I Gotta Madmartigan Myself Back On The Wagon

I wouldn’t say I’ve fallen off the wagon during the past week, but I would say that right now, at this moment, I’m getting dragged behind the wagon, but still holding on.  I’m like Madmartigan, the Daikini warrior in the 1988 film “Willow” (played by Val Kilmer) during the runaway wagon chase scene, except I’m not fighting off Bavmorda’s henchmen at the same time.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Check out this clip on YouTube – Madmartigan starts getting dragged by the wagon about 2:39 in.  “Willow” is one of those movies that I grew up watching.  It’s not a great film, but it’s special to me, and it has trolls and spells and little people and a love potion and a two-headed dragon and magic acorns and fairies and swordfighting and and an old lady that gets turned into a goat.  If you haven’t seen it, watch it.  If you haven’t seen it lately, watch it again.  Lucky for all of us, someone was so kind as to put the entire movie on YouTube.

But I digress.  This isn’t supposed to be a post about “Willow”.  It’s supposed to be a post about me.  I kinda wish it really was a post about “Willow” – that post would be a whole lot easier to write.

I’m in a bit of a funk.  I didn’t write about it last week, because I didn’t fully realize it I was in one, but I know now that I am, and I’m pretty sure it can be traced to last week’s weigh-in, where I stayed even.  I really thought that I had had a stellar week going into that weigh-in, and yet, the numbers on the scale didn’t decrease.  Later that week, I fell ill – something I ate didn’t agree to me, and my stomach was vocal on the matter.  It wasn’t completely debilitating – I went to work and all that, but I didn’t workout for two days – Thursday and Friday – in fact, my Friday night involved around 11 hours of sleep (which was fantastic!).

After exercising on Saturday and Sunday (Slimmons on Saturday, and a run on Sunday), I felt ready to tackle the new week.  Today, though, I found my mind wandering towards “what’s the point” territory.  I push myself, and work my ass off, but I haven’t dropped a pound a weeks.  I look back at my workout calendar, which shows that I’ve only exercised 4 out of the last 7 days, and think, “it’s so much easier to not work out than it is to work out.”  And then, as I leave work this evening, I knowingly take a route home that bypasses the gym.  And I’m okay with it.  Guess that makes it 4 workouts out of the past 8 days.  I’m slacking.  You can’t let this slacking take hold, David.

Food-wise, I’m getting lazy.  When I get lazy, I start snacking.  Excessively snacking.  That’s bad for me, because I can absentmindedly graze all day, to the point where I’m not exactly sure of everything that I’ve consumed.  Thinking back on today, I know I didn’t eat some of the healthy food I brought from home – broccoli and cauliflower florets, a banana – but I did eat a ton of other stuff, including crackers, 2 granola bars, 2 Reese peanut butter cups, part of this strange chocolate bar that had chai tea in it, and a lot of pretzel crisps.  There was probably more, too, but I can’t remember.  You can’t let this take hold either, David.

If I’m Madmartigan, dangling off the back of a wagon, then I need to do what Madmartigan does, and pull myself back up on the wagon, and maybe smack a bad guy with his own mace or something (which happens at 3:58 in that above cart chase clip).

So tonight, after vegging on the couch and watching yet another dumb episode of Desperate Housewives (Susan is seriously having sex dreams about Paul?  Barf), I decided to set myself up for success for the rest of this week.  And that involved four steps:

Step One:  Own my shortcomings.  That’s what I’m doing in this very blog post.  A good confession is quite cleansing.  It feels good.  I feel good sharing what I’ve shared so far, in large part because I know I’m not alone, and I know I’m not feeling anything that any of you who struggle with weight haven’t felt before.

Step Two:  Do some heavy duty mise en place.  Mise en place (pronounced ‘mees ahn plahs’) is a French phrase that literally translates as “putting in place,” and it’s a fancy-pants restaurant term for prepping your ingredients, so everything is ready to go for when you start cooking.  I have a ton of produce that I’m not eating, because I haven’t washed and prepped it.  So tonight, I spent an hour washing, peeling, slicing, and chopping fruits and vegetables so I had a ton of grab-and-go options for the rest of my lunches this week.  In total, I processed 1 mini-watermelon, 1 honeydew, 2 pounds of strawberries, 2 mangos, 1 papaya, 3 celery hearts, 3 yellow squash, 2 bell peppers, over a pound of rainbow carrots, and a cucumber into 12 containers of various sizes that will be ready for me to toss in my lunch bag:

Step Three: Plan Tomorrow’s Workout.  I’m going to the gym, and I’m gonna do thirty minutes on the Arc Trainer and 30 minutes of weight lifting, and finish it up with some ab work.

Step Four: Forget About The Numbers.  Tomorrow would normally be a weigh-in day, but I’m going to let another week go by before getting on the scale again, so I can remain focused on the process, and not get distracted by the numbers.  I can easily start obsessing about pounds and facts and figures, and I don’t need that this week.

I’m excited to share how tomorrow goes, because it’s going to go well.  I’m holding myself accountable again.  Soon, I won’t be dragging behind that runaway wagon from “Willow” – I’ll be firmly planted in the wagon, with Willow and Elora Danan and the two Brownies, helping to find the sorceress Fin Raziel.  Are you tired of all the “Willow” references yet?  I’m not.

This would be a good place to end this post with the four words I end every post with, but before I do, I wanted to include one final picture:  It’s me, wearing the new Gap zip-up long-sleeve top that I bought the other day for roughly 70% off.  It’s kinda like a hoodie, except for that there’s no hood.  I told my mom I’d take a picture of it, so why not share it with all you?

Ok, now it’s time…

Keep it up, David!

27 Responses to I Gotta Madmartigan Myself Back On The Wagon

  1. Let me pose this question to you David: what is the point? Maybe its time we both take a long hard look at that and be prepared to answer it with our hearts. What is the point?

  2. Sylvia Hall says:

    You are such an inspiration. We don’t learn from perfection, we learn through struggle. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us..and go forth and conquer.

    • Janet says:

      Hi David,
      I have not been on this journey for quite as long as you have and the plateau’s that keep showing up in my path, have not been as long as yours but I guess, if I were you, I would probably check whether somethings needs to be changed in order to get you back on your path? You are working out so much, so that mustn’t be the problem I guess. Do you count calories??
      You have been on this journey for so long David and you have achieved so much. I believe that, if you look into the mirror and see how far you have come, then you will know what is the point. Don’t give up, you are doing great!!!!

  3. Mom says:

    The jacket looks great and I love the references to Willow and love how you are attacking your “plateau” problems. You will succeed, I have no doubt.


  4. Amanda says:

    You can do it! I enjoy these posts in my inbox in the morning, and it’s fantastic to see your journey.

    You are far more disciplined than I, even in your slumps. I’ve attempted to get back on track, and the first thing I did, when I wanted treats, was to divide them into 100 calorie packs myself. Boy, was it shocking to see how many 100 calorie packs fit into a 14 ounce bag of jelly beans! It put my eating into perspective.

    Being healthier doesn’t always involve weightloss every week. You’re exercising, you’re eating better (all that fruit and veggies look so tasty!!!), you’re bringing out YOU!

    Try searching for new recipes. I just discovered broiled grapefruit, and it’s the tastiest breakfast ever! Perhaps something new can send that funk back where it belongs!

    • David says:

      Broiled Grapefruit? Please explain!

      • Amanda says:

        You can put basically anything on it, I like brown sugar, but some recipes use ginger, cinnamon (the internet has a lot of interesting versions that I’m excited to try!). Just half the grapefruit and use a knife or whatever to loosen the sections of the fruit. Sprinkle whatever spice you want to use on top (it takes more than you think it should), and then place under the broiler for about 15 minutes. The grapefruit gets so juicy, and it’s nice and warm on rainy mornings!

  5. Lanae says:

    This is a difficult journey and its going to have its ups and downs. I too appreciate you being candid and honest. You will be back up on that wagon before you know it and probably driving the darned wagon! : )

    Is it possible with the weight lifting you are adding muscle which weighs more? Just a thought. Hang in there, we’re all right here with you!

  6. Anne says:

    Honesty never fails! You’re kicking ass and taking names, and I’m proud of you.

  7. Marcy Fabian says:

    Hi David!Great post now I feel better!Sunday family dinner hadn’t seen some people in a while,and what’s the first thing one says…Oh I see you put some pounds on…Gee Thanks for telling me…Not!I’m up & down???Injured my back now I’m worried for more weight.Gay Gay but I’ll get back into it.Love the post& you will get back on track.You are so hard on yourself and every week you won’t lose so be happy with what you are doing.There’s lumps bumps and a lot worse things but I’m with you on discouragement right now so hang in there.Now back to KeepItUpDavid get back on that Wagon!~*Smiles*~ P.S.New jacket looks awesome and so do you!Skinny!!!

    • David says:

      Thank you, Marcy, for being a great supporter and one of my most frequent commenters, and I’m sorry to hear about your back injury. But I can’t let your use of “gay gay” here go uncommented on. I can’t tell by the context what exactly you mean, but if you’re using ‘gay’ to mean ‘lame’ or ‘stupid’, in reference to either your injury or your worries, than I’ll say right now I find that disrespectful and offensive. I thought I’d give you the chance to articulate, and also let you know that I can easily edit comments, if you’d like me to do that. -David

      • Marcy Fabian says:

        In all do respect to David’s article here with my Lame choice of using gay gay word in my writing.What was I thinking.Brain is not right and I can’t blame it on my medication I’m taking for my back problem.I have friends of all kinds and please no pun taken intended!!! Please except my apologies to stupidity choice of words!Much Love Everyone!

      • David says:

        Thanks, Marcy!

      • Glen Smith says:

        I agree David. Seems I am hearing everywhere that Gay is being substituted for Lame, Stupid, and all other words of the sort. I have friends that have caught themselves doing it in front of me. This trend needs to be stopped and the only way to do so is to bring it to the attention of those saying it. Thanks, Glen
        PS. I do believe it isn’t consciously meant that way. But they don’t understand. Would you use Californians in place of gay? I know , would sound crazy but substituting any group of people in that sense would be wrong .. and… is.

  8. Sarah says:

    I can relate to this post on many different levels. First, I also loved Willow as a kid (this is not a coincidence since we obviously grew up together). We probably watched it together over 100 times – it was one of the only movies we owned. Second, I also think that Desperate Housewives has gone completely down hill. It is really bad. Now it is competing with a new show on Sundays that Justin likes, Game of Thrones. I’m not sure I like Game of Thrones, it gave me the creeps last time I watched it, but at least it is not dumb – yet. Third, I also can relate to how it feels to be in a funk. Luckily, all funks come to an end, keep it up David. This is just a little bumpy part of a long road called life. Keep exercising and live a healthy lifestyle and results will come.

    • David says:

      Thanks Sarah! I have Game of Thrones on my TiVo but haven’t started watching yet. It’s funny – I started reading about it a few weeks ago and thought “I bet Justin will LOVE this show.” OH – and finding “Willow”, in its entirety, on YouTube is definitely going to affect my productivity today. 🙂 I used to have it on DVD in college, but then someone stole it (I think).

  9. David says:

    SO MANY fantastic comments today. Thank you, everyone. It’s really appreciated.

  10. Kristy says:

    Obviously, you’ve got a great plan in place, and you’re going to figure out what works for you and gets you back in track. Sounds like you’re really already there. But maybe, while Craig is away, we can do a boot camp together? (It won’t be as hard as Craig’s, but I have a written out plan for one). 🙂 I think you’re right to focus less on the scale for a bit, and maybe instead focus on how you FEEL, physically, when you eat well or don’t. I don’t know if that well help. But I can say from experience that eating a peanut butter cup, while it’s happening, feels awesome. But an hour or so later I’m left with a sugar crash and a stomach ache. When I eat well, I’m sustained, I have energy, I just feel good. It might help to hold on to the good feelings that you get from eating well and exercising. As I’ve seen from watching you this past year, it’s not just your weight that has changed – it’s your whole quality of life. Keep it up, David. 😉 We’re cheering you on.

  11. Nurse Karen says:

    Your perception of the problem and how you addressed the issues is spot-on. I do think you need to journal {privately} why you began to graze on junk like pretzel crisps. We foodies tend to be emotional eaters. Digging deep to figure out why we anesthetize our feelings instead of “feeling” them, will help us overcome self-destructive impulses. Also, have you looked at your vitamin needs? My friend was very low on Vitamin D3, iron, calcium, magnesium…his bloodwork from the doctor was invaluable. Vitamin & Supplements within three months stopped his intense physical cravings for potato chips, chocolate, and ice cream. He will still crave when under stress, but his journaling his feelings helps ease those times. No one will be perfect every day, of course. David: I think you look perfect. I think you are building muscle which weighs more, and which over time, will improve the tone in your newly sleek body. I like the way you are focusing on health, above all. Forget the numbers; Arnold The Terminator, is considered “obese” on the metropolitan charts–weighing a certain amount doesn’t take into account muscle versus body fat. And guess what? even Arnold has the occassional ice-cream, pizza, strudels, and burgers…moderation and planning for those times is a key. KEEP IT UP DAVID!! whoot whoot!!!

  12. todd says:


    Thoughts and prayers are with you. I understand what you go thru…and you’ve been my inspiration as well. Don’t give up the fight…you’ve done miracles thus far…

  13. Stacee J says:

    Good luck David! I wish I had some better advice, but perhaps you could contact a nutritionist? Or talk to your gym staff? They usually clue me in when I need some direction.

    Oh, and Willow is one of the best movies ever… after Labyrinth 😉

  14. Heather says:

    I’m a new reader, and your Tweet caught my eye – I’m being lax on my eating, and the scale reflects that. Top that with taper week, and… it’s going to get ugly fast, if I don’t cut it out :D.

    Can you (or have you already) review your produce storage up there? I always get freaked out that my produce will be creepy or not fresh if I pre-cut it… TIA!

    • David says:

      Hey Heather – The storage containers in the picture are a mix of Tupperware, Gladware, and similar stuff from Ikea. I figure the produce will last through the end of the week in airtight containers, and it will likely be completely consumed by then, so, no creepiness for me! Welcome to Keep it up, David!

  15. Sandy says:

    I see that you got a ton of advice…no pun intended. Maybe it is time that you focus on the rest of your life. What is that you really need and want. There are others ways of satisfying “cravings”. I find that when I am too lonely, or tired, angry, or too hungry…I turn to immediate gratification of food…even if it is low fat yogurt. What makes David happy with himself. I am an expert on my own behaviors and just wanted to share a point of view. I lost enough weight to dance again. It is triumphant for me. I also found private journaling very useful to relieve stress, worries, loneliness, and putting things in perspective. You are a terrific guy and maybe it is time for you to go out and have some fun. Enjoy life, fill your soul with something you always wanted to do but you couldn’t before because of the weight. I assure you it will take to the next level. You are a very special person and deserve to be happy.

  16. Danielle Harrell says:

    I was feeling nostalgic last fall and ended up watching Willow. It’s one of those movies that reminds me how magical I thought the world was when I was younger. Thanks for the reminder. I think it is time to watch it again. Getting and staying on the wagon is not an easy challenge, but focus on how confident and good you feel once your there and you see yourself moving in a more positive direction. Keep up the good efforts.


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