300 Weeks

In the kick ass October Rules post, Fat Blogger also mentions an old entry from April 2005 called God I Hate Being Fat. It’s one of those entries that attracts a tonne of Google traffic, and over a year later the comments thread is still buzzing with people venting about how much they hate themselves and hate their fat. It really is a fascinating, heart-wrenching, horrifying but ultimately inspiring thread, in no small part to FB’s encouraging comments throughout.

What struck me most were the commenters with large amounts of weight to lose, and the overwhelming sentiment that it’s too hopeless, too much, too bloody impossible. It made me want bawl because I understand that feeling so well. I just wanted to write a wee something today for anyone out there who’s in that position.

I remember how it feels to truly loathe yourself. I’d grab handfuls of flesh and want to hack it off with a knife. It seemed like there was no way out of this lardy prison. Even when I did finally get up the nerve to start fighting the flab in 2001, I still often felt I was in a hopeless situation. In some ways it was worse, because I now knew the cold hard statistics – 351 pounds, with at least 185 of them to lose.

I’ve told the story a million times before how after a month  I decided I had to start exercising. I only managed to shuffle to the end of the block before my lungs wheezed and rattled in protest. I remember thinking bitterly, What was the point of that? How is walking fifty metres ever going to add up to anything? What’s the point of any of this?  It’s never going to get any better.

But — *insert soft-focus montage of the past five 3/4 years, sweat, tears, caramel shortcakes* — as we all know, these seemingly tiny changes do add up over time. And the more little changes you make, the easier it gets, giving you the confidence to you make even more changes. And the more you do it, the more you feel good about yourself and those negative voices are hushed.

I know the numbers can be overwhelming. I know it feels like an impossible mountain to climb. But if it seems too much, don’t try and fix everything all at once. Don’t try some fancy diet. Just pick one thing this week. Walk to end of the street and back. Cut out the teaspoon of sugar in your tea. Just try one tiny little thing for seven days. Then when you’ve done that for a week, add another tiny little thing for the next.

I know this approach is not quick enough for some. Where’s the gobsmacking results? Where’s the meal replacement shakes and the deprivation? Where’s the dramatic statistics? I’m always having people tsk-tsking at what I eat – whether it’s some toast or the occasional chocolate – and saying things like, "You’ll never get to goal eating that! Carbs are bad! Last year I lost 20 pounds on Trendy Diet Of The Month, why don’t you do that? ".

Never mind that the person usually has put back on those 20 pounds plus more. How can you say a diet Works if you gained the blubber back? I’d rather enjoy real food and take longer to get to goal in my slow-ass bumbling way, than crash and burn on a Trendy Diet and wind up with even more pounds to lose. 

Sure it sounds BORING to take it slowly. But just add up all the time you’ve spent losing and regaining pounds on Trendy Diets. How many weeks or months would that be? Imagine if you’d used that same amount of time to lose half or one pound a week? Would you be heavier or lighter than you are now?

I was moaning about my own excruciatingly slow progress the other day. I’ve now been Busting Lard for five years and nine months, which is roughly 300 weeks (fark!). And I say roughly, coz I am shite at maths. And now for some statistics:

300 weeks
78.3 kilos (172 lb) lost
A paltry average of just over HALF A POUND (220g) per week.

But… imagine if I’d gone the other way? What if I hadn’t changed anything? What if I’d maintained my addiction to ice cream and cheese n bacon rolls and family blocks of Cadbury’s Black Forrest?

Right before I started the Lard Busting in 2001, I was gaining weight far more rapidly than half a pound a week. But for arguments sake, let’s just say I’d gained at the same rate I’ve losing for the past 300 weeks – half a pound a week.

I’d now weigh 237.5 kilos. 523 pounds.

Who knows what I’d be up to now. Maybe I’d be in a golf cart, trundling off to the shops; or in a crane, being lifted out of my house by the fire brigade; or just a plain ol pine box. It’s kinda scary to think about.

So if you think a pound or a half a week sounds too slow, or if you think your walking around the block or switching to wholegrain bread or doing twenty squats or increasing your veggies isn’t going to amount to anything… don’t worry. Be patient. Don’t give up. Take all the freakin’ time you need. Sure, it might take 300 weeks or more. But at least it’s 300 weeks in a healthier, happier direction.

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60 thoughts on “300 Weeks

  1. This is a beautiful post, Shauna. Sometimes we all need to be reminded of how the little things can add up to a larger thing – and that good things can happen if we are patient and diligent. I have no doubt that you will ultimately finish your lard busting journey – and then maintain your loss. You’ve excelled at this for so long (even with setbacks, which we all have – I’m currently working off my latest) that failure is not an option.

  2. Thanks so much for this post. It’s just the encouragement I need right now. For the past week I’ve been “out of it” with eating well and exercising. And well, I feel…awful. This helped. A lot! And you’re so right, the little things do count.

  3. DG, you are, as we say here in the states, the bomb. Awesome, inspiring, and oh so true post.

  4. Good post! When I was just starting out I was overwhelmed by the fact that it was going to take at least two years to dump all the weight, and will actually be even more than that. But then I thought, “Two years from now you’re going to be two years older anyway. You can’t stop time. You can however control what you do in that time.” A sense of perspective like that definitely helps.

  5. You are just fabulous and I am so glad you chose to share your journey with the rest of us.

  6. Shauna, this is just exactly THE post I needed to read today. Thankyou. It’s so easy to get stuck and you just helped me through something. XXXXX

  7. Shauna, that sure does give you something to think about. You are right, it is the little things that do add up in the long run, thanks for reminding us of that. 🙂

  8. thank you.
    I am just strating out, and needed to hear that. I need to hear and be able to tell myself that slow is good, that slow is better.

    thanks
    sandra

  9. Thanks so much – You’ve really helped me with this one! I’ve been battling along now for three years and what you said about what if if we had gone the other way really hit home. Great inspiration:)

  10. Amen amen amen to all of this. I remember sitting on a scale (ok standing, but I would have rather been sitting) and looking at the number 339, tears running down my face, thinking I could never do it in a million years. So I just decided that I would at least try to be under 300 pounds and each day ate a little less and walked a little more….in fact, my weight loss story on my blog tells how I had to go from five minutes of walking to six to seven and so on…that is how bad it was, but I did it and here I sit imperfect, but 100 pounds down and all it took was believing in baby steps.

    Great post!

  11. Thank you. I lost 2 stone in 2 and a half months at the beginning of the year, but have stayed the same for 4 months and was really getting down about it, I have another 4 stone to lose and it feels such a long road. After reading this entry I don’t feel so bad, I may come back and read it weekly to remind myself not to beat myself up!

  12. Another great post Shauna and just what I needed to read. You are such an inspiration!

  13. Great post. As Confucius says ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ I used that for inspiration(you weren’t around) and I remind myself of it when I feel I need a recharge.

    Losing 25 kilos(from 85 to 60) has improved my health and fitness level no end. I haven’t taken a painkiller in 3 years and when I went screaming into hospital with a fibroid leaning on my bladder it was really easy to diagnose. As the doctor said ‘since we didn’t have to cut thru too much fat you were in and out of theatre.’ Recovery was a lot faster too.

    Taking that single step was the best thing I ever did for myself and my daughters. They don’t remember their fat mum. They see an active, happy engaged person and they follow that example. I like myself and my life.

  14. Right on, DG!

    Like you, I have gone months when I have gained over a pound a week. At that point holding steady is a win! As you point out, actually losing weight is a double bonus. (Not only did I not go *up* I lost!! Woot!!)

    B’sides, eventually we are all hoping for that elusive maintenance–all the better that you’ve mastered it as you go.

  15. Hi Shauna

    A truly inspiring post.

    I do not really need to lose weight at the moment, except for my ‘baby belly’, but all in good time.

    What I do think is important is the message you are conveying, is that you should give it time. This same message can be applied in most aspects of our lives.

    I recently left my husband of five and a half abusive, violent years and your ‘time mantra’ seems most appropriate to me too. Cos it wasn’t easy, but the best thing I could do, and now while some days are hard, it is slowly getting easier.

    Well done for your tenacity and determination!

  16. You are one clever chicky. It’s nice to be reminded that a steady change in lifestyle gets awesome results that will last. You should be so proud of yourself.

  17. Thank you for that post! It was a good wake up call for me. I successfully lost the first half of my blubber by using the small changes method you outlined (I introduced one new small healthy change each week) – then I got side-tracked on to trying out one after another fairly experimental exercise and/or nutritional plans which, TBH, are almost impossible for a busy person to stick to even 90% of the time. My weight loss completely stopped and all the lovely energy I had found during my little changes stage just faded away. Since then I’ve felt pretty hopeless.

    I think its time for me to go back to basics and start the little changes all over again.

  18. What an amazing woman you are! An excellent post to bring us all down to earth.
    Your transformation is awe inspiring and I can’t wait to see you at goal!
    You are a Star ****

  19. omg shauna u are the bomb! makes me proud to be an aussie. girl u are lookin so fine. wow i am like so super impressed with ur whole journey i mean like damn. it has motivated me to lose my extra luggage as well. thank you and good luck and u are gorgeous. much love.

  20. You know I have tried every damn w/l method apart from surgery, WW JC, sureslim, pills, chucking up, laxatives, starvation, then someone ( and in parts thanks to you DG) switched the light on, I gave up dieting, I eat when I am hungry and I try to get a bit of exercise in daily, not that it happens, but I try, no guilt, no repercussions, and guess what Ive loss 13.5kg at an average of .550gms per week, havent missed out, just gained a shitload of happiness, I could live like this forever.

    Thanks Shona, youre a bloody Goddess with words, I appreciate you.

  21. thank you very much for that blog, it’s very appropriate.

    once again, i really enjoy reading your blog & hope you’re doing well on your book & going for the gold.

  22. great post! it is so true and i hope this reaches all the people that think it is hopeless. it’s NEVER too late to start!

  23. DG, you speak the truth!! I felt like that at 286. As of today I have lost 54 lbs and some days I wake up and STILL feel like that. But now the feeling passes. At my highest I didn’t feel like a girl, I barely felt human. Just a big huge blog. I was so big I was invisible to everyone.

    It is never too late to change. I had been dieting since i was 11 and I didn’t really get a handle on it until I was almost 28. I know i will struggle but i also know i WILL win!

  24. Okay that should have been “blob”, not “blog”. Thats what I get for not previewing! LOL

    But if i were a big huge blog i’d want to be yours : )

  25. Thanks so much! I really needed that one! I have so far to go, but I know eventually I’ll get there.

  26. A wonderful post, describing feelings everyone of us knows too well! I’m just fighting to get below 100 kilos at last (must be a magical border), but at least, my weight doesn’t go up anymore!

  27. I am a frequent lurker with the perverbial “ton” of weight to lose. This post was the perfect thing right now. Especially as I contemplate the next “lard busting” step to take.

  28. I can’t add anything to the comments except my thanks, both for this post and for the links to FB. I’m sure glad you’re one of my regular reads!

  29. This is so very true. All of it. Honestly … if I’d started out from the beginning thinking “OMG, I have to lose more than 100 pounds!”, I don’t think I could have ever done it. Starting slowly and thinking small is what made this time different. I’ve tried to explain that to others who ask me what I’m doing, but people get so fixated on wanting everything to happen yesterday. Anyhow, thanks for the brilliant entry.

  30. Wow, you just articulated in the most wise, eloquent and inspiring terms something that I was trying to write about myself yesterday. You’ve really said it beautifully.

    I don’t think there’s any point in us hating our fat. It doesn’t seem to do any good. It probably doesn’t even do any good to hate the BEHAVIORS that lead us to being overweight.

    Probably the only thing that really works is STOPPING the self-criticism altogether. After all, once you really begin admiring and accepting your body, isn’t that when you would feel compelled to take better care of it?? If you hated how your car looked and every time you saw it you kicked the door panel, it would get worse and worse. Maybe we just need to wash the car instead.

    -J

  31. A wonderful post. The turning point in my thinking was when I saw a man interviewed who had lost 100 lbs at a rate of about 2 lbs a week. I was so inspired by that. It meant that I could possibly look the way I want to in less than a year.

  32. Wow! Somebody read my blog today and encouraged me to read yours…that’s how it works, isn’t it?

    I’m so glad I did. I was feeling as if nobody understood what it was like to need to lose almost 200 lbs. And, here you are! You know!

    Thank you my friend.

  33. Thank you so much for this fantastic post. You’re SO right, it doesn’t matter how long the journey takes, as long as we’re heading generally in the right direction.
    Bri

  34. I dont know how you do it, but you always post just the right thing at just the right time to stop me from feeling it is all more than I am capable of doing.

    Thank you 🙂

  35. Nice post. I need to keep reminding myself that this is a long journey and not a race when my wt loss slows at times. Thanks.

  36. Thnks so much for this post Shauna. I haven’t stopped by for awhile and this was just what I was needing to read. I have been faffing about since easter trying to do summat about my weight and getting nowhere. This past weekend my failing hips and knees let me know I have to get off my fat butt and really DO SOMETHING! So back to blogging and implementing changes. Thanks so much again for writing what I needed to hear.

  37. Great post! Been ill for the last two weeks, with lot of comfort food… And starting to feel better but also “blah”. Trying to get those last 8 kg off, and it’s hard!
    You’re doing great, I’ve been reading for years and now you are almost my weight, great job Dietgirl!!!
    Thanks for this post, baby steps, right…

    Kath

  38. Absolutely THE most perfect post I’ve ever read! This is all SO true! I have (so far) lost 52 pounds in the past 7 months – and have 83 more to go! You are very inspirational! Wonderful… just wonderful! I’m going to share this link on my website too!

  39. Do you really read down to the 49th comment, I wonder? Anyway, the first 48 are entirely right. And – to comment on your comment on my blog – you do indeed manage to make your life seem an amazing adventure, which is one of your great talents. Forty-nine (and more) cheers for Dietgirl!

  40. of course i read all the comments! i’ve just been out of town for a few days so couldn’t comment on the comments 🙂

    thanks everyone for such rockin comments. after writing such a positive entry i’ve ended up having the shittiest week, eating wise. the scales are going to tell the story in the morning. OCH WELL. i have regrouped already…

  41. Thanks for this post, Shauna, I often read but rarely comment, I thought comment by J was terrific too, along with all the others, you have certainly touched on something we can all relate to here. You are such an inspiration and its an absolute pleasure to read your blog. Thankyou.
    PS Just looked up “kale” and will give it a go, its aways been just a word to me before!

  42. I’m impressed! U rocks!

    I think that your method is a very good one, to be patient and take it slow, it’s more chance to succeed in the long run then.

    Good luck with the continuation 🙂

  43. What can I say that has not been said? You are awesome! We all need to hear this! I think I will not only link your site but also link this post.

  44. Thank you DG! You have put everything back into perspective for me. Tomorrow IS another day and I will take small steps to lead me to a better, healthier me. Keep posting such inspirational pieces as I will come back to hear what you have to say regularly. Thank you again. Love, health and happiness,
    Monika x

  45. This might be your best post up to this point. I am slowly working my way through them all. I have over 100 lbs. still to lose, after losing 40. It’s overwhelming sometimes, but if I think to myself, today I can not drink soda, or eat chips, or walk to the end of the driveway and get the mail, it WILL add up. And losing the weight slowly makes it more likely that it will stay off. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. But if I think of it that way I may get discouraged, so I’m just gonna remember, little changes for that one day. Anybody can do anything for one stinking day!