2006: Where Did It All Go Right?

Thanks very much for all your comments on the last entry! You’re all legends, I tells ya.

And thanks so much for no one writing to tell me to Get Over It. It’s great to vent and not get a lecture in my Inbox on the perils of Being Negative. If you don’t address the negatives now and then, how else do you see where you can improve? I felt disappointed by aspects of my "performance" and it felt good to acknowledge that by whinging, moving on… and using it for motivational fuel this year.

So let’s talk about the good bits today. I started 2007 smaller, fitter and marginally lighter than I was twelve months ago. Woohoo to that. I’ve been thinking about all the things that helped me along and came up with a list – my Top Ten Flab-Fighting Tools of 2006!

  1. Blogging – Well, DERR! It’s still my most essential tool. Where would I be without reading and writing blogs? On a couch eating chocolates. Perhaps even on a couch eating chocolates while said couch was being lifted out of the house by a crane, so lardy would I be. Seriously, there were times last year when I wanted to torch this blog, namely when everyone at work found out about it again. But once I realised that while people may think it’s dorky to write about your flab on the internet, it’s not like people didn’t already know that I was a dork. So CARRY ON BLOGGING, I say!

  2. Keeping a Food Diary – an oldie but a goldie. The minute I stop writing down what I eat, extra food starts creeping in. In 2006 I tried tracking on paper as well as a number of online tracking tools, but in the end came back to my old favourite Weight Loss Resources.
  3. Veggie Box Delivery – And to think a year ago I was living in a world without kohlrabi. Every two weeks a box of fruit and veggies is abandoned on our doorstep and it’s been a hoot trying to figure out what to do with it. The box forces you to be more imaginative with your cooking and vegetables become the focus of your meals. And you may also experience feelings of smug wholesomeness.
  4. Cathe Strength Training DVDs – I chucked a tantrum when my dodgy knee ruled out my much-loved Body Pump classes. There was no point paying for the class when I couldn’t do half the moves. But I missed the structure and being told what to do, so it was Cathe Friedrich to the rescue.  I was skeptical that I would get any results from a dusty collection of weights at home, but my upper body strength and tone improved so much in 2006.
  5. Lemons and Limes – They just make food more interesting. They can jazz up a can of tuna or avocado on toast, breathe life into salads or rice or lentils and make a panful of wilted greens and garlic droolworthy. I always make sure we’ve got half a dozen of each laying round, and carry a few spares in my pockets in case of flavour emergencies.
  6. Pilates – I still don’t know if I am doing the breathing right, but in one class last year I remember laying on my back, abdominals screaming with my legs in a vaguely gynecological position, feeling incredibly peaceful and remembering how cool it is to make your body do stuff instead of stuffing it with food.
  7. Physiotherapy – Eight months of physio and my knee is still dodgy. But eight months of physio taught me to be patient. That your body deserves to be listened to. That ignoring pain gets you nowhere. That doing too much to soon means you’re an idiot. And that your physio can’t perform miracles if you don’t bloody do your exercises between visits!
  8. Frozen Edamame – Wee baby soya beans are my Snack of the Year! I’ve mentioned these a bazillion times before but I hate to think of all the toast I would have scoffed if I hadn’t had these little babies to scoff into when I get home from work. I zap a handful in the microwave then eat em plain or with some black pepper and lemon. And three cheers for frozen mixed vegetables for lazy dinners and frozen berries for easy smoothies. Hail Freezer!
  9. Weight Watchers cookbooks – I went mental buying WW cookbooks on eBay this year, because the recipes are so bloody easy and the ingredients are always basic. My favourites are two Aussies – Contented Tummy and Everyday, and two UK ones – How To Eat and How To Cook the WW Way.

  10. THE SCALES – After years of vowing otherwise, I have decided once and for all that the scales actually ARE my friend. I’ve been in denial, because to say you like to weigh daily always sounds like you’re obsessed. So for December 2006 I conducted a scale-free experiment and it was a disaster. I gained four kilos. As soon as I stopped checking in on the number I became thoughtless about my food choices. We all know the number wildly fluctuates according to what you ate the night before, fluid retention, whatever. But I know the difference between temporary bloat and a genuine upward trend, it’s just a matter of being honest with myself about which one it is. Keeping an eye on the number is different than becoming a slave to the number. A quick hop on the scale each day gives me a general indication of how things are progressing. It’s not an obsession; it’s just another tool that keeps me on track.

So what worked for you guys in 2006?

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46 thoughts on “2006: Where Did It All Go Right?

  1. Blogging definitely worked for me. Reading others’ blogs got me started and keeps me inspired and motivated.

    I, too, tried a little stay-off-the-scales experiment, with similar poor results.

    One thing that helped me was trying on clothes. Sometimes when I felt like eating irrationally I would instead plunder my closet to see what fit, what was too big and what almost fit. It was very motivating and usually kept me out of the pantry.

  2. The pool probably saved me. In the first part of the year – deepwater aqua classes pushed my buttons. Then, after I stuffed my knee, it was aquajogging to the rescue.

  3. Happy New Year Shauna! I like seeing what works for others. Loved the entry. For me it is stepping on the scale daily too. I hear you on that one. I do the same thing, I step on it to keep me in check. And of course my videos of The Firm. I swear these videos have changed my body!

  4. Thank you very much for this post, Shauna – especially since I was just told that to stop the damn weighing since its all rubbish. Weighing makes me accountable, and if we all can use our intelligence and not our emotions to interpret the numbers, we can quite easily tell the difference between a fluctuation and a genuine gain. This post was REALLY well timed, THANK YOU *BIG HUGZ*

    PS – Hope you use that Amazon certificate towards another one of those Cathe DVDs! πŸ˜‰

  5. hey marshy πŸ™‚ i will do. and that’s a really good point about making sure you use your nogging and not your emotions when dealing with the number. PMS aside i am much better at doing that these days, hehehe…

  6. Hi Shawna –

    Today is my first time reading your blog. I received the book, Tales from the Scales for Christmas and YOU were the most inspirational person EVER. I copied your stories and stapled them altogether for encouragement when I need it. I have a long way to go, but I am looking forward to the trip. Ask this question again at the start of 2008 and I will say that one of the things that helped me was YOU. Have a great day !

  7. I definitely agree about weighing regularly! I tried to weigh in monthly for a while, but found that led to “It doesn’t matter what I eat this week… I don’t have to weigh in for 3 weeks!”

    Not good. Daily weighing is working really well for me at the moment – helps me see the the scale for what it is – a measurement of a general trend, rather than working my ARSE off for a week and then seeing a gain because I had pasta for dinner the night before.

    Happy New Year, btw! πŸ˜€

  8. Hi

    I just started my weight loss blog…

    I am 34, Male, about 270lbs and 5’6″. I have much to do.

    You are an inspiration and so any advice will be appreciated…

    Have been keeping a food diary and feel more empowered to get healthy now than ever before.

    Perhaps my 13 month old son has something to do with that eh? πŸ˜‰

    Cheers and keep up the good work…

    TFM

  9. The scale is SUCH a major thing (or it was for me anyway) in the beginning.

    Now I think of it like my alarm clock, timer on the stove, speedometer in the car, thermostat on the furnace – a necessary and very helpful little device. Popping on every morning – keeps me informed – it is a tool for giving me feedback – it is a machine – not something with motives or opinions – just a helpful little gage of what is going on.

  10. Here’s the biggies for me in 2006:

    water, my Leslie Sansone Walk Away The Pounds dvds (they are cheesy as all get out but they work!), baby spinach, oatmeal, Subway restaurants, my 3lb. dumbbells, my friends on Sparkpeople, the food tracker on Sparkpeople, my digital camera that gave me proof that I really do look better, and clothes that are one size too small…they help keep me motivated!

    Much success to you DG in 2007!!

  11. Hey DG,

    I’m a hugely long term lurker (if you’ve noticed a jump in page hits on your archives lately, that’s just little ol’ me from Sydney) and just wanted to de-lurk to tell you how fabulous you are.

    Everyone needs to know that, right? Well there you go.

    You’re one of my inspirations to get this weight thing under control.

    -Aly

  12. Hi DG,

    Another lurker coming out to introduce myself and tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. What worked for me in 2006? That’s a toughie, seeing how I lost the same 5 lbs over and over again. But I do best with consistent logging of food, reading inspiring blogs (THANK YOU!), venting on my blog, and celebrating my own accomplishments, however small. I’m learning that a positive attitude makes all the difference. πŸ™‚

    Happy New Year and hope 2007 is a fantastic one!

  13. Things that worked for me in 2006 (i only strted my lard busting in october)

    1) reading The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl. I have read your entire blog and each and every post gave me somehting new to think about ad firmed my resolve. Thanks to you i have successfully lost my first stone and a half (and an extra 2 pounds over xmas!) YAY

    2) Getting a scale at home (was being weighed at work) But i have to work hard on not getting on it more than once a week. so far so good

    3) The cooments of an amazing Australian man wo was the first person to read my blog (he stumbled on it from day1) if i hadent had someone to be accountable to i dont know what i would have done

    4) getting away every now and then. My diet journey was interrupted by three trips and i came back significantly lighter at the end of all of them. when i am away i am having too much fun to stuff my self.

    Thank you for being a constant inspiration

  14. It’s interesting to see what works for everyone.

    For me a big thing is mentally making a commitment. I do that by:
    a) setting goals and writing them down – and not just weight-related ones. Things like being able to do X pushups, or to walk or run a certain distance – or just stick to my food plan for a day, a week or whatever – are often more motivating.
    b) having a trainer to be accountable to (a workout partner might work just as well for some)
    c) using my training and food journal. If I don’t write it down, I can pretend it didn’t happen. The missed workout, the 7 broken biscuits eaten (which as we all know, have no calories anyway).

    Hmm, what else? – Being able to look back on a bad day and just put it behind me and move on. As opposed to “bugger it, I’ve ruined everything anyway, may as well eat the ENTIRE contents of the pantry”. Takes practice, that does.

    Keep up the great work, Shauna – you’re an inspiration to so many because you’re REAL. πŸ™‚

  15. I couldn’t agree with you more about the scales. I know some people don’t think its healthy to weigh yourself too often but I’ve pretty much avoided them from 22/11 until the end of Dec and when I did get back on I was not impressed with what I saw. Since Jan 1 I’ve weighed each day and it reminds me not buy that cherry ripe no matter how much I may want to!

  16. A site I’ve found that helps immensely with weigh-in issues is http://www.physicsdiet.com — you enter your daily weight (also body fat %age, calories eaten, and calories used, if you know the figures), and creates lots of helpful graphs to look at.

    Reading blogs (though I don’t keep my own) helps me a lot.

    And like Kek, I’m trying to work hard on cultivating an “every day is a new start” attitude to keep motivated.

    The weight graphs use an average of your last five days of weigh-ins, and show whether you have an up or down trend pretty clearly.

  17. YOU, and bloggers like you, are what kept me going in 2006. Each day I check the latest posts of fellow dieters and your humor and trials help me stay sane by reminding me I’m not alone in this lard-busting journey. Kudos!

  18. Happy New Year, Shauna! Last year blogs like yours were an inspiration to keep going. Actually making time to go to the gym helped (rather than just paying them Β£50 a month to feel less guilty because “I’m a gym member”!!) and chewing gum to stop me nibbling inappropritely in the kitchen. Comments from people when they started noticing a difference were brilliant – always tell someone if you think they are looking better -it’s such a boost!

  19. This is kind of drastic, but the best thing I did this year (albeit very late in the year) was re-locate to a different city. I now live within a 5 minute bus ride or 15 minute walk of the gym, and it is en route for my husband’s workplace, so when I am working from home, we meet after work at the gym. I had been really lax about regular gym attendance at my previous location as the gym wasn’t really convenient either for work (for me or for my husband) or for home. I also started getting the organic fruit and veggie box at the new address, and it does concentrate the mind on how to eat all that veg – and ‘smug wholesomeness’ indeed!
    Interestingly, Krista on Stumptuous covers the issue of location and fitness/wellness in her December rant.

  20. I’ve kept a food diary for years (I give myself one “free” day a week when I don’t have to log my meals… otherwise, I start to feel obsessed). The most important thing for me in 2006 was setting goals: I want to run a Half Marathon in 2007, and I knew I needed to start training if I wanted to reach my goal. It really helped get my tush off the couch.

  21. What worked for me:
    1) Calorie-count.com. Free online tools, journal, and forums. I keep track of food, activity and weight, and the journal acts as a blog.

    2) MP3 player and some great music. Essential for blasting Groove Armada into my head while I run like a hamster on the…..

    3) Elliptical Trainer at the YMCA. No damaging my already stressed joints and feet. Great cardio. Started doing HIIT and lost 2 pants sizes in a month. The trainer enabled me to get back to my old love…

    4) swimming. Ah. Bliss. Much better now that I don’t feel so horrible in my swimsuit.

    5) Supportive family, especially husband. He loves me whatever I weigh, but he totally supports my efforts to be healthy. He even lost 30 pounds along with me!

    6) You!
    I found you about a month after starting my journey, and I spent 8 hours Reading evey single entry of Dietgirl.
    You have made such a difference in how I approach healthy eating and living. The stuff about your Mom and Weight Watchers? Been there. The siren call of ice cream? Yep. I just love your style and your substance and I want to thank you for helping me take off 50 pounds this year.

  22. these comments are so cool, i like getting to be a stickybeak. hope other people are finding it helpful too πŸ™‚

  23. thank you.
    You blog helps me to keep going. You made me see that this is a journey, but more importantly that this weight loss has to be a lifestyle change, and an attitude change. Because I can follow your posts everyday I can see the value in what your experiences and the tips you offer, rather than some skinny thing preaching on the evils of muffins.

    so thank you :o)

  24. Awesome list! You inspired me to write my own on my personal blog. Feel free to take a look.

    – Beating the binge eating disorder.

    – Working with a therapist

    – Learning what hunger and fullness feels like.

    – Making peace with the scale.

    – Losing 26-28 pounds by eating normally.
    – Becoming a picky eater.

    – Stopping the critical voice in my head.

    – Exercise is fun, when you do what you love.

    – Sparkpeople. A web site with free support resources for dieters.

    – Going on a diet without an equal and opposite reactive binge.

  25. What worked for me in 2006 was walking 5 times a week (or when the weather permitted) on my lunchbreak for 3 miles.

    I started just going to the end of the street and back and after 2 months had moved on to walking with 3 lb weights and huffing and puffing my way around the neighborbood. If I don’t get my walk in, I feel cramped in the office.

    I lost a total of 50 lbs in 2006 and I’m hoping for another 50 in 2007!

    Shauna is terrific inspiration!

  26. Dearest DG,
    Thank you for your post and giving us all the permission to weigh ourselves each day WITHOUT feeling guilty about it! I always knew deep in my heart that my daily weigh -ins kept me on track but had read too many articles that said I was a slave to the scale. I know that I can’t gain 3kg overnight and that I’m just bloated, oversalted or retaining like crazy…but a daily check is really good for me. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

  27. I’ve been reading your blog for years now and you truly are an inspiration! Keep up the great job. Wanted to add my 2 cents on the scale thing – daily weighing is totally the key to keeping yourself on track! And yes, you have to account for fluid/food-retention factors, but you know if you skipped dinner the night before and you’re up 5 lbs, you should pay attention.

  28. What worked for me?

    drinking enough water
    walking daily
    weight training (at home light weights)
    writing it all down

    And reading other peoples journeys in blogland. There is always someone having similar problems to me, and reading their take on it helps me look at my problems from different angles to work out a solution.

    Cheers πŸ™‚

  29. I think what worked for me in 2006 was that I stopped feeding into my binge eating disorder by alternately restricting my food and then beating myself up when I’d slip. I stopped obsessing. I don’t weigh except at appointments with my healing/weight loss counselor. I haven’t lost any significant weight (haven’t gained any either) and I suppose that could make a case that I didn’t succeed in 2006, but my lightness of spirit and general happiness with life makes me believe that I’m heading in the right direction even if I’m on the slower road.

  30. Aha! So that’s what edamame is! (are?) I don’t think they have them here but as my favourite snack is nuked frozen peas I will have to have a look.
    Cheerio and take care

  31. Calorie King just released results in a study on daily weighing you know. I am so glad they did cause daily weighing works for me!

    Apparently people who weighed daily maintained their weight or lost weight on average while those who did not gained weight.

    Daily weighing it is! I like knowing if I screwed up or I succeeded the day before, then I know whether I should do that again or maybe not.

    Thanks for your 10 success tools. Let me think mine would be….

    Daily Weighing
    My Wall Chart
    My Success Journal
    Blogging
    http://www.livinginthesuburbs.com
    Nike Shox – Love my shoes they gave me enough cushioning to try running but I think they are givng me injuries – time for new ones.
    Gym membership
    Personal Trainer
    Dogs
    Cookbooks! I learnt to cook in 2006 I didn’t know how to do that in 2005

  32. I think you and all the other bloggers helped to get a perspective on this weight loss thingy. I sometimes feel like I try and try and get nowhere, and I wonder how to motivate myself. I now realise that motivation is something I need to top up on a daily basis, and popping here for a quick laugh does that for me dg, you’re a star!

  33. Well the biggest thing that helped me to lose weight in 2006 was a particularly nasty case of glandular fever…. unfortunately 21 lbs of that has come back with a vengeance now I’m starting to feel better- dammit!
    I’m one of your lurkers, just thought that I’d sign in and say Hi. It is nice to read a blog from a normal person who has achieved so much; you are inspirational.
    My resolution for 2007 is to stop feeding myself when my emotions tell me (rather than when my stomach tells me). Wish me luck.

  34. Great list. Scales: when I don’t weigh myself it’s for a reason – I know I’ve over-indulged. Daily weigh in a must for me.
    Exercise: Even lazy bods like me have to accept that we were not designed for a sedentary lifestyle. I’ve gone from doing nothing to clocking up lots of weekly, if not daily, walking and Nordic walking is my sport of choice. See nordicwalking.com for more info. I get a great workout and lots of energy, not to mention fresh air…and best of all I really enjoy it. Evening walks also keep me out of the kitchen when I would be most inclined to eat mindlessly.
    Motivation: I have to make a conscious and constant effort to motivate myself – I read a lot on nutrition and on the psychology around eating, and your blog is also inspirational, in terms of what you’ve achieved and your wonderful attitude and take on life.
    Planning: When I’m organised enough to bring a salad with me to work, that’s a help.
    Never giving up: the best lesson I’ve learnt is to not give up. Setbacks are only setbacks and being able to quickly get back on track works wonders.
    Lose the shame: Now that I address the problem and my weight is more of muffin top proportions rather than just overall huge, I’ve lost the shame I felt whenever I met new people or slim friends. This freedom from shame has an immeasurable impact on my self esteem and makes anything and everything possible.

  35. I think it’s important to allow yourself to feel EVERY emotion and I am with you on the Top 10. Bloggers rock!

  36. LOL – I’m not sure anything did work for me this year! I didn’t ‘lose’ in 2006. But I still love going to the gym and getting the endorphin buzz – so that stopped me gaining.

    2007 it MUST COME OFF!

  37. Happy New Year!

    Interesting post and interesting comments – makes me take stock of myself – which is exactly why I love reading your blog.

    I weigh myself every morning – its part of my morning routine and signifies the start of a healthy day. If I don’t weigh myself I tend to drift.

    I think my 2006 Epiphany came when I read your post about getting back to basics. I realised that the preceding 6-8 months of constantly moving from one nutrition/exercise plan to another that were too rigid for me was not working and making me unhappy. I took your advice, went back to basics and the lard started shifting again.

    I also learned that life is for enjoying. If I’m invited out for a meal or something special then I eat whatever I want. There’s no great panic – an occasional day’s feasting isn’t going to make a huge amount of difference – but it makes me happy.

  38. WOW!! I stumbled across your site and just had to say WAY TO GO!! How have you lost the weight? Are you following any type of program??

  39. Happy new you, dg!

    What worked for me.

    Lay off the grog. I find this is one of my triggers to overeat.

    Personal training once a week. Keeps me accountable.

    6:15am gym classes cause nobody wants you at 6:15am.

    Remembering my exercise mantra of cardio, strength and flexibility. Mixing the type of class I do based on that.

    Green tea. No so much for its antioxidant properties but for ‘tea makes you wee.’

    Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and raw nuts and porridge. Make fibre your friend.

    Vanity. A powerful motivator for me. I love being told I look nice today. I love clothes and putting an outfit together. I love being able to shop Sportsgirl and General Pants Co if I wish. I love that I can buy nice bras in colours other than beige.

    Shallow, I know, but it does keep me near the right path.

    All the best for 2007 and keep blogging cause you write really well.

  40. Hi DG,

    The weighing thing totally moved my ass this year – as well as daily accountability it’s given me a whole new understanding of my daily weight fluctuations. I now know what will staying in my stomach longer and weigh me down the next day, and so it doesn’t bother me… whereas if I just hopped on occasionally I would see one number and one number only instead of a week’s worth of progress of which this is simply the latest figure.
    Also, learning about calories – after years of being a dedicated fat counter I finally understand calories (but not kiljoules!) and can make choices accordingly. I also have a much better understanding of what I can happily eat in a day for those calories, and that has taught me an awful lot about my terrible habit of overeating, whether it’s chocolate or apples.
    Finally, thank you Shawna for your fantastic writing. I have loved reading through your archives and get very excited when there’s a new entry to chew on.
    Hope your 2007 is the culmination of before and the beginning of next.
    Miss T

  41. Hi DG, Glad you enjoyed the poem. I’m with you on the everyday weighing – have done it for almost 40 years and even when weight went up I know that weighing daily stopped it going up as far or as fast it would have. Blog land did some wonderful things for me last year but when I stopped posting things went a tad skew wiff. Laying off the alochol makes a HUGE difference and tracking every day means you can’t play cheats with yourself. Keep up the good work – you’ve helped and continue to help an amazing number of people.

  42. Hi Shawny

    Thanks to you – I am back on track. I clicked on your link to the Weight Loss Resource and started up on their 3 day free trial. Half way through day 1 and so far so good. I can see why you like it so much.
    By the way – being an Aussie from Canberra..now living in Paris France…I will be over for a meeting in Edinburgh in Oct..so would love to catch up with you. Drop me an email if your interested.
    Relle

  43. a while ago i stumbled on a weight loss program written by an engineer, who’d approached the problem as an engineer. it was all pretty basic eat well, move your arse type things, but he did advocate weighing yourself daily.

    the best part though, was that he had an excel sheet programmed that would average the ‘pull’ of that days weight over the last 20ish days and spit out a chart. so a statistically modified excel chart of the way your weight had been moving, not a wildly fluctuating line of your actual scale weight.

    i’m putting it all really badly, but it’s kinda awesome. πŸ˜€