The Hills Are Alive

Oh I would kill for a Freddo Frog right now. Has anyone got one handy?

If I was clever with computers I would make a Dietgirl Automatic Blog Entry Generator. I’m smelling a pattern lately:

  1. Shauna reluctantly tries a sporty activity
  2. Shauna freaks out/swears/whines incessantly during sporty activity
  3. In hindsight Shauna begrudgingly admits sporty activity was quite enjoyable

Forgive me for the recurring themes around here; I will be more weight-lossy soon. Please don’t run away! I will talk about vegetables or loose skin or bicep curls. Any requests? It’s just that our pathetic excuse for a summer is rapidly dwindling so I have to get my fix of the great outdoors before the soul-crushing darkness returns.

(Memo to Antipodeans – I don’t want to hear a word about your Spring arriving early. We’ve had no more than two consecutive non-rainy days in Scotland this "summer" and our SAD is kicking in three months early, so we don’t need anyone rubbing it in :P)


Last Thursday night I had my second attempt at canoeing, this time a wee pootle along part of the Union Canal. There were three of us so we took it in turns, two in the boat and one cycling alongside. I ended up paddling most of the time as I was the Most Hopeless therefore needed the practice.

I’d never been up close to the Canal before, just caught glimpses from the motorway to Glasgow. It is rather nice and peaceful in places with lovely bridges to go under and this gorgeous aqueduct to go over. I was feeling very serene and happy, but then said Gareth it was my turn to steer. It’s all very well sitting pretty in the front but the real skill is controlling the vessel. Dammit.

Steering SUCKS. Especially with my inability to visualise verbal instructions and translate them into actions. Not to mention my Left and Right issues. Basically we just bounced from one side of the canal to the other for half an hour, smashing into reeds and horrible stingy nettles. I did the usual cursing and bitching and then my English fell apart, STINKING BOAT WHY DO YOU GO THE OTHER WAY WHAT I TELL YOU TO GO!?! I just could not wrap my head around the concept of canoe steering at all. In the end I rammed the boat into the wall just short of Broxburn and demanded to be allowed back into the Princess Seat.

Overall though, it was a nice way to spend an extremely rare sunny afternoon.


Tonight we dismantled our bikes and chucked them in the car then reassembled them near a wee forest about twenty minutes down the road for my first-ever off road adventure.

I’ve been very apathetic towards cycling so I surprised myself by having a BLOODY GREAT TIME! I went through mud and sand and ditches and rocks and big fat tree roots! I went up big hills! I went down big hills! In your face, hills!

I was in a constant state of terror and nearly fell off about 27 times so clenched the bike frame between my thighs as though their mighty bulk would act as a third brake and prevent me flying over the handlebars. Afterwards I was utterly knackered and felt like all 206 of my bones had been dislocated but it was fantastic. I finally understand The Thrill of Going Down Hills. I got a killer workout AND fun at the same time. Who knew?


I still don’t have one. Suppose I will just go to bed then. Hope you’re all well, lovely comrades!

40 thoughts on “The Hills Are Alive

  1. There is an overabundance of freddo’s at my work – there’s some sort of fundraising bonanza going on, and they sit outside my office, looking innocent, calling to me from their cardboard box. Unfortunately, after weeks of the scales not really noticing the odd freddo making it to my desk, they caught on this week. And whilst I’m sure you won’t truly believe me, (coz I don’t) going to the gym last night made me feel much better than the four freddos I ate before lunch the day before.

  2. Ooh Couch my sympathies… are they those Giant Fundraising Freddos? Somehow they always taste better. Must be coz they’re for noble causes πŸ™‚

  3. Hey DG

    Just loving the blog – tales of the Hills are particularly inspiring.

    You ask for a request – well, here’s mine – DG/Diet guru!!!

    What do you do when you think you just can’t do it? (Nicely related to your sporting forays, methinks!) Admittedly, I have split my weight loss into two distinct camps – first, slow weight loss, intensive exercise (3 stone off, 1 stone on) – second, the VLCD route this year with a well-known UK regime. By my scales, I have lost 5 stone in 6 months. But now I am stalling, stalling, stalling, self-sabotaging, bingeing.

    Am I normal? I know you have NOT done a VLCD but would be really interested if this is a pattern for most dieters – as you hover around goal, do you go bananas??

    Would never have posed a question like this but…you asked!

    Please continue being you, dear Shauna! You’re still THE business!!!

    Mrs Lxxxxxxxxxxx

  4. I wish my hubby enjoyed exercise as much as your wee scottish lad does. I’m pining for some action packed adventures. Oh well surf season is nearly upon us and with it comes…surf boat rowing. Yeehaaaaaaaaaa!!

    Glad your enjoying the cycling Shauna. Stay upright, stay happy. πŸ™‚


  5. that is a great question Mrs L and thanks for askin it! I will put that on my list πŸ™‚ but let me give you a brief answer YOU ARE TOTALLY NORMAL.

    and yes even though i am not in weight loss mode any more i still go bananas all the bloody time!

    off to bed to dream of chocklit πŸ™‚

  6. What kind of freddo? Peppermint are my fave. They have totally ousted the caramello koala.

    I vote for loose skin. I’ve started using Palmers stuff for loose skin. It’s ‘clinically proven’ to firm your skin. I dunno why, but saying clinically proven sucks me in (maybe I should email them and ask for the details). The bike riding sounds fun and I guarantee our early spring won’t last, least not in Melbs.

  7. Yes we had those giant fundraising frogs for almost 3 weeks. Caramel one’s too. They broke my resolve and I gave everyday. Woke up to myself after 2 weeks and now they are gone thanks goodness…

  8. Oooh – I have the fundraising box of doom sitting across from my desk at work. I’ve been patting myself on the back for resisting, but It has definitely been a battle of wills…me against Freddo!

  9. Oooh! I’m so jealous of your off-road biking! Back in the day (when I was single and free), that was my most favorite thing to do, ever. It’s amazing how you can just lose yourself in the steering, and the hills and the ups and downs, and you’ve gotten exercise while just meaning to have fun. Wow. So great! We are going to visit my brother this weekend and he is in PRIME mountain biking territory. Wish me luck for somehow managing to get in a solid bike ride!

  10. Hmmm…off-road biking sounds a lot of fun! Seeing as hubby broke his arm in a much less adventurous bike riding incident (and as a consequence had to get a metal plate and six screws put in his arm), I will either have to miss out on that one or wrap ourselves in bubble wrap. Seems I’m lucky not to have Freddo Frogs available in Germany. We get addicted to Milka over here.

  11. Oh, the steering of the canoe! I sympathise! We were on holiday in Nova Scotia last year and went to Keji (can’t spell the whole name so I won’t!) National Park. A friend had told us we had to go canoeing so even though we had never done it, we hired a canoe for an hour and the husband and I and the two kids clambered in. I got to steer. So we spent the first twenty minutes about 20 feet from the shore going round and round and round in circles while the guy who had hired it to us was given first aid and oxygen he was laughing so hard. He later described it as “a sort of desparate polka on water.” But it was just the best fun ever – once we managed to canoe in a straight line. Well done for getting out there!
    (PS I sometimes run along the Union Canal – if you see a red puffing mass on the bank anytime, give us a wave!)

  12. I didn’t even know Freddos came in flavours other than plain.

    Thornton’s Continental bars are my Achilles’ heel. I like canoeing, though, despite not being able to tell right from left. You’ll get the hang.

  13. That canal is so gorgeous! What a good inspiration to lose weight and get fit – so we can go to places like that.

    I have never canoed and have no idea how to steer one. Isn’t there a wheel or something? πŸ™‚

  14. I just love it here. You are so inspiring, and I love it that you are finally coming to grips with the fun you can jave by simply flying downhill! Keep up the fun, it keeps weight loss efforts like mine going even in the face of the health issues that stand in the way.

  15. CHEERS GROOVERS! Comments Rule!

    Oh man, I remember those fundraising boxes all too well. They don’t seem to have those in the UK. I remember years ago my flatmate and I practically scoffed the entire box of overpriced Maltesers she was selling… arrgh….

    Crank – Hellooo! I used to love Rainbow Freddos! And white. Do they still exist? But I really really really REALLY don’t need any Freddos, seriously. I am battling to stay on the straight n narrow lately πŸ™‚

    Lynda – LMAO! Desperate Polka is a spot-on phrase. And I will look out for you on the canal and you can identify me by the sound of swearing πŸ™‚

    Amber – Crunchy freddos eh? all these innovations since i left oz… makes me homesick as!

    K – hell yeah, in australia there’s all sorts of flavours. when i left there was original, white, rainbow chip, peppermint, strawberry… etc etc etc πŸ™‚

  16. you know i am wondering now, did these Rainbow Freddos actually exist or is that one of those fantasy things that you convince yourself are reality?!

  17. According to Wikipedia, there is a “rainbow crunch” version. So you didn’t make it up. πŸ™‚

    Now I really want to try one of these. But like so many interesting-sounding confections, they probably don’t exist in the U.S.

  18. hmmmmm yum, I loved those rainbow chip ones too…sort like clinkers…hmmm clinkers. lol.
    I’m hooked on strawberry ones now.
    Hey Shauny, just curious how the knee is standing up to the exercise??

  19. Oooh CLINKERS! They rule!

    And Lisa, the knee is holding up pretty well, touch wood πŸ™‚

  20. Yep, I have Freddos in the freezer which are there for my three year old ONLY, I do occasionally sneak one though! Oops. Want me to send you one?

  21. I think if you managed to master downhill, uphill, big tree root biking, AFTER the bouncing, nettle stinging, gorgeous panoramic viewing, canoe ride, then maybe, just maybe you are allowed to think about Freddo’s.. Think mind you. Not eat. But now that I have read this post, those damn Freddos that are sitting in their pretty little box in the lunch room seem to be croaking a lot louder *la la la la la* If I sing like this I won’t hear them LOL.

    Perhaps a subject to touch upon, which you probably have in the last 5 years, is what to do to fight off the probability of motivation slide as the weather becomes cooler (in the Northern Hemisphere) and how to move your exercise regime indoors without wanting to chuck it all in.

    I know we have the wonderful Spring days arriving to herald that Summer is on it’s way (I know – I am rubbing it in too much!) but some of us still can’t get outside as much as we would like to so I am sure any advice would be well received Down Here too..

    Have a top weekend Shauna.

  22. I love your sporting adventures. I admire your persistance(bl**dy mindedness?) to move out of your comfort zone.

    The hills, streets and gym are certainly jumping in my part of Oz anyway, as Spring makes its presence felt and the thought of Beach! and swimmers! looms large.

  23. yep.. i remember the rainbow ones.. haven’t seen them for a while tho… hmmmm.. why do i know so much about chocolate?? i can send you some crunchie ones if you want tho.. but seriously.. loving hearing about the canoing.. i so want to go kayaking!!

  24. Spring Downunder? nah, just like last year we seem to have skipped it and gone straight to Summer. Oh, sorry πŸ˜›

    I was always a sucker for White and Strawberry Freddos…and Caramello Koalas!

  25. Don’t think for a second that we’re all naturally gifted and talented when it comes to learning how to paddle the canoe from the stern position. It takes some serious getting used to. Only help I can offer (you have some wonderful BCU instructors over there – use them) is you use a stroke that pushes away from the boat to go in the direction of the side you are paddling on and a stroke that pulls water towards the boat to go in a direction opposite from the side your paddling on. All the rest is practice — you’ll be great in no time if you give yourself a chance with out Dr. G. aboard…

    Good luck!

  26. If not in the next post, can you please talk about loose skin at some point? As someone at the start of their Defatification Quest(tm) it’s an issue that’s worrying me (will I get it? How to avoid/get rid of it? etc)

  27. hiya anon et al – i have written about loose skin before (if you type it into the search box on the right there) but will address is again soon πŸ™‚

  28. You won’t hear me getting all excited about the early spring here in Oz, not sure if you remember how un-fun being fat is in the Australian summer! πŸ™‚

    While we’re talking freddos, I am a strawberry fan all the way!

  29. I nearly bought a Freddo Frog yesterday LOL. Tempting and small enough for a non-guilty treat. Yum. LOL at the canoeing, I would have been the same. Sounds like an awesome ride though. I have to get out more!!

  30. I am so glad I’m not the only adult with left and right issues. I played piano for years and years and years, and I always have to make piano hands and then sneak a quick look at them to figure out which direction I’m supposed to be going.

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