“D’oh!”

homer-simpson-dohWell, 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?

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About jasongillett

I'm Jason Gillett, 2 year VEGAN, and a 41 year old family man. My wife & I teach in a FL school. I am using a blog to chronicle our family's new life. https://howilost150pounds.wordpress.com/ View all posts by jasongillett

18 responses to ““D’oh!”

  • Regina Verow

    I, for one, am not let down. Thanks for being human and for being willing to share it with us. Thanks for being brave enough to share your journey with us all. I have fallen off my own wagon in the last few months, although it’s not food, and this may just be the kick in the pants I need to dust myself off and stop feeling sorry for myself. You rock.

  • VegansHusband

    Hey, we’re happy to have you back, flaws and all. Now just pick your self up and get back to where you want to be. Veganism is about direction, not perfection, after all.

    Welcome back.

  • Stefanie

    I’m with Regina – you and the blog are much more relatable now that you’ve fallen off the wagon, chased it for a while (does that count as cardio?) and clambered back on. And yes, while those blue eyes may be real charmers, you can’t charm yourself when you look in the mirror, can you?

    • jasongillett

      I think chasing the wagon DOES count as cardio. Plus I did a lot running around in circles mentally which easily counts. As for the mirror, I’m still trying to make eye contact with myself that isn’t uncomfortable. Getting there!!

  • The Savvy Sister

    C’mon…first Kirstie Alley blows up like a balloon after becoming Weight Watchers spokesperson…and now you “claim” to have fallen off the wagon?? This was obviously a sad publicity stunt…I was going to comment on this post but I really don’t think I want to add to the hype.

    • jasongillett

      Everybody loves a “come from behind” story, but I’m such a dedicated storyteller I guess I subconsciously decided to live it. I suppose I’m like a method actor preparing for my role. A method actor who made some very poor choices. Sorry SS, it is what it is…
      Read all about Jason’s comeback in his new book What the Kale: A Collection of Beet Poems. ; )

  • jenniferjohnstone2013

    As anyone who’s ever ridden in a wagon can attest, it’s bumpy! Thanks for sharing your story with honesty. Sometimes there’s nothing like a few bumps in the road to appreciate the value of the changes you are making. Keep on keepin’ on!

    • jasongillett

      I like that line… it is bumpy on the wagon! I think the issue was also after 2 years of practically perfect vegan living the bumps surprised me and did more damage than they would have earlier when I was already holding on tight. The analogy is getting deeper but I think it still makes sense : ) Thanks Jennifer!

  • An Unrefined Vegan

    We’re still here for you, dude.

  • Jennifer

    Glad you are back!

  • fatguygoingraw

    Jason! Just what I needed to get back to my new lifestyle! Thanks for the motivation!

    • jasongillett

      Then we’re getting back to it at the same time, my man. Thank YOU! I’m focusing on 30 days, then 100, and then a full 365. I can’t look at it all at one time or it is overwhelming. However, 30 days? I sneeze and 30 days is over… blink twice and 100 have passed. Plant power!!

  • Erin

    Great job Jason! I love what VegansHusband said about “direction not perfection” For me personally, I require a constant stream of information in my face like articles, books, and blogs like yours to keep me inspired to eat right and to counteract the barrage of unhealthy eating marketing which tries (and too often succeeds) to get me to eat the junk they’re peddling.

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