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Back on the Horse


Last weekend I fell of the wagon and fell hard.

Knowing there was a party at the end of the day, I decided to take a day off from fitness and counting calories and label reading. I’ve been pretty good for most of the last month, and even though I told myself not to say never-ever to treats, ever was supposed to be limited to three bites. Saturday I took three huge bites.

The first bite was the veggie breakfast burrito which could only be considered healthy because of the word vegetable in it. The second was a hiatus from any exercise. And the third was an evening devoted to eating local corn dogs and fries at the dairy bar and then from the freezer case at the local country store.

My three non-regulation sized bites left me with a whopping hangover, making me all too-aware of the fact that ice cream would not be a performance enhancing drug for my morning workout. But I knew I had to workout. My sister has already signed us up for a 5K in Connecticut at the end of the summer, and, even though I’m doing the 3 miles regularly now, I know I need to keep doing those three miles if I want to not come in second to last (it has happened).

Getting back on the diet wagon always seems harder than getting back on the fitness wagon. I’ve been doing South Beach and then found my way to the Forks Over Knives plant-based way of eating, and the recipes on both have been phenomenal. I can’t really say my taste buds been deprived the last few months, but empty calories can be so darned delicious, and my new morning meal, usually so satisfying, didn’t have quite the same appeal on Sunday morning.

By about the middle of my strength training, however, I had found my way back onto the fitness wagon, and there’s a reason for this. There’s something about running and lifting weights that gives you instant satisfaction in a way that eating less simply can’t. The farther you run or swim or climb, the harder you push, the more your body becomes a temple, and the better you want to treat it. Right now, mine still looks a lot like a temple to a paunchy goddess of vice, but it gets a little more solid every day, but it isn’t the penance at the scale that keeps me going.