Scott the Strawberry

These past few months have been rather batty. Stuff that is too personal or awkward to write about in real time. Also, stuff that is too personal and bloody tedious to subject you to.

Scott the Strawberry
A healthy eating poster at the local primary school

Basically I took myself off to a shrink. After a year or more of saying I should be able to fix this on my own I thought I'd try talking to an objective person about things.

It was very fruitless to begin with, because I was being very half-arsed about it. There were many conflicting voices:

  • Shame and Fraudulent: I'm wasting her time, I should be able to fix things on my own.
  • Denial: There's nothing wrong with you; harden the f*ck up whinge bag!
  • Hopeless: You've cocked up so badly you're beyond help
  • Blogging Out Loud: telling "hilarious" stories and not being honest about how crappy things were, in case she didn't believe me and/or thought I was pathetic.

It was three expensive months of not much progress and soooooo much denial. I bawled and/or binged and binged and binged after every session. I was tempted to churn out a few of my "I'm doing great now!" blog posts even when I wasn't, because I felt like I should have been doing better.

But slowly, slowly… light bulbs started going off. The energy saving kind that take awhile to warm up, but still, progress.

Recently I got home from work and went to get changed for a workout. I saw my favourite winter coat in the wardrobe and for some reason decided to try it on. It was so tight that I couldn't get it over my shoulders. I looked in the mirror and the bullshit and denial just fell away. I plonked on the bedroom floor and had a cry for twenty minutes.

Then I thought, Righto, ENOUGH. I got up, put on my gym clothes and did a Cathe weights DVD. I started sniffling again halfway through because I couldn't lift as heavy as I used to, but it still felt like a minor triumph over the "you suck, you're doomed!" voice.

"What has changed?" the shrink asked in our next session. What's changed is that I finally accept that I have work to do. I accept that I need to change the way I think and I accept that this takes hard work. I accept I need to communicate properly with my loved ones and not hide or deny problems.

I accept that I need to build a healthy relationship with food that will sustain me for the rest of my life. I had to buy size 18 jeans recently. I want to get back into my 14s but my approach is different now. It can't be about losing weight so I'll fit into a wedding dress, or have an ending for a book, or look acceptable to promote a book, or to live up to the expectations of certain people. It will never stick until deep down, I want to live a healthy life just for me.

I finally see how damaging the language of shoulds, musts and have tos has been. I see how needlessly worrying about what other people think has steered my actions. I see how hiding my problems has made them worse. Man, it's really embarrassing to realise how you've let things go to pot. Even more embarrassing to see how powerful the LA LA LA EVERYTHING'S FINE denial has been.

But I am writing this with a dopey grin on my face because I feel alive and clear-headed and unburdened. I've just spewed this entry straight from the guts today and feel like a complete WANKER for all the psychobabbly dullness but thought an update was overdue. It's been a very insular, delicate, roller coaster process that leaves you feeling very raw and haggard at times, so hopefully you can understand why the blogging has been sparse. I hope you're well and dandy and thank you, as always, for sticking around!

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123 thoughts on “Scott the Strawberry

  1. Thank you for sharing this with us. It’s a lesson that I have learned as well but, unfortunately, have to keep relearning. When life gets tough I still tend to fall back into old habits. Keep up the good work, girl.

  2. Glad to hear that the help has been helping. I find it more inspiring when people write blog posts that say “I’m having problems. Life sucks sometimes.”, because the cheery, happy “Everything’s great and my life is fabulous!” makes me feel totally inadequate.
    Facing up to issues and dealing with the “shoulds, musts and have tos” is so so so important. I really must post on that very theme as I saw a counsellor through work to help me deal with my “I must be PERFECT” tendencies, and she really helped. It’s hard though. Really, really damn hard.
    Keep focused and good luck!

  3. Well done Shauna for your honesty – life is a work in progress and there is no storybook ‘end point’ (apart from when we’re – hopefully – 90-odd and pass away!)

    I’ve followed your blog since reviewing your book years ago and I will continue to do so… you are very inspiring and, most importantly, you write from the heart. Good luck with everything xx

  4. Spewing blog entry from guts is good 🙂 it’s honest and real. Glad to head that you are feeling more clear-headed and that the denial monster has buggered off. Take care.

  5. why oh why do we live so far apart? I just want to give you the BIGGEST HUG EVER for being SO AMAZINGLY BRAVE (((((HUGS))))

  6. I think this was an amazing post. I’ve experienced much of these same feelings and events. Over the previous 8-12 months I’ve regained about 10-15 pounds of the 65 I had lost and I just felt completely lost about it. I finally made myself try on a few summer articles of clothing that fit perfectly (even too big) last year and now are too small and I broke down crying as well. I was still working out but my eating had started to slowly spin out of control again. I am trying to re-lose the weight and to figure out how to do this forever but it is NOT EASY. I have a moment before I go to my therapist every week where I don’t want to go and I think that I have nothing to talk about and she’ll just be bored. Anyway, I just think it’s very brave of you to talk about this and it helps all of us who read the blog to know that it’s still hard for you as well.

  7. Well done on getting to a place where you are ready to start to work on things. Denial is so powerful and we tend to overlook that we need help sometimes too. All too often we think we are just being weak, but would you ever think that of someone else that needed help? If a friend needed you wouldn’t you go to their aid? Of course you would!

    I know you’ll get to a place where you will be happy and satisfied, we are all cheering for you!

  8. Thank you guys
    thank you thank you
    xxox xxox xxox

    lbtepa – would you believe only two weeks ago i was given a little workbook thingy to do called Unhelpful Thinking. All about the core beliefs. You are a pro 🙂

  9. Shauna, I have just taken the same path after losing, gaining and losing and gaining over and over again. I knew there must be more to it then that. I have only had 2 sessions, but more to come and I can see it is helping.

    Like others have said it is good to be honest, but can also be very very hard to tell everyone.

    I appreciate your honestly and best wishes with it.

    Kristy

  10. Oh Shauna, I’m sorry it has been tough. Well done for seeking the counselling and I’m glad it has started to help. It can be horribly, horribly hard – I always compare it to draining a wound of poison. It hurts really badly in the process, but at the end you will be so much happier. And it can take a really long time, so hang in there.

    You must feel like you are the poster-girl for the weight loss ‘happy ending’, and hence can’t blog when things get tough. You are allowed to have blips, and downs as well as ups – it isn’t a failing, it is HUMAN. And no-one will judge you for it because it happens to us all.

    ps I always binge after a hard session too. Try not to beat yourself up about it – it is embarrassing how many Sainsburys iced doughnuts I have consumed in the name of mental health!

  11. Hi Shauna,

    I hope this is going to come out the way it is meant to – I am so very glad to hear from you and I think it is a good thing that you have been so honest and open about what you’re going through. I fully respect your privacy and right to blog what _you_ want, so had you never posted this then that too would have been fine: from my own point of view though I think that some part of me has just gone “thank God she’s not wonder woman” with your revelations because it’s encouraging to know that someone who is so very determined and (yes!) successful has shown that it really is ok to not be confident and able all the time. Asking for help is not a weakness, it is such a strength. So many people look up to you. You’re letting them know that it’s ok to ask.

    I would like you know that if good will and best wishes can help then you’ve got a tonne of it coming from me 🙂

    Dee

  12. I am worried if I keep telling you how brilliant I think you are you may think I am your personal stalker – lmao…but Shauna YOU ARE BRILLIANT.

    You are COPING, you are DOING, you are CHANGING…each little step is positive – just like you used to do.

    Thanks for sharing because it always helps to know that success has to be worked at to be maintained. That nobody is perfect and it is ok to have a couple of steps backwards before you start the forward trail again.

    Jo xxx

  13. Arrrghhh I reckon having to talk to someone about your feelings and all that is the hardest thing in the world. I’d much rather punch something (preferably not living!).

    Well done on getting through it 🙂

  14. Good for you – no shame in working towards better. No shame in going backwards sometimes either. Growing and learning is all a part of it. I wish I could just get started though!

  15. Thank you for sharing this post with us.. as I told you over Tweeeeter, you’re such an inspiration. In fact, tt makes you that little bit MORE relatable – though of course you always were. The reality is, weight and health is a constant battle, and the ups and downs suck royally. But this time, you know it can be done.. and we’re all there with you. Go, go, go!

  16. Thanks for being honest and talking about what you’ve been going through 🙂
    Psychobabble is goodness sometimes (but I’m a psychologist, so I have to say that!), and it’s wonderful to hear that you’ve found the acceptance that you needed to start moving forward again.

  17. Thank you for sharing this, Shauna…although I’m so sorry you’ve been having such a rough time, it’s good for everyone to hear that life is not all peaches and cream once you hit your goal weight. And it takes just as much work to stay there as it did to get there. I’ve no doubt that you’ll get there again. Good job picking up the weights!

    P.S. I love your energy saving light bulb analogy. 🙂

    P.S.S. The fact that I referenced “peaches and cream” in a comment regarding dieting is not lost on me, lol!

  18. You are even stronger than you realize. And you are not alone. Good on you for sharing this with all of us. Shauna, you’ve been such an inspiration. I’ve passed your book along to people just to show that it can be done. And it can be done again. We’re here to cheer you on! I hope you’ll keep us posted!

  19. You are my hero. Had it not been for your book I know I would have never decided to start again. I know that blogging had alot to with my success this time.

    Thanks for your honesty.

  20. Thank you for a really honest blog post. It’s nice to know we’re not alone and other people feel the same way (well not nice- I don’t want anyone actually feeling BAD but at least I’m not the only one having these thoughts.) Recently I finally gave away all my size 10/12 (US size) clothes I’ve been holding onto for three years promising myself “I’m going to fit into them again soon.” But all they did was taunt me- reminding me every day how shit and crap and awful I was because I couldn’t (or wouldn’t?) drop those 15 lbs. I’m always worrying what people think “geez she’s let herself go.” I just got to a point where I felt like “that’s it- you have to do things for yourself, no more beating yourself up- do it for you not for some taunting clothes, keep exercising and keep eating healthy because you WANT to be healthy and let the chips fall where they may.” Keep up the great work- I’ve been reading your blogs and following your journey for awhile now and feel like you’re a friend. 🙂

  21. Shauna, thanks for sharing this blog post.
    My husband and I once heard a speaker say “Don’t should yourself” – it sounded really funny, but really made so much sense. There are so many times we do – I’m always thinking of all the things I should do. Time to stop and just make them happen, I don’t want to should myself and get no where.
    This is one of the reasons I adore your book and your blog(and basically just you so much – your complete honesty about setbacks. It makes me realize that my own are normal and can be overcome.
    Keep that dopey grin up. 🙂 I’m cheering for you.

  22. Thanks for writing all this out. It helps to know that other people out there struggle with all this too. It sounds to me like you are really fighting the good fight.

  23. I understand this – maybe like no one else does. Good for you in taking care of youself and getting yourself to a therapist and learning to leave your ego at the door. Those egos can be a real pain in the ass. I think the first step for most of us, is getting out of our own way. Loved this post.

  24. What an amazing post. Just: SO good for you. I hope you continue to post as you work your way through this – I, for one, think I could learn alot from your wisdom and I bet there isn’t a soul who reads you who totally ‘gets’ what you’re saying.

    Wishing you strength and happiness.

    love
    Peridot x

  25. Hey, Shauna!
    I have read your book more than once in the past year, and am glad to be able to follow you here! I think you are a very brave person to share all these experiences with that many people. So I am not surprised you even share this one now! And I think it’s great you do!
    I have been overweight all my life, and when I had cancer two years ago, I even gained some more… I’m still trying to find out how to get rid of it again. It’s hard to work out when you don’t even have the energy to do your full time job properly… But I’m on it!
    I started seeing a shrink 4 years ago already. And I am so glad I did!!! She is understanding, supportive, and helped me in so many ways!!! I really made a lot of progress, but I am still not where I would like to be. Too many (mental) violations over the years left their scars and made me behave a certain way, and I still can’t get over them, even though I really try hard… Just now I seem to not be able dealing with my father, who just can’t let me make my own decisions. I KNOW it would be best to just tell him how I feel, but I can’t.
    So please feel completely understood!!! You’re a hero, and you’ll get where you want to be. It just takes time…
    All the best,
    Tanja (from Germany; hope my english was correct…)

  26. We love you, Shauna, and we all have stuff to work on 🙂 We’ll do it together!

  27. You are my hero!!! Don’t ever feel like you have to post a “happy blog” to keep us happy, we all love you no matter what!

  28. I wanted to let you know that I’ve read your blog for a long time and you are such an inspiration. I’m working on my own weight loss journey and I know how tough it can be when you have lost weight and then gained some back. But when I read your blog, I see that you’ve gotten so much more active and are so far ahead of where you were when you first started out. So keep rockin’ it, dietgirl!!! 🙂

  29. What a wonderful post. I am going down the same road and take inspiration from your attitude to just get back on the horse and keep riding.

  30. Yeah, this whole weight loss thing, it’s a lot to deal with and I suspect it never really ends (even when weight stabilizes, we have the stuff in our heads to deal with). I am glad you are feeling better and more in control. You’re awesome and your pals on here care and want to know how you really are! No need to worry about that. You are cared about 🙂

    Hang in there girl. You’re strong.

  31. Oh Shauna, I wish I could give you a great big hug!

    Thanks be posting this, I know how impossible it can be to admit it when you need help. When will we ever learn that we can’t be perfect!

    Lots of Love xxxxx

  32. Always here cheering you on Shauna! Thank you for “keeping it real” (man I just had a Dave Chapelle flashback). Your Diet Girl journey is so very inspiring through it’s honest ups and downs- even Superheros have ’em! Thanks for telling it like it is. I will be smiling about this -“But I am writing this with a dopey grin on my face because I feel alive and clear-headed and unburdened.”- all day!

    Much love.

  33. Wow, Shauna, your open honesty is really touching.

    I know what its like to be so wound up that you feel like youve got no more to give, and cant write, or even speak to people coz it takes too much effort. Its even harder when you (like me) are so far away from your family. Yeah, I know youve got Dr G’s folks, but lets face it, husbands family arent quite the same!

    Ive been there when you keep thinking you should be able to ‘snap’ out of it and just get on with things, that they HAVE to get better, but dont seem to. Im so pleased that you are feeling like you are turning a corner. You WILL get through this, youve got a husband who loves you and will support you every step of the way and youve got TONNES of us, who are sending you good wishes and heaps of support. You are NOT alone honey, so what if you dont blog for a bit, we understand. Lifes not always easy and sometimes you need time for yourself. But we are here if and when you need us.

    Look after yourself first, and give yourself a break!
    :O)

  34. I just got back from seeing a personal wellness coach, where I cried and cried. I had jogged to the appointment and was sweaty in my running clothes, and I couldn’t stop thinking how surreal it was, because I appeared perfectly fit but was so upset about my waistband being tighter than it used to be. I wish I could banish this stupid weight obsession! But I know that it just is a cover-up for having low self-esteem. Here is a great video from Geneen Roth, author of “Women Food and God” that makes me cry every time I watch it:

    link to youtube.com

    I love where she says, “If you hate yourself enough, you will love yourself. If you torture yourself enough, you will be come a peaceful, relaxed human being.” Thank you for your heartfelt post. I send you positive vibes and a big hug. Love yourself, love yourself, love yourself!

  35. Thank you , yet again, Shauna for your honesty – we are all battling the same demons (or similar) and it so helps to see them written down …..Jane xx

  36. Girl, good for you!! Way to recognize and help yourself. Maintenance is hard. We always want a goal to strive for.

    Your love of bodypump classes is what turned me on to Les Mills stuff. In fact, I will be going to body pump in a few hours. But I found a class I love even more. Have you taken Body Attack? So in love! It is so challenging. So many calories burned!! Do you have those classes over there?

  37. Oh my goodness – look at all the comments! What you are feeling is felt by every one of us at some time I am sure. At the end of the day, you are the most important person who you must do this for.

  38. Just a thought, exactly when did you give up eating meat? Could that be a part of the problem? Thanks for being willing to show that you are human just like the rest of us. Love your blog!

  39. this sounds so similar to what I have been going thru for the last few years (!! yeah, it took me years) that it’s just weird… I had to stop the counseling, and thought I was doing better on my own, started to think I could “accept myself” as a heavy person, but realized lately that I was still unhappy with myself and had been making myself (and others) miserable in the process. I know it will take Work, which I don’t like doing, but I’ve finally realized I can’t just “coast” thru life anymore.

    Good luck to you, and I also agree that sometimes these things have to be said- no one’s life is all rosy picnics and kitty-cats, blogwise, no matter what they say to the contrary, so kudos to you for putting your real self out there.

  40. Bloody hell. I could have written that post almost word for word.

    You’ve done some really tough work there, DG – good stuff.

    x

  41. Brava! Glad you were able to open up and see things the way they are and do something about it. You’re still my favorite superhero.

  42. hey girl!
    I’m glad to see you still hangin’.
    2010 has been quite a bumpy ride, right?
    I’ve been battling the same 10 pounds all year long in a neverending cycle.
    I guess life happens, but it’s key to keep livin it.

  43. Shauna I would like to give you the biggest hug ever!! ((((((((((HHHUUUUGGGG)))))))))

    You are the biggest inspiration I know, and, while I love your happy and very funny entries, it is most frequently the honest, difficult insights that show the reality of the downside of the journey that inspire us to just knuckle down and keep going. Well done on facing up to your demons, but THANK YOU for putting the fight into words so that others can learn from them too. It is such an unselfish act to put yourself out there so honestly, and that’s why you are such an amazing person!

    Keep up the fabulous work, and best of luck with your continuing journey – you can achieve any goal you set yourself ya know!

  44. Shauna, so sorry to hear things have been tough. You are an amzing inspiration to so many. Take Care of yourself and know that you have so many people behind you

  45. I’ve been in therapy for the last 3 years..thick headed I guess. When I read your book I was astonished that a lot of your journey was what I was discovering about myself in therapy . I always assumed you must have been in therapy because it seemed very in tune with how I was progressing along and what I was learning. You are pretty amazing Dietgirl, just opening up with the truth is a big one. Think about the Rocky movies…..he just got back to what he knows and did the work to get to victory.

  46. I have tears rolling down my cheeks while reading this Shauna – to know that someone else is struggling with the same thoughts and mental processes reassures me that I can be helped!!!

    After losing just over 70kg I have been down that river denial for about a year now. The thoughts of “I should be able to get over this stuff myself” and “I am thin now why aren’t I happy?” has been haunting me and I have just recently gone to see someone about it to help me through those processes. It will be an emotional and interesting journey however I hope both of us are able to hold our head high and realise that getting help is the brave way of coping with these sort of issues.

    Good luck, keep strong and know the someone from the Gold Coast in Australia knows exactly what you are going and is beside you in your journey.

    N

  47. Shauna, Just try to unstick me – I think you’re amazing and sharing this post with us only makes you more so – you really do rock. Rach xx

  48. Yep……every day life can really get in the way of a perfect world. Great to hear that you’re back in the driving seat again though. Be kind to yourself too and take care xxx

  49. Keep going, girl – you’re doing fine. Everything in life – every important thing, that is *g* – is NOT going steadily equal. It’s going and coming round in circles, spirals, constantly confronting you with the same old same old. Always throwing you back onto yourself. Like it or not, it’s just the life.
    You are an enourmous source of inspiration to me, don’t feel ashamed, you are just being human.

    edda.

  50. Thanks for telling us how it is – brought tears to my eyes and like many other commenters I completely relate to the entire loss/gain/loss of self-respect/gain a bit more cycle…
    It’s inspiring to read that you have been through all this and are still doing the work that must be done to be happier. You’re bloomin’ marvellous!

  51. Thank you for posting. Remember that your psych took up that job because they enjoy it and find it challenging. Nothing you can say to them is crap. If nothing else it is keeping her in Clinique and Wolford, so you can be as crap as you like!

    If it’s any comfort to you, I have had a bitch of a time maintaining my losses. You have Dr G – I lost all this weight and the romantic sitch is just as “voluntarily barren” as it always was. It’s like, a boyfriend didn’t magically appear once I no longer looked like a blancmange, therefore I may as well go back to my old ways. Knowing with my frontal lobes that this is bullshit does not compensate for my cerebellum saying “BEESTING OM NOM NOM”.

    It’s hard to work towards a negative goal (“don’t gain any more weight”) precisely because it’s negative. It’s not like, “I will run a 10k”, where you can run 2k, then 5k, then 8, then 10! Hurrah! But “I want to not be a size 26”, although worthy, doesn’t really have the easy milestones of a positive goal. Especially for people like you and I who sit in front of a computer for 8 hours a day – I mean, being overweight isn’t preventing me from doing my job, is it?

    You are one of the funniest people in print (well, web. but you are in print also). Copy that and set it as your screensaver.

  52. I’m inspired by your honesty.

    I’ve read your book and have reading your blogs for the past two years. Today I was inspired to write to rally in your support after having learnt so much from your journey.

    May you find your footing and continue to live your best life.

  53. Well if you are a wanker then you are the most loveable wanker I’ve ever encountered!

    You don’t owe your readers anything, we’ll all still be kicking around the web when you are ready to write again and will be eagerly lapping up every word that you so elegantly spew forth.

    xxx

  54. I so get this, because I had my light bulb moment two weeks ago and it’s as if I’ve emerged from a dense, dark forest into the light. Yes, I still have lots of work to do, but I’ve let go of a few things that were really holding me back. Good luck, Shauna! I love walking this road with you…

  55. I just wanna send a big HI from Melbourne and tell you that I think you’re really really cool.

    Soz to hear things have been rotten of late, but good on ya for keeping on! You’ll get there!

    Again, you’re really really cool! Even when you’re in a tough spot, you’re a total legend! I have so much respect for you and wish you all good things. Hang in there, and thanks for being such a great influence! I reckon you’re amazing!

    xxxxxx

  56. Shauna: Thanks for sharing this with us. I read your entire story a few years ago in a few sittings and have been kept up with your blogs ever since because you truly are an inspiration. I lost about 25 pounds five years ago and have done wonderfully in “maintenance” until about a year ago when I gradually started to slide back into old eating habits – I was ok because I kept up the exercise but about 4 months ago I started having a health issue that kept me off my exercise equipment – double whammy with eating and exercise gone “wonky” as you would say. I am now past my personal “redline” weight and I know I NEED to clean up my act for my health and overall happiness. I WILL do it. And so, I am certain, will you – all the best!

  57. ya know, i gotta “ditto” anna from 12:26PM…did you ever stop to think that perhaps, you, shauna are in the company of wankers? i mean, really–would so many of us be following you and tot’ly “hearing” you, if we, ourselves had not ventured into wankers-ville as some point in our lives?

    having done the whole “shrink” thang as well, though for different issues of the “mum-variety” almost 20 years ago (cuz SOMETIMES learning to accept oneself has nothing to do with weight–geez–‘magine that!), i found that for me anyway, when i began to let go of certain things, i actually gained my freedom–freedom from guilt, from shame, from lies and “faking it” (umm newflash–folks still married does not mean they SHOULD be–case you were wonderin’…) and most important of all, freedom from feeling like i owed my mother something JUST because she gave birth to me.

    so you see shauna, had i not gotten the professional help i so needed way back when in my wee, mid-20-something’s, i might be the BAD kinda cyber-stalker instead of the GOOD kind that follows blogs such as yours specifically aimed at wankers like me!

    “god” or “whomever” works in mysterious ways does she not?? ommm….

    your sister in “wankery”,
    shauntay in the LBC
    southern Cali (come check us out!)

    p.s. btw–consider yourself my official “pusher” of dance crack. and seein’ as how my body is in revolt these days refusing to move due to record soreness, i believe there is a “special” place in hades reserved for individuals such as yourself. and no i WON’T come visit you there on weekends either…

  58. The fact that you could write it out means that you accept it, and will now be able to tackle it. You’ve come so far, but there are often setbacks because that’s what life’s about, learning. Take care, flow XXX

  59. Aaah Shauna, you either make me cry from laugher at your superbly honed wit, or like this post, when you delve deep and cough up about that would have should have could have. From all over the world, your words make us identify with you. Big musical chords chiming in my house, oh size 14 jeans, if only…I too bought the size 18s again the other month. Meanwhile, I am thinking about doing this link to eatingless.com. I’m not pimping but think there maybe something in the whole idea of addictive eating.

  60. Shauna,

    sounds like you’re battling with your worst enemy, yourself.

    Hope you can settle your differences soon and become friends.

    TK

  61. Hi Shauna,

    Thank you for sharing this – it must have been hard to do it. I read your book quite some time ago and LOOOOVED it, since then, I’ve been following your blog (first time commenter though).

    I totally see where you are right now, because I’m exactly there too. For some reason, after losing weight, we feel like we are vaccinated against being fat (and everything that leads there). I keep saying I totally understand that it’s a lifetime journey (as in Lifetime Member), but at the same time, I’ll eat my stuff like i’ll never eat again, and then whine I gained weight.

    Anyway, I’m not just as back on track as you seem to be, but I’ll get there. Let’s try to kick so butts, but not forget to be gentle to ourselves (otherwise, our body and mind will protest).

    Thanks again…

  62. Oh I’m so glad you posted this. And at the risk of sounding like a complete stalker, I’m gonna come right out and admit it. I just love you. I love your honesty and your humor and even your whiney psychobabble rants. It’s all a part of this wonderful crazy scary-assed thing called life. And I for one am humbled that you let us in so much of your life. You truly are an inspiration, even when you feel bad or are convinced that you’ve “cocked up so badly”. (I’m from way down south in Alabama, I get the biggest kick out of your phrases and use them often. )

    I’ve been through this weight loss battle my whole life. 10 years ago, I had gastric bypass and thought I’d be skinny and never have to worry about ‘fat’ ever again. I started out at 300lbs and I’ve been wildly successful. 2 years post-op I had my first child and a year after that I was the smallest I’ve ever been since grade school, 140lbs. I had another child and even still hover around 160lbs which is quite comfortable for me. But I had no idea how big a mental struggle eating healthily and how important working out would be. And even after 10 years I look in the mirror and still see 300lbs. And wouldn’t some shrink have a field day with that! 🙂

    So I absolutely applaud you on your weight loss success, and on your recognizing that you are the one person you have to make happy. Remember that even though you will never hear it and probably never meet me, I pray for you and at each triumph you blog about I send you a great big “HOT DAMN” with a deep southern drawl. 🙂 (Even though I crossed over to the dark side and married a Yankee and now live in Michigan.)

  63. ah mate, I know how it goes. I get emails from kind folk that I never reply to, because I feel too ashamed to say “well, really I’ve been putting on 5kg a year for the last decade and feel like a hideous wilderbeast stomping across the plains”. Food might just be a symptom of how life can mess us up, but it’s the symptom you have to deal with several bloody times a day.

    So I think you are very very brave to acknowledge that “everything is not ok”.

  64. Thanks for Blogging out loud – brilliant.

    I struggle with the littlest set backs – I can’t seem to find my groove for the long term – oh man, you know, I know it, its going to be tough. Lets just do it!

  65. Don’t you wish – like me- you’d figured all this out when you were eighteen instead of in your thirties? That would have saved us a whole load of bullshit… Oh well, better late than never ;-).

    Keep up the good thinking. Be kind to yourself. It really does help.

  66. BRAVO Shauna! *claps loudly*

    I had a shrink once tell me (I’ve been to a shrink so often throughout my life I think I could BE one by default by now) “The SHOULDS in life are worse than the SHITS” Ain’t that the truth!

    Hang in darling – once you have ACCEPTANCE of what is here and NOW the rest will fall into place!!

    xxx

  67. thank you for talking. For taking that first step into radical acceptance. I wonder why people find it so hard to talk to someone who’s whole career is in helping people understand themselves ? I am so glad I have you in my google reader.

    I hate the statement how are you ? from total strangers and sometimes I answer honestly !
    Carrie

  68. Can you stand one more “I love your honesty” comment?

    No?

    Okay, I’ll skip over that and just say I love your writing. I would think that “It’s better to have lost and gained-back than never to have lost at all” but since I haven’t done the Lost It part of that, I can’t be sure.

    I can be sure that you’re a terrific writer. Please don’t hold back a post because it’s not cheerful and sunny. Judging by the comments, a lot of people find it encouraging to know someone else is struggling to. Not schadenfreude so much as the feeling of companionship along the road.

  69. You are terrific Shauna. We can know all the words and how to be healthy, blah, blah, but somehow deny ourselves that path and it’s really confusing. I find myself driving along chanting “it’s good diet AND exercise, dimwit!”, yet, I still want it to be one or the other (or better yet, neither). I’ll probably never get it, but I’m a loose cannon optimist and I’ll keep trying. Hugs to you!

  70. Massive big hug Shauna – I’ve suspected it has been rough underneath so well done for taking action and doing something about it to make you happier. All the best.

    2 other things:

    1. I looove the phrase “harden the f*ck up”. Is it an Aussie Dj or something…really makes me laugh.

    2. I’ve become more and more conscious of the deadening weight of words like “should” “ought” “why didn’t I?” and “can’t believe I couldn’t” etc. Now I really concentrate on what Steve Peters tried to teach me on that TV show – that I should just look forward and make the right choices in the moment. That there is no failure, just a need to learn and practise new skills. Very freeing and helps me see this whole weight and fitness malarky in a more refreshing, less overwhelming light.

    I hope you find a good mantra to help you remember that it’s just a game!!

    ((((((((((((big hugs))))))))))))))

    Lesley xx

  71. Oh, I relate, Shauna. I know how hard it can be to face up to stuff, and you’re a lot braver than you might realise for doing so, and for going to therapy.

    I really get what you say about needing to want to be healthy just for yourself. I’m not there yet, but I’m working towards it (mentally). Also, you can call me a complete wanker (though not out loud, thanks) but I liked your “psychobabbly dullness”. It was real. x

  72. Good luck shauna, as much as there is so much stigma (is that the right word? No idea) attached to seeing shrinks they can actually be pretty motivational, sometimes in a roundabout way. I can thank my shrinks advocacy of diet that I did’t understand, that led to me going to see my doctor about how to lose weight in a maintainable way. If it were not for the shrink I’d still be sitting on my couch gorging on potato chips and chocolate, Instead I’ve lost 11kg. You’ll get there in the end.

  73. you are one of the most gorgeous and beautiful women i know – and believe me i know a lot of women to be able to judge – and also one of my personal heroes. it’s wonderful to learn that my heroes are human just like me, this makes life so much better…

  74. Bravo on a brave post. I just wanted to say that while you are working on your relationship with food please be very very patient with yourself. I have been trying to follow intuitive eating principles for over a year now and it’s not easy. And my relationship with food used to be pretty healthy — it was just that I went and messed around with it by dieting a few years ago. Also, I wanted to add that I listened to your podcast about mindful eating and you mentioned Geneen Roth’s new book didn’t really gel with you. I read her book “When Food Is Love” first and I think that’s a better one to start with (unless you’ve already read it and maybe she’s just not your thing!). But I’m a big fan of hers and think her stuff is excellent.

  75. Man, you and I are living parallel lives right now…thanks for your honesty! You’re helping me to get honest. I believe in both of us!

  76. thank you for your honesty. I lost 67 lbs through much effort and a lot of help from the stress of a divorce. I kept my lowest weight for about 2 hours. I kept a maintainable weight for about 3 months. That is, maintainable if you don’t have cake after lunch every day.

    2.5 years later I am a mere 14 lbs from my high weight. Your post may have helped it click a bit. It was hard to get low. It felt good when I was there. And I worked to stay there for a while and then I got tired and lazy. Now I need to move my arse again. I had some medication issues that helped heap on the pounds but that is no excuse. It just IS. I look forward to hearing more – and I’m about to order Zumba!! If I move I feel better.

  77. Oh Shauna, I wish you nothing but good things, but you scare me to death. You are the bright shining example of successful weight loss and if you are struggling with maintaining, what hope do I have? And it’s not just you, there are hundreds, no thousands, no tens of thousands who are going through this struggle. What is wrong with us–that food is such a temptation? It’s a curse. People who are thin did not get this FAT gene, and they are so very lucky. Today, for the first time in 30 years, I am wearing jeans to work, TIGHT jeans (size 22, so you can see I have a ways to go, but 90 lbs gone!)and people actually noticed my weight loss today. I am okay now, I can keep doing this for however long it takes, but can I keep doing it forever? I don’t know. But I doubt it. I am an addict, but I am also getting older, 59, and I know if I gain back this weight, I’m killing myself. Maybe that motivation alone will be enough to help me keep it off. I pray that it is. Because we are all fighting this insane battle, and most of us are losing.

  78. There is NOTHING wrong with us Pam. For me it’s not about motivation, it’s about digging deep and facing up to WHY I turn to food and learning to stop and take stock of my feelings and hunger before I eat. I’m not a shining example of successful weight loss nor a beacon of hope; I’m just muddling along having ups and downs, trying to figure myself out like everyone else.

    Personally I don’t see my food and body issues as a curse or an addiction or a losing battle. The food stuff is just PART of the picture and I needed to dig deeper and get to know myself and my ways better. Things are finally moving in a positive direction 🙂

    Well done on your fantastic progress btw… just keep on keepin’ on 🙂

    Again thank you all for your wonderful comments!!!

  79. Hey Shauna, I’m in a very similar place as you. I haven’t been to therapy recently (but have been in therapy 4 or 5 times in the past 15 years, so I know what you’re talking about), but I’ve been in denial about me needing to do something instead of burying myself in food & adult beverages. I’ve needed to be numb more than anything else the past 7 or 8 months. Now, I feel like I need to be anything but numb. I need to wake the hell up & live my life again.

    So proud of you for getting help & sharing about it. There are a lot of Us right now, it seems, who have put a little weight back on the past year. We lost it before, we can lose it again. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway. I’ve got the skinny jeans to prove it, by golly!

    Good luck girlie. You can do it.

  80. Wait, you mean we can get skinny and “win” our battle with weight loss and yet life is NOT perfect? 🙂 I know this is your life, and not a lesson for the rest of us, but um. This sounds like a bit of a lesson. Life continues to go on even if you meet the mythical goal weight and being to shit rainbows and puke unicorns. (It’s like how in romantic comedies life’s great ills are solved with a wedding or a kiss or sleeping together. And yet, somehow, life does not work like that.) So working on your weight is part of working on yourself – not something you can ignore nor something you can fixate on. Good on you for working on it both then and now and for working on everything else that makes you not-love-your-life-right-now.

  81. Ah, the question of WHY we turn to food… been trying to figure that out myself–and so thankful that I’m not alone in it.

  82. This would be too long to tweet! (twit?) Just wanted to say that you’re OARSOME and a great inspiration to us, lumps and all. Mostly inspiring to me because you don’t try to make your blog all fake and light, rather it’s honest and real, even if honesty sucks. It shows you’re human, like the rest of us.

    Last year I lost 19 kg, and in the last few months I’ve re-gained 10 of them. So I feel your pain there! I’m slowly starting the process of taking the weight off, starting with the WANTING to. Once I really really want to lose the weight, then I’ll be able to actually DO it. Baby steps. You will get there, Shauna, just keep up the honesty and the dopey grins!

  83. Shauna,
    Your post touched my heart. This weight thing has been a life long struggle for me as well. I’m slowly going back down now, but doing it by increasing my activity(Zumba!!) and “trying” to watch what I eat most of the time. Don’t despair girl…..we all have our “moments”. You are a blessing to SO many people…..keep on keepin’ on and don’t be too hard on yourself! 🙂

  84. You say that you’re like one of those slow to turn on energy saving bulbs…well…the green movement is in at the moment! Take all the time you need to understand yourself and feel better!
    I enjoy all of your posts…the good days and the bad days. Your honesty is important to me and to so many other readers.
    A big hug all the way from Canada. 🙂

  85. While I love reading your happy-go-lucky blogs, this one in particular really touched me. It takes guts to just put it all out there. You inspire me in more ways than just weight loss. There’s nothing harder than digger deeper to face our demons, and I truly applaud you for your positive attitude to just keep truckin’ on! You’re a truly amazing woman, Shauna! :o)

  86. thanks for your thoughtful honest post – a useful reminder that life can be crap and it just keeps changing anyway so there is no forever solution but just a continual reassessment of the situation (sorry started to think about the fagan song in oliver – I am reviewing the situation) – good luck with finding the health and happiness that you seek! I am sure it lurks in the most unexpected places.

  87. Shauna, if you ever feel like giving up or need inspiration look no further than your book and read it from front to back again, you were great then, you are great now and you always will be great 🙂 Just believe in yourself and find another fun run to do. Thanks to you I’ve now done one three years in a row 🙂

  88. Ah, Shauna. That’s the thing about life. In the 60s we’d talk about “getting it together.” But the problem is that it is all about keeping it together. You learn and relearn and relearn some of the same lessons. But take heart and keep on keeping on!

  89. Thank you for your candor – please don’t ever feel like you’re wanking. This is your blog and we come to it to read because we care about you and think you’re lovely and interesting. In times of happy-joy or screwed up both.

    I hope your lightbulbs continue to turn on. There is nothing more frustrating than being unhappy and not knowing how to get to happy. I’ve been there. Maybe not your “there” but definitely A “there”. I hope the help helps and we’re here for you. 🙂

  90. Thank you for your honesty. I too am struggling with similar things- thanks for giving it voice.

  91. Shauna, I’m so glad you’re back! The glib person who had been posting occasionally for the last few months wasn’t the same. We’re drawn to this blog because we want to hear about YOU (warts and all)! Birds and bean sprouts could never take your place.

  92. Please realize that these are the posts we understand. If you’re perfect, who are we? Keep it real. Thanks for sharing your heart!
    HUG!!!

  93. Could list about 100 things wonderful about your blog/book/honesty etc. Reality and hope and optimism are some of the jewels I find here. (including funny garden tales . . )

    Thanks for taking us all along the journery – the high roads and the low roads!

    Maintenance is such a battle – truly harder, for me, than the actual weight loss. Have allowed about 15% of my weight loss to creep back but no more! – and reading your blog is helping.

    Please give yourself 117 hugs from us!!!

  94. Congratulations, Shauna – that was an amazing post. I’ve been reading your writing for a long time now, and THIS is why you continue to inspire me. Not because you lost a lot of weight, not because you’re perfect or because you’ve somehow achieved happily ever after, but because you struggle. Because you keep struggling. Because when you fall over you get back up again and face those issues with honesty and courage. And because you struggle with your demons I look at mine and think – if she can face up to it and keep struggling, so can I, because you acknowledge that it’s bloody hard, and yet you keep doing it. That’s a wonderful gift. Thank you.

  95. Shauna, I know I’m chiming in late here, but, let me say, you are awesome. I have had similar experiences in life since originally losing 70 lbs in 1990 or so. I’m still working on it (obviously). Kudos to you for realizing early that there’s more work to do, and setting about doing it.

  96. What a refreshingly honest blog – achieving success at something doesn’t make us perfect at it and its easy to “take your eye off the ball” and slip a little…..but thats because we’re human. Be kinder to yourself. A size 18 jean isn’t the end of the world when you have a healthy body, a happy marriage and a career you enjoy. Everything will fall into place.
    People that struggle are actually more inspiring than people that find it easy and sail through to the end for the happliy ever after. Reading your book I really related to the times when you had a regain….or a period of time when the scales didn’t shifty….because you didn’t give up. You just picked yourself up, dusted off the biscuit crums and hit the gym. Thanks to your book I feel I now have the courage to face the lycra clad gym bunnies too xx

  97. Hey Shauna, I’m a regular reader & 1st time commenter, I’ve just gotten to my own goal weight to start wedding dress shopping. I can’t say I’ll be this weight forever & I didn’t have as much of a problem with food as you because I was 20lbs overweight at my largest, I’ve now lost around 40 in total from my highest. I’m at goal for around 3 months but it still fluctuates every single week, I just make sure to keep the Friday morning scales ritual every week and so I know I’ll never be more than .2bs more than I want to be. My wedding (next year) has been the biggest motivator I’ve ever had to lose, I lost the 1st 20lbs as soon as I faced the scales after I’d grown out of all my clothes (a happy relationship can do that to you  ) As soon as I was back in my healthy range I relaxed & just maintained, I was happy enough with myself in my clothes & felt contented. My Fiance proposed last year & then I started looking at dresses & realised that to be able to have my dream dress & feel good on the day, I had to lose more as my arms are my biggest problem area!

    Anyway that might seem a bit drawn out but my point is simply that we need little milestones like that to get us to get back into line & do the right thing by our bodies & minds. There’s nothing wrong with using vanity as an excuse for getting into shape because it’s good for you by default. You’ve said before, there’s no major epiphany where everything just clicks & you do it, it’s a day by day conscious effort all the time. By trying to find a way for the healthy options to “Stick” as you put it, you’re looking for an answer that you already have. You know how to lose, you know how to get back into exercise & how to cook healthily, to order groceries online so you’re not tempted by the sweet counter. By trying to find a way for it to stick, you’re waiting for nothing & holding yourself back. Whatever works as a motivator use it, be it a holiday back to Aus where you want old friends to think you look great (old enemies too!), or an invite to a friends wedding that you just want to look fabulous for. Or a staff party where you want your colleagues to see how good you look out of the office! It’s those little events that make up life and there are plenty of them from one year to the next that can keep us motivated if the bigger picture just isn’t enough (longer life, health, they’re great in theory but rarely urgent enough to make you act differently). Your 1st motivation way back in 2001 was being absolutely disgusted with yourself. You actually feared for your life and with good reason. Now you’re a much healthier weight, you don’t have that urgency or that motivation to lose anymore. I don’t see vanity being any less of a reason to lose weight, it doesn’t matter why you choose to loose, so long as it gets the job done & the end result is a healthier you! Best of Luck Shauna & regardless of your weight, you’re an amazing writer & i still tune in every few weeks to catch up!

  98. Hi Shauna, I’m not sure if you will read this.

    I’ve just been reading your previous posts as they are so well written and inspiring.

    I’ve finally got my mojo for all things health and wellbeing back, after 4 years in the doldrums. I just wanted you to know how much I love your blog and it must have been brave to post all this out in the blogosphere. I am sure when you are ready, things will click again and with all the hard work things will gradually improve.

    It all stems from the mind and attitude anyway.

    Rosalyn