfied after all.

2) The hunger diminishes and goes away in time if you stick with it. Being hungry all the time IS part of the deal at first, but not forever. You gotta keep it real and bust through, though, or you'll stay in yo-yo land forever.

Update on me: I went off the rails for the Final Four and haven't really gotten back. I had a beach vacation and just got back from a weekend in Boston - both were bad for my weight loss efforts. So, I've made some negative progress. I'm back on the wagon as of yesterday and I intend to finish this thing out...

Jackie Mason | July 3, 2010
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Logical Operator

The creator of Funeratic, Scott Hardie, blogs about running this site, losing weight, and other passions including his wife Kelly, his friends, movies, gaming, and Florida. Read more »

Continuing in my tradition of discussing pop culture 5-to-10 years after its shelf life: Once upon a time, I was an enormous fan of ER. From the time I started watching early in season one, I didn't miss a single first-run broadcast until I finally stopped watching late in season five. I learned the medical jargon; I memorized every minor character's name; I speculated about and debated the future plotlines endlessly. Go »


Many thanks to Miah Poisson and Ines Sarante for throwing a great 30th birthday party for Miah this weekend. I don't play much Guitar Hero, but apparently I play enough to win a tournament against Miah's GH-obsessed coworkers, or maybe it's just because the game is ridiculously handicapped against experts. I'm just happy because I won a pimp stein: We ate lots of great food, had fun with karaoke, and talked until the hour was late. Go »

WLW: The First 30

Since we're still putting off NutriSystem until our bank accounts recover from the move, Kelly and I have been focusing on exercise instead. So far it's mostly a lap around the apartment complex a few nights a week, saying hi to underdressed strangers walking their dogs. Last weekend we tried the mall. Go »

Rambling Phone Post

Does it make sense for me to keep my phone? Work has provided me with a cell phone. I broke my home phone last weekend, and I could buy another one at Target for ten bucks, but I wonder if I should finally kick the $45 monthly bill and stick to either the cell phone or something like Skype (for which I'd have to buy a mic). Go »

Midevil Mayhem

On Sunday evening, besides indulging in a few rounds of the ever-popular Munchkin with Miah, Ines, and her boss Denise, we tried one round of Midevil, a spinoff of the apparently bestselling Zombies!!! game that my St. Pete friends will recognize. Go »


I don't know what Polaroids he has of whom, but somehow Tom Skilling has elevated himself to some kind of all-important weather-broadcasting god. When I grew up in Chicago, I watched him gradually get a bigger and bigger budget for his animated graphics, and gradually get a larger and larger timeframe to deliver his dull reports. By the time I left town, he had a whole 20 minutes of the hour-long midday newscast for the fucking weather, and boy did he find trivia to fill it: Average dew points across Cook County on this day in 1854, theta-e temperature predictions for every Cubs home game next season, you name it. Go »