Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Off the Wagon

When Margo was in preschool I decided to face my unhealthy eating habits and, as I have many times in my life, went on a diet. This time it was the South Beach Diet. As with all diets, the beginning was painful. However, in a way that was different from other diets, over time my body really adjusted and I found myself craving junk food less and healthier foods more.

I lost a substantial amount of weight and felt wonderful. And then my mother died.

My mother died, and we went to Indiana to stay with my sister and her family. My brother-in-law is a Methodist minister, and we were inundated with the good cooking of kind Methodists. Months of healthy eating habits melted away as homemade oatmeal cookies, chicken and noodles, scalloped potatoes, glazed ham and more marched into the house.

No matter how hard I tried, I was never able to "get back on the wagon" after all that funeral food. Something in me snapped. I remembered a section in the South Beach Diet book that touched on the experience of someone who had failed. "This diet works just as long as you work it," he said.

That seemed too obvious when I read it. And I didn't think it could ever happen to me. But when I looked back on what happened in my own life, I realized the weight of it.

The same is true of daily blogging. When my schedule is consistent, and I get up each day and get to it, then it feels easy. But--take one day off--and I feel as though I may never write again. I wonder what the point is. I question why anyone would read what I write. Blogging, which once felt like the irresistible force, now becomes the immovable object.

I don't know why.

Perhaps the deadly force that creeps in if one pauses is perfectionism. As long as you keep the steady rhythm of writing, it can't catch up to you. Daily blogging works as long as you work it.

All of which is to say that I feel that I have fallen off the wagon and am running alongside, trying to find a way back up.




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