I'm amazed at the subtle difference of focusing on what I can do instad of what I can't. Before I would have looked at a 20-minute stretch DVD or 60 leg raises as a cop-out but now I see it's what my body needs right now. So I am just getting on with it instead of fighting against it and being cranky for not being able to do something more Hardcore.

It also amazes me how long I have to beat myself up against a brick wall before I come to these realisations. I seem to be particularly dense when it comes to my body. Just say I was learning to speak English, I would be perfectly content with learning how to say "goodbye" and "hello" and wouldn't smash things up because I couldn't read the complete works of bloody Shakespeare. Yet I have spent the past year or so being frustrated as hell and refusing to accept that you need to walk (or limp) before you can run. Thankfully for you, long suffering reader, I have finally made my peace with that.

. . .

Sam Breach is the author of scrummy food blog Becks and Posh and also happens to be on Weight Watchers to shed a few stray pounds. She posted an entry listing what she ate over the past week. It's a beautiful example of how you can eat the foods you love and still lose weight. There's mushroom and parmesan pizza, croissants, wine, sorbet, sausage – but all in small, controlled portions. Sam eats such delicious and wholesome food but in a very mindful way. And she lost 1.5lb this week, proving that you don't need to give up foods you love or cut out carbs or only eat green things or live off fat-free sugar-free taste-free overprocessed diet shite. Hurrah!

. . .

Another one for my Can Do list – Pay More Attention To What You Put In Your Gob. I'm halfway through my GFG Challenge and I'm right where I started! My waist and boobs have shrunk in a minor way but that's about it. Why has this happened? I haven't adjusted my eating enough to compensate for the lack of exercise. I eat healthy food but tooooooo much of it.

So these past few days I've been scrutinising my intake to see where I can improve.  I like Sam's aforementioned Quality In Small Quantity approach. If you look at her brekkie last week, she'd have a dab of avocado on one slice of toast, whereas I had half an avocado on two pieces of toast. Or even a whole avo if I was feeling particularly gluttonous.

I don't think I need to do anything dramatic, just a few tweaks and pay more attention to my portions. I'm also tracking my food online with both Weight Loss Resources and Nutracheck, using a free trial of each. Still trying to suss out which site I like best. Tracking on paper isn't working for me right now; I had just been writing stuff like, "porridge" or "soup" without really quantifying anything. It's been a nice slap in the chops to really see what I'm putting away.

With less calories available, it's been interesting deciding where I'm willing to spend them. There are some foods I just won't compromise on. Like plain natural yogurt – it's full fat Yeo Valley or nothing. I'd rather eat it less often than gag my way through a daily pot of mealy low-fat stuff (aside from Total Greek Yogurt, of course). And I refuse to eat canned tuna in brine or springwater; it looks and tastes like cat food. Fair enough if it's disguised in a pasta sauce, but if I am having it naked on toast (the tuna, not me) it has to be in olive oil. It has more calories, so I just eat a smaller amount.

That is my overall theme, eating less. Today I had a baby can of tuna on toast, and at first felt kind of lost and cheated to see just one slice of bread on my plate. Don't slices of bread always come in pairs? No, you big pork, they do not!

And what do you know, one slice filled me up. Sometimes I think I still see myself as a sturdy 350lb who needs to fuel her flabby furnace with lots of food. I have to remind myself I am no longer that size, therefore I need less. Part me resents the hell out of that and feels entitled to an extra Weetabix in the morning or a sly bucket of fried chicken. But noooo! Must eat less!

21 thoughts on “Downsizing

  1. Oh so true!! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and most days I sit here shouting hallelujah at my PC because it’s as if you’re reading my mind! So about time I posted a comment me thinks…
    A fellow fat fighter with 3 stone down and 3 to go. Unfortunatley I really did sweet FA to lose the first 3, seemed to just drop off me over a few years. I did the gym thing and the watching what you eat thing but it seems as though I never really had to try that hard. Now it feels as though I’d have more luck climbing Everest and getting married to George Clooney while I was up there than I would of losing the rest.
    But I keep trying. I know I can do it, I keep losing and gaining the same 3 kilos, I just have committed to it enough to get past that 3 kilos and I know the rest will follow. It sounds so bloody easy doesn’t it? I turn 30 in 3 months time and i am determined to get at least a stone off by then. Plans of going sick in spin class have been slightly delayed by the fact that I seriously shagged my back a couple of weeks ago, was bed ridden (literally, it was pretty grim) for a couple of days and have been making a very slow recovery but the upside of that is I have been so disciplined about everything I put in my mouth, has been a good lesson oin self control for me.
    Anyway, much respect to you and your journey. Keep up the good work.

  2. Eating small amounts is something I find particularly hard to achieve. Overall I don’t eat too badly (except for a love affair with carbs) but I just eat too damn much! I want the whole avocado on 4 slices of toast with lemon and black pepper please.

    As always you are not only eloquent but inspirational, dg. XXX

  3. I hear ya, Shauna. I’d been doing so well this last 6 weeks, and then on the seventh week — Kada rested.

    I’ve been eating sensibly still, and what my body wants, but I’ve been eating far too much of it. I stopped trusting myself to know when I was full. Fark, why is that we think we still need to eat the same amounts as we were before? I’m only a nine-tonne tessie at the moment, don’t need food for a ten-tonner!

    Love Sam, have read her blog for a couple of years now. I about cheered last year when she did weight watchers. It was so nice to see someone eat real food and still lose weight. Something I’d been convinced I should be doing, but still listened to conventional wisdom.

    Don’t put so much in the gob, and pay attention to what does go in… and stop when I’m full? OK, rest period is over, back to it. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for the reality check.

  4. I totally understand your frustration with serving sizes. I am still trying to eat less. So hard when use to seeing the bowl or plate covered with food. I am thinking of trying smaller plates and bowls and tricking myself into thinking I am having the same amount as before.Keep up the great work Shauna.

  5. Sounds like smart thinking. I was really good at doing this for a while but now have gone back to bad habits. Filling my plate with a salad garnish or vegies seemed to help me – I’d have a full plate of food without the extra calories.

  6. DG, Sparkpeople has a great free tracker thats Ive been using. I never would have found the site had you not mentined it in a previous blog. Just wanted to let you know that SP has brought me great success with my own lard-busting journey. Thanks!

  7. Wow! That’s a lot of weight loss. Found your site from Slim Spirited. I’m coming from 241, now at 200 or thereabouts, depending on what the hormones are doing. Would love to lose 20 more. I agree with you, I dont diet. Just trying to eat smaller portions and to eat regularly.

    Keep on keeping on. Good luck.

  8. Very inspirational post, thank you. I will have to pay attention to portion control as well. I loved what you said about full fat yoghurt – why do we think that having more of the yucky stuff makes us happier?!? I’ll defenitely follow you on downsizing the portions and eating only good stuff instead of processed horribleness πŸ™‚

  9. Hi Shuana

    Glad that you have been getting back on track. You were my original ‘thinspiration’ to get me to jump on the lardloss bandwagon, and i have set up my own diet blog, although its just me ranting where as you have a wonderful way with words. I have read your entire blog and it was amazing to see how your head changed along with your body. Thank you!

  10. I learned about the whole yogurt from you – that’s my after-workout meal, with blueberries, walnuts, and protein powder. It’s delicious.

    It’s frustrating that “appetite” is so rarely directly connected to calories consumed! My body may need fewer calories, but my brain still thinks a whole pizza is one serving.

  11. If everything was packaged as a single serving, I think I would be at goal right now…. ERGO, my problem… I eat SO healthy …. I eat SO much!! The thing is, I just keep trying. It’s all any of us can do!!

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  13. “Don’t slices of bread always come in pairs?”

    Are you reading my mind? I now buy english muffins instead of crumpets, because I will ALWAYS have two crumpets, but I’ll split the english muffin in half so it look like “two slices” and satisfies my porky brain with about half the actual calories.

    Try cutting the slice in half. It helps. Brains are easily fooled.

  14. Hi Shauna

    I use Weight Loss Resources to track my intake – lost 20 kilos with them over a year and now I’m ‘maintaining’ before going for the next 20.

    I tried writing a diet blog, but kind of lost interest and now the whole weight loss thing is just something that I do.

    I also have an injury – right ankle – and am trying to work in the enthusiasm to exercise without making it worse.

    I’ve been reading for a while, but hadn’t commented before. Thanks for being inspiring πŸ™‚

  15. NO, okara cookie, we will NOT visit your site!!! your URLs have been removed. obviously you couldn’t be arsed reading my comments policy above. now please go away.

  16. incidentally thank you NICE REAL PEOPLE for your lovely comments πŸ™‚

    rg – english muffins! oooh now there’s a good idea. wonder if you can get grainy ones here…

    and marla, sadly i tend to think that about pizza too. hehe.

  17. I’m with you — real food, please! I’d rather have one small real chocolate chip cookie than an entire “100-calorie” package of those pretenders.

  18. Isn’t it astounding how much we rationalize how much we eat? Until I started tracking, I had no real idea of how many calories I was consuming. And it’s so true! You get used to eating less, if you let yourself. Habits are hard to break, whether it be how we wash our hair, or whether we routinely eat 2 slices of bread.

    If your trial subscriptions peter out, you may want to take a peek at It’s free, has food, activity, and weight tracking, and a host of tools for estimating BMI, daily expenditure, and such. I get nothing for recommending them. I’ve lost 50 pounds since April just by tracking what I stick in my face and how much I move my ass. Ooh. That sounded naughty. STOP SNICKERING. you know what I meant. πŸ˜‰

  19. People have already commented on the food thing, so I’ll just say I agree.

    However, nobody has pointed out that you should take pride in the shrinkage – even though the numbers on the scale are hard to ignore, you can fuck them (or adjust them) because the shape and size of your body matters just as much. And you rock. So there.

  20. My mother has always been an advocate of eating in moderation. As long as you don’t have unreasonable goals (i.e. I do not approve of crash diets and Atkins and all that crap), eating in moderation, and maybe eating according to the GI thingy (which seems quite sensible) – and regular exercise – will definitely see you to your healthy weight and size.

    Off soapbox. I like Ski’s no fat yoghurt… it’s yummy and the perfect serving size.

  21. Its so true about the eat less thing. We recently started eating more and more organic food and discovered that without intending too, we were both eating less…..because it tasted so much better! It’s just that much more satisfying. Nice bonus. Eat organic, tastes better and lose some weight without trying! Can’t complain about that!

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