Five Years of Dietgirl – Part V

Finally! The last installment in the Recap portion of the Dietgirl Navel-Gazing Wankfest 5th Anniversary Spectacular!

As you may recall 2005 was a wild, wild year. I only wrote about it the other day, so I will be lazy and cut and paste!

On this day last year, I was simply shitting my pants. My visa was rapidly running out and my fate was uncertain. Would Scottish Companion do something as insane as propose to and marry a twit like me? Or would I be deported back to Australia? It all seemed so bloody hopeless. I never imagined than in 2005 I would end up:

  • getting that proposal just four days later, in the middle of the night
  • quitting my shitty second job
  • moving house
  • eloping in Las Vegas… twice!
  • staring down into the Grand Canyon
  • holidaying in San Francisco
  • running a 5k race
  • being published in a book
  • being photographed for a national UK magazine
  • having my mug being splashed in a Sunday tabloid
  • traumatically having my secret fat life outed to my colleagues due to Sunday tabloid
  • celebrating the weddings twice more, in Scotland and Australia
  • writing a story for Cosmopolitan

It just sounds hilarious and surreal that all that could happen to me, especially when I still feel like the dorky farm girl from Nowhere, New South Wales. But I am glad I still feel like the dork, otherwise I doubt I’d have relished the adventures half as much.

2005 was also a pretty good year for Lard Busting. Nothing like a wedding dress to make you put down the cakes!

My main issue was trying to find balance in my eating. Especially with all those Special Occasions – weddings, holidays, birthdays, Las Vegas buffets. 2005 started with a festive bingefest and a six-kilo gain. I vowed never to do that to myself again. So when we went away to the States in March, I enjoyed the local cuisine with only one sugar-induced freakout. I came home with a minor gain then got right back on track. Yet when I went to Australia in October I devoured everything in sight! I returned to Scotland feeling downright porky and depressed.

But a few months later, I was back on track and felt I’d finally learned from my mistakes. Xmas 2005 went really well, with no extremes and a minor gain. I made a lot of progress last year, but in 2006 I am determined to do even better – to be more choosy about what constitutes a Special Occassion. 

And another important thought:

I had a realisation right there in the supermarket aisle, that there is really no such thing as a Perfectly Empty Week. Something also comes up. Whether this is a spontaneous camping trip, a birthday cake at work or a quick drink with friends, there are always little situations happening that you haven’t planned for. So it dawned on me yet again that that horrible phrase "Lifestyle Change" is really true. I would have to keep reading labels. I would stay hyper-aware of what I ate. I would have to assess each situation individually and make the wisest choice. All these little things that crop up will keep on cropping up, they’re just life happening, NOT opportunities for wild abandoned eating.

. . .

Apart from the wedding madness, I will always remember 2005 as The Year I Was Outed. I had been hysterically secretive about the Dietgirl site for over four years. I didn’t tell any of my friends about it. I didn’t tell my mother or the Scottish Companion. I didn’t even tell my sister, who I tell bloody everything.

It seems ridiculous now, as I am sure it did to you readers at the time, to be so secretive about a process that was so obvious in a physical sense. They could see that my body was changing, but I guess I didn’t feel comfortable with them seeing all the changes going on in my head.

I came out first to the Scottish Companion. I hastily fessed up at the airport in Amsterdam, seeing we’d be arriving in San Francisco ten hours later and staying with my friend Jillian who I’d met though this blog. He was surprised but relieved… I guess you shouldn’t start a sentence with, "There’s something I have to tell you", unless it’s really bad!

Then in June, Tales From The Scale was published in the UK. When I first submitted my chapters to Erin back in 2004, I hadn’t thought about the part where it gets published into a real live book that anyone could buy. I still thought of the Dietgirl tale as something I just wanted to whisper to the Internet People. So I hadn’t told anyone about the book, none of my friends, not even my Mum. I still felt strangely self-conscious about the whole thing.

But then the story was picked up by Grazia magazine, and then my quite hilarious giant floating Jabba-The-Hut-style Before Photo was in the Sunday Mail:

I admit that I am a doofus when it comes to all things mathematical, arithmetical and statistical, so perhaps that’s why I’d convinced myself that even though the Sunday Mail sells millions of copies, none of the 80 or so people in my building would be among its readers. I mean, surely they’d go for something a wee bit more highbrow?

But noooo. I tiptoed into the office at 7.30AM on Monday morning and was ambushed by a colleague in the foyer.

"Hello!" I said.

"Well HELLOOOO!" she grinned, "And how are YOUUUU?"

Uh-oh.

"I opened the paper and I thought, that looks like SHAUNA. And it was! Oh my god! I got the shock of my life!"

"Oh!"

People were quite nice about it. There was only a few odd reactions:

I was mildly irritated by one person who cornered me and said, "I heard about your article. It’s amazing. But I just can’t picture you being so… so… you know… big! I mean, 25 stone!" Her face wrinkled up with mild distaste as if she’d said, "I mean, two vaginas!" or "Sleeping with horses!".

Sometimes I think I should have been an alcoholic, it seems a more socially acceptable character kink. Obesity just isn’t glamourous and it seems to make some people uncomfortable.

I finally started confessing to my friends and family, despite feeling bloody ridiculous for the years of cloak-and-dagger behaviour. I even sent a copy to my Mum.

Most of all I’ve learned that it’s time to stop hiding.  Back when I was twice as big, I felt like half the person I wanted to be. I felt like I had to hide myself away from the world and make as little fuss as possible. Since I took up so much physical space, it was like I wanted to make my personality as small and muted as possible. So the virtual space was where I could stretch out and have fun.

I no longer need a secret place to be my real self. Because I am finally being my real self all the time now, out there in the big bad world. I am sick of leading this stupid virtual double-life, it has been bloody exhausting. This isn’t to say I’m ditching this site, I’m just ditching the bullshit. I’m sick of worrying about what people think when they’re probably not thinking anything at all. So… let’s just get on with it.

. . .

2005 was also the year I finally accepted all my glorious lumps and bumps. I blame that on the running. For the first few weeks of my 5k training I hated how running made me hyperaware of my body. Every time my foot hit the pavement I could feel every humiliating rumble of my belly and jiggle of my butt. It was like my flesh was laughing at me, "Thought you could pretend we’re not here, HA? HA?!".

But as I progressed I developed a strange new respect for the ol’ bod. Sure, I was slow, clumsy and red-faced, but I was going further than I ever imagined possible. Being so focused on the training made all my body insecurities seem trivial and pointless. I start appreciating my body for what it could do, instead of focusing on the so-called flaws. I cringe at how much energy I have wasted over the years with paranoia, loathing, and holding myself back for no good reason. Let’s have none of that in 2006!

. . .

Unclejoe

Unlike Stalin, I failed to deliver on my Five Year Plan. I did not reach my goal weight by 2006. Och well. At least I didn’t kill any peasants, which is more than I can say for Stalin.

As of yesterday I was 85 kilos, so 10.9 kilos gone for the past year and 74.2 kilos lost overall.

And that about brings us up to date! Woohoo!

. . .

Be sure to stay tuned for the arse end of Anniversary Week.

Friday:  Lessons Learned
Saturday:  Silly Photos!

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11 thoughts on “Five Years of Dietgirl – Part V

  1. Awesome recaps. You’re amazing, we love you so very, very much. Yes, I will take the liberty of speaking on behalf of all your readers! Can’t wait to see what 2006 has in store for you.

  2. I remember reading when you were “outed” and I was afraid that you might decide to stop writing on this site. I’m so glad that you didn’t, you have been a real inspiration!

  3. I have been reading all of this, and revisiting entries past (can’t believe I’ve been reading you for three years). It’s been an eventful five years!

    It’s easy to throw the word “inspirational” around, but… I, personally, would not have joined a gym (as opposed to flirting with the occasional yoga class) if not for you, and I DEFINITELY wouldn’t have started running. Which means you are responsible for all my blisters… no, no, my newfound levels of fitness… something like that, anyway. Happy 2006.

  4. Hey, good going on the not killing of peasants. Your five year plan is much NICER!

    Speaking of Stalin, have you read a novel called “Archangel”? It’s sort of about Stalin, or his legacy. It’s pretty mindblowing.

  5. You didn’t tell even your sister?!?! Now THAT shocked me…what did she say when you finally told her? I mean she had to be more shocked than the SC?

  6. Awww man, reading over the ‘Five Year Anniversary Extravaganza’ reminded me that I’ve actually been reading your blog since early 2003 – and loving every word ever since. You remain my favourite blogger (even though by now, I probably read about 30 of them regularly) and the one I look forward to reading the most. 2005 for me was the year you were ‘outed’ and my immediate thought was ‘NOOOOO!!! SHE’S MINE!!! I WON’T SHARE!!!’ but god how can I keep ya all to myself? (Jeezus that doesn’t sound at all like stalker talk does it?!) Love ya to pieces DG, you amazing woman you.

  7. You are really amazing. I knew that already, but didn’t know just how amazing. I’m inspired, moved and, well, inspired some more.

    You help me to believe…