Everyday Systems: nosdiet: message 3110 of 3212

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Subject: Re: [nosdiet] Challenges
From: Reinhard Engels
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 18:50:04 -0800 (PST)

Hi Nathan,

I think some people might get a helpful kick out of
something like this, but I'd encourage them to focus
on "days on habit" rather than pounds lost as their
metric. I don't say this to be feel good wishy washy,
on the contrary. Scales are notoriously imprecise
(even medical scales, as we learned the hard and
terrifying way with our infant daughter). Even when
they work (and who knows when that is) you don't know
if it's a pound of water or fat or muscle. But more
importantly, it's one step removed from your behavior.
Long term, yes, your weight is under your control, but
not short term. You can behave perfectly and still
gain a pound in a given day. There is a delay between
behavior and result. This delay can mess you up
psychologically if you make the result a necessary
short term reinforcement. Days on habit are behavior.
They are directly under your control. They are your
control. If you're good, that's the result. That's
your reward. The metric is equivalent to the means.
And a day is a day is a day. There's no "day of
muscle" or "day of fat." It's unambiguous. Using days
as your metric forces you to remember that this is
about your will and your habits, not random flukes of
physiology. Finally, for "contest" purposes, it makes
for a more even competition between large and small.

As part of the groups replacement, I'll put up a days
on habit calendar for people to tick off their
successes and failures in green and red. Those who
want can make theirs public, and more private types
can take private satisfaction in solid weeks and
months of green.

--- Nathan Algren <samurai_dieter@...> wrote:
> Does the NoS diet lend itself well to 'diet
> challenges,' you know, the practice of having
> several
> people start a diet at the same time to see who
> loses
> the most weight? 
> Has the group started or considered such a challenge
> in the past? 
> Reinhard, what would be your opinion on such an
> endeavor amongst your loyal group members? 
> I can foresee a large increase in list mail, if
> thats
> a problem, as members report their weekly gains /
> losses. 
> Any one have any ideas, complaints or suggestions
> for
> something like this? 
> What does it mean to be Samurai? To devote yourself
> utterly to a set of moral principles. To seek a
> stillness of your mind. And to master the way of the
> sword. 
> - Capt. Nathan Algren, "The Last Samurai"

 © 2002-2005 Reinhard Engels, All Rights Reserved.