Hire a Slippery Slope Architect for Your Weight Management House-PODSNACKS-ArtoftheDiet119-Rebroadcast

“I think losing weight, on any program, is done from a house built on a flat piece of land but weight maintenance needs a house built on a slippery slope.”-Pat Coakley

[THIS IS A RE-BROADCAST from 2016 and guess what?  I think Slippery Slope Architecture for Weight Management is the single best concept I've had on this whole subject of weight management in 10+ years of gabbin' pretty much non-stop about this topic, including another reference to my evil twin.  September 2020?  Slippery slopes have taken on new meaning and once the anxiety of March and April initial lockdown leveled off into general numbness and inability to walk vigorously and daily due to some ongoing degenerative (charming word, eh?) issues, the summer months have passed, my appetite returned, as have 4 pounds.  So, this week, September 15th, on my mirror is this message of a reminder that I have to weigh myself every day and that every day means every damn day, Pat.  I have to stop dithering about and being very good at managing this issue, 90 seconds at a time like Bill Murray says he is good at acting.  Acting suits him he said because he only has to be good at it for 90 seconds at a time.  So, every damn day, Pat. EDD. Ha! Not the usual meaning for those letters. You can't do your normal exercise? Deal with it. Halve that portion on one meal. Maybe two.  Just do something and Carry on.

Every Damn Day Sticky Note
Every Damn Day Sticky Note

So, why do I say this about the slippery slope for weight maintenance?

Because losing weight can be done over and over.  Our individual stories can attest to that.  Statistics from any national weight loss program can tout, as WW did recently, that folks lost more weight on the new program (Dec 2015) after three months than new members lost a year earlier after three months on the older plan.

Recently, a member admitted with great courage and shame that she was returning to WW for the 5th or 6th time, to lose 100 pounds.

So, yes, we know we can lose weight, over and over again.

It’s the keeping it off that is the bigger challenge.

I liken my 8 years ago 60-pound weight loss at 64 years old to living in a house on flat land.  I was determined. I tracked. I weighed portions. I put in my 10K steps.  I went every week to weigh in.  I was scared.  I was scared of being hobbled by knee and back problems as I aged.

Heightened focus, whatever its source, solves some of the usual suspects, ie. my evil twin, from sabotaging my efforts.

The seven years of weight maintenance, however, has required a house built on a slippery slope because all the things that got me to goal weight, though still effective, has lost out to my diminishing attention span and a body that subtly but insistently seems to be playing on the wrong team. (PS. There are biological and neurological reasons for that suggested in the article linked below, called, The Fat Trap.)

So, today on the podcast, I talk to myself about some of my own skills that I forget but have written about or podcasted about for two years AND have used successfully in the past but continue to need to implement in the future for more than 90 seconds.

The Art of the Diet for some weeks is the Art of War.  A set of skills really can defeat the enemy staring out innocently from the bathroom mirror each morning.

Remember, Bill Murray’s quote about acting?  I know exactly how he feels.

“Movie acting suits me because I only need to be good for ninety seconds at a time.”-Bill Murray

Weight maintenance would suit me just fine, too, if I just needed to be good for ninety seconds at a time.  Here is my new video blog of this post on my YOUTUBE channel. If you want to be notified when I post another subscribe to the playlist “artofthediet”.  Let me know by email if you like the video format?  It just seems more personal in a time when distancing just seems to be our futures.

Also. PS. I am hoping to prime the pump for the return to reason and my non-saboteur brain activity by decluttering my closet and drawers the Marie Kondo way.  The YouTube link is below.  Why don't you try it, too, and let me know if it helps your saboteur-self at:




Marie Kondo Art of Decluttering:


Voices from My Bunker 2020: Seat in Reality Ballpark with only Cut-Outs of Friends & Family.

The Reality Ballpark is a phrase I first used 10 years ago to describe how I began trying to maintain a weight loss. I needed to take a seat in the Reality Ballpark each day by stepping on the scale. It has been a winning strategy but now, in 2020, I am using this phrase in an entirely new way. I've been able to manage my weight these past 10 years but today am trying to manage risk by remaining in my seat. It is a formidable challenge.

One way of understanding this challenge is: As the last ferry leaves the harbor with most of my friends and family, I am sitting in The Reality Ballpark with their cut-outs. What in hell?

This week I interview myself as that is what it has come to: I talk to myself these days. Click on white arrow in lower left hand corner to listen. And, PS. Only fools represent themselves in court and interview themselves.

PS. I designed a fabric that used all the symbols cartoonists use to indicate one of their characters is swearing. It is called “Grawlix”. I used this pattern to produce small accessory bags or a large beach bag available in my Etsy store. Instead of a swear jar, you can carry your bag around with you and let the bag do your commentary on life, diets, pandemics, politics (!!) in 2020. You can click on the images to go to my new store.

It's a perfect signature product for me for those of you who know me: if there were awards for creative swear chains, I'd at least be nominated. Check it out.

Curses Bag
An accessory bag to hold your swears and curses in 2020
Large Weekender Tote

Meet Joan. Voices from My Bunker 2020

Voices from My Bunker 2020

This week on my podcast, “Voices from My Bunker 2020”, meet Joan. This podcast was for five years known as Podsnacks/Art of the Diet. 2020 changed that. COVID19's life-altering challenges supplanted 10 years of weight maintenance as my number #1 preoccupation. Although fingers crossed, my weight is holding steady through this!

Anyway, meet Joan. She did not have the prerequisites for a successful quarantine as I did. In other words, she is not a sloth or someone who enjoys sitting for hours at a time reading, clicking, snackin', snoozing and I feel 100% sure never uses her bed as her living room, dining room, and office.  

She is a mover. A doer. A socializer. A walker. An organizer. When she flew to see her daughter's family in Franklin, Mass before COVID19, she would tell them not to pick her up at the airport as she could get on the Silverline at the airport in Boston, go to South Station, and, then, take a train out to Franklin. She allowed them to pick her up at the Franklin station.

So, the prospect of her not being able to leave her house for days, months on end in a chilly Rochester, NY? A challenge. She has Raynauld's disease so walking outside was not possible either. Yet, she got through quarantine in her own determined way and taught me a few things. One of them?  When in doubt, drive around.  

The second lesson is more sobering and I'm still trying to understand it: she still feels in August 2020, five months after the initial lockdown, as if she and those around her and her family and friends are still on the same conservative wavelength with respect to managing their risks for COVID19. Why is it a lesson? Because I do not feel that way. At all. In fact, lately, I am beginning to realize that this schism may portend a more permanent distancing even when social distancing is no longer necessary. This is a separate post I'll publish later this week.

But, for now, before you meet Joan, let me introduce her by saying that my sewing teacher, Jen, is Joan's daughter, and being my sewing teacher is no easy task. Patience is required. Here is what was a typical day in the sewing classroom with me as a student. This is an example of my bobbin threading skills and this was after a solid year of classes

Teacher: Pat, What are you doing? Pat: “Just threading my bobbin', teacher.

So, now, just click below on the white arrow on the lower left-hand side and Meet Joan. I think Jen's ability to adjust to the abnormal may come for her Mom. (The photograph is of “Pitcher Plants” that I photographed to suggest they were in conversation with one another.)

Rather than drive around, I clipped my passion flower vine and embedded them in tissue paper with Glossy Medium and then scanned it while still wet from the medium. Two flowers bloomed the day after I did the original and I added their purple in the final version. I call it, “Snow In August”.

Do you know anyone who might like to be interviewed about their experience with dealing with the challenges of the 2020 quarantine and phases of reopening? Email me!.