I've been monitoring my weight over the past six months, not because I'm trying that hard to lose weight per se, but because it provides an impetus for me to pay closer attention to my body, which has given me so much trouble since moving to the desert. I often make notes on what I've eaten and how I've exercised, which has helped me enormously in becoming more aware of how different routines affect me. Many of the things I've learned probably qualify as obvious, but obviousness registers differently when it clearly applies to oneself. Among my discoveries are A) that it's better for me to stay awake for several hours after my last meal; B) that beer is really high in calories; C) that it's possible for me to eat a large steak and lose weight as a consequence, if I go light on the carbohydrates; and D) that it is better for me to eat a high calorie breakfast, even one full of starch, than to eat light and then fill up later. See what I mean about obviousness? On the other hand, I've also made some more intriguing finds, such as that a chocolate bar before bed, provided that it's not accompanied by anything other than a glass of water, actually seems to help me sleep and, yes, dream better. The most important discovery of all, though, is that weight loss -- for me, anyway -- seems to require a sudden loss of a few pounds, followed by a stepped-up effort to not put it all right back on. I haven't lost much weight, overall, but what I have lost has come almost entirely in three bursts of about five pounds each. Since the last of these, occasioned by spending several days too busy to eat while attending two conferences, I've had weeks when I rigidly adhere to an exercise plan and others when I'm much more lax. But during those three months my weight has consistently staying within a five-pound range. I've plateaued, in other words. And I'm fine with that. Like I said, it's not as if I'm that concerned with losing weight in the first place. I do wonder, though, what it would take for me to make it over the ridge to that next plateau.