Sunday, February 7, 2010

On The Wagon/Off The Wagon

So I'm back on the wagon. Or is it off the wagon? I don't really understand the phrase. Were they drinking on the wagon? So on is bad? Off means you've stopped doing the bad thing. Or started to do the good thing? Or if I'm on the wagon I'm doing something, so even if it's a good thing, I'm on because I'm doing it...?

Last time, I ran 5 days a week for 6 whole weeks, without missing a day. It was fantastic. Then I went to my parents place for a week, and you can't run on the roads around their house because they've got dangerously poor visibility, so that ended my streak. I managed to keep up at about 3-4 times a week for quite a while. Over time enthusiasm dwindled and eventually I was running about once every two weeks. Then December hit. 7 family birthdays, Christmas, New Years... It really is the silly season. And we were all at my parents place (with the roads) for two weeks. So things grinded to a halt. No. Running.

Enter: diet*.

Around the beginning of November I realised that my clothes were no longer fitting in a way I deemed acceptable, Christmas was coming with a big family get together planned, lots of photos would be taken, and so I started a diet. I subscribe to the South Beach theory somewhat, I've never actually read anything that was officially "How to do the South Beach Diet", but my sister told me a bit about it from people she knows doing it, I know how to use Google, and I thought it sounded pretty good. Apart from the first two weeks where you have no carbs or sugar (this really kick starts the weight loss for me, so I wouldn't miss it) it's pretty much healthy eating: wholegrains, fruit, veg, lean meats, eggs, legumes. Pretty much just avoiding refined sugar and flour. (If I'm totally wrong about what South Beach is, feel free to correct me. I'm describing what I do whenever I decide a "diet" is necessary. It may be quite derivative of what the actual South Beach Diet is.)

My mum and I did it together and we were pretty much on par with the weight loss. I lost a good 5 kg before Christmas.

Exit: diet.

With all the festivities, I wanted to enjoy myself, instead of trying to ignore all the holiday foods that I love to eat. I told myself, in logic that made sense at the time, that I went on the diet before Christmas so that I could treat myself at Christmas and feel good about it. So I enjoyed whatever I wanted to and had a grand old time.

With all the ultimate frisbee and basketball that we played (I'm sure this MUST have been a contributing factor, along with breastfeeding probably) I only put back on 1 kg.

After Christmas (well after) I decided to go back on the diet and managed to lose another 2 kg (to make 6kg less than my starting weight). I had a lot of treats though. A birthday here, a pamper night there, someone gets a professional boost that needs celebrating, another birthday and yada yada yada (that's the first time I've ever thought to use that! Ha!) my diet is pretty much not happening.

The other day (Wednesday to be exact) I told Nat:
"I'm not going to do my diet anymore. I'm going to exercise everyday instead."
"I'll believe it when I see it."

I decided it was better to scrap the diet for now, rather than feel bad about not doing it every day that I said I would, and try something else, because saying no to fresh baked bread rolls was turning into a hard task. I'll make my life better some other way, which includes eating the bread rolls.

So far, so good. My plan is to exercise every day except Sundays. I'll try for a run in the morning (Thursday and Friday, check and check!) but if that doesn't work out for some reason I'll fit in the handy dandy 20 minute ab workout that a personal trainer acquaintance passed on to me (Saturday, check!).

So I'm both on the wagon and off I guess. I'm no longer dieting, but I am once again exercising. Whichever is which. One is "good", one is "bad", one I've stopped and one I've started.

I think I see a pattern forming with the way I try and work out my physical health. Let's see how long I can keep this whole exercise thing up.

*I hate using the word "diet" and talking about "weight loss" because to me those terms come fully loaded with a ton of undesirable connotations. I prefer to say "I changed my diet" because what we eat is called our diet, whether good or bad. I'd also prefer to say "I went to the gym this morning..." because I can think of only GOOD connotations that come along with the word "gym". But I don't go to the gym. So oh well. As you were.


  1. well done
    keep at it :)

    Im not a runner nor a biker even though I have one

    I prefer to walk and walk I do

    Im doing this challenge

    maybe if you can find a challenge online it might help you

    I actually nearly did the whole 100 in just 1 month :)

  2. Way to go! I agree with on the terminology associated with dieting. Diets are bad. Changing your diet is good.

    Also, in case you get tired of running or whatever, my sister-in-law recommends using workout videos on YouTube. You might be keen to check it out. And then maybe blog about the ones you love and the ones you hate. :)

  3. Jen - I looked at that challenge, I don't think I can get all 100 done in the time left though. Maybe if she runs a second round I'll jump on.

    Sherry - I had never thought of YouTube as a resource for workout videos. I will have to take a look! Thanks!