Gut Busters: Falling off and getting back up again

I guess if you’re going to fall off the wagon, it’s good to do it at the beginning of your journey, not at the end. Between my birthday and getting ready for my son’s birthday, I lapsed. No walking (cleaning gutters doesn’t count as aerobic exercise), no proper dieting (late-night snacks get me every time). And now I face a weekend of candy and cake! But as many of you pointed out, it’s the choices made during the journey that eventually determine success. As always, you pick yourself back up and start again.

Presumably this is why some folks recommend you don’t weigh yourself every day. The theory goes, if you don’t see progress every day, you will be discouraged and give up. Personally, I’m not going for a specific weight goal — I have one in mind, but that’s not the determining factor in my success. Of course, as a lot of your comments indicated, what works for me might not work for you. That’s the trouble with most “one-size-fits-all” diets (and their outrageous claims).

So what are the benefits (for everyone) of falling off the wagon? Read on for more…
According to the Word Detective, the whole “off the wagon” phrase comes from back when roads were mostly dirt. Water wagons would be deployed to hose down the streets, to prevent constant dust problems. “Climbing on the water wagon” was later shortened to “on the wagon.” How fitting, as a key component to my wagon-riding hinges on water intake. More on that next week!

But how is falling off the wagon (water or otherwise) a good thing? My philosophy on weight loss, and general fitness has cooled with my age and temperament. It’s like playing the stock market for the long-haul. Minor blips have to pass you by, and you must be content to let them go. In my case, my schedule just became very hectic, and I started staying up late. This caused me to feel more sluggish after eating “convenience” foods, and I eventually caught a cold I’m still nursing today.

And just like the cold, this too shall pass. I’ll have cake and ice cream on Sunday. But I’m already eating better, and less, and that’s the point. Perhaps the cold woke me up, but for whatever reason I have steeled my resolve yet again. The real key is to take your tumble, learn from it, and move on. Learning from it can be as simple as setting new goals, or as complex as talking to doctors. You have to find what will really work for you, and often that requires changing tactics.

Speaking of tactics, I found a list of 10 Reasons Dieters Fall Off the Wagon (based on a server on eDiets). Think of each reason as a pothole in the road, waiting to tip you off that wagon. Brace for their impact, and learn to dodge around them.

One thing I have learned is that, like any habit, once you get into the rhythm, it really does become easier overall. I’m not saying you won’t be tempted! There are entire industries within industries designed to tempt your palate and waistline. The key is to keeping moving forward. If you have the occasional trip up, don’t decide to start crawling — get back up on that water wagon.

Author by Victor Agreda, Jr.