The Proverbial Wagon

As a yo-yo dieter, I can say, from much personal experience, that it is easier to stay on the weight-loss wagon than to get back on after falling off.  Or the horse, if you prefer that metaphor.

Here is what I know:

The wagon is a precarious place to balance, often uncomfortable to ride.  There are many obstacles and bumps in the road and the wagon’s path.  As a rider, I theoretically have full control over the wagon I am riding but in reality I seem to struggle for control on an almost continual basis.  Some days it is all I can do to cling to the edge of the wagon by the tips of my fingers as I fight to not fall off.  Other days I sit on top of the wagon as if on top of the world and enjoy the ride.  I have great company on the wagon; unfortunately I know I have great company when I fall off.  Sometimes a supportive word is all the push it takes to pop me back on top while other times I am dragging behind despite being thrown a lifeline or two or three.  And sometimes I am sitting in the road behind the wagon, watching it fade off into the distance, wondering how I could let myself fall again, wondering how I will ever catch up to climb back on.  The longer I am off the wagon the harder it is for me to haul my ass back on.  Sometimes it takes a few tries.  The longer I remain on the easier it becomes to keep my perch.  And I am happier on the wagon!  I would gladly share my wagon with as many fellow dieters as would join me; it is easier to persevere and more fun when the journey is shared.  But no one can ride the wagon for me; I have to do that for myself.  A fall off the wagon is a fall of the wagon, regardless of what caused it or how far the distance to the ground.  And the ground is hard.  And hurts.

Here is what I don’t know:

Will the wagon will always be part of my life?  Or will the day come when I walk along on my own two feet, strong and motivated, no longer in need of the wagon for transportation?  Able to get where I want to go and stay there on my own.  No riding, no falling, no wagon.

I leave you today with a quote from one of my favorite bloggers.  Lisa said some time ago – “Face it….riding the wagon can be downright torture sometimes.  I get tired of holding on through the bumps and then my wagon seems to pass right by the bakery!!  Next thing I know, I’ve fallen into a cupcake.”



Filed under cheating/overeating, dieting, weight issues

39 responses to “The Proverbial Wagon

  1. Get way to put it!
    .-= Lesia´s last blog ..To blog or NOT to blog… =-.

  2. What a thought-provoking post. I sure wish I’d gotten the slim gene in my family, but I seem to be yoked to that wagon and it doesn’t look like that will ever change. All I know for sure is that it’s a heck of a lot better to be on the wagon enjoying the view than to be back in the dust watching it roll away. You can do this, girl. Hang on and fasten your seat belt.

  3. I like to believe it does get easier…..just becomes a way of life…not that there aren’t ever harder times to stay on track than others, I think that will always be there, but the temptation to stray becomes less of a pull over time I think. maybe you don’t believe in yourself enough to stay on firmly? My favorite quote of all times is henry fords…

    “Whether you think you can or can’t, your right” – Henry Ford.

    If you believe you will fail…than you probably will. Have faith in yourself!
    .-= losingmore´s last blog ..Night time thunderstorms =-.

    • Karen

      That is a great quote. I was so optimistic about the journey not so long ago. I realize I have been a bit dark about it lately and that is sure coming out in my blog. Time to go back to optimism and faith in myself. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. sunnydaze

    Cute post. I have the exact same thoughts. I think there will always be a wagon, for me, but hopefully it will get easier to ride. I’d like to be able to drive the wagon and be in complete control. Hopefully, one day…

  5. Amen Sistah. I hope you get on top and comfy again soon.

    Let me know how you did it when you get there! 🙂
    .-= JourneyBeyondSurvival´s last blog ..Vortex of Terror =-.

  6. Hmm…does it get easier. Yes and no (not that I’m a veteran or expert on this). Yes it gets easier in the sense that you know what works. No it does not get easier in the sense that I will always want bad food, I will always struggle with some choices. In talking with my husband yesterday, I was reminded that this may always be a struggle for me. And that is hard to accept!
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Possibly going insane =-.

    • Karen

      Well after all my yo-yo years, I think it will always be a struggle for me too. But hopefully less of one over time.

  7. One of the things I’ve stuck in my mind that it’s not that falling off the wagon won’t happen in the future – but that the falls will be shorter, less deep & less often.

    That seemed like such a great way to think about it, it really helped me to realize the long-term view of weight loss & weight management.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..24 hours in Fontainebleau =-.

    • Karen

      I think the same. And I would add that if the wagon has to be a constant in my life, I plan to take a little jump off the back now and then before sprightly getting back on. Like for my upcoming birthday:)

  8. Sounds parallel to my “messy present” with the shedding chronicles over at Confessions of a Startled Fat Woman.

    Glad you’re committed!

    Found you via Lady Bloggers. Will be following you!
    .-= Kathleen, @LiveStartled´s last blog ..The Perfect Future Goldilocks Ride =-.

  9. Genie

    All so true, Karen, and a really visual and entertaining way to describe it. I wish it wasn’t either an “on” or an “off”, but a ridership of “between”. Seeking the ticket for that.

    • Karen

      That made me think. I am very black and white so probably do better all or nothing. But not everyone is like that. And someday I hope I can find the gray in my eating.

  10. Hi Karen. As always, you’ve given us a lot to think about.:) When I lost weight 17 years ago, I thought of being off/on the wagon in absolute terms. What I’ve found is that the “wagon” itself changes as my life has evolved. Most of the time I’m okay with the balance of eating and exercise. But when you put a trough of tortilla chips and queso in front of me, my impulse control goes down the drain. I’ve realized that and tried to make room in my wagon to allow for it…as long as I cut it right off afterwards and choose the healthy stuff again.
    .-= Shira Miller´s last blog ..Weight Loss TV: Inspirational or Frustrating? =-.

    • Karen

      “I’ve realized that and tried to make room in my wagon to allow for it…as long as I cut it right off afterwards and choose the healthy stuff again.” I like this! My long-term goal exactly. Room in the wagon. Much better than my analogy above about jumping off for a short treat.

  11. Funny how we all post in batches, I have a draft one on this that I’ve been working on for while.

    I don’t think it always will be if you choose to reframe it. As long as there is a wagon, there is a choice to get off or stay on. I don’t think life is like that, you can’t opt out of trying to be a healthier you. You are either working for it or against it, but you’re always moving, kwim?

  12. I think it depends what your perspective of the wagon is. For you, I don’t think that you will always need it. For me…the wagon is health/the right way to live. The wagon, in my opinion, is taking me past junk that I don’t need to be a part of. When I fall of…things are hard. When I’m on, they are still difficult, but much more rewarding!!! Does this make sense?
    .-= Corletta Brown´s last blog ..Recalculating… =-.

  13. When I read this post, I immediately remembered this image from a teamwork class I taught years ago:

    To me, the pulling figure represents me, while the pushers in the back are supporters. All the stuff in the wagon is…life. The wheels are all the things within my control. Fortunately, I have fewer days with the square ones these days. And as long as I have the round ones, I can ride on top and everyone else can, too. It’s much more fun that way. 🙂
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..Crisis in Memphis =-.

  14. Quote me anytime…I never remember what crazy things I say…

    That blasted wagon. I swear why must it be a wagon? Who came up with that? I think if I have to ride it forever I’m at least going to upgrade my wagon. Better yet…maybe I should install a seatbelt so I don’t fall out of it ever again!!

    Have a great weekend 🙂
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Moderation….oh how easy…or hard?? =-.

  15. I was on top of that wagon … all smug . I had it beat dontcha know. well, til I fell off the wagon . And I have been along side the wagon – you know like my leg is in the stirrup and the horse is running and I am dragging violently along side. It’s alot better and more comfy on top.
    .-= Bringing Pretty Back´s last blog ..Dentist and Cocktails =-.

    • Karen

      Oh that cracked me up:) Sorry to laugh at your plight. I was doing darn well on top myself not to long ago. And you and I are going to be riding pretty again!

  16. p.s. I think a pre exam drink is a fabulous idea!
    .-= Bringing Pretty Back´s last blog ..Dentist and Cocktails =-.

  17. TRUE!!!!!!!

    What a great analogy… just about covers everything, doesn’t it?!

    As for the future? We don’t know. We just don’t know…

    I guess for me, I’m in OA because I want to find a connection with the wagon designer, the keeper and repairman of all wagons, so that I might trust that the wagon will not leave me sitting there on the empty road again.
    .-= Peacefulbird´s last blog ..Progress Reprot #3 =-.

  18. Now that I’ve read the comments, I have to say that I love the idea of your blog as your seatbelt. I really does feel that way.
    .-= Peacefulbird´s last blog ..Progress Reprot #3 =-.

    • Karen

      I had not thought of it before. But it does make sense. Since I started the blog for the motivation. Now I just need to USE it. Buckle up every time:)

  19. I can relate to this. Why does it have to be this way? I’ve often wondered it. Similarly, I took about a month break from the gym. Going back was sooooo much harder than hopping on the wagon the first time when I first began going. I don’t know if it’s mental or what but I don’t like it!!!
    .-= Anonymous Fat Girl´s last blog ..Why dieting makes you fat =-.

    • Karen

      Oh I agree… going to the gym or any exercise even… another wagon. I worry a bit about that since I have not been to my gym in over 2 months now since my injury. And it will be longer yet until I return. Sigh.

  20. Pingback: Waisting Time , Archive » Hot 100 – Week 5 Update

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