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Sarah Vine: Falling off the wagon

July 8th 2014 / Sarah Vine Google+ Sarah Vine / 4 comments


It was all going so well but temptation has finally taken hold. Sarah Vine talks diets, dinners and falling off the wagon

I am a worm, a mollusc, a repulsive spineless dirt dwelling creature. I have no resolve, no gumption, no discipline, no moral fibre. Yes, you guessed it. I have fallen off the wagon.

I honestly cannot remember how it happened. One moment I was congratulating myself on having found a new way of cooking quinoa, the next I was face down in a half-litre tub of ice-cream. Mint choc chip, as it happens.

It had been a long and difficult week. There was a mad woman at a train station who rattled my cage in front of the children. There were not one but two political dinners which could not be endured without the gentle fug of alcohol. There was tea at a friend's house where she served the most delicious sugar-dusted scones. With clotted cream. And jam. There was a pudding, cooked lovingly, that involved chocolate mousse inside a meringue. There was a strawberry pavlova. There were some wafer thin mints.

Now I feel sick. Not just physically, but with guilt and self-loathing. I don’t dare weigh myself. All I can do is stare gloomily at the departing wagon, wondering desperately whether my chafing thighs will transport me fast enough to allow me to climb back on again.

What makes it worse is that this is exactly what always happens. I lose a bit of weight, feel happy and confident about myself, and take my eye off the ball. I think I can handle it. But I can’t. I’m no different from any addict: one taste of the drug, and I’m straight back in the gutter before you can say Charlie Sheen.

What makes it even worse is that I’m such a cliché. There I was, proselytising about the joys of a gluten-free, sugar-free lifestyle to all and sundry, all the time just days away from a catastrophic relapse. One mouthful was all it took for the iron grip of discipline to slip.

This week, then, I have one simple mission. Get back on track.

Join the conversation

  • eVELYN
  • December 16th 2014


Thank you for sharing you weight loss battles with us. I feel like you're the weight loss friend I do not have in real life. I have lost two stone over the past six months. I need to lose at least another three stone.
Understatement of the year but it is tough. Other women (and men) are either overweight themselves and hate me for losing weight (it makes them feel guilty) or, like my husband, their weight is stable and they are watching my every mouthful. Maybe I should start a blog for people struggling like myself.

  • July 9th 2014

Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly the ups and downs of your journey. I think the key is not having a wagon to fall off in the first place! If you adopt the super-healthy approach 80% of the time but allow in the other foods too, then you can be more flexible, less rule bound and compassionate with yourself. It is also more sustainable and enjoyable! When foods become categorised as good/bad; healthy/unhealthy - then as soon as you break a rule and eat something from the bad camp, then you've going to feel like a failure; that you've blown it and then go on to eat even more.
I would be interested to know how many people honestly sustain 100% super-healthy eating all the time, without a bit of disordered eating creeping in.

  • Ann
  • July 8th 2014

Many congratulations for getting on that wagon in the first place which I found quite inspirational. We all have weeks of tiredness/stress and you will be able to forgive yourself when you re-wagon. Just remember how very good you felt about yourself these past several weeks and quite rightly so. It was a pleasure to read about it.

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