Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Autopilot Switch is Broken

At my age of 44, I know certain facts about my physical body that will not change for the rest of my life.
  • I've had my gall bladder and appendix removed.
  • I have a bald spot and thinning hair on top (so I shave the rest of my head to complete the look).
  • I am tall and have a large frame.
  • I am now starting to grow hair on my ears like I am slowly becoming a hobbit. 
  • And despite all of that, I am still better looking than most men (sorry, with it).
I think that I have just discovered something else that I will have to accept and deal with for the rest of my life.

My autopilot switch is broken.

You know how most airplanes have that switch the the pilot flips that just allows the plane to fly on its own.  The pilot inputs the end destination, flips the switch and the plane should be able to just maintain course.

With my recent weight loss, I kept hoping that I have that switch.  My plan would be to stick to reasonable portions, a reasonable amount of exercise to maintain this flight path, flip the switch and then, focus on other things.

...but, my autopilot switch is broken. 

I couldn't tell at first.  I don't feel an immediate jerk and see the plane speeding straight downward to earth.  Instead, my plane just slowly veers off-course with an eventual downward trend toward the nearest mountain.

When I have a great weigh-in, I obviously feel good about myself.  I know what choices to make at lunch that day.  And yet, I may choose to skip exercise...just on that weigh-in day.  (Do you see where this is going?)

While the ink is still wet on my little weight loss journal with the newest low weight, I begin to mentally take my eyes off the horizon, assuming that the computer can fly this plane for awhile.

Three days later, I find myself wondering how I have drifted off course.  Again, for me, I don't binge and I'm not doing loop-de-loops in the plane...just a gentle slow path away from my desired flight plan.

So, that's okay.  It appears that at this point in my life, I can't rely on my autopilot switch.  I don't mind flying the plane (sticking to counting calories and logging in exercise).  But it would have been nice if somehow, I had a plane with a perfect autopilot switch, where I didn't really have to worry about falling off my flight plan.  I have buddies that fly around in first class, without ever having to look at the controls.  They live their lives on autopilot when it comes to diet and exercise, but I can't do that.

Maybe someday, my switch will work.  For now, I have to stay focused at the controls.

How's your autopilot switch doing for you?

Big Clyde


Christina said...

Haha, you sure do have a way with words. I don't know if I'll ever be able to be on autopilot with eating. I feel like exercise has really become a habit for me, but eating is still a struggle.

I had my gallbladder removed, too. Also, Ramsey had hair on his ears (and arms and back) when he was born. It was fine, black hair, and it was adorable. :)

Have you heard from Marcus? I've e-mailed him a few times. I'm worried!

Ann (-8 lbs in 60 lb challenge) said...

What autopilot switch? I had one as a child/teen, but I think it fell out of the cockpit on that last roll ... or maybe that first roll, come to think of it. :P

Lucas said...

Funny. My husband is a pilot. And you know what? Even though he has an auto-pilot button? He still has to know EXACTLY how to fly that plane, just in case. He has to know what EVERY button and EVERY switch will do. He has to understand what the result of EVERY decision will be. There is no sitting back with your arms folded and watching that plane fly.

It's a choice Clyde, every day. And every day you choose healthy, you maintain the course. And every day you choose otherwise, you lose sight of your destination. Your current gift is that you recognize your deviation and correct it quickly. My detours used to take me to entire different countries, now they usually just take me one state over.

:) Keep on keepin' on. You are doing GREAT!

spunkysuzi said...

I have to say i can't even find the auto-pilot and i will say that i find it harder to steer straight ahead after a good weigh in than a bad one. Something i need to work on.

Jams said...

An auto-pilot switch would be awesome. I didn't have one installed though! lol I'm glad you were able to come to the realization that you have to keep your eyes on the sky!

Lesley @ said...

I have zero auto-pilot too... especially with food. Like Christina, I can stay on course with exercise, especially if I keep my race schedule populated, but I constantly find myself slipping with food choices.

Patrick said...

Clyde, I honetly believe there is no auto switch. None. I could be wrong. But I am preparing my mind to have to mentally man the controls every day.

Alan (Pounds Off Playoff) said...

Brilliant analogy. I don't have one, either. I learned that trying to do some intuitive eating plans. It may work for some people. Not me.

Epiphany said...

Thanks for the reminder to not drift off path. You have a great way with words. No auto pilot here. I have to watch what I eat all the time.

Patrick Mahoney said...

Let me try my hand at an flying analogy - Though I agree that there is no autopilot switch (for anything in life actually) the flight WILL or CAN get less bumpy and you'll not have to worry about wind shear on landings as much some day...

How's that?

Raegun said...

I can totally relate to this, but you forgot one important thing, Clyde: you have co-pilots! Your family, friends, all of us who read your blog...we're here to help you when you start drifting. We're here to help coach you through the bad weather, too. We will not let you crash this plane! :)

Katy said...

My autopilot switch only works for consuming cupcakes and chips. I could fly that course all day...which is why I'm here.

I'd also say your decision to cut the rest of your hair really short was a great one. I hate it when guys try and fight the bald spot. Just own it guys! Anywhoo, good choice.

Dianne Stauber said...

Sometimes mine works, sometimes it doesn't...sometimes it feels like I'm too fat for the freak'in plane!!! :-) Great blog entry today!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

My wife asked me the other day how long I was going to keep counting calories and I told her, probably forever. No autopilot here, and this plane dives steeply.

Barbara said...

Amen, brother! My autopilot switch is definitely non-exisistent as well. Sigh.

I Said So... said...

You may not have an auto-pilot button but you sure are humble --better looking than most men, huh? :) !

Love your way with words. It's the perfect analogy and love Rae's comment about having co-pilots! So true.

Keep the flight smooth!

Epiphany said...

BTW you were right! It is a Couch to 5k routine, not a 3k. LOL

William Hanson said...

I hear ya... and I have to say that I think we're in the same boat. I've always struggled with weight management. I'm always either losing weight or gaining weight. Right now I'm watching what I eat and trying to exercise, so my weight is going down, however, when I'm not doing that and I eat what I really want, my weight goes up. I'm hoping that I can get out of this pattern of behavior this time around. I'd like to lose the weight and then be able to maintain that loss. I've always said that losing weight is easy... I've done it many times. The hard part is keeping it off. I'm hopeful that I can succeed at the hard part this time.

ThatNoiseInYourEar said...

Welcome to the world of addictions. Its hard work to change bad habits. Sugar is really no different from heroin or cocaine in terms of how the body sees it. You most likely lost your appendix and g-bladder due to long term poor nutritional choices. But you have made the key move. You stood in front of the mirror naked, didn't like what you saw and committed to change. You are doing a phenomenal job. Its getting easier and easier for you to identify when you are veering off course. That is because you are working so hard to stay on course. As each day passes, you are able to stay on course longer and the diversions are shorter.

"Stay the course..." Heath Ledger, The Patriot

Dr. Fat To Fit said...

Thanks, Clyde! This is brilliant!