Diets are essentially traning courses in how to feel fat and feel like a failure

Paul McKenna

The last 48 hours have been pretty shit, in terms of sticking to my plans for this period between employment. I’m being overly kind when I say I’ve fallen off the wagon – the sheer volume in addition of calories from ultra-processed sources has been insane in equal measure to how easy it’s been.

I suppose this is part of the pitfalls of living with two quasi-teenage children (one is 14, the other is 10), and easy (but ultimately poor) food choices for their school lunches. Snack size packets of chips, chocolate chip cookies are my main trappings.

But even something that I haven’t thought about at all has been slowly creeping back into existence in the silence that occupies my mind when sitting at home, catching up on running relevant YouTube videos – alcohol.

My wife has not taken a pledge to not drink this year, and as an the partner of a ‘wine industry survivor’ (such as I am), it’s safe to assume that there is more than the average household’s worth of wine in the house at any given moment. I still have a lot of ex-distribution stock lying around the place, which for the first two months of the year didn’t really matter. All of a sudden, with much more idle hands – and a wife with a glass nearby most evenings – I find myself thinking about it a lot.

It’s a bit of a strange turnaround that has crept in unexpectedly. I did ask my wife if she could refrain from drinking around me for the moment, for entirely obvious reasons, but as I type this on the couch this evening, she’s sitting at the other end with a glass of red in her hands. It is a big ask of someone to make a sacrifice they haven’t asked for for your own personal benefit.

And in any case, this only skates around the issues as to why I’ve fallen off the wagon over the last couple of days – ultimately, no one else is at fault here.

It is interesting that, despite my best intentions, the sheer presence of ultra-processed food, or alcohol, in the house can lead me to make some pretty poor choices given everything I’m trying to achieve. If anything, it proves how little motivation and willpower actually matters over having the discipline to stare down this darker moments.

I weigh myself almost daily (it’s important to have as many credible data points as possible) so I get constant feedback of what my daily choices contribute to my overall picture. Whilst looking at daily numbers is less important than recognising trends over a longer term, I do recognise when my shit choices have come home to roost.

My plan for my weight is to drop something in the order of 10 kilograms by the time Lakes 50k comes around in early July. Where possible, I’d love for the bulk of that to be body fat to be under 20% total body fat by the same period. When I write these numbers down, the numbers don’t look that daunting.

Which only serves as a reminder that often we don’t see the forest for the trees.

Whilst it’s easy to beat myself up over the last 48 hours, ultimately it’s not going to impact the bigger picture unless I let it.

The best thing to when one falls off the wagon is simply to get up, dust oneself off, and get straight back on it.

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