Plank_1I have gone plank mental lately! I used to hate the plank, but now I lurve the plank. Embracing my inner sulky six-year-old, I hated planks purely because I couldn’t do them. WAH.

We did a lot of planks in my old pilates class and I truly stank. My arms would give out and I’d dive to the carpet. But for the past few weeks I’ve been tacking on this wee six-minute plank segment every couple of days. On-your-elbows planks, straight arm planks and reverse planks that you seem to hold forever. In my case it was about five seconds. But suddenly on Friday, I could doooo the bastard planks! I kept up with Cathe and held ’em all for the entire time. I even chucked in some side planks at the end for added torture.

I’m a big fan of weight training but I’m trying to do more stuff with my own bodyweight. After all, it’s a heavy ol’ body! There’s plenty there to resist without always needing to drag out the dumbbells. I like the look of this crazy 7-Minute Weight Loss Circuit, as Marla has been doing of late. The Mountain Climbers and lunges would be too dodgy for my knee but there’s some good ideas there.

. . .

When I started my lard-busting caper in 2001, one of my motivations to get smaller was to one day possess a decent wardrobe, free of polyester and appliqued kittens. But despite dropping many sizes I have yet to get adventurous. I’ve been awed by blogging comrades like Kathryn, Phil and YP who’ve swathed their saucy slenderised selves in all manner of foxy frocks. I just can’t seem to get the nerve to do this myself. All I’ve done for the past six years is buy jeans and plain tops in the next size down. Just look at my progress pictures; I just keep downsizing the same bloody uniform!

Laziness and tight-waddery are a factor, but cluelessness has much to do with it. I went straight from being a little kid when your Mum picks your clothes to being a Large Adult with no choice but the trusty Uniform. Now that I’m finally spoiled for choice I’m not good with the choosing.

All I know is that I want to feel more girly, while I am still actually reasonably girly. I am nearly 30 years old and have never worn a dress aside from my weddings. I am so entrenched in my jeans-and-top uniform that my mother-in-law was worried that I’d get married in them. Ha! So the other day I went KA-RAZY and bought a frock. It’s a bit plain but I figure I have to start somewhere, eh? (Here’s a pic Megarack but my camera’s colour has gone wonky. Stupid shoes for demo purposes only. And transparent legs = four years in Scotland!)

I think I am ready to have some fun with clothes. It’s just fabric after all; it can’t bite you. I am a sucker for 10 Years Younger and all those makeover programmes; I wonder what it would be like to wear knee-high boots or crazy jewelery or a colourful belt. I’ve never owned a belt. I always had my guts to hold my trousers up, after all!

Maybe this summer I will go radical and buy some clothes with actual colour! Maybe a pattern! Maybe a skirt or two! All the possibilities make me nauseous, but I don’t see the point in busting all this blubber if I’m not going to enjoy it.

. . .

I am cuckoo for tofu lately. Never used to like the stuff, unless it was microscopic cubes floating in a bowl of miso soup. But we needed some protein variation in our pseudo-veggie household so I thought I’d give it a go. I consulted the trusty Leith’s Vegetarian Bible (tip top wedding pressie from Sandra!) and found a stir-fry recipe.

You chop the tofu into cubes and marinate it for twenty minutes in soy sauce, garlic, lime juice with a dash of honey and sesame oil. Then you drain it, reserving the juicy goodness. You put the cubes on a tray then zap ’em in a hot oven for 20 minutes til they’re nice and golden.

I just stir-fried a bunch of green things from the fridge (broccoli, snow peas [mange tout to the brits], green beans, swiss chard [or some leafy thing, never can tell what’s what], green pepper [capsicum to the Aussies]) with a handful of frozen edamame and the leftover saucy stuff. Then plonked the crispy tofu on top to serve.

It was very green, but bloody beautiful and wholesome to the MAX! Total tofu convert now. Tofurkey for Xmas 2007!

61 thoughts on “Plankety-Planks

  1. You look LOVELY in that dress Shauna! Seriously, really great – you have a flat stomach!!

    Your tofu recipe sounds fabby – going to try it.

    And what the hell are planks???


  2. cheers rachel! alas my guts are by no means flat and never will be; I’m just sucking them in, which is a gruelling exercise in itself πŸ™‚

    if you click on the plank names each one is a link to a demo! there’s some good sites out there with exercise how-tos. has free videos for all kinds of ability levels. very useful!

  3. Hi! Long time lurker and admirer here. You are fab, girl! And that dress is, too! I was thinking about that necklace you wore in the magazine photo–that would work here. Those earrings, too. And if I understand, Scotland is chilly, so a beautiful shawl-type thing to drape over the whole in a romantic way would totally work. And those boots you mentioned in the post! the right knee-highs, and ow! knock’em over. Good luck! HAVE FUN WITH IT! πŸ˜€

  4. The dress is good, BUT it really needs a big necklace. Big. Chunky-like. Get yourself to H&M or somewhere and invest…

    As for Leith’s bible, I did a double-take when I read that and thought that perhaps the fair residents of LEITH had released it – I somehow can’t imagine many Leith residents being vegetarians! LOL! The last time I was there I went to a rockabilly concert and not many of the men had 100% if their teeth present…

  5. PS: Nice to see that the pic featured shows you are a true local! Not by the white legs, but by the footware! Only a Scot could wear SANDALS in a city not known for heatwaves! LOL!

  6. cranky – ha ha! i only put the dress on for 5 mins to take the photo, haven’t actually taken it out in public yet! i just quickly grabbed those shoes from the cupboard so i wouldn’t be barefoot.

    (i do have an acute shoe shortage though, hehe)

    i wore the sandals at work last summer, it does get warm enough to wear ’em believe it or not. global warming has heated things up the past couple of years!!

    elty – great ideas! thanks very much! and cheers for delurking πŸ™‚

  7. wow u look great…I know how u feel about the clothes..for the longest time after i gained my im done college and married now weight, I only wore jeans and boring shirts…after I lost that weight plus my pregnancy weight i decided to go out and buy skirts, colourful clothes..hell im a girl and I will dress like it…enjoy cloths have worked so hard, u deserve it!:)

  8. Shauna

    You look fantastic in that dress. And such a great dress to dress up with chunky jewellery, a scarf or coloured shoes. Have fun shopping.:)

  9. Sexy, isn’t it great to get a little black dress that actually is little. I had the same problem with dress shopping, having never been a regular size adult. I reckon the best thing to do is get a girl friend and go shopping and try on EVERYTHING.

    I’ve only been able to do decent planks the last few months. I discovered that can do them much better straight arms because i get dodgy elbows. Still don’t do them enough though.

  10. I am LOVING the poses! That wee cheeky over the shoulder glance belongs on the pages of FHM.

    You look really pretty and so slinky.

  11. Gorgeous dress! I wants it!

    And it’s good for several different kinds of weather, and you can wear it with strappy shoes or boots….I need to shop.

  12. Yep, love the dress. Why don’t you go to a shop and let the sales assistant dress you in something that you wouldn’t choose yourself. I did that one day and I ended up loving what they chose.

    Go on. Be daring. You only live once and your only young once. NJ

  13. You look lovely. I am so happy to see you looking so good, its not just being slim, its your great skin tone and hair, shining with health and life. Keep it up, I find you a great inspiration.

  14. heya, you look stunning and very slim. I can’t believe you haven’t gone and bought a new foxy wardrobe, it is a major factor in keeping me going in the weight loss game. You have colouring like me which means you can really play with autumn type colours, but I think you know this as you have already posted about it.
    All the best
    R πŸ™‚

  15. Go for it DG, you look great in that dress. I’m 12 years older and regret that for some of my 20s I was wearing the equivalent of sacks or tents. What a waste. When I was younger I didn’t have the money, then when I could have had the money, I was just too fat. Now I’m happy to wear flattering clothes (no frills, but feminine). Find a few trusted advisers and make the most of that figure and those long legs.

  16. Hey Shauna
    That dress suits you!!! And it looks like the vegetarian thing does too – you have NO tummy, yet you’re curvaceous and sexy.
    You’ve worked fricken hard for that body girl – get some more gorgeous clothes to flaunt it!

  17. re the clothes one way of trying on new stuff is to book a personal shopping session with a large department store. It’s free (obviously they want you to buy some clothes, but you don’t have to). I’m a fan of Harvey Nicks (in London for me but there is one in Edinburgh too…. If you go and explain the weightloss and that you need some fresh ideas, and give them a sensible budget for a couple of work and/or smart casual outfits you might get some useful ideas. My personal favourite trick with this is to go in the morning, then get a friend to meet me for lunch so we can pretend that we are married to rich merchant bankers/footballers and that this is our normal life (but we are shallow!)

  18. What a faboo dress … that neckline is just the thing for a back-of-the-book cover photo!

    I bought tons of summer skirts last year – so fun to wear with a bright tee and sandals.

  19. Great frock!

    Thanks for the link to that workout – but what are mountain climbers?

    The tofu recipe sounds cool. Baking it sounds much healthier than frying but I guess it has the same effect? I’m going to try it this week.

  20. You know, exercises with your natural weight(eg.pull-up, push-ups, dips, sit-ups) are the best. They’re also some of the hardest.

  21. I HATE PLANKS! HATE! HATE! HATE! And that workout I do has two sets of them. Grrr. It’s the remaining-motionless, endurance-contest aspect that I just can’t stand, there’s not even any motion (besides my quivering body) to distract me from how much I’m suffering.

    As much as I hate planks, that is the reciprocal amount of love I have for your new dress. It’s just perfect, the length, the neckline, the magenta skin – you look lovely and graceful and strong.

  22. Another always-inspired lurker coming out of the woodwork.
    You look fabulous.
    But, the next dress HAS to be RED!

  23. WOW — you look seriously great, giving the old sexy look over the shoulder and showing off your womanly shape. Good for you! With your hair, jewel tones would be great, esp. green.

  24. I LOVE your hair.

    I love your slender neck!

    I love the sultry over the shoulder look.

    Most of all, I LOVE that dress. VERY, VERY classy. You could dress it up and down.

    You look beautiful Shauna!

  25. Ooooh you look gorgeous πŸ™‚
    I spent 2 years dressing as though I hadn’t lost 15 kg – now I have found Trinny & Susannah & am going mad with all the fun. It’s like dressing up!
    BTW get into the jewellery that’s fun too, and not as $$$$ as clothes (smaller too so you can hide the stuff-ups). Have you tried ebay? It’s fun and good for us tinny types
    Looking forward to more photos

  26. Love the dress! I know what you mean about the “uniform,” that is my daily dress as well. Come to think about it, every shirt I wear at the moment is either solid colored with a v-neck at best or is a men’s style printed t-shirt. When I was much thinner my closet was much more “girly” and I even (gasp!) wore a skirt on occasion even when there was no reason to dress up! I’m not sure if it’s a body image issue or if it has to do with the lack of interesting clothes in Women’s sizes. Probably both!

    Anyways, great blog, I will definitely keep reading!

  27. Gut-sucking counts as an ab exercise too, you know….

    Huh! You did an extra workout without even realising!

  28. Denise, that is so funny, i got this dress at bowden! i was eyeing off that one you linked too but decided there’s just not enough warm days in scotland for a sleeveless frock πŸ™‚

    cheers for your comments groovers! and fashion ideas for the clueless!

    and lainey, i dunno what i was thinking with the over the shoulder thing. what a tart eh? πŸ˜›

  29. Wow – good choice! Once you go to dresses, there is no turning back.
    Good stuff about dresses:
    * one thing to put on in the morning
    * the top always matches the bottom
    * if you get a decent cut – it can slink away and bumps
    * summer and winter (just add tights or even a pair of jeans/trousers underneath
    * some funky jewellery/scarf/jackets can dress up/down as required
    * knee length boots look great with them.

    I went dress mad when I lived in london for 5 years and although I am a size 16/18 (Aus) I can easily find a flattering dress (especially wrap dresses) for work, handing around or formal stuff.
    The shops I loved in the UK for dresses were:
    * H&M (ahh fond memories)
    * Dorothy Perkins
    * Principles

    Wait till you discover knee length A-Line skirts!Its a lovely journey, becoming a girl!

  30. Hey gorgeous!! I always remember Billy Connolly doing a stand up routine which involved him going swimming at an Aussie beach and he went on about how his legs were so white from being a Scot that they were blue, funny how this came to mind when I saw your photo. What also struck me was the absolutely stunning smile you have and the great boobs, hips and arse! Great to see the beautiful woman you have metamorphised (is that a word?) into.

  31. I bet you’d get a big charge out of wearing some new colours. Oh, DG, please consider giving charity shops a go with this. It’s a great way to experiment without spending too much. You never know what you’ll find. There isn’t the pressure of shopping in a real store. You can always diffuse anxiety by browsing tea cosies and paperback books for 50p. You can also mine for comedy gold by eavesdropping on the old ladies who volunteer – it’s all there.
    Your dress looks swell. Keep on rocking.

  32. You look GOOD in that dress…..go out and indulge your gurly wardrobe wish.

    Wow, you look nice. If you get tired of the Scottish companion give me a call πŸ™‚

  33. You look absolutely beautiful! What a sight for sore eyes *sigh* You’ve come a such a loooooong way and there you are, full of life. You’re so inspiring even for a person like me that doesn’t relate to the weightloss in itself but overall to your attitude, devotion and sense of humour. Me bows! And if you wanna see my dearest dawgy grrl, have a look:

  34. I am on a diet too πŸ™‚ But i am from Portugal. you have lost i great weight! congratulations. sorry about my basic english πŸ˜›

  35. You are so MROW in that dress.

    I am big hearty hearts for plank since I took kickboxing this fall. We do it in yoga too. Good stuff!

  36. Wait. No one talked about the Tofurkey? Ew, I can’t even imagine.. Is there any way to make tofu when it’s not.. um… spongy? I didn’t mind the flavor but the texture gave me the heebie jeebies. By the way girl, you look great.. I can hardly wait to wear a dress like that! You know, not exactly like that.. I don’t want to be your cyber twin/stalker or anything like that. πŸ˜‰

  37. You look awesome!!! Definitely time to start getting yourself some clothes that show off all the work you have done.

  38. You look fabulous DG – the dress looks great!! I know when I was larger I would not wear anything with patterns on it. I figured I was big enough as it was I didn’t need a pattern to advertise it. However now that I have lost the weight I am starting to enjoy wearing a pattern or two. All it took was a couple of nice comments about a pattern I was wearing and I started to like them again.

    Enjoy your shopping – tis the best thing about losing the flab!!!

  39. You look amazing in that pic DG, the dress really suits you! I’m with you all the way about not knowing what clothes suit your figure (no matter what the size!) But a friend recently lost about 4 stone and we went to the Debenhams personal shopping service in the Oxford St. branch (London) – it was pure bliss!! Total relaxation, and as we went during sale time at the end of summer, the personal shopper brought along lots of bargains for my friend to try -we were there for 2 whole hours, and it was SO worth it! I’d never have chosen half of the stuff she did, lots of colours and patterns, but my friend looked like a million dollars afterwards, and the moment she realised that she actually felt good and proud of her reflection was a big one – she burst into tears of happiness!!! So thats my reward at the end of my journey, and I’d highly recommend it for anyone as a confidence boost.

    Best of luck with the shopping, hope it has the same effect, because you’ve certainly earned it!

  40. That dress is great on you! I have the same problem you have. I went to a school where I had to wear a uniform until I was about 14 then started wearing my own “uniform” of jeans and a t-shirt. (Jeans and a sweater in winter). I joke about it all the time. I never learned to dress like a girl. I found clothes I really like at “Ann Taylor Loft”. You should check them out on-line. I don’t know if they have them in the UK.
    Also…can you give me some advice? I’m wanting to buy some dumbells to keep under my bed too. What wieghts are good to start with? There seem to be so many and I can’t imagine I need 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 10 pounds. Or do I? Just your thoughts on the subject would be helpful if you are so inclined.
    Sorry for the LOOOONG comment…

  41. 1st pic: the dress looks amazing. 2nd pic: incredibly foxy look, great bum, boobs and hips, can see why gareth could not resist. legs: yes mine look exactly like that too (if not so much worse).

    Good on you Shauny!

  42. You look hot!!!

    Yes, those planks kill me, too. I only do them when forced in a class. Unfortunately, that’s the worst time to demonstrate the art of face-planting.

  43. You look great in that pic! This is a bit late I realize you posted this a few years ago lol but can you post the recipe for this tofu??? It sounds delicious .. thank you πŸ™‚

  44. I think the swiss chardy thing may be bok choy. It’s a Chinese vegetable that looks like swiss chard, but is sweeter and juicier and yummier.

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