Well, would you look at that. I drop off of the face of the Earth for three and a half months and you assume that I must have fallen off the wagon and given up on the blog, given up veganism, and given up on myself. They say when you assume you make an ass out of u and me and I can tell you, dear assumer, that I am completely capable of making an ass out of myself without your help.
Like, for instance, that time when for the last three and a half months, I not only gave up on the blog, but also on veganism, and in all reality, myself. Or the months before that three and a half months when I was on and off the wagon as often as Calvin & Hobbes. See? Ass. All by myself, thank you very much.
In the months leading up to the last post on this blog (when I puffed up my chest and grandly proclaimed 2014 to be the Year of the Veganaut) I experimented with being a quitter and found it was easier than should be. I was armed with a portfolio of excuses that helped. My favorite was usually said in a petulant voice: “I’m too busy to try and prolong my life.” Runners up included; “Rome is burning… how can a cheese pizza hurt,” and “Might as well cave, I wanted some better ‘before’ pictures anyway.”
The real problem with being a charming guy that has a lot of charisma enhanced by sparkling blue eyes is that I can talk myself into anything. I am easily overwhelmed by my own unearthly powers of persuasion. Luckily, Homer Simpson came to the rescue.
Back before Thanksgiving I was falling off and on the wagon. In fact, I spent a lot of time running along side the wagon because I really didn’t want it to get away from me. Around that time we were preparing for a Thanksgiving cruise on Carnival Cruise Line and looking at the different price packages for add-ons. One that caught my eye was unlimited soda refills for the whole cruise and it cost like $25 bucks a person. I couldn’t believe it! I assumed I’d have a free steady flow of the diet Pepsi that I substituted for water while cruising the islands.
At about the same time, an Onion article came out titled Man Who Drinks 5 Diet Cokes Per Day Hoping Doctors Working On Cure For Whatever He’s Getting which stopped me mid diet Pepsi chug. It isn’t like I was unaware of how horrible artificial sweeteners are. Heck, I’d even given up drinking diet Pepsi a few times before. However, I respond well to sarcasm, hyperbole, and irony which is why this article triggered a moment of clarity that allowed me to see reason.
The sarcastic, yet accurate Onion article, coupled with the outrage of paying for soda on a floating buffet, was enough to shove me back on the right track. Even now, when there isn’t a lot to cheer about in the health department, I can happily report that I have not had a sip of diet soda or artificial sweetener since mid-November. This is huge for me. A ‘near’ sip I did have came from a coffee and the taste of it was so metallic and foreign I spat it out. I have no idea how I choked down, much less guzzled, the vile sludge.
As for Homer, he and I have had a long history together. I started watching him in 1990 when I moved into the dorms and discovered the wonders of cable TV. I have watched him evolve as a character with various writing teams over more than a score of years. He and I have always struggled with our weight and I’ve enjoyed watching his ups and downs over the seasons.
We even hang out together in a mobile app game on my phone, the Simpsons: Tapped Out. It was in this portable and virtual world that Homer spoke to me in the sarcastic and ironic language that I understand so well. In last week’s missions in the game, Homer ate himself to death over and over and over. The prize was to collect Homer graves to put around the virtual Springfield. The game missions were marketing the episode that aired last night… but what it really did is act as a reminder that I am also perfectly capable of eating myself to death. With a little bit more introspection, I also remembered that I am also perfectly capable of stopping that from happening as well.
I am back on the wagon now: walking and lifting, plant-based dieting, and trying to be the best human I can be. I’m sorry if you feel let down. I know how you feel. It took a lot of convincing, but I finally forgave myself and decided to move on from there. How can I stay mad at such a personable guy?