There’s only one more full day left before polling day, so I’ve decided it’s time to answer the really big question on the minds of voters. I’ve been to over a hundred forums, functions, events, meetings and activities over the last six weeks, and there have been three questions I’ve been asked far more frequently than any other.
The first is: How’s my campaign going? The second is: Who do I think is going to win?
The third is: How did I manage to lose so much weight, and how much have I actually lost?
I’ve usually answered the first part of this question while dodging the second part, but in an effort to ensure all relevant facts are out in the open before the electorate casts their votes, I will give a full and frank answer to what is clearly an issue of great public interest.
It’s not actually a very complicated answer – which is a bit unfortunate I guess, as it means I can’t write a best-selling diet book. The short answer is that I basically stopped eating garbage and stopped drinking Diet Coke.
Back in January, as part of psychologically preparing myself for the long election year ahead, I decided to get more disciplined about what I ate. Although I’d been a vegetarian for over 20 years, it wasn’t for health reasons and I actually ate pretty badly – lots of fried chips and especially packets of potato chips which I’ve long had a big weakness for (as this old blog post attests). I also drank heaps of Diet Coke, figuring that while it was undoubtedly bad for me, the zero calories meant at least it wasn’t making me put on weight. As it turns out, while it may have zero calories, it definitely did something or other to my metabolism that made me keep or put on weight.
I was doing this as part of staying focused through the election year, rather than specifically aiming to lose weight, so I was actually a bit surprised when so much started disappearing. Going vegan about two months ago – again for environmental and ethical reasons, not for health ones – probably also helped by preventing me from grabbing the occasional cake in a coffee shop or scoffing the occasional pizza (apart from these fantastic vegan pizzas you can get at the Alibi Room in New Farm). I also walk to and from work now and then as part of trying to reduce greenhouse impacts, but I don’t think that’s regular enough to have had much to do with it.
So anyway, my answer to the big question is “I stopped eating chips and fried junk and stopped drinking Diet Coke, and I’ve lost around 20 kilograms.”
It is worth noting that of the 48 posts I’ve put up so far during the election campaign, one of the most frequently visited has been the one where people share recipes, so I guess getting a question like this shouldn’t be a total surprise.
PS: In case you’re interested, here’s my answer to the first two questions:
Answer to Question 1: Quite well, thanks. There’s been lots of positive feedback, some good donations and the polls give me a credible chance – although getting media coverage about issues of substance has been extremely difficult.
Answer to Question 2: I think the government is in trouble, but it’s hard to be certain they’ll lose, as Labor has to win 16 seats, not just get the most votes, and incumbents have enormous resources at their disposal these days which makes them harder to defeat. However, if I had to make a call, I’d say Labor will probably win fairly clearly.