Wow. This morning my weight was below 200 for the first time in 8 years or so.
It feels like a validation of my lax variant of South Beach, and props to those folks: they really have a feel for what it takes to suppress cravings that sabotage so many good intentions about eating well.
The cornerstone of my new "Way of Eating" (that term being a hangover from my days on Usenet's alt.support.diet meant to encourage thinking in terms of a permanent shift in "W.O.E." rather than a temporary "diet") is my daily lunch of a Wendy's Baja Salad (no tortilla chips, no dressing) and all the sugarfree gum I want -- mostly those weirdly awesome Wrigley's "Dessert Delights". I used to have a sweet tooth that was notorious in the office, but now-- I'm not even tempted. It's weird; it's not willpower, it's not needing willpower.
So in trying to figure out what's really at work here (in part because even though I don't mind the same lunch every day, I don't love that it's (low grade) red meat chili, and I might not always work near a Wendy's) -- I think the most likely suspect is the beans in the chili. Reading about them, they're thought to be a good source of protein, and slow to digest, so they keep blood sugar levels stable and thus less craving-riffic.
So between that slow digesting beans and the tasty gum, the cynical summary of that is this: the main way for me to achieve weight loss that doesn't tap into my finite reserves of willpower is to fool my body into thinking it's CONSTANTLY snacking all afternoon long.
Ah well. Whatever works, right?