Over the past 10 years or so I’ve been a slave to my weight. Like many people I’ve been on a range of diets, some successful and some not. I’m under no illusion that the main blocker to my success is usually me. After all, most diets are simply a controlled way of restricting calorie intake while promoting exercise, but the thing about making a diet successful is a tricky balance between control and manageability.
During periods of excess, I’m without restriction and, quite frankly, anything can happen.
Imagine a world where nothing is controlled, users are left to get on with their day without restriction or fuss. No content filtering to slow down progress, no anti-spam software to get in the way of those legitimate emails that sometimes get blocked, no procedural controls, AV, etc etc. Viruses would quickly and easily get in, and the business would soon fall over; the weight gets piled on.
At the other end of the scale (pun intended!) you could imagine something from Mission Impossible or James Bond; ultimate control. To access a system you enter a fort by passing through a guarded barrier with a photo ID proximity pass, you move on to another secure door with perhaps retina or fingerprint scanning, and then through a final secure door with a key-coded lock. Once inside you access a standalone system with no internet or network connectivity and use multi-factor authentication to log on to a system which doesn’t permit removable media. Nice and secure and there are no ways for a virus to get in, but the day job is impossible and your user soon starts to look for cheats and workarounds. Those 500 calorie a day diets have such strict controls in place that it seems impossible to stick to them while retaining your sanity; losing weight is guaranteed, but it’s unfeasible as a long term solution.
So, we look for a risk managed approach which compares what a user wants to do against the long term risk of doing it; too much control and the user can’t work effectively and looks for alternatives, too little and things start to fall over…
My best dieting successes have come from a blend of control and balance; everything in moderation. Losing control and having that big slice of cake won’t help with weight loss, and watching everyone eat while you stay in ultimate control may well send you crazy, but just a small slice will keep you happy and is unlikely to scupper the long term plan.