A Little More Action

I’ve been stuck in a perpetual state of Freaking Out for the past month or so. It’s either right there in my face, intense and debilitating and bloody irritating for all around me, or it bubbles under the surface – a nice jittery background panic, just enough to cause insomnia.

There’s nothing wrong per se, it’s just that everything seems to be changing all at once. And I’ve always been rubbish with change. I tend to find a nice little rut, fill it with mud and roll around all comfy and safe for as many years as possible. Splash splash, wallow wallow! But then one thing changes and it seems to set off a chain of further changes and suddenly that cool pool o’ mud no longer surrounds you.

If you look at it all with calm and rational eyes, you see change as challenge and opportunity. It really is positive stuff what’s happening to me. But I always seem to have to go through a tedious period of Headless Chickening before I can embrace that. This involves funny breathing, spontaneous sobbing, making lists of things to do but being so overwhelmed by said list that I do nothing at all, etc etc.

You’d think when things are uncertain that that would be when you’d REALLY make sure to look after yourself and exercise and eat right. But nooo… the routine got chucked out the window. I have been moping on the couch, doing a few half-hearted DVDs or going for a bike ride only because Gareth spent an hour persuading me.

This isn’t about fat or diets or weight loss, it’s just that basic mind and body connection. Personally, when I deliberately move my arse and eat the fruit and veggies on a regular basis, I simply feel better equipped to handle the world. When mind and body are humming along together as one kick ass machine, I have the energy and self-assurance to muddle my way through challenging periods.

So why the bloody hell do I always abandon that connection when things get tough?

I’ve been drafting and deleting entries all month about this, because I am a paranoid loon and so many people I know read this now therefore I hate being a whinger. But this blogging malarkey has always helped me work through things and to GET OVER the Freak Out and GET ON with the action. So if you will indulge me today. What I am going to do is:

  1. Draw a Microsoft Paint representation of my current state of mind, because Microsoft Paint really is an underrated as an artistic and therapeutic tool
  2. Get off the couch and do my Muscle Max DVD then
  3. Report back to you.


My abba-dabbas are screaming and my triceps are still shaking and I have gained perspective. Score!

A basic lesson I need to remember is that no matter how petrified one may be feeling, nine times of out ten that feeling can be soothed (temporarily or otherwise) by one or more of the following:

  1. Fresh air
  2. Exercise
  3. A cup of tea

I feel much better. I feel kinda… rebooted. I will get back into my routine, darnit. Like I said, this isn’t about weight loss, it’s just knowing what my brain and body needs to feel capable and excited about moving forward, rather than terrified.

I am determined to be done with the Freak Out phase now. So it’s on to the Action phase.

This arvo I am going to make a pot of veggie soup (with guest appearances from barley and split peas) then I am going to do the dishes and then I’m going to store all my summer clothes so there is more room in the drawers so I don’t have to swear at the drawers when I can’t find anything and can’t close the fucking drawer afterward AND THEN I’m going to read some more of this book or tackle the Email Backlog of Doom and then I am going to figure out what the hell to wear for the first day of my new job on Tuesday (ARRRRRRGH no I didn’t mean arrgh I meant YAY) and then I think I’d better have a bath.

Thanks for putting up with me, comrades. Bloody hell.

42 thoughts on “A Little More Action

  1. I totally know what you mean about liking rut and routine. I’m right there with you. That short period where you haven’t yet gotten into a groove (aka rut) with new stuff can be difficult. But it sounds like you are doing great at getting back on track. And CONGRATS on the new job! Yippee!

  2. there’s a reason people say starting a new job is the most stressful thing in the world!
    i love routine… nothing better than knowing exaclty what’s happening and what you’re doing…

    change is good!

    how sad is it that summer is well and truely over… it’s just going to get cooler and cooler from here on in…

    i bet you 5 quid it’ll snow at XMAS!

  3. Well good luck, dearie, you’ll be fine.
    I know that YOU know that it will be grand, and that it is much like exercise, climbing hills to be exact, wonderful when looking back on it. You’ll get to that point where you think, gosh, I am really rather enjoying this rut, I am very glad that I am not in my OLD rut, that was a crap rut. THIS rut is really top notch.
    It is ok to go off the rails now and again, (ruts, rails, oooh, see what I did?) because it is only when you are off them that you can actively question them and head towards them again, as opposed to unthinkingly trundling along your old rutty rails. All will be well. All the best.

  4. YOU ARE HUMAN!!!!
    It’s natural to feel trepidation (big word for me!)before you start a new job. You’ll be fine. πŸ™‚ And look what you did… you recognised you were in a rut before it was too late and did something positive e.g. not stuff 5 litres of choclate ice cream down your cakehole and put on 2 stone. Big hugs – you rock!!

  5. Change takes A LOT of energy. Energy that you usually have for eating right and exercising. When that energy is sapped by all that change, then what’s left is the couch and a book. So, it’s great that you got yourself re-energized with a workout. Yay for you! Best of luck with the new job next week!!!

  6. Oh, dood, I sooo understand. I’m still stuck here in my muddy ol’ rut and I’m fighting tooth and nail not to go anywhere!

    Although, the packing of the summer clothes is inspiring, as is a cup of tea.

  7. Love it that you really are human afterall! I love that ‘in a rut, wallowing in mud” feeling too.. change is good though, and I’m glad you are ready to embrace it and move forward. Hope your first day on new job goes just fine and dandy! And you will look bloody gorgeous I’m sure!

  8. I’m a huge fan of faking it til you make it.
    I also firmly believe that freaking out is a necessary and important part of change – so don’t feel bad mate (HUGS))
    and good lcuk with the new job!!

  9. Hi Shauna, I just found your blog and I love it! It’s super inspiring and your writing style is so fun and insightful. Please keep writing and sharing your thoughts with us! – a fan in New York

  10. I’m like you – change is unnerving although I know change has meant that I’ve ended up so much more (wrong term here – “more developed a person”) from changes that have hit me over time.

    I read somewhere that the change hurts because change is always happening but we clutch on to a reality that has gone. The longer we hold on to the old reality the further apart we are from real reality and the more pain.

    Kind of like “YES, it still IS summer!” “No dear, that’s why you have frostbite”

    Scott F

  11. haha oohh! this is exactly what i’ve been feeling like lately, what with graduate school starting and boys moving across oceans and general madness and tulmultuousness (if that’s even a word).

    it’s so very comforting to know that someone else is feeling the same way (and articulated it well because i’ve been deleting all of my entries too, though i think only five of my friends read my blog haha), even if you’ve never met and the only connection you really have is the mystical one of being redheaded.

    cheers, darlin.

  12. Shauna, this is an awesome entry. I call it ‘reset’, that feeling you get after exercise, and a hard RPM class does it for me. Takes a bit of an internal pep talk to get there though.

    I love that you write when things are going less well as well as when they are going swimmingly. More real that way. You continue to rock.

  13. I freak out the same way. I think everyone does. New job??!! That is awesome! You will be great. I can’t wait to hear about it.

  14. Hey DG

    My panic and anxiety levels have been sky high this week. Your picture made me laugh; I sent my best friend an email this week with one word -aaaagggghhhh!

    Anyway, my brain goes “feel anxiety, find food” BUT I am going to try your way now!

    Thank you and GOOD LUCK with the new job! Sock it to them, DG!

    Mrs Lard xxxxxxxxxx

  15. Finally all caught up on all your trials and tribulations! I am at the start of my Weight Loss/stop looking like Mt Everest journey with 10stone 10 pounds/150 pounds or 69kg to go! If I add into that a shattered ankle (means I am now on crutches and cannot do any exercise that involves walking/standing etc!) and I was starting to despair – but I reckon I CAN do this (back to WLR in another week and a half – the reason for that timescale being that we move house and various items such as the oven are no longer working!), try out Yoga again, upper body weights and maybe Pilates as you found them so good!

    Hmm maybe I should start my own blog!

  16. Cha Cha Cha Changes…(I love that David Bowie song).

    I’m the worst creature of habit. I order the same things, go to the same places, stay at the same job – all because I hate change.

    I know change is good and have to remind myself if I keep doing the same things I’m going to get the same results.

    You are such an inspiration. You knew you were in a funk, you knew how to make yourself feel better and you did it. That is why you are such a great success.

    Congrats on your new job. You’ll be great (and look fabulous).

    Just keep reminding yourself that change is good and go have a cup of tea!

  17. Congrats on the new job! I now have Cha cha cha changes stuck in my head. Perhaps that can be the incentive to put on my yoga DVD and silence the monkey brain.

  18. I didn’t realize a new job was on the horizon! Good on ya and best of luck with your new undertaking, I know it will be a great success.

    My mantra is always: CHANGE SUCKS! Of course that’s not true but it always feels like it at the time. Maybe you reverted to a few old behaviors, but you also remembered the hard-won lessons and used exercise to diminish the stress – I know that’s not something I would have done five years ago. Sometimes we forget how far we’ve come…

  19. ARGH! My husband starts university classes in two weeks! ARGH! I’m applying for a masters and may very well also be a student in January. ARGH! I have been promoted to lab manager in my new job and have a safety inspection to prepare for! ARGH! I have sworn that my jeans size will NOT GO UP and I’m sick of game playing with myself so it’s time to get serious with the healthful eating and exercise thing!


    …I mean YAY!

    Freakishly to the point and timely as ever dear DG, I hope your new job goes swimmingly.

  20. Congrats on your new job luv! i hope it’s everything you expect and more πŸ™‚ Probably just a touch of nerves, things will settle down as you do… exercise always helps, as you’ve already noticed πŸ˜€

  21. Listen.

    Yes, you CAN hear me screaming in unison from Australia! You know I’ve been flippin’ out big time of late, but hang in there and it will all come out in the wash. I start a 5 week prac at a bloody SELECTIVE BOYS’ high school soon – I swear to you they know more than me!


  22. Why are we all so freakishly in sync?

    Apart from the stuff you know about… I just took all my summer clothes out of my drawers and stored them. Like, half an hour ago.

    And I still don’t have a job, but, well, tea.

  23. I hope you have a great day at your new job. I can understand ruts and I’m trying to change myself out of it. I love that you went out and got some fresh air and some exercise. It’s annoying but true, that stuff does work.

    It’s just easier to be inert than to get up and do something when I get into a similar state. And it becomes a bit of a cycle if I don’t break it. Most annoying.

    I’m trying to get my declutter project done before I need to change from summer to winter clothes. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment on my blog.

  24. I want to steal that Paint drawing for my Christmas card this year. Is that okay? It perfectly sums up my feelings about the festive season, and it’s even in the right colours! You’re a genius girl!

  25. Hi Shauna! I discovered your blog about a month ago. I’ve been going through your archives during slow-days here at my work and I’m just now on Aug. 06, but I love it! Thanks for writing, and I hope you will keep writing for a long time still. I also have some weight to lose, so I come here for inspiration as well as entertainment. Take care!

  26. That book looks really good, but not available in the US for a few more months! πŸ™ It reminds me of this book you might like by Christopher Moore called “Lamb The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal” & “A Dirty Job”(which it takes place in San Francisco…you have been there you might remember some of the places he talks about), after reading A Dirty Job, I had to go and read every book he has ever written…I am a bit obsessive at times;)

  27. I know exactly what you mean. I got married in August. My father was diagnosed with inoperable cancer shortly thereafter. We’re househunting. I’m trying to pack. I get so anxious (like when we made an offer on a house), I get paralyzed. A walk or the gym is just what I need, but I can’t seem to leave the house. I eat instead.

  28. First of all, major pats on the back for not burying your sorrows in one of the blocks of choccie that you used to mention!

    Second of all…
    I feel ya.. WE ALL feel you. That’s why we like to read your blog – you articulate (so witt-ily) what we all go through.

    Feel shitty + eat shit= feel shittier…versus… Feel shitty + eat right + move the booty = feel better.

    It is an equation I’ve worked through SO MANY times before, and yet, I still take Option 1 far too many times, even though I KNOW BETTER.

    Anyhoo, congrats on having a plan of action, because that always feels good…
    AND.. great luck with the new job.

  29. I’d say you’re handling the stress brilliantly. You inspired me, anyway!

    Good luck your first day. And let me know how you like that book! It looks very interesting!

  30. “Like I said, this isn’t about weight loss, it’s just knowing what my brain and body needs to feel capable and excited about moving forward, rather than terrified.”

    Geez, you are so right. I was sick last week, so for the first week in a while I only ran once and lifted weights once. Then I had a Grade A Freakout on Sunday where I let myself get way too overwhelmed and had a screaming fit, and at the end of that I only felt fit to eat way too much crap and curl up in a tiny ball and want to die. Add to that my husband’s birthday dinner with his coworkers that coincidentally occurred yesterday, at which I ate perfectly well but which caused me to miss yet another day of running, and I am in a low-level state of panic, thinking that’s it, I’ll never be able to stop eating and the 80 pounds will be back before I know it.

    However, your entry came at just the right time. I know perfectly well that whatever happens with my weight, I feel better if I am eating a balanced, nutritious diet in amounts that don’t make me feel stuffed and sick. And being how I am, I only feel equipped to eat that way after I exercise and get the mental benefits from it that allow me not to feel overwhelmed just by life itself. People tell you this, and I guess I believed them, but it’s hard to feel in your bones until you experience it–regular exercise probably has more impact on my mood than my antidepressant. The day when I don’t want to do it is generally the most important day to force myself to do it; then my mood is improved just that little bit and I can build on it and keep doing what I need to do and being healthy. I’m going to make absolutely sure I go running this afternoon, because honestly I think I need to in order to stay sane. Otherwise I get into this downward spiral and I’d rather that didn’t start today. Surely I can at least push it off for a few days. πŸ™‚

    Anyway, thank you so much for this post (though I am sorry it came out of your own stress and panic) and I am really happy to hear that your first day at the new job went OK. I hope it just continues to get better.

  31. Man, you even *freak out* in style girl, love it…at your expense of course πŸ™‚ It sounds like you know what you gotta do when you *freak out* and kudos to you. I hope the first day goes well for you babe! x

  32. Just had your blog recommended by a friend & I LOVE this entry. I’m with you on healthy routines being the first thing to go out the window when life gets stressful. Now, if only I can be as motivated as you are to solve that problem…

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